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Old 01-17-2016, 11:12 PM   #1
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Summer family trip from NC to Yellowstone NP

Good evening! We are new to this forum and hope to find some great advise. We are new to the rv world as we purchased a travel trailer this past spring. We are educators and our kids are in 1st and 4th grade. We are planning a trip westbound this summer. We are taking a week to drive out to Yellowstone. We are gathering our atlases from Rand to see the "best" routes. The tentative itinerary is as follows:
Day 1 head to Kentucky horse park
2-3. St. Louis Koa for 2 days (may change this to one day)
4. Pershing state park (visit Walt Disney's hometown)
5. Wilson island state park ( hang out at Henry Doorly Zoo)
6-7. Badlands National park ( camp there or stay at Mystery Mt. Resort)
8. Cody (camp in town or Buffalo Bill State Park)
9-14. Grant CG in YNP

Heading back East is quite flexible. May head to FL. If so stay at Estes Park Center then head toward Houston. If we decide against Fl we may take the northern tier of the country.

Our questions:
What is the easiest route from NC to KY without roads being too narrow or where we may have issues going through my tunnels (wv)?

Routes that don't take us through the most congested areas (Lexington and St. Louis and any others)? Purchasing Rands the Most Scenic Drive in America.

When leaving Cody, will going through the east entrance be a challenge pulling a 4700 pound travel trailer? Don't want to drive all the way to south entrance as that would add a ridiculous amount of travel time.

I think that is it for now. I am sure I will have more questions as I continue to plan.
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:49 AM   #2
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You didn't say where you are located in NC. However, when we travel to and from Asheville we use I-40, then I-75 to Lexington. A nice bypass for Knoxville is US-25E, mostly 4 lanes and easy driving up to Corbin, KY. Also a way to miss Jellico mountain on I-75. although this isn't a big obstacle.

The Interstate passage by Lexington is easy - right to the KY horse Park. However, be sure to check the park schedule for major events since the campground may be full Kentucky Horse Park :: Lexington, KY

You will likely travel west from Lexington on I-65, then through Louisville. There is major downtown road construction there, but also the Waterson X-way is a southern bypass Downtown Crossing | Ohio Bridges

Traversing St. Louis can be done several ways. we usually take I-65 at the river, then around the southern side - way out to Wentzville

Quote:
Originally Posted by skysthelimit View Post
... The tentative itinerary is as follows:
Day 1 head to Kentucky horse park
2-3. St. Louis Koa for 2 days (may change this to one day)
4. Pershing state park (visit Walt Disney's hometown)
5. Wilson island state park ( hang out at Henry Doorly Zoo)
6-7. Badlands National park ( camp there or stay at Mystery Mt. Resort)
8. Cody (camp in town or Buffalo Bill State Park)
9-14. Grant CG in YNP

...Our questions:
What is the easiest route from NC to KY without roads being too narrow or where we may have issues going through my tunnels (wv)?

Routes that don't take us through the most congested areas (Lexington and St. Louis and any others)? Purchasing Rands the Most Scenic Drive in America.

....
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Old 01-18-2016, 08:52 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Schweikle View Post
You didn't say where you are located in NC. However, when we travel to and from Asheville we use I-40, then I-75 to Lexington. A nice bypass for Knoxville is US-25E, mostly 4 lanes and easy driving up to Corbin, KY. Also a way to miss Jellico mountain on I-75. although this isn't a big obstacle.

The Interstate passage by Lexington is easy - right to the KY horse Park. However, be sure to check the park schedule for major events since the campground may be full Kentucky Horse Park :: Lexington, KY

You will likely travel west from Lexington on I-65, then through Louisville. There is major downtown road construction there, but also the Waterson X-way is a southern bypass Downtown Crossing | Ohio Bridges

Traversing St. Louis can be done several ways. we usually take I-65 at the river, then around the southern side - way out to Wentzville
Thank you for sharing. We are leaving from Winston Salem NC so would it be easier going through WV? Keeping.g in mind roadways and terrain.
As far as the Horse park, we already have our reservations .
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Old 01-18-2016, 01:47 PM   #4
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We have traveled to your area by the I-75/I-40 route as well as I-77/I-64, and enjoyed both. Maybe more hilly on I-77/I-64. but I don't have a memory of the terrain being significantly different. Look at Google maps to compare distances.

Since you are stopping at the KY Horse Park, you might also be interested in a retirement farm for race horses and thoroughbreds Welcome to Old Friends Equine - A Retirement Home for Thoroughbred Race Horses Old Friends Equine

Quote:
Originally Posted by skysthelimit View Post
Thank you for sharing. We are leaving from Winston Salem NC so would it be easier going through WV? Keeping.g in mind roadways and terrain.
As far as the Horse park, we already have our reservations .
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Old 01-18-2016, 09:23 PM   #5
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YNP is about 45 miles E/W and about 65 miles N/S (2.2 mil. Acres total). The figure 8 loop road inside the park is about 140 miles around. The lower loop is 96 miles and the upper loop is 70 miles around and yes, it is bigger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined.

