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> Central Nj To Yellowstone, just curious about places to stop
edcornflake
post Feb 23 2012, 10:50 AM
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We’re (and by “We”, I mean “I” – my wife thinks I’m nuts) considering a trip in 2013 from NJ to Yellowstone. It’ll be the 2 weeks between the end of summer camp and the beginning of school (late August). Any thoughts on where to stop, places worth staying an extra day or two along the way etc…

In my initial walk through on Google Maps, I looked at Columbus OH for the first night (about 9 hours) and Des Moines, IA for the second night (about 11 hours). That may be aggressive, maybe I should break it into 5 days out, 4 days there, 5 days back? If I do go that slow, where to stop, what to see? Any specific landmarks that are convenient for RVers (pulling a 5er)?

Considerations: Mt. Rushmore, Chicago (for a real Chicago Hot Dog), what else have you got for me – keep in mind, this is just a passing thought at this point, haven’t put much research beyond trying to figure out how many days it would take.

Thanks,
Ed.
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Texasrvers
post Feb 23 2012, 12:19 PM
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For us that would be an aggressive schedule, but you know what your family can handle. Besides the places you mentioned and depending on how old your children are, I would recommend Cody, WY. In the summer they have nightly rodeos and shootouts, etc-- a taste of the old west.

If you go to Mt Rushmore, try staying at the Rafter J Bar Camping Resort. It is a great place and very convenient to Mt R. The Crazy Horse Memorial should not be missed. It is just south of Rafter J. Devils Tower (think of the movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind") is not too far away from there. The Badlands NP is also close by, but that could be boring for younger kids.

Hope this gives you a start.
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edcornflake
post Feb 23 2012, 12:24 PM
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QUOTE(Texasrvers @ Feb 23 2012, 01:19 PM) *

If you go to Mt Rushmore, try staying at the Rafter J Bar Camping Resort. It is a great place and very convenient to Mt R. The Crazy Horse Memorial should not be missed. It is just south of Rafter J. Devils Tower (think of the movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind") is not too far away from there. The Badlands NP is also close by, but that could be boring for younger kids.
Hope this gives you a start.


Thanks Texas! Sounds like maybe I should plan to hump it to SD and spend a few days there, then go to WY/MT and spend a few days there, and just push on home. My kids are young - so that may push this off a few more years. We're driving to Disney this year, that'll be a good litmus test for time tin the car. They handled Myrtle Beach (11 hours with traffic in DC) and Niagara Falls (8.5 or so hours I think) last year very well, so i have faith that 32 airings of Milo & Otis will get us there in one piece.
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Texasrvers
post Feb 23 2012, 12:31 PM
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QUOTE(edcornflake @ Feb 23 2012, 12:24 PM) *

so i have faith that 32 airings of Milo & Otis will get us there in one piece.


:-D Just remember to take the headphones.
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Jensb
post Feb 23 2012, 02:28 PM
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QUOTE(edcornflake @ Feb 23 2012, 05:50 PM) *
Considerations: Mt. Rushmore, Chicago (for a real Chicago Hot Dog), what else have you got for me – keep in mind, this is just a passing thought at this point, haven’t put much research beyond trying to figure out how many days it would take.


Well, just a quick list of things I know along the route.

- Cedar Point rollercoaster park - Sandusky, Ohio. Depending on the age of your kids of course.

- Cave of the mounds, near Madison, Wisconsin.

- Wisconsin Dells, if you are into waterparks.

- Winnebago Factory Tours, Forest City, Idaho

- Corn Palace, Mitchell, South Dakota

- Badlands National Park

- Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse

- Mammoth Site, Black Hills

- Devils Tower

- Yellowstone + Grand Teton

- Tubing on the river, and hot spring swimming, Lava Hot Springs, Idaho

- Rocky Mountains National Park

- Gateway Arch, St. Louis

Well, that would be a busy two weeks. But maybe some of them fit your schedule and interests.
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Luvtheroad
post Feb 23 2012, 04:48 PM
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I'll second the recommendation for Cody, Wy. We stayed at the Ponderosa RV park and liked it. It fills up every night, though, so make sure you make reservations. Walking distance to downtown Cody and near Walmart and the Rodeo. You also have the Buffalo Bill museum (fantastic) and an old collection of buildings and exhibits just west of Cody (can't think of the name) that is very interesting. Just keep in mind that the Yellowstone gate is 52 miles away from Cody and it's another 50 to Old Faithful. Great sights on the way, though.

