So, here's my road trip: east from Sacramento on Hwy 50 and I-70 through Nevada, Utah and Colorado. Continuing east on I-70 through Kansas--not looking forward to Kansas--and Missouri to St. Louis. Swinging north after crossing into Illinois, passing through Springfield where I'll be stopping at Lincoln's tomb. Up through Wisconsin to Michigan's UP and Lake Superior. Turning west after reaching the lake, across Wisconsin and North Dakota, swinging south to Rushmore, then across Wyoming to Yellowstone, then various interstates and US-93 to I-80 and back home. I have up to 14 days to go 4800 miles. After passing through Kansas, Michigan and North Dakota I can say I've been to 49 of the 50 states--freaking Maine! Any suggestions as to sights to see, especially in Kansas or ND, are welcome.
hey, you left out MN between wisconsin and NoDak! (what can i say, i'm a native.) from the way it sounds you'll be taking US-2 across the UP and northern wisconsin, then across minnesota and into grand forks...? (correct me if i'm wrong.) if this is the case, definitely stop in Duluth for a bit -- they've redone the waterfront area and it's a really nice walk down by the lake. there's also a small maritime museum thingy down by the aerial lift bridge that's worth a look.
if you're willing to make a little detour north on route 53 up to virginia and then back down on 169 through chisholm and hibbing, there's a lot of mining history and such all along 169, most notably in chisholm. there's "ironworld" which i'm a bit skeptical of, but near that is the iron range interpretive center which i quite like. also, you can pay your respects to bob dylan's birthplace at hibbing...
rejoining 2 at grand rapids (hold your nose as you drive by the paper mill), you'll be entering the chippewa national forest, which is utterly beautiful. you'll come out of the forest at bemidji, home to a gigantic paul bunyan and babe the blue ox statue (and much cooler than the one in brainerd they showed in "fargo"). bemidji itself is not so hot but it would be a good spot to find shelter for the night, if you find yourself there in the evening. i'm afraid my knowledge of 2 runs out west of bemidji -- you're on your own until you hit grand forks ;-)
northern minnesota is one of the most beautiful places ever. you'll be amazed.
That's pretty much it--Hwy 2 across Wisconsin and into Minnesota. Then I catch the interstate--can't remember what interstate it is right now--at Fargo, and drive across North Dakota. Then I head due south to Rushmore.
A little nervous about North Dakota, frankly. Anything to see along that route?
If memory serves, you'll have to take I-29 south from Grand Fork to Fargo if you're planning to take U.S. 2 all the way across Minnesota. Otherwise, there are a few other U.S. and state highways that will get you from Duluth to Fargo. The only one I've personally driven goes southwest from Duluth to Brainard, then up to Detroit Lakes (I think it's U.S. 10) and over to Fargo.
Through N.D. I'm assuming you're taking I-94 across the state before cutting south towards Rushmore at some point. In North Dakota I'd recommend stopping at Teddy Rosevelt N.P., although it may be farther west then you're planning on traveling.
Another possibility would be to take I-29 south all the way to Sioux Falls, SD, where you could take I-90 across South Dakota. I-90 has several unique stops in SD, including the Corn Palace in Mitchell, Badlands N.P., and of course the infamous Wall Drug, before getting to Rapid City and Mt. Rushmore. This route could also be a little bit faster too, because it's 4 lanes the whole way, and SD's speed limits are a little bit higher than ND's.
OK, now that I'm on my home computer with MS Streets and Trips up, I can report that I am taking Hwy 2 out of Michigan's UP, and into Minnesota, where I take Hwy 169 to Fargo, then I-94 across North Dakota, until I catch Hwy 85 South at the town of Belfield.
I have been looking at Hwy 85 because it goes through the town of Deadwood, which I would have found interesting even before I watched the HBO show earlier this year. But if I-29 goes past the Corn Palace AND Wall Drug, I'll have to think about it. Is Badlands NP particularly scenic?
One of our favorites
Badlands NP is fantastic place for the photographer -- the light is somehow... different there. But, be warned -- it is very, very WINDY there.
If you were considering tent camping -- it is very easy to become airborne at ~ 3 am.
Also, be sure to turn your AM radio and listen to the local indian stations.
OK, I'll go across South Dakota and hit the Badlands. I would cut North Dakota out of my trip entirely but that would defeat the "visit all 50 states" lifetime goal.
Just look at this photo
Just look at this <a href = "http://www.travelsd.com/parks/badlands/index.asp">NPS photo<a/>. Would you really miss the opportunity to see it in person?
I think you will be amazed!
Speed Limit in ND
The speed limit is now 75 mph an hour on the interstate. I thought I let you know that.
suggestions for MN, etc.
First, you MUST go through the Badlands, Black Hills, etc!!
Second, if you are going through Northern MN to Fargo, you will NOT take 169 (it goes N-S through the state). You will be coming through Duluth--my hometown-- from the U.P. and WI and traveling west. I would take Hwy 2 to 200 to 34 to 10. This way, you can swing 25 miles north to Itasca State Park which is home to the Headwaters of the Mississippi River and the biggest Red Pines and White Pines in MN. (Spectacular bike trails also-- they rent if you don't have.)
In Duluth, you will want to see the Aerial Lift Bridge in Canal Park. There's also an Ore Boat you can tour called the "William A. Irvin". If time permits, you can take a short jaunt up the North Shore to Gooseberry Falls S.P. and Split Rock (Lighthouse) State Park.
As far as the MI UP, you will find Munising an excellent place to stop to see the "Painted Rocks National Lakeshore". There is a fantastic beach in Munising that is sandy, and the water looks like the Carribbean. There is a whole other side to the pictured rocks from the water (tour boat). Be sure to fit it in if you can.
Depending on time, on your way across WI, swing up and around the scenic route through Bayfield,WI, where you can see the Apostle Islands by tour boat (a number of lighthouses). There is also a ferry to Madeline Island.
Lastly, if you want to see a few pics of a few of the above mentioned places you can check out my pics at:
You would want to look under 2003 camping and MI UP trip.
Hope this is helpful!