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Old 01-28-2013, 08:38 AM   #1
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Louisville KY to Glacier NP

The DW and I are in the early stages of planning a trip this summer, probably late June - early July. I'm still a working stiff so I have two weeks vacation.

I was thinking of going to Glacier National Park in Montana. The trip is doable with the time I have, but DW is afraid it's a lot of driving with nothing to do. I had planned on traveling north from Louisville and staying a day or so in the Wisconsin Dells, then we want to go through Minnesota and hit North Dakota. It's the only stated in the continental US we have not visited.

I know there's a badlands area in North Dakota. Is there anything else that's a must see along the I-94 corridor through North Dakota?

I've already read through the threads about Glacier so I feel fairly comfortable with what to see there, where to stay, etc.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:49 AM   #2
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Badlands National Park is in South Dakota...I've been to North Dakota once...it was during the winter and the only thing I remember about ND is it was cold...really cold.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:16 AM   #3
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The Badlands are also in North Dakota, check the map.

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Badlands National Park is in South Dakota...I've been to North Dakota once...it was during the winter and the only thing I remember about ND is it was cold...really cold.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:34 AM   #4
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Maps - Badlands National Park Check it out...
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:37 AM   #5
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In order to overcome the 'nothing to do while you drive' issues, I leave at 5am and drive for 4 hours before anyone even wakes up!

DW seems to occupy her time with:
- alternating commenting on my driving and then ignoring me
- reading or gabbing on the phone in the back bedroom
- watching reruns of Raymond or Golden Girls

I tent to gravitate to driving like crazy to get to our final destination and then make more stops on the way back.

Badlands in ND are actually Teddy Roosevelt National Park. From other posts, plan where you are going to stay in ND as many campground are filled with oil workers. We drove through it to say we were in ND but did not stop to sight see. WI Dells is very crowded but the go karts are great!
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:39 AM   #6
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Been there. Here are the ND badlands:

Badlands travel guide - Wikitravel)

And here: Theodore Roosevelt National Park Virtual Tour - North Dakota Badlands

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Old 01-28-2013, 10:16 AM   #7
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Go through S Dakota and see Mt Rushmore and all the stuff there! Montana is great. Especially around Glacier and Missoula , great falls !! Check out the Lewis and Clark stuff !!
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:53 AM   #8
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We've been to South Dakota and the Mount Rushmore area 3 times, so I'd like to see something different on this trip.

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Go through S Dakota and see Mt Rushmore and all the stuff there! Montana is great. Especially around Glacier and Missoula , great falls !! Check out the Lewis and Clark stuff !!
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:09 PM   #9
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If you want to take I-94 through North Dakota, Theodore Roosevelt NP would be good to visit. We would then take Hwy 85 north to Hwy 2 and take Hwy 2 across Montana. You'll see why they call Montana "Big Sky Country". At eastern Montana just off Hwy 2 is Fort Peck and there's a very nice Corp of Engineer campground called Downstream - gorgeous huge grassy sites. It would be a good resting place for a night or two. Then continue on Hwy 2 west to Glacier. Have a good trip!
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:54 PM   #10
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I calculate that trip as about 3,800 miles round trip. Even at 500 miles a day (which is not very relaxing) the driving alone is about 7.5 days which burns up half your trip time allowance. And that's not stopping to see anything coming or going. That leaves 6.5 days of sighting seeing somewhere.

If it were me I would shorten the trip to loop through ND then south to SD to the Badlands and Mt. Rushmore. There is lots to see. This is about a 2,400 mile trip for you. you would save about 3 days of driving time to enjoy some other way.

I have gone through this same calculation for us before since we still work and seldom have more than a couple of weeks to go on a trip. It is even more of a challenge when you realize from our location it takes a full day to get out of Texas. That adds two days to every trip but the drive is part of the fun too.

Good luck with your plans.

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Old 01-29-2013, 08:02 AM   #11
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Good info. I'll add this to the itinerary.

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If you want to take I-94 through North Dakota, Theodore Roosevelt NP would be good to visit. We would then take Hwy 85 north to Hwy 2 and take Hwy 2 across Montana. You'll see why they call Montana "Big Sky Country". At eastern Montana just off Hwy 2 is Fort Peck and there's a very nice Corp of Engineer campground called Downstream - gorgeous huge grassy sites. It would be a good resting place for a night or two. Then continue on Hwy 2 west to Glacier. Have a good trip!
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:08 AM   #12
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I use Rand McNally Tripmaker to plot all of my trips. Actually, we will be leaving on June 20th and won't have to be back until July 7th. By my calculation I get a little over 3900 miles.

The problem with shortening the trip, is that the primary objective is to see Glacier NP and North Dakota. I've been to South Dakota at least 3 times and have no desire to go there in the near future. If I cut Glacier out of the trip, I'm not going

We did Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Canyonlands and a visit to Greeley, CO two years ago on a two week run and had no problems with time. Sure, it'd be nice to spend 3 weeks in one place, but until retirement, that's not going to happen.

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I calculate that trip as about 3,800 miles round trip. Even at 500 miles a day (which is not very relaxing) the driving alone is about 7.5 days which burns up half your trip time allowance. And that's not stopping to see anything coming or going. That leaves 6.5 days of sighting seeing somewhere.

If it were me I would shorten the trip to loop through ND then south to SD to the Badlands and Mt. Rushmore. There is lots to see. This is about a 2,400 mile trip for you. you would save about 3 days of driving time to enjoy some other way.

I have gone through this same calculation for us before since we still work and seldom have more than a couple of weeks to go on a trip. It is even more of a challenge when you realize from our location it takes a full day to get out of Texas. That adds two days to every trip but the drive is part of the fun too.

Good luck with your plans.

Don
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:25 AM   #13
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We made this trip last summer. Make sure to make a day tour/drive with dingy to Waterton in Canada. The lodge there is the most picturesque of the Glacier lodges.

Stayed on the east side at St.Mary KOA and after touring other campgrounds in area, will go back to this KOA on next visit.
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:20 PM   #14
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However much time you have it's much better than not seeing the area at all. You can always return when you're retired. Millions of folks only have two weeks vacations and they do what they have to do. Your time will come....Have a good trip!
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