I'll also second Rafter J in Hill City, SD. We spent 10 days there in 2010 and I would go back in a flash! Convenient to about everything and it's a beautiful place. You can climb over the gate at the back of the fence and hike right into the forest.
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Texasrvers
post Feb 23 2012, 07:17 PM
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QUOTE(jamarynn1 @ Feb 23 2012, 04:48 PM) *

I'll also second Rafter J in Hill City, SD. We spent 10 days there in 2010 and I would go back in a flash! Convenient to about everything and it's a beautiful place. You can climb over the gate at the back of the fence and hike right into the forest.


And the Mickelson Trail (Google it) runs right by Rafter J and provides many outdoor activities.
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Jerry S
post Feb 23 2012, 10:56 PM
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I am always curious about queries like this one. I know I'm one of the lucky ones who can take their time when they travel now. In my 30sand 40s I had my share of 3-5,000 mile trips in a couple weeks.

Here are a few of my comments:

It is one thing for young kids to handle a one day 10-12 hour trip but quite another for them to do that 4 or 5 days in a row.
If you are going to be on the road 10-12 hours a day, how do you expect to also sight-see for a couple hours on those days?.
Depending on your route to Yellowstone, the final 200 miles or so is not going to take the 3 or 4 hours you may have computed. You are no longer on an interstate zipping along at 65 -70 mph. Climbing over a 9000'+ pass on US 14/16/20 towing a 5th wheel has ruined the plans of many a driver unfamiliar with mountain driving.

For what it's worth, a trip with the Black Hills as your main destination is much more doable from NJ in two weeks. The area has all sorts of attractions (both natural/scenic and manmade) to keep the typical family quite happy and busy. Additionally, there are many more RV parks with family friendly things like pools.
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John Blue
post Feb 24 2012, 09:55 AM
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I have the same problem with this trip. All you will see is the windshield and fuel gauge on this trip. I would think about a new place closer to home. The hills out west take a lot of time to cross and you need a lot of HP as well.


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edcornflake
post Feb 24 2012, 11:41 PM
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Thanks everybody! Definite food for thought. My thoughts on sightseeing along the way would be to spend a day or two if the sights warrant. Good points on the kids too. It might be too much to ask at their age.
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Florida Native
post Feb 25 2012, 12:18 PM
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We did that area last year. 6 days in Yellowstone and it was not long enough. I think you should stay a while in the Sturgus area as there is much to see. You might consider heading North and seeing the two Roosevelt National Parks. and then heading back East along 5 and going through the MN and Wis North Woods. No sense in seeing the same sights on the way back.


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Steve and Kathy Burnett
post Feb 26 2012, 10:20 AM
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Here's some great info on driving into and around Yellowstone Click here


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edcornflake
post Feb 27 2012, 01:52 PM
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QUOTE(Steve and Kathy Burnett @ Feb 26 2012, 11:20 AM) *

Here's some great info on driving into and around Yellowstone Click here

Wow, that's fantastic! Makes me want to go even more.

Horespower isn't a huge concern - I think my truck can pull my 5er up a brick wall if I ask it nicely. I would be more concerned with hairpin turns and wrecking my windshield. I think we will wait until the kids are old enough to appreciate 4-5 days in the car. I will look into South Dakota for next year though, I'd love to see Mt. Rushmore, the badlands and the black hills.
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Texasrvers
post Feb 27 2012, 06:21 PM
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If you do go to the Black Hills area, be sure to check out Custer State Park. There is a big buffalo herd that resides there. Stop at one of the visitor centers or ranger stations and ask where the herd is that day. Makes them a lot easier to find. We drove all over the place trying to find them until a ranger showed us on a map where they had been reported that day. Course they can move to another location before you get there, but we were lucky and found them right where the ranger said.

A great drive in the area is the Needles Highway, but don't try it in anything other than your car/truck. An RV will not make it through the tunnels.
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Florida Native
post Feb 27 2012, 06:38 PM
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Photos of that area at links below:

http://www.linandnancy.com/yellowstoneone.html
http://www.linandnancy.com/yellowstone2jackson1.html
http://www.linandnancy.com/yellowstoneparttwo.html
http://www.linandnancy.com/yellowstonefinal.html
http://www.linandnancy.com/spearfishcanyon.html
http://www.linandnancy.com/deadwood1.html
http://www.linandnancy.com/custerstatepark1.html
http://www.linandnancy.com/devilstower.html
http://www.linandnancy.com/mtrushmorecrazyhorse1.html
http://www.linandnancy.com/fullthrottle.html


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