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Summer road trip

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Heading out on the annual summer road trip this weekend. You guys have been really good about helping me out in the past. We have things generally planned, but must sees, must dos, and must eats would be welcome!

 

Basically the route is Florida > Nashville, TN > Kansas City, MO > Rapid City, SD > Great Falls, MT > Glacier National Park > Banff, Alberta > Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan > Fargo, ND > Minneapolis, MN > Champaign, IL > Nashville, TN > HOME, FL

 

Anything I should definitely try to see or do?

 

We will camp in both Glacier and Banff for a week or so. Weather looks to be gorgeous. I'm particularly unfamiliar with the Trans-Canada highway part of the trip. It does look like the chance of seeing the northern lights is pretty high while we are there, so we have high hopes for that, but would love some suggestions if you are familiar with these areas.

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Crazy Horse. Matino Thipila, Devils Tower, yer going by it in the corner of Wyoming there. Plus anything else west of the Mississippi, on any of the interstates. I don't have enough days to even begin.

 

rct

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Since you're coming through Central Kentucky on at least one leg of your trip, and if you're a bourbon fan, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail is pretty fun and interesting. If you can only hit one, Maker's Mark is the prettiest but is way out in the country. Buffalo Trace is one of the oldest (and largest, and free tour/tasting) in Frankfort, KY. Jim Beam is huge as well and right off I-65. They're all within a couple hours of each other. http://kybourbontrail.com/

 

Also in Kentucky is Mammoth Cave, the worlds longest cave: http://mammothcave.com/ The two hour tour is really awesome and it's right off I-65, Cave City exit.

 

Louisville Slugger Museum is in Louisville, so are the Falls of the Ohio and the Underground Cavern underneath Louisville.

 

Abraham Lincoln's birthplace and boyhood home is not too far off I-65.

 

It all depends on what you like to do and want to see in Kentucky. As far as the rest of the US, I've driven from one side of the US to the other and lots of places in between. Grand Tetons in Wyoming were awesome. It's a beautiful drive out that way. The northwest is probably my favorite part of the US as far as scenery goes.

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Isn't the Worlds Larges Ball Of Twine somewhere along that route? :-k

 

But seriously. :rolleyes:

 

I don't know much about those parts of the continent. But it ought to be a great trip and experience. Enjoy and be safe.

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Also in Kentucky at Bowling Green is the Corvette Museum and factory - it you're into Vettes. Mt. Rushmore is pretty unbelievable if you've never seen that.

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... Mt. Rushmore is pretty unbelievable if you've never seen that.

 

Thanks! We have been to Rushmore - about 10 years ago when we hit Yellowstone and Grand Teton. It was cool. Gotta go there at least once, but once is enough. [biggrin]

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Champaign? Not much to see in central Illinois...mostly corn fields. Southern Illinois has Shawnee National Forest which i'll be visiting later this summer but its probably 2-3 hours south of Champaign/Urbana.

 

Springfield is about an hour south, you could hit up the Lincoln Presidential Library and/or home.

 

I may also recommend a steamboat cruise on the Mississippi river.

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Thanks! We have been to Rushmore - about 10 years ago when we hit Yellowstone and Grand Teton. It was cool. Gotta go there at least once, but once is enough. [biggrin]

 

If you've been to Mt. Rushmore, you may have already visited the Wall Drug Store, Minuteman Missile National Museum and Badlands National Park in SD (http://www.walldrug.com/visit/minuteman-missile-site). They're all near one another right off I-90 about 60 miles east of Rapid City. It's been a VERY long since I've been out that way, but I remember them being pretty interesting. Worth a stop if you're passing through the area.

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Champaign? Not much to see in central Illinois...mostly corn fields. Southern Illinois has Shawnee National Forest which i'll be visiting later this summer but its probably 2-3 hours south of Champaign/Urbana.

 

Springfield is about an hour south, you could hit up the Lincoln Presidential Library and/or home.

 

I may also recommend a steamboat cruise on the Mississippi river.

 

Yeah, Champaign jut happens to be on the way home and the right amount of drive time from Minneapolis. It's not really intentional. Just an overnight. But if you know of any good eats, that would be awesome!

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If you've been to Mt. Rushmore, you may have already visited the Wall Drug Store, Minuteman Missile National Museum and Badlands National Park in SD (http://www.walldrug.com/visit/minuteman-missile-site). They're all near one another right off I-90 about 60 miles east of Rapid City. It's been a VERY long since I've been out that way, but I remember them being pretty interesting. Worth a stop if you're passing through the area.

 

Even though we've been through SD before we have never visited the Badlands, so hoping we can work that in.

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In Banff, go to the Radium hot springs. There is also the Lake Louise gondola up the mountain. Plenty of hiking to do. Canmore is a nice area. Just to the west of Crows Nest pass there is the Frank Slide ( a town was buried by a mountain slide).

