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Old 04-27-2009, 03:20 PM   #1
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Stone Mountain Ga to Cheyenne/Rapid City and Return

Can some one give me some confidence of finding good roads with no steep grades say, between Oklahoma City, Kearney NE, Cheyenne WY and on to Rapid City. I know there is a big change in elevation, but is it mostly gradual, especially along interstates, or am I going to hit some steep grades in my underpowered motorhome? We're still debating whether to go to Cheyenne or Niagara Falls this summer.
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Old 04-27-2009, 03:37 PM   #2
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I did a quick check with a trip planner and it looks like, you will find a 6% grade between Rapid City and Guernsey, WY. if you take 16/385/18 route to Rapid City. Other than that doesn't look bad.
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Old 04-27-2009, 06:49 PM   #3
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Your closest test will be Monteagle just up the road on I-24 in Tennessee. We are heading that direction in about 6 days (to Rapid City not Oklahoma and Wyoming) We will run 24 and then 57 and the 80 across Iowa and then 29 to 90 to Rapid. No steep grades at all.
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:45 AM   #4
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Hot Springs to Rapid City

Highway 79 is a nice 4 lane highway from Hot Springs to Rapid City
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Old 04-28-2009, 08:30 AM   #5
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Ken, Judy and the Angles:

G'morning from Tampa. We've covered that area N. of Cheyenne quite a bit, and since you apparently want (or need) to hit Cheyenne then approach Rapid City from the West, a VERY good route for you would be to take Wyoming Hyw. #85 from just N. of Cheyenne on I-25, to the NE and follow this #85 N. up through Torrington, Lingle, and Lusk and N. of Lusk about 45 miles, take Hwy. #18 to the East through Edgemont and above (N. of) Edgemont, follow Hwy. #89 up to Pringle and continue on Hwy. #385 N. through Custer and up N. to Hill City. Just outside of Hill City (N.) follow Hwy. #16 East into Rapid City.

I don't know how..."underpowered" your rig is, but you should have no worries taking this route. It's one of our favorite parts of this country to visit. ENJOY!! Steve & Lynette
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Old 04-28-2009, 09:25 AM   #6
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I traveled over Monteagle several times a few years back, but not recently. Although we went up slowly...down to 30-35 MPH we always made it. We have not driven in the Rockies in a motorhome, but lost a transmission and radiator overlooking Wilkes-Barre PA a couple years ago on I-81. My Ford 460 doesn't seem to have near the power I see in the DP's that pass me, so I don't want to get 2000 miles from home a see a straight up mountain I have to get over....say 6-7% for 7-8 miles...or am I expecting too easy a trip?

DW has always had a desire to visit Wyoming, and it would be a shame to get so close and not visit Mt Rushmore. We'll likely have grandkids with us who have never been further than Branson or Perrin. We should be able to fill in several more states on the map on the side of our MH.

I appreciate all the suggestions and will continue to plan for the next month or so.
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:07 AM   #7
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Assuming your rig is well maintained and mechanically sound, I don't think you will have any problems traveling the routes already suggested. If you have a good tranny oil cooler, use the lower gears and take your time, and have a sound cooling system, you should be fine. I do know that we saw gas motorhomes (old and new) in our travels in those areas, and they were getting it done. Some even passed my DP on grades .

I would also say if you are traveling to WY, don't pass up the chance to visit Rapid City and the Black Hills area. There is so much to see and do there and your grand kids will love it. In spite of seeing photos and movies of Mt. Rushmore all my life, it still took our breath away seeing it for real.

If I had to choose between Niagara Falls (been there) and anything out West.....no contest....go out West.

Enjoy and travel safely.
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:12 AM   #8
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Ken & Judy: Say, the signature tag w. your posts indicate you'll be pulling a cargo trailer (I assume w. golf cart inside?). Gotta tell ya.... ya might enjoy your trip ALOT more towing a small vehicle with which to tour an area once you've set up camp. It makes ALL the difference in the world as to where ya can visit and what you can take in. Steve & Lynette
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:52 AM   #9
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I agree a toad would be nice to have, but with our specials needs we need space for 3-4 wheelchairs, oxygen tanks, cases of diapers, medical supplies, etc. We may or may not take the golf cart this trip since we'll be moving every couple of days. We usually use it when we'll be set for a week or so. Also our kids..11, 12, 12 cannot sit self supporting, so we would need their large car seats in a toad. If we take grandkids, we would need a large van... And we will likely have another special needs foster child by then. Overall, although it sounds good, it just would not work for our group. We do appreciate the suggestion and we do sometimes rent a vehicle for local special occasions on the road.

