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Old 07-29-2014, 01:52 AM   #1
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Tips or suggestions for our DC - Nevada roadtrip?

We're taking a 18 day trip in a few days and am looking for some suggestions on interesting sites or activities. We'll be traveling with our 4 kids (4, 6, 8, and 9 yo.) and planning to spend most of our nights in the Interstate. Due to limited days, we're going to focus on the northern part of the US. We had initially planned to go to the Grand Canyon via the southern states, but we decided to visit the northern part of the country instead since it won't be as hot as AZ in the middle of the summer. We'll do the southern US this Christmas break when it's cooler.

This will be our 2nd long trip with the Interstate. In the Spring, we took our first RV trip ever. We were on the road for 2 weeks starting from DC to Key West to Houston and back. We drove almost 5K miles. Not a bad maiden voyage right? =) A few weeks ago, we took a relatively short trip to Myrtle Beach. In 2 more days, we're ready to head out for our longest jaunt to date. And as usual, we have no idea where we're going except West. <--This is the main benefit of having an RV for us.

So as of now, our definite stops will be Chicago, Mount Rushmore, and Denver. The furthest West we are looking at going is possibly Salt Lake City. I'm hoping some of you can help fill in the itinerary with interesting places you may or may not have been in your travels. Examples of things that interest us: historic sites, scenic, etc...from ghost mining towns, Rock & Roll HOF, national parks. If it's interesting or unique, we're up for it. We're out to make memories with the kids.

Thanks...
Ben
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Old 07-29-2014, 03:55 AM   #2
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The West has lots of National Parks. Suggest you buy either a National Parks annual or senior pass, if you do not already have one. If you are age 62 or older, the senior pass will save you 50% on camping in nearly all "national" area campgrounds; and both will save you money on park admission fees.

U.S. National Park ServiceAmerica the Beautiful – The National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass Series

Then, your comment about touring the northern states and saving the Grand Canyon for this winter is a good plan. Right now, it's over 100 degrees in most of Arizona and the desert southwest; and it will be much nicer after Halloween (plus, the campgrounds will not be so crowded).

Right now would be a great time to see Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Glacier National Parks; although, there are a lot of wildfires this time of year. While they are beautiful in the winter months, driving is often hazardous; and camping in freezing weather is a challenge.

Any of the National Parks in the video below would make a great destination:

PAVING THE WAY: The National Park-to-Park Highway - HD Trailer on Vimeo

Note: The National Park-to-Park highway tour is on our bucket list!
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:07 AM   #3
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In the Mount Rushmore area don't miss the Crazy Horse Memorial. It is spactacular. A drive thru Custer State Park, which is close by is always enjoyable. On your route west from that area you could visit Devil's Tower which is the prominent mountain featured in the movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kine". West from there is Custer Battlefild where you can purchase a CD for a self guided tour thru the battlefield. West of there is the historic town of Cody, WY which features the Buffalo Bill Center which is a museum that houses Buffalo Bill & Annie Oakley memorabilia as well as sections on weapons, plains indians and natural history. It is a very impressive museum. From there you head up to Yellowstone. One question: where will you all sleep in an interstate?
Have a safe and fun trip.
Bill
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:27 AM   #4
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How is the weather around Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone in August?
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:02 AM   #5
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How is the weather around Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone in August?
We just left there 4 days ago. It was warm but tolerable. (around 90) You might want to make sure the Sturgis motorcyle rally is over before you visit that area as there will be several 10's of thousands of bikers all over the Black Hills. I believe the rally is the 1st week of August.
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:03 AM   #6
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How is the weather around Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone in August?
Yellowstone was a bit cooler, 60's in the morning, 80ish in the afternoon.
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:23 AM   #7
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Don' t miss the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, located just outside of Badlands National Park. You can tour an actual decommissioned Minuteman launch site and it's underground control center. This is a little-known gem of the NPS. It will scare the bejeezus out of you.

N.B.: This is a low-capacity site. Make reservations in advance or you likely won't get a tour.
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Old 07-29-2014, 05:31 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the great suggestions thus far. We'll definitely look into all of them.

Bill: The kids and mom get the bed and I get to sleep on the floor. I've tried turning the 1st and 2nd row seats together, but the floor is easier. I was going to grab one of those camping sleep mats one night when we stay at Hotel Walmart.
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Old 07-30-2014, 11:34 AM   #9
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This makes a great bed for one of the kids.. I suppose you could make two and depending on how you turn the seats could make one large bed or two small ones... I made this for my sprinter and my daughter uses it... Mine didn't come out as nice as this guys but it works...

http://roadtreklife.blogspot.com/201...front.html?m=1
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Old 07-30-2014, 06:51 PM   #10
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pennstate95: Try to see the closing ceremony at Mt. Rushmore. Well worth it. It's around sunset.
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Old 07-30-2014, 07:39 PM   #11
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If you make it to Yellowstone, swimming in the Fire River Canyon is one of my most favorite things to do there. You can look it up on U Tube.

Denver has a fab National History Museum if you have a day that you need to spend inside.
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