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Author Topic: 2019 Trip from KY to Yellowstone/Tetons  (Read 1513 times)

jackiemac

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Re: 2019 Trip from KY to Yellowstone/Tetons
« Reply #30 on: January 08, 2019, 07:06:11 AM »
Sometimes people need to do whistlestop trips. I think it just whets your appetite to return and spend longer.

The main thing is to drive safely, particularly when in scenic areas as it is easy to take your eyes off the road and end up in a ditch (saw an RV like this in the Tetons last year) or worse. And of course to enjoy every moment!
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Travelling in the US till Nov 2019
Currently in site C145 Gros Ventre campground

wadecool

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Re: 2019 Trip from KY to Yellowstone/Tetons
« Reply #31 on: January 19, 2019, 05:43:00 AM »
Sometimes people need to do whistlestop trips. I think it just whets your appetite to return and spend longer.

The main thing is to drive safely, particularly when in scenic areas as it is easy to take your eyes off the road and end up in a ditch (saw an RV like this in the Tetons last year) or worse. And of course to enjoy every moment!

In a perfect world the vacation would be much longer but wife and I are still working and vacation time is a factor.  I will definitely be making a list of things to see when we become full timer way down the road.

wadecool

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Re: 2019 Trip from KY to Yellowstone/Tetons
« Reply #32 on: January 19, 2019, 05:44:42 AM »
This trip seems to be constantly evolving so I'll post the latest version of the itinerary. The best favor you can do is rip it apart because it helps me plan...

Latest thoughts:

We decided we want 2 nights in Cody and 2 nights in Tetons so something had to go, and it would up being Little Bighorn Battlefield.

We knew we wanted to see Cody and Jackson/Tetons along with Yellowstone so it made more sense to stop in Cody first and end in Jackson rather than circle around Yellowstone in previous plan.

Only destination i haven't decided on a landing spot is the Tetons. Only options for full hookups I see are the Virginian and Fireside Resort, both of which seem like glorified parking lots based on many reviews. Gros Ventre campground sounds awesome but the idea of first come/first serve make the planner in me nervous, and the idea of dry camping makes my wife nervous. As an Eagle Scout who spent many, many nights "roughing it", I'm good with 2 nights without hookups, but my wife and 2 12 yr olds might have issues with the nighttime temps and being limited to the water in fresh tank (42gal). Can someone ease my fears here or present me with an option I've missed?

Changes are in bold.

7/17 - leave home at 3am arrive KC KOA 2pm

7/18 - KC KOA to Kennebec, SD KOA 8am to 6pm

7/19 - Kennebec KOA to Rapid City driving through Badlands and Wall Drug on way 8am to 2pm. Tour Mt Rushmore after setting up camp

7/20 - rapid city to Cody, WY via Gillette, WY 9am to 5pm. 2 nights in Cody, seeing Museum and driving Beartooth Highway.

7/22 - Cody, WY to West Yellowstone KOA 9am to 3pm

7/27 - West Yellowstone to Jackson WY 7am to 1pm. Tour Tetons and Jackson.

7/29 - Jackson to Denver East KOA in Strasburg 5am to 4pm. Route from Jackson will be south to I-70 eastbound at Silverthorne, CO.

7/30 - Strasburg, CO KOA to KC East KOA 3am-2pm

7/31 - KC KOA to home 8am to 6pm


Isaac-1

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Re: 2019 Trip from KY to Yellowstone/Tetons
« Reply #33 on: January 19, 2019, 06:27:04 AM »
I can't help much here on where to stay around Grand Tetons, when we were there in the summer of 2017, just before the big solar eclipse, we opted to spend a couple of nights in Dubois at the long horn RV ranch (nice river front commercial rv park), driving across the pass to Grand Tetons two days in a row, before heading into Yellowstone, out through Cody, then to Thermopolis.  Longhorn RV ranch was a nice stop for a couple of nights, gave us a chance to get caught up on laundry, before heading into Yellowstone, etc, but is at the edge of how far I would want to drive to get to Grand Tetons.

This brings me to the next point, why I-70 and Denver?  This seems to take you out of the way?  Having driven both I-70 from Rifle to eastern Colorado, as well as I-80 from Rawlins to eastern Nebraska in the last few years, I would tend to pick I-80. Note I have also driven the route from Rawlins through Saratoga to Steamboat Springs CO in the last 3 years, it is an ok drive though most of the scenic stuff is off the sides of this route, plus it is not nearly as nice as what you will have seen in Yellowstone and Grand Tetons a coupe of days earlier.

Sure I-70 going through from the mountains is a slightly more scenic drive than Rawlins to Cheyenne on I-80, though not by much.  In general I find I-80 an easier drive unless you catch strong cross winds, plus it is 100 miles shorter driving distance, the up and downhill grade is easier, and you don't have to deal with crossing through Denver. Either way eastern Colorado or Nebraska is going to be relatively boring, there is a lot of nothing in eastern Colorado, Nebraska is much the same, though it does seem to have more / bigger small towns.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

jackiemac

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Re: 2019 Trip from KY to Yellowstone/Tetons
« Reply #34 on: January 19, 2019, 10:43:00 AM »
We stayed a month in the Tetons last July/August and had no temperature issues. We topped up batteries with generators for a couple of hours.

