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twiceblessed....nacole

Cross Country 2020

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Okay... not a "report", yet.  Still planning.  We leave end May/beginning of June.   If you have any must-see stops... in IL, MO, NE, SD or ND.. please let me know.  I have an extra few days that I can work into that area of the country IF there is something worth seeing on my route.  Leaving from GA, heading up to Banff (through Glacier), back down to WA, then the Oregon Coast.  We'll hit Crater NP, Jackson Hole, the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore on our way back... then down to OKC (kids LOVED the science museum last time, so we have to hit it again ;) )...then back to GA.

Time goes by so fast...it will be here before we know it!!

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10 minutes ago, twiceblessed....nacole said:

Okay... not a "report", yet.  Still planning.  We leave end May/beginning of June.   If you have any must-see stops... in IL, MO, NE, SD or ND.. please let me know.  I have an extra few days that I can work into that area of the country IF there is something worth seeing on my route.  Leaving from GA, heading up to Banff (through Glacier), back down to WA, then the Oregon Coast.  We'll hit Crater NP, Jackson Hole, the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore on our way back... then down to OKC (kids LOVED the science museum last time, so we have to hit it again ;) )...then back to GA.

Time goes by so fast...it will be here before we know it!!

Devils Tower on your way from Yellowstone to Mount Rushmore. Crazy Horse Memorial near Rushmore. Custer State Park near Rushmore.  

 

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3 minutes ago, Katman1356...Jason said:

Devils Tower on your way from Yellowstone to Mount Rushmore. Crazy Horse Memorial near Rushmore. Custer State Park near Rushmore.  

 

Thank you!  All are on our list :) 

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13 hours ago, Katman1356...Jason said:

It's not really on your route but Dinosaur National Monument is an awesome place. 

Thanks.  I we're not making it through UT this trip, but I'll keep it in mind for the next time we're in that area!

 

12 hours ago, Grumpy and Grandma said:

Corn Palace in Mitchel SD, kind of a "CORNY" place....😀 https://cornpalace.com/  There's a KOA in Mitchel,   Badlands,   

Minute Man Museum  https://www.nps.gov/mimi/index.htm,  

Haha... Corn Palance, I think you recommended that one the last time we were in SD 😄   It does look, pretty "CORNY" 😄   Thank you!

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2 minutes ago, dblr....Rennie said:

Not sure where you plan to go thru Illinois but if you use I-70 there is the town of Casey Il. where you could spend a little time.

https://www.bigthingssmalltown.com/

 

Thank you.  Looks like we'll be north of that on 74 (Indianapolis over the Springfield).  Took that route to visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.  This homeschooling mama is always looking for those learning opportunities... it thrills the kids 😄😄

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15 hours ago, twiceblessed....nacole said:

Okay... not a "report", yet.  Still planning.  We leave end May/beginning of June.   If you have any must-see stops... in IL, MO, NE, SD or ND.. please let me know.  I have an extra few days that I can work into that area of the country IF there is something worth seeing on my route.  Leaving from GA, heading up to Banff (through Glacier), back down to WA, then the Oregon Coast.  We'll hit Crater NP, Jackson Hole, the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore on our way back... then down to OKC (kids LOVED the science museum last time, so we have to hit it again ;) )...then back to GA.

Time goes by so fast...it will be here before we know it!!

The OKC science museum is fantastic, and that was back in the 80's!

These may not be in your lines of travels, but keep them in mind for future trips

Charlotte NC has a good science museum and a NASCAR museum

Omaha has a great kids museum, art museum, history museum, train museum, and probably one of the greatest zoos you will ever see! Plus they have a pedestrian bridge spanning the river to Iowa. https://www.visitomaha.com/things-to-do/attractions/

Minneapolis/St Paul has a great science museum with hands on experiments guided by docents, and of course the Mall of America.  They have a good art museum also. There are a couple of good public campgrounds a little S of Minneapolis in parks.

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13 minutes ago, Travisma said:

 There are a couple of good public campground a little S on Minneapolis in parks.

Lebanon Hills in Apple Valley is a great one.    https://www.co.dakota.mn.us/parks/parksTrails/LebanonHills/Pages/lebanon-hills-campground.aspx

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5 hours ago, Travisma said:

The OKC science museum is fantastic, and that was back in the 80's!

These may not be in your lines of travels, but keep them in mind for future trips

Charlotte NC has a good science museum and a NASCAR museum

Omaha has a great kids museum, art museum, history museum, train museum, and probably one of the greatest zoos you will ever see! Plus they have a pedestrian bridge spanning the river to Iowa. https://www.visitomaha.com/things-to-do/attractions/

Minneapolis/St Paul has a great science museum with hands on experiments guided by docents, and of course the Mall of America.  They have a good art museum also. There are a couple of good public campgrounds a little S of Minneapolis in parks.

We'll drive through Omaha.  Appreciated the tips on this one as last time we drove through there, I just kept thinking how ugly it was and wondering who would choose to live there.  Of course, that was one day out of the year.  LOL.   I'll look into the things you listed.