 

I am more north, closer to Jasper. Banff to Jasper is about 4hr drive. But there is the Columbia ice fields in Jasper.

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In Banff, go to the Radium hot springs. There is also the Lake Louise gondola up the mountain. Plenty of hiking to do. Canmore is a nice area.

 

I am more north, closer to Jasper. Banff to Jasper is about 4hr drive. But there is the Columbia ice fields in Jasper.

 

 

Thanks! That is all stuff I did not know, and I appreciate the tips. [thumbup]

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On the Northern trek, if you cross the Mississippi River at, or around, St. Louis, you're in my neighborhood. If you cross further South, but head North on I-55, you may still skim my area (Southwest of St. Louis city proper). The least I could do is buy you lunch.

 

If you wanted to take a couple of hours for a "whirlwind" tour, there's plenty to do and see catered to your specific interests (art, architecture, history, science and technology, zoology, sports, music...).

 

St. Louis to Kansas City is a four hour drive straight over I-70.

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Songbirds guitar museum just opened in Chattanooga, I have not been but it is on my list. Check their website.

 

You know Nashville well but for a quick lunch I'd recommend 5 points pizza in east Nashville or Baja Burrito (ask for brisket). Baja is in the Berry Hill area, just a few blocks from Blackbird studio.

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But there is the Columbia ice fields in Jasper.

 

Funny. They just showed up on that Microsoft Bing screen as I got on the laptop a few minutes ago.

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Yeah, Champaign jut happens to be on the way home and the right amount of drive time from Minneapolis. It's not really intentional. Just an overnight. But if you know of any good eats, that would be awesome!

 

I haven't spent too much time there, and the time I spent there was just over 10 years ago so I can't really recommend much.

 

I know the main music venue there is the Canopy Club. That place attracts some good acts as there 40,000 some students attending University of Illinois. As far as food and drink go, I've been to a number of places on the main drag before but the only thing that sticks out is La Bamba's. They advertise burrito's as big as your head, but that's more of a 'drunk food' place. [flapper]

 

I'm looking now and it seems there is a growing 'farm to table' trend going on there. I'd probably check one of those places out. Plenty of organic farms nearby to source from.

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On the Northern trek, if you cross the Mississippi River at, or around, St. Louis, you're in my neighborhood. If you cross further South, but head North on I-55, you may still skim my area (Southwest of St. Louis city proper). The least I could do is buy you lunch.

 

If you wanted to take a couple of hours for a "whirlwind" tour, there's plenty to do and see catered to your specific interests (art, architecture, history, science and technology, zoology, sports, music...).

 

St. Louis to Kansas City is a four hour drive straight over I-70.

 

We crossed as you said - St. Louis to KC. We were bookin' it. Every day has been 9-10 hours. I appreciate the lunch offer though. [thumbup]

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Just pulled in to Great Falls, Montana. We've been pushing pretty hard - 2500 miles in 4 days. But we have a short hop to Glacier NP tomorrow. [thumbup]

 

The drive through South Dakota and Montana was gorgeous today - off the freeways for a change. Even got to drive through the geographical center of the 50 US States (and hometown to our own milod) - Belle Fourche, South Dakota. Gorgeous little town. [love]

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This is a fantastic and wonderful road trip, surfpup!

 

 

If you are so inclined, on the way back home of course, please swing by Huntsville, Alabama.

 

It's a very small detour from your planned route (from Nashville to Chattanooga, etc) and we have a lovely, progressive, and well-educated population here, in a community that features many interesting sights and restaurants, bars, and venues.

 

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center is here on Redstone Arsenal, and the Army's premier flight test center (where I work) is a fantastic attraction, and I can give you a personal tour. To you and your traveling entourage of family and friends.

 

 

No big pressure, just think about it.

 

 

:)

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You gotta visit the Hungry Horse Dam, it's just south of West Glacier. It's pretty kewl! And if you can make it further south, you REALLY gotta visit the House of Mystery, which is quite the experience. Fun for the whole family!

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This is a fantastic and wonderful road trip, surfpup!... No big pressure, just think about it.

 

 

:)

 

Thanks, man. I appreciate that. The wife has to go through Nashville though and we are booked already. She went to school there, so we have to visit the restaurants she misses from her college days. [biggrin]

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We left Glacier National Park today after 5 nights of camping. Had a bit of rain unfortunately - a tent camper's enemy. Pretty chilly too. Today we drove up to Banff in Alberta. Going to camp once more - but not for long. Too cold for us Floridians, so we are mountain lodge bound. :rolleyes:

 

A couple pics of Glacier below. The views do not suck. The last one was the view from our campsite...

 

DSC_0076.jpg

 

DSC_0092.jpg

 

DSC_0085.jpg

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Beautiful job! I hope you drove out the Going To The Sun Road!

 

rct

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