My bucket list / eclipse trip

Discussion in 'Let me tell you about my trip' started by Garland, Aug 2, 2017.

  1. Garland

    Garland New Member

    16
    2
    Jul 10, 2017
    Almonte ON
    I have been planning this trip for 18 months and now it's 10 days away! Here is my itinerary.

    Day 1 - Kitchener ON. Stay with friends
    Day 2/3 - Indiana Dunes State Park. Beach, here we come.
    Day 4/5 - Newton KOA - Des Moines. Iowa State Fair. 75 different foods on a stick!
    Day 6 - Bessey Park, Nebraska -stopover
    Day 7/8 - Douglas KOA, Wyoming. Along the way we see Carhenge.
    Day 9-13 - Yellowstone! Old Faithful! And in the middle, a drive down to Grand Teton to see the Total Eclipse
    Day 14 - Devils Tower KOA - look for aliens.
    Day 15/16 - Badlands National Park. See Mount Rushmore on the way.
    Day 17/18 - Minnesota KOA - wife wants to see the Mall of America
    Day 19-21 - Hiawatha State Park. Trees and Lakes.
    Day 23 - Provincial Park, near Sudbury. Almost Home.
    Day 24 - Home again!

    It's packed, lots of driving and lots of raising and lowering the pop-up. But at the end, tons of memories! Can't wait!

    If you have any tips for any points, let me know.
     
  2. Sneezer

    Sneezer Active Member

    649
    138
    Aug 8, 2015
    DFW, TX
    Crazy horse monument. It is a work in progress but it is impressive. We saw it this summer for the first time. My son was more impressed with it than Rushmore.
     
  3. Douggro

    Douggro Active Member

    329
    71
    Jul 26, 2017
    Seattle, WA
    Check with the Rangers at Yellowstone about getting out to see the eclipse and what they may have heard from their partners at Grand Tetons. You may need to adjust your plans based on anticipated traffic loads.
     
    kcsa75 likes this.
  4. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

    1,267
    122
    Jul 5, 2011
    Macomb County Michigan
    Sounds like a great trip!! I would recommend you cross into the US at Sarnia instead of Windsor. Traffic is usually lighter at the Blue Water Bridge. Wave when you pass the Little Mack exit on I-94. Stay in the middle lane on I94 until you get past I-96. There's no acceleration lanes on that stretch.

    I hope you have a reservation at Indiana Dunes SP if you hit it on a weekend. The National Lakeshore campground is FCFS, but there's no electric sites, IIRC.

    Don't plan on leaving the Dunes too early. Traffic into/through Chicago is heavy from about 7 till about 9 or 10.

    Prepare to be underwhelmed at MOA.

    Post pics along the way!!!
     
  5. f5moab

    f5moab Retired from the Federal Government

    1,022
    231
    May 7, 2013
    Eastern Idaho
    I agree with the Blue Water Bridge but I would recommend I-69, unless there is some construction. Been years since I lived there, but did a lot of trips over the Blue Water Bridge(S). And spent some time in the Edison Inn just next to the bridge:D. But having to work in Downtown Detroit when I was last there, I, personally, would avoid Detroit at all costs. :eek::D Just me, the only place I found traffic to be worse was the DC Beltway, or Salt Lake City. (And I grew up in Detroit.:p)
     
  6. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

    1,267
    122
    Jul 5, 2011
    Macomb County Michigan
    I hadn't thought about going thru Lansing. Good advice!!!
     
  7. Garland

    Garland New Member

    16
    2
    Jul 10, 2017
    Almonte ON
    Yeah, I was planning on Sarnia, I-69 and I-94. Just makes sense.
     
  8. Garland

    Garland New Member

    16
    2
    Jul 10, 2017
    Almonte ON
    Yep, got the reservation at Indiana Dunes. So the I-90 is slow in the mornings? I thought that the I-90 would let me bypass Chicago.

    As to the MOA, ya but what can you do? Got to keep everyone happy. I would rather see a Twins game myself.
     
  9. Garland

    Garland New Member

    16
    2
    Jul 10, 2017
    Almonte ON
    Thanks. Good tip. Got a friend flying in to Jackson Hole the day before, so we are picking them up. I'm going to use the opportunity to find a convenient spot along the way to pull aside and watch the eclipse the next day. I was thinking perhaps the Elk Flats. Of course a lot depends on the weather. I'll be watching the reports like a hawk.
     
  10. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

    1,267
    122
    Jul 5, 2011
    Macomb County Michigan
    I-94 from the dunes to the 294 split will be ugly with a capital ugh on a week day. 80/90/94 will allow you to bypass the city of Chicago, but the traffic extends well beyond the city limits.

    As for MOA, ask me how I have that piece of information......just ask me.......;-)
     
  11. matwiyj

    matwiyj Member

    146
    19
    May 17, 2011
    Winnipeg, Canada
    Our itinerary sounds much like yours. We are leaving from Winnipeg, Manitoba on August 16. Should be an amazing trip!!!

