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Old 01-12-2021, 07:49 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by SATBman View Post

My route out is I-90 to US 16 to US 14 into Cody/Yellowstone ( I plan on getting through Chicago in middle of night to avoid the traffic). My route home is US 191 to I-80.

Any nuggets of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.
Originally Posted by JohnLoves2Sk View Post
^^Really great advice^^

- Try to avoid cities, unless they are a destination, it's unnecessary traffic and the alternative routes are more scenic.

- Do not be in a hurry. Enjoy the journey!
Hi SATBman,

I'll echo the suggestions made by JohnLoves2Sk that alternative routes are more scenic and enjoy the journey.

With those thoughts in mind, you might consider turning north near Toledo to bypass Detroit to cross the Mackinac bridge onto the Michigan Upper Peninsula (UP). Here's an image of that route:
Click image to enlarge.
Click image for larger version

Name:	Pittsburgh to Cody.jpg
Views:	9
Size:	138.8 KB
ID:	314245

It's less than 200 miles longer than your proposed route and much more scenic. We've made that trip multiple times and much prefer the UP to the Chicago metro area.

Take care,
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Old 01-12-2021, 08:16 AM   #16
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Fantastic, It will be worth the time and effort.

Since you have limited towing experience towing in mountains:

Do not try to do the speed limit of say 65 or even 55 going down steep hills. Keep it tight and slow. By tight I mean your TT should be nice and solid behind you. Going down hill the TT will be pushing you and can make things dicy in seconds. A gust of wind can get the TT wagging the dog. Very dangerous and can lead to disaster in seconds.

Going slow gives you much better control. If you feel an issue you can use the TT brakes manually and hold the TT back for the time it takes you to have better control.

I got into a serious tail wag many many years ago. I hit the manual brake control as hard as it would go and pushed on the accelerator a bit to get things tightened.

I'm not trying to scare you, but those long lazy downhills can have you gaining speed and canyon gusts can some anywhere.

Use your transmission in the tow haul mode of course if you have that. Use you transmission manually when needed to give you better climbing rpm's and when going downhill you can use it to help slow. Of course do not overspeed the engine rpm.

I assume your Colorado has a towing package? If not a transmission cooler add on may ensure things run smoothly.

As for the trip. Enjoy the view. Have your passengers take videos along the way. It is amazing how those videos from 30 years ago bring you right back to the day.
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Old 01-12-2021, 11:32 AM   #17
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My family has been blessed beyond measure to have done similar trips 7-8 times now and again this June!

My recommendation is to appreciate all of the small stuff that makes up the trip. In years to come, it won't be "Old Faithful" that you talk about. It will be some silly family story, usually centered around something that you consider a headache at the time. Take it all in stride with great patience and humor.

For our family, pushing driving days to a 500 mile average is quite doable. Boondocking at Walmart and Cracker Barrel saves hours a day. We don't do it because it's free, we do it because it's everywhere and fast. If driving a bit more than we prefer buys us a day or two in paradise...well, that's what it takes.

On this first trip, plan every day out. Wandering around and going with the flow is nice, but it does cost efficiency. We wander now, but for our first visit to places we wanted to see everything as if we wouldn't get a chance to return.

You are in for an amazing experience. You're getting great help from familiar names that helped me a great deal in the beginning.
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Old 01-12-2021, 11:55 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by SATBman View Post
I'm definitely a planner. I have all my stops on the way out already scouted and planned. On the way home I think we're going to be a bit more spontaneous because we have the flexibility of time.
It's funny how different people are, I can't plan lunch.

In the spring of 2018, I thought - "Hey, I think I'll drive a giant X across the United States and Canada." So I did. I didn't plan squat, get up, drink coffee, follow hood ornament, wash, rinse, repeat. Denver to Brownsville, Texas to Key West to the Dalton Highway to Yellowknife to Sept Iles to San Diego to Denver. That trip spanned 7 months (April 15th to November 15th) and 38,295 miles.

Enjoy yer trip, it's all about the journey.
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2018 - 38,295 miles (153% Earth's circumference ), April 15th - Nov. 15th, 47 states including Alaska, 9 Canadian provinces and 2 Territories.
2019 - 25,751 miles (103% Earth's circumference)- 27 states and 6 Canadian provinces.
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Old 01-12-2021, 12:19 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by 777 Driver View Post
,,, With those thoughts in mind, you might consider turning north near Toledo to bypass Detroit to cross the Mackinac bridge onto the Michigan Upper Peninsula (UP). Here's an image of that route:
Click image to enlarge.
Attachment 314245,,,
I'd take that route. Great roads across the UP along with cooler weather and reasonable traffic. For the return trip I'd head south west out of Yellowstone to pick up I25 in Casper and drop south to pick up I70 in Denver then head east to Pittsburgh. One big circle taking in Cheyenne, Denver, KC. St Louis, Indy and hit 12 states along the way.
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Old 01-18-2021, 06:52 AM   #20
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Make camping reservations now! Your destination is popular and you plan to visit during peak season. Take the downhills slowly. Once you get going too fast, you will either lose control or heat up your brakes. Your transmission is your friend. Have fun!
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Old 01-19-2021, 06:09 PM   #21
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Your midsize pickup will really be challenged by some of the passes. Take easy on the descent .
Your route does miss a lot of tuff pulls.
Good luck

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Old 01-23-2021, 01:45 PM   #22
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Two major reminders and points:
1. Everything is bigger out west! For example;

There are only 3 states on our continental west coast.
2. All of the National Parks out west are Super popular.
Reservations are recommended... last month
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Old 01-23-2021, 01:59 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by LovesToWine View Post
...Everything is bigger out west! ...
and farther away that you may realize. plan accordingly.
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