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Old 03-25-2011, 01:58 PM   #1
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West Trip need any advice suggestions

We will be leaving early June and heading west from NC. I'll lay out the plans and any suggestions, best raods, or any info would be greatly appreciated.
DP with a Wranger Toad

Leaving Winston-Salem area to Nashville, no problem overnight, been there
Nashville to Memphis No problem 2 days
Then to Amarillo no problem 2 days

Albuquerque 3 days
Now here is where road help is needed
Durango 6 days jeeping, fly fishing

then to Sedona 5 days canyon and all that stuff

Then to Vegas, 2 days

then Zion 6 days

then Moab 4 days

then heading to Casper WY 2 days

then to Mr Rushmore 3 days
That's how we have it laid out so far, traveling back along I-90 to St Louis and then south.

Any suggestions, particularly on roads in the Mts would be greatly appreciated, also any other suggestions are welcome.


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Old 03-25-2011, 05:37 PM   #2
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You have it well planned at this point so much in the way of suggestion would be a waste of your time. However, if you haven't ever done it, the I40 route west is great. Since you like to get 'off the beaten path' you would love some of the old Route 66 side trips. I never miss a chance if I'm going west.

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Old 03-25-2011, 06:01 PM   #3
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I90 to STL ?
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Old 03-25-2011, 06:06 PM   #4
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I have vacationed (Jeep offroading)every year in south westeren Colorado since 2008. if you have the chance go all the way up to the trails around ouray, silverton, lake city, and telluride.
Last year i did both colorado and moab and I liked colorado better. moab had nice trails but they EVERY one of them looked the same.
Get the "guide to offroading" books by wells
He has books on colorado and on for moab,....and one for almost every where that there are trails.
If you really want a day of relaxing ride the durango-silverton steam train.
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:39 AM   #5
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I guess it depends on your viewpoint. That would be a trip "back East" for me!
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:25 AM   #6
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Ron: Unless ya truly love biting your lower lip when Da Wind tries to drive ya... avoid I-90/94 in East Montana and North Dakota ! They aint called Da Badlands for nuttin !

Would be almost criminal, being so close, to miss several days flyfishing Cody, Wy and Yellowstone Park rivers !!!! I could easily spend 30 days there and still be wondering if I had covered 10% of the good streams.

The old Rt 66 and I-40 route is also a Definite Gotta DO !!! Wayyyyy too much history to miss there.

Mt Rushmore was a single day thing for us, awesome but after ya seen it then what ??? Travel to Wall SD and go to Wall Drug !!! Two days would get ya thru near all of it. I did like to stop in Sturgis, but those days are past me now (almost) as the commercialism, hollywood hype, and MTV generation have ruined it and made it far too expensive and fake. In the older days it was a great way to sharpen skills for correcting those wayward WalMart Lot campers, drink a bit, find a liberal gal who would buy a cold case of Coors and pay for a room, then a couple hours later drink the warm beer and take the scoot on a mountain run !!! Ah yes, I digress :(

Ya could drop down thru the Crow Indian Reservation in Wyoming, catch I-80 East and stop at Mitchell, SD at the huge Cabelas, they even have a moderately priced, on lot, campground and will shuttle ya back and forth to the store and your campsite if ya happen to get too close to the Coors... lol

Would avoid St Louis like a mad Mother-In-Law...horrible roads, horrid drivers, dirty and dismal as places get, IMHO

Sure wish I was goin with ya... havent flyfished Durango and that Rocky Mountain Watershed since the mid-70's !!!

Safe trip !!!
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Old 03-26-2011, 12:37 PM   #7
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How much time do you have? I will give more ideas then.
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Old 03-26-2011, 02:25 PM   #8
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Hi biz,
My first thought is you're not allotting enough time for this trip. Depending on your interests, there are a bunch more things to see than can possibly be seen in the time mentioned in the OP. I got tired just reading the plan.

An example is consider stopping at I90 exit 131. That is where the Minuteman missile NHS is located. The tours start from this exit. One can't just drop in, the tours are very small and a reservation needs to be made. Go to their web site for details. There is plenty more to see and do, in the western part of SD and the eastern part of Wyoming. Devils Tower NM and the Medicine Wheel NHL, Little Bighorn NM (southern Montana) and of course the Badlands are examples.
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Old 03-26-2011, 05:48 PM   #9
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i think the black hill's and custer state park (mt. rushmore area) may require a extra day or two
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Old 03-26-2011, 06:09 PM   #10
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Trip out west

Monument Valley in Northern, AZ. even if it's just a drive through, you won't be sorry.
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Old 03-27-2011, 12:31 AM   #11
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18 or 19 days of driving

I entered your locales in my travel software ... your route is about 5600 miles ... my guess is that you will average about 300 miles a day when travelling with family ... so that translates to about 18 days of driving ...

I hope that you are allowing for at least 36 days non-driving days for this adventure ...
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Old 03-27-2011, 06:23 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by beaverfever View Post
i think the black hill's and custer state park (mt. rushmore area) may require a extra day or two
Ditto, we spent 10 days near Sturgis and another 3 nearby in Belle Fourche last summer. There are tons of things to see and do in this general area, recommend multiple campgrounds or it will be a lot of toad miles. We were there before bike week, so Sturgis really had nothing to offer. But in the area are, Custer SP and the wildlife loop, Deadwood, Wind Cave NP, Jewel Cave NM, Badlands NP, SD Air Museum, Wall, Devils Tower, Rapid City, great day drives, etc. The Black Hills is high on the must return to list.

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Old 03-27-2011, 08:59 AM   #13
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I would suggest that part of your Durango stay be moved up the road to Silverton and base your jeep rides out of there. Neat town and nice trails/ghost towns in the area. Also when leaving the area, spend a night in Mesa Verde (nice campground) and spend half a day exploring the cliff dwellings.
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:10 AM   #14
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My wife and I and 4 chihuahuas did the cross country thing last year and had an amazing time.While in South Dakota and the Black Hills area we stayed right outside Hill City at Rafter J Bar campground and would definately recommend it. The area was beutiful and the people were great!The phone # is 1-605-574-2527 the web site is www.rafterj.com.

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