    Bismarck KOA Wednesday, Aug. 16
    Devil's Tower KOA Thursday, Aug. 17
    Devil's Tower KOA Friday, Aug. 18
    Douglas KOA Saturday, Aug. 19
    Douglas KOA Sunday, Aug. 20
    Douglas KOA Monday, Aug. 21
    Dubois, Wind River KOA Tuesday, Aug. 22
    Dubois, Wind River KOA Wednesday, Aug. 23
    Bridge Bay campground, Yellowstone Thursday, Aug. 24
    Bridge Bay campground, Yellowstone Friday, Aug. 25
    Bridge Bay campground, Yellowstone Saturday, Aug. 26
    Red Lodge KOA Sunday, Aug. 27
    Miles City KOA Monday, Aug. 28
    Bismarck KOA Tuesday, Aug. 29
    HOME!!! Wednesday, Aug. 30
     
  12. HotelRoyale

    HotelRoyale Member

    58
    11
    Sep 23, 2016
    I have family in Newton IA ... if you want eat out, try the Midtown Cafe for breakfast ... it's a little slice of Americana with great food, La Cabana has good Mexican food. I have never camped at the KOA there so I can't comment on it.
     
  13. CamperChrissy

    CamperChrissy Active Member

    243
    69
    Nov 25, 2016
    Chicago suburbs
    Agreed, avoid any highway near Chicago until after about 8:30 am. And by near Chicago, I mean within a 40 mile radius. Seriously, it's just a $hit show between 6-9 am and 4-7 pm.

    Taking 94 to 80 west is your best bet and later in the morning it should be moving fine. However I think there is still construction on 94 near I-65. We actually drove that area a few weeks ago (we came up from the south on I-65 and intended to take 94 East up in to Michigan). We used the Waze app which redirected us to another route, not on 94, and it saved us a lot of time. So check the construction situation before you go!
     
  14. Garland

    Garland New Member

    16
    2
    Jul 10, 2017
    Almonte ON
    Turns out DW is panicky and worried about the trip. One minute it's grizzly bears in Yellowstone. Next it's letting our 16 year old daughter run loose at the Iowa Fair. Next it is someone will steal our trailer while we sightsee. Next its about crossing the border and what foods we bring across and what it will be like grocery shopping across the border. Next it's what she sees on the news about US politics. Next it's tornadoes fer gawd's sake.

    I've done what I can to calm her nerves, but man ... What do you do? Hopefully after a day or two on the road she will settle down.
     
  15. Douggro

    Douggro Active Member

    329
    71
    Jul 26, 2017
    Seattle, WA
    Slip some Valium in her coffee... ;)
     
  16. Adirondack PUP

    Adirondack PUP Active Member

    319
    27
    May 8, 2015
    Upstate New York
    Sweet trip!!!! Can't wait to see the trip report. And pictures!
     
  17. Dback2k4

    Dback2k4 Active Member

    131
    36
    Jul 16, 2017
    Iowa
    Chicago is always a mess, even on the "outskirts" like I-80. Add extra time to your itinerary for sitting in traffic. Even during non rush hour, some idiot will cause a wreck leading to a half hour of traffic backups! Enjoy the Iowa State Fair. As an Iowa native, I can tell you firsthand it's awesome!!

    When travelling through Iowa, stop at the World's Largest Truckstop near Walcott, Iowa (about 30 minutes west of the Iowa/Illinois border on I-80). It's a neat little sightseeing experience that doesn't take a lot of time while you fill up with gas, use restrooms, or eat lunch.
     
  18. Garland

    Garland New Member

    16
    2
    Jul 10, 2017
    Almonte ON
    Thanks for the tip. I like little items like this to break up the monotony of driving. It's why I'm seeing Carhenge and taking highway 2 in Nebraska. Simple bombing along interstates will bore me to tears.
     
  19. inthedirt

    inthedirt Active Member

    840
    66
    Aug 28, 2012
    SW Montana
    Word of caution....Yellowstone will be crazy-hectic and viewing may be limited because of all the trees. I have a cabin in Island Park (25min from W. Yellowstone entrance) and thought about heading down. Personally, if I were going to road trip it to see the eclipse, I'd stay in Bruneau Dunes SP, near Boise. Its a great place to stay, has dunes that you can play on with kids, a small museum, and Idaho's only observatory that is open to the public. I mention this, but gotta warn you.....we have a lot of fires in this area and I'm betting that with all the smoke, we won't see much of the eclipse.
     
  20. f5moab

    f5moab Retired from the Federal Government

    1,022
    231
    May 7, 2013
    Eastern Idaho
    The eclipse might look good with a red sun and that is what the sun has looked like for the past few days. :eek:
     
    Be-Ce likes this.

Share This Page