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4 hours ago, Grumpy and Grandma said:

Thank you.  MN is not on the list, this year.  I would like to visit that area.. along with WI and MI.   Those states will be after the NE, which we hope to do next year or 2022.

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51 minutes ago, twiceblessed....nacole said:

We'll drive through Omaha.  Appreciated the tips on this one as last time we drove through there, I just kept thinking how ugly it was and wondering who would choose to live there.  Of course, that was one day out of the year.  LOL.   I'll look into the things you listed.

My daughter lived there for a few years.  We visited a handful of times, both in winter and summer.

As with any city it has it's good and bad spots.

Agreed, it looks a little rough seeing it from the interstates, but the downtown core and the areas surrounding it are very nice.

If you can, you should really stop and spend a day at the zoo if nothing else.

Any train buffs in your family? 

https://www.lauritzengardens.org/About/Kenefick_Park/

http://www.uprrmuseum.org/uprrm/

 

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1 hour ago, twiceblessed....nacole said:

We'll drive through Omaha.  

Stop and ask Warren B for a few stock tips. Then maybe next time you can take the trip in a chauffeured PREVOST...............

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2 hours ago, Travisma said:

My daughter lived there for a few years.  We visited a handful of times, both in winter and summer.

As with any city it has it's good and bad spots.

Agreed, it looks a little rough seeing it from the interstates, but the downtown core and the areas surrounding it are very nice.

If you can, you should really stop and spend a day at the zoo if nothing else.

Any train buffs in your family? 

https://www.lauritzengardens.org/About/Kenefick_Park/

http://www.uprrmuseum.org/uprrm/

 

Thank you.  We'll consider it.  Looking at the prices..it's not a cheap zoo.  I like zoos, but we have a decent one here (in Atlanta)  that we can go two twice a year for free, so.... 😖  Appreciate the thought, however :) 

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4 hours ago, twiceblessed....nacole said:

Thank you.  We'll consider it.  Looking at the prices..it's not a cheap zoo.  I like zoos, but we have a decent one here (in Atlanta)  that we can go two twice a year for free, so.... 😖  Appreciate the thought, however 🙂

They have reciprocal agreements with other zoos if you have a pass

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10 hours ago, Travisma said:

They have reciprocal agreements with other zoos if you have a pass

We don't have a zoo pass... but we do have the museum pass (they are not on it, however).  BUT... maybe I'll look into the zoo passes and see which are reciprocal as there a few in cities we'll be near, that I'd consider going to.  Thanks for that tip.

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1 minute ago, twiceblessed....nacole said:

We don't have a zoo pass... but we do have the museum pass (they are not on it, however).  BUT... maybe I'll look into the zoo passes and see which are reciprocal as there a few in cities we'll be near, that I'd consider going to.  Thanks for that tip.

I never noticed how much the zoo charged, we had a reciprocal pass.

It's an amazing place, better than the Bronx Zoo or the Houston Zoo.

They have a huge dome that simulates a desert climate.

A butterfly house.

Regular zoo.

Ape house

Indoor bayou.

And another huge building that is like a rain forest.  You walk among the tree tops then descend onto the jungle floor.

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On 1/29/2020 at 7:51 AM, Travisma said:

I never noticed how much the zoo charged, we had a reciprocal pass.

It's an amazing place, better than the Bronx Zoo or the Houston Zoo.

They have a huge dome that simulates a desert climate.

A butterfly house.

Regular zoo.

Ape house

Indoor bayou.

And another huge building that is like a rain forest.  You walk among the tree tops then descend onto the jungle floor.

Thanks for passing that along.  Still considering it.. but we may pass it up to stay at the Lewis and Clark SP in IA.   Because it's just the kids and I (Tom will fly out to meet us), I don't like winging in... which means I have areas planned out and reserved and it looks like Omaha might be an awkward (mileage) stop.

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As Jason said Custer State Park is near Mt Rushmore. It is where we stayed on our trip to Montana a couple of years ago. The campground we stayed at, Blue Bell, was electric only but it had an easy to get to water spigot to fill the tank, plenty of room and a nice bathhouse. According to the rangers Custer has more Bison than Yellowstone. Just to the south of Custer State park there is Wind Cave National Park and to the west Jewel Cave National Monument. The Minuteman Missile National Historic Site is not too far from the area just off I-90. 

Due to Rene's work schedule we only had a day to look around but decided when she retires in a couple of years we are going to head back up there and spend 4 or 5 days just in that area to get  a chance to really see it.

Another thing to keep in mind in the Yellowstone/Tetons/Black Hills is roads don't open on a set schedule as a rule. You might see an opening date but if the snow doesn't melt or a storm comes through those dates can change. This won't stop you to getting to where your going it just might be by a circuitous route. Also be prepared for the potential of snow and cold weather. On our way from Yellowstone to Bozeman to see family though we didn't have much accumulation on the roads we had snow for just about the full trip which added time onto our drive. This was right at the middle of May. We also had snow and freezing temperatures a week later on the day we left Custer State Park. 

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On 1/30/2020 at 2:33 PM, Robin said:

What about the city museum near St Louis?  We have gone twice fun for all very unique place?