Whatever time that you think you will need to see YNP you better double it, or to say it another way is that you will see one half as much in the allotted time. The Bison think that they own the road (they do!) and will slow down the traffic to walking speed or less for 1/4 mile or more, the thermal attractions also tie up traffic and with a 4-5 month long summer tourist season that coincides with a 4-5 month long road construction season and a 45 mph radar controlled speed limit it will take about a full day to see each loop and then you will only see the main attractions. In addition to the occasional construction delays they will also sometimes close whole sections of road (for uninterrupted night construction) between 10 PM and 8 AM in the morning, if you are running late and get caught at night in the wrong area it CAN be a LONG way around to your CG! I don't mean to scare you but to inform you of reality. (The entrance stations will have current construction information or go on line.)

Then there is the elevation- YNP ranges from a low at Mammoth- 6239 ft to 7784 ft at Fishing Bridge or higher if you go hiking! Drink plenty of liquids and pace yourself when walking. And again I don't mean to scare you but rather to inform you, after all there was 4.1 million visitors in 2015 (record number)

I recommend that you get up EARLY, leave the CG and be back by 4 or 6 PM have dinner and be sitting in your recliner drinking a cool one when your neighbor drags himself back to the CG at 8-10 PM. Remember that from mid June to mid July in YNP the sun doesn't set until shortly before 10 PM.

Clothing- Especially in the early or late season it is not unusual to have a 30 or even the occasional 40 degree temperature change throughout the day. Dress with easily shed layers of clothing. Also dress in bright easily seen clothing. I am sure that we all have been to a sporting event, parade or Disney World etc. and we blink our eyes and our partner/child has disappeared. My DIL was born and raised in HI, you guessed it, every Xmas, b-day or Father's Day I receive a Hawaiian shirt. One of them is black with 4-5 inch dia. bright flowers. Not many of them in Wyoming and in YSNP, that is what I wear. If your partner has on a Violet blouse and a Orange scarf with a Pink hat I guarantee that she will be the only one within 1/2 mile of you with the same colors. It can save a few anxious moments.

Water- Now I will have to contradict myself, at the altitude of YSNP yes, drink lots of water!HOWEVER, be aware that the flush toilet restrooms are are in the major tourist areas- Mammoth, Canyon, Fishing Bridge, Grant Village, Old Faithful etc. The geyser basins and other thermal attractions areas have only pit toilets. I have seen the pit toilet line at the lower Geyser Basin 20 or more feet long. So be smart about drinking your water and use the major tourist area R/Rs before leaving the area!

Sun- At YSNPs altitude the sun is intense (uv) have and apply sun screen, wear that old floppy wide brim sun hat, wear sun glasses!

If your luck is like mine Old Faithful will have just erupted when you get there and you will have a hour and 10-20 minutes wait for the next one. Tour the O/F geyser basin while waiting for the next eruption. Old Faithful INN is a must see (meals are "OK" also)

We have lived about 110 miles (4739' elevation) from W. Yellowstone, MT for 51 years, go there 3-4 times a summer (normally before Memorial Day and after Labor Day) and haven't seen it all of it yet!

When in the Jackson area I highly recommend seeing the Bar J Chuckwagon dinner show! If you go, MAKE RESERVATIONS and BE THERE EARLY TO PICK UP YOUR MEAL TICKETS/SEATING ASSIGNMENTS! They seat you by when you show up to get your tickets NOT by your reservation number. Tim, their fiddle player has won the "Idaho state old time fiddle contest 7 times and the US open fiddle contest twice". We day trip it there 2-4 times every summer to see them! Disclaimer- We have no financial or other interest in the Bar J only that it will be the best $$ value for your money for your trip! Check out their website.

Bar J Chuckwagon
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Old 01-18-2016, 09:43 PM   #6
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Whoops! I forgot to mention that the East entrance to YSNP from Cody, WY is "OK" for your outfit. BTW you can easily spend a couple of days in Cody, the Remmington fire arms, Art museum is a must. (Forgot the name of the museum though. 3 in 1 museum.
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Old 01-19-2016, 05:04 PM   #7
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Here it is Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody Wyoming

We blundered upon a suggestion for this many years ago, and thought it would be a run-down roadside attraction. Nothing could be further from the truth, this is a first class facility - not to be missed!

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Whoops! I forgot to mention that the East entrance to YSNP from Cody, WY is "OK" for your outfit. BTW you can easily spend a couple of days in Cody, the Remmington fire arms, Art museum is a must. (Forgot the name of the museum though. 3 in 1 museum.
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