“Great American Dream Road Trip” — Preview – Part 1

Today is April 30th.  Our “Great American Dream Road Trip” hereafter referred to as “GADRT” begins in just 61 days or on June 30th.  I will be posting about 8 of these previews each consisting of about 12 days of what towns we plan on visiting and what routes we will be taking to get there.  I ask all who read this and have either visited the area we (my wife and I) will be traveling or may even live in the general area to share with us places of interest worth visiting.  We prefer to stay within our route but will stray about 10 miles or so either way off route.  You can either post comments on this posting or you can email me directly at rick@cartripsusa.com

Let us begin.  On “Day 1″, June 30th, we will have our Chevy Van packed and be hitting the road around 8am.  We will travel from our home in Mount Wolfe, PA to a B&B, yet to be decided in Dayton, OH.  This part of the trip will be primarily just moving along covering about 540 miles or so.  Rather than take the direct route (PA Turnpike) we will head down to I70 and follow that west most of the way to Dayton, OH.  Considering stopping along the way for lunch or a picture or two we should arrive at our place of lodging by 8pm.

After a good nights sleep and a hearty breakfast we will begin “Day 2″, July 1st, again hitting the road by about 8am and heading west to Springfield, IL by a variety of highways including, US40, US36, and I72.  Once again our only stop will be for lunch or to take a picture or two along the way.  We should reach our destination around 7pm.  We will plan a nice dinner at one of Springfield’s fine restaurants.  Help us out here if you know of any.

Again after a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast we begin “Day 3″, July 2nd, and the actual beginning of our “GADRT” by heading over to Lincoln’s Presidential Museum.  We than have plans on seeing the Old State Capitol, Lincoln’s Home, Lincoln Depot, and the Lincoln Tomb.  We are open for any suggestions or ideas in the Springfield area.  We will leave Springfield around 5pm and head to Fort Madison, IA.  We will be travelling on IL SR’s 29, 97, 125, and 67 with no plans of stopping along the way.  However again I ask, if you know of something between Springfield and Fort Madison worth taking the time to see, please let us know.  Otherwise we should arrive in Fort Madison, IA around 8pm.

We will spend a few hours in Fort Madison on “Day 4″, July 3rd, and while there we will check out a railroad museum called “Sante Fe Depot” and a bridge called “Sante Fe Bridge”.  Our plans are to leave Fort Madison by 3:30pm and head over to Des Moines, IA by way of some of the “Bridges ofMadison County”.  We should arrive in Des Moines around 8 pm or so.

On “Day 5″, July 4th, we will spend our day celebrating our nations birth in the heartland of this great country.   I have no idea what we will be doing yet and have high hopes that some of our readers may have a suggestion or two.

After a long day and a short night we will be back on the road on “Day 6″, July 5th, heading to Omaha, NE.  I figure if we can be on the road by 9am we could be in Omaha by Noon.  We’ll hang around Omaha for a few hours and then head down to Lincoln and spend the night.  I’m sure we can find something to do in Omaha for about six hours or so.

“Day 7″, July 6th, should find us relaxing in the state capitol of Nebraska.  We should get a good night’s rest, be up early, have a nice breakfast, and than go visit the state capitol.  Don’t know what else we will do and hope to be on the road by 3pm heading for Sioux City, IA. where we will enjoy a nice dinner and a night at the casino.

“Day 8″, July 7th, we will leave around 10am and head up to Sioux Falls, SD.  We will swing by the “Sgt. Floyd Monumentbut should still arrive in Sioux Falls by about 2pm.  As in most of the places we have passed thru so far there is much to see and do in Sioux Falls.  We will be spending a lot of our free time at “Falls Park”.  If time allows we may get over to “Buffalo Ridge” or “Blood Run” and possibly a dinner and show at the “Olde Towne Dinner Theatre”.  We will spend the night there and most of the next day, “Day 9″, July 8th before leaving around 5pm and heading up to DeSmet, SD., home of Laura Ingalls, of Little House On the Prairie fame.  We should get there around 8pm and spend the night at some friendly B&B.

After a well deserved rest and a great breakfast we will start off “Day 10″, July 9th, by doing a little tour of Laura’s neighborhood.  We will cut out around 5pm and head up to a Camp Ground at Pickerel Lake Recreation Area hopefully arriving around 8pm.  We’ll spend the night and most of the next day, “Day 11″, July 10th, at the park and head out around 5pm for Fargo, ND.

We should arrive in Fargo around 8pm.  After two weeks on the road my wife may be looking for a wood chipper in Fargo.  Again we will try for a B&B to spend the night.  On “Day 12″ we will be looking for things to do in Fargo.  Again I ask our readers to help us out with suggestions.  Most likely we will be on the road again around 6pm heading for Jamestown, ND.

This takes care of the first 12 days of our 90+ days and 10,000+ mile road trip.  So far we will have traveled approximately 1,800 miles.  Averaging about 150 miles a day and about 3 hours and 20 minutes a day driving time.  You figure there is 24 hours in the day, take away the driving time, and maybe 2 hours and 40 minutes for eating and 8 hours for sleeping, we are left with about 10 hours per day for sight-seeing.  Any bets on how long our old bodies will be able to take this?  Place your bets!  But in the meantime, stay tune for Part II of the preview to be posted by May 6th.