I had considered St. Louis, but decided to jump up north and go through Springfield instead.  Thank you for the suggestion though!

20 hours ago, keith_h said:

As Jason said Custer State Park is near Mt Rushmore. It is where we stayed on our trip to Montana a couple of years ago. The campground we stayed at, Blue Bell, was electric only but it had an easy to get to water spigot to fill the tank, plenty of room and a nice bathhouse. According to the rangers Custer has more Bison than Yellowstone. Just to the south of Custer State park there is Wind Cave National Park and to the west Jewel Cave National Monument. The Minuteman Missile National Historic Site is not too far from the area just off I-90. 

Due to Rene's work schedule we only had a day to look around but decided when she retires in a couple of years we are going to head back up there and spend 4 or 5 days just in that area to get  a chance to really see it.

Another thing to keep in mind in the Yellowstone/Tetons/Black Hills is roads don't open on a set schedule as a rule. You might see an opening date but if the snow doesn't melt or a storm comes through those dates can change. This won't stop you to getting to where your going it just might be by a circuitous route. Also be prepared for the potential of snow and cold weather. On our way from Yellowstone to Bozeman to see family though we didn't have much accumulation on the roads we had snow for just about the full trip which added time onto our drive. This was right at the middle of May. We also had snow and freezing temperatures a week later on the day we left Custer State Park. 

Thank you.  We are staying at a KOA near Custer (the kids LOVED it last time we went and daddy was with us that time so, a stop there was important) however, I am planning a day trip to Custer as I have heard so.many.good.things. about this park.  Thanks for the suggestion on the other sites.

Tetons/Yellowstone are slated for the beginning of July so while we don't expect hot temps, we are praying for nice and NOT snowy. LOL    I just secured Glacier and Banff however, and those are early/mid June so I know weather may goof things up.  Praying that's not the case though as I am SUPER excited to see both parks.  If I had more time, I would have pushed on to Jasper but...  you have to draw the line somewhere.  LOL

On Bison... we have a couple of nights at Theodore Roosevelt NP in ND... apparently known for the bison so, fingers crossed!

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13 hours ago, twiceblessed....nacole said:

  I just secured Glacier and Banff however, and those are early/mid June so I know weather may goof things up. 

The big attraction of Glacier is driving Going to The Sun highway. Access is restricted to vehicles no longer than 21 feet and no trailers. Strictly enforced with good reason as its a spectacular drive. Historically it opens the end of June. But, if you are lucky and it's open, and I hope you are, be sure to drive to Logan's Pass and do the hike that starts at the Visitors Center. This is an early morning hike as the parking lot gets full very quickly. What campground have you booked? I've heard good things about West Glacier KOA. We stayed at the new West Glacier RV Park last summer which was nice for retired adults. If staying in East Glacier/Saint Mary the East Glacier KOA has easy access to the park and the rangers evening campfire talks.

 

13 hours ago, twiceblessed....nacole said:

On Bison... we have a couple of nights at Theodore Roosevelt NP in ND... apparently known for the bison so, fingers crossed!

Loved Theodore Roosevelt NP last summer. Are you staying in Medora or the campground in the park? Yes, there are bison to see. Just ask any ranger and they can tell you where the herd is. We also thoroughly enjoyed observing the Prairie Dog towns almost more than the Bison. They are quite amusing and vocal. Enjoy your summer trip. Sounds like great fun!

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2 hours ago, Breezy2 said:

The big attraction of Glacier is driving Going to The Sun highway. Access is restricted to vehicles no longer than 21 feet and no trailers. Strictly enforced with good reason as its a spectacular drive. Historically it opens the end of June. But, if you are lucky and it's open, and I hope you are, be sure to drive to Logan's Pass and do the hike that starts at the Visitors Center. This is an early morning hike as the parking lot gets full very quickly. What campground have you booked? I've heard good things about West Glacier KOA. We stayed at the new West Glacier RV Park last summer which was nice for retired adults. If staying in East Glacier/Saint Mary the East Glacier KOA has easy access to the park and the rangers evening campfire talks.

 

Loved Theodore Roosevelt NP last summer. Are you staying in Medora or the campground in the park? Yes, there are bison to see. Just ask any ranger and they can tell you where the herd is. We also thoroughly enjoyed observing the Prairie Dog towns almost more than the Bison. They are quite amusing and vocal. Enjoy your summer trip. Sounds like great fun!

We have a spot inside the park at St. Mary's campground, which is at the entrance to the drive, but  I'm not expecting the Going To The Sun road to be open.  Initial plan it to arrive early and snag an easy hike (I'm the hiker and my oldest will keep up with me as long as the hike doesn't put you on a cliff, but my youngest will poop out much quicker and daddy doesn't join us until later in the trip so easy hikes is all we'll do).  The next day I think we'll take Hwy 2 (I believe it is) over to W. Glacier for the day.

At TRNP, we're inside the park at Cottonwood.  Prairie dogs ARE hilarious.  I remember when I moved to CO in 1995, I was moving from WA state and had never seen a prairie dog... they line the road on the drive into Denver.  I pulled over and watched them for a good 30 minutes.  They are funny little creatures. 

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