As for the terrain, it sounds like it might not be as daunting as I had envisioned...at least as far as Cheyenne. The worst of the Rockies seem to be west of Cheyenne. The route I would like to take from Atlanta would be through Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Salinas KS, Kearney NE to Cheyenne, then on to the Rapid City area and across SD , Omaha, KC, STL, and Memphis or Nashville, back home. Although I have been most of those places, The DW, kids and GK's would be seeing a lot of the country for the first time. With a month or so to travel we can stop when we want to and see whatever is out there. Wagons Ho! At least we won't have to push a handcart...
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Old 05-01-2009, 07:09 AM   #10
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Ken & Judy:

WHOLLY MACKEREL!!! You guys are FANTASTIC!! What a wonderful and exciting adventure. Makes us want to join up with ya'all and help out with your wagon train gang!! Can ya tell us more about your circumstances? Do you care for special needs foster children? What?

Oh, one thing ya might like to do when in the Rapid City area is to take a day trip with the group over to Devils Tower, just NW of the Black Hills. From Rapid City you'll not have any worrisome up or down grades to bother you, AND, the kids might really enjoy seeing it. Just a thought.

Steve & Lynette
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Old 05-01-2009, 07:59 AM   #11
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Steve and Lynette,

While I'm not usually a self horn-tooter, if I can help spread the word of the need out there, I just might speak out. We foster and adopt special needs children, and for the past couple of years have specialized in somewhat terminally ill children. We have fostered about 23 since 1995 and wound up adopting five of these. We try to give as normal life to them as we can for the time they have, traveling several times a year to Dollywood, Disney World, iRV2 rallies, family gatherings, etc. We could not do this without our motorhome and trailer. The MH is equipped with duplicates of most of the medical equipment we have in our stick house. We have also modified our home to accommodate their needs as much as we can afford with the help of volunteer groups and a few grants. You can read about our two most recent adopted children in the iRV2 Member Memorial section of this forum. We lost our Kiley in Dec 06 on the way to Disney World, and lost our Colton at Disney World in Dec 08. Both were expected to have short lives, but we were not prepared for either passing, both at 33 months. But as Judy likes to say, they went from the happiest place on Earth to the best place they could be. We have received a lot of emotional support from iRV2 members through this forum.

The three we now have all attend special schools, and really enjoy the interaction with teachers and other students. Our Kimberly, who was supposed to live only a few months is 11 and currently hospitalized recovering from a hip removal surgery to ease her pain in that joint. Judy stays at the hospital with whomever is in there while I stay home caring for the rest of the group. Shawnee and Kenya will both be 13 this summer. We have a ulterior motive for taking grandkids with us as often as possible. They help by watching our kids, changing diapers, pushing wheelchairs, etc. They, in turn, get to go places otherwise out of their reach. Our last foster child (relatively healthy, but a little delayed) left us last week to live with his father in South Carolina, but we already have our sources looking for another for us to care for.

Judy says all this keeps us young. I say it ages us prematurely. Either way it is definitely rewarding.
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Old 05-02-2009, 07:45 AM   #12
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Ken & Judy:

I didn't know there were folks as wonderful as you left in this world!! And the media calls the JUNK they offer "news." Where are they when "GOOD" news like you folks are found???

YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL!!!. Steve & Lynette
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:50 AM   #13
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Ken & Judy, I would say God bless you.... but I think you know that he already has, at least 23 times and probably many many more. I have no doubt that you both have a very special place reserved in Heaven for you.
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Old 06-26-2009, 12:23 PM   #14
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Ken and Judy,
How lucky are those kids? You both are devoted, loving and caring people. It certainly takes a special kind of person to do what you both are doing. God bless you and guide you safely down the road with you precious cargo.
Sandy and Jim
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