If you are at Gros Ventre for 10am you should get a spot.... especially mid week.
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Travelling in the US till Nov 2019
Currently in site C145 Gros Ventre campground

Larry N.

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Re: 2019 Trip from KY to Yellowstone/Tetons
« Reply #35 on: January 19, 2019, 01:38:36 PM »
"7/29 - Jackson to Denver East KOA in Strasburg 5am to 4pm. Route from Jackson will be south to I-70 eastbound at Silverthorne, CO."

I'm not sure you've allowed enough time for this route. That's long haul with some pretty slow roads over some of the route. And I think Isaac has it right that, unless there is something specific you want to see in Denver (Strasburg is most of an hour east of Denver) then I-80 to, maybe I-35, is a better route. Or I-80 to Molene/Davenport then I-64 to Indianapolis. But even to Denver, I-80 to  I-25, then south is a quicker, easier drive.

Still whatever you want is fine, but I think you'll need more time for your planned route.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
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wadecool

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Re: 2019 Trip from KY to Yellowstone/Tetons
« Reply #36 on: January 19, 2019, 03:12:57 PM »
I can't help much here on where to stay around Grand Tetons, when we were there in the summer of 2017, just before the big solar eclipse, we opted to spend a couple of nights in Dubois at the long horn RV ranch (nice river front commercial rv park), driving across the pass to Grand Tetons two days in a row, before heading into Yellowstone, out through Cody, then to Thermopolis.  Longhorn RV ranch was a nice stop for a couple of nights, gave us a chance to get caught up on laundry, before heading into Yellowstone, etc, but is at the edge of how far I would want to drive to get to Grand Tetons.

This brings me to the next point, why I-70 and Denver?  This seems to take you out of the way?  Having driven both I-70 from Rifle to eastern Colorado, as well as I-80 from Rawlins to eastern Nebraska in the last few years, I would tend to pick I-80. Note I have also driven the route from Rawlins through Saratoga to Steamboat Springs CO in the last 3 years, it is an ok drive though most of the scenic stuff is off the sides of this route, plus it is not nearly as nice as what you will have seen in Yellowstone and Grand Tetons a coupe of days earlier.

Sure I-70 going through from the mountains is a slightly more scenic drive than Rawlins to Cheyenne on I-80, though not by much.  In general I find I-80 an easier drive unless you catch strong cross winds, plus it is 100 miles shorter driving distance, the up and downhill grade is easier, and you don't have to deal with crossing through Denver. Either way eastern Colorado or Nebraska is going to be relatively boring, there is a lot of nothing in eastern Colorado, Nebraska is much the same, though it does seem to have more / bigger small towns.

I have to either take I-80 across Nebraska or I-70 across Kansas, both boring I know.  I was thinking if we shot down to I-70, we could cross the Rockies and experience the Eisenhower tunnel.  But if you guys think my timeline is gonna be severely affected by getting on I-70 west of Denver, then I need to adjust.  Ultimately, i have 3 days and 2 nights to get 1600 miles, so efficiency needs to rule the day here.

Isaac-1

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Re: 2019 Trip from KY to Yellowstone/Tetons
« Reply #37 on: January 19, 2019, 03:40:35 PM »
My guess is that the I-70 route would add about 3 to 4 hours vs I-80
2002 Safari Trek 2830

AStravelers

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Re: 2019 Trip from KY to Yellowstone/Tetons
« Reply #38 on: January 20, 2019, 08:00:41 AM »
This trip seems to be constantly evolving so I'll post the latest version of the itinerary. The best favor you can do is rip it apart because it helps me plan...

Latest thoughts:............................Only destination i haven't decided on a landing spot is the Tetons. Only options for full hookups I see are the Virginian and Fireside Resort, both of which seem like glorified parking lots based on many reviews. Gros Ventre campground sounds awesome but the idea of first come/first serve make the planner in me nervous, and the idea of dry camping makes my wife nervous. As an Eagle Scout who spent many, many nights "roughing it", I'm good with 2 nights without hookups, but my wife and 2 12 yr olds might have issues with the nighttime temps and being limited to the water in fresh tank (42gal). Can someone ease my fears here or present me with an option I've missed?..................

7/27 - West Yellowstone to Jackson WY 7am to 1pm. Tour Tetons and Jackson.......................
Gros Ventre may be iffy for finding an open spot arriving at 1pm on a Saturday. 

About dry camping.......
Dry camping is no big problem, you just have to plan to conserve and practice a little bit.

2-3 nights and you have a generator to charge your batteries (assuming your batteries are in very good condition) you won't have a problem with 42 gallons of fresh water and your holding tanks.  You won't take long showers and it is best if you just do a wash cloth and sink instead of a shower. 

Just don't make this trip the first time you dry camp in the RV.  You have 6 months before the trip.  If you can stay in the RV where it is parked, then just go there and spend a couple nights w/o hookups to practice.  Or take the RV to an RV Park and spend 2-3 nights not hooked up.  This way you can just dump before you take the RV back to where you store it.
Al & Sharon
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nibroc

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Re: 2019 Trip from KY to Yellowstone/Tetons
« Reply #39 on: January 20, 2019, 12:47:52 PM »


.....just enjoy your trip

wadecool

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Re: 2019 Trip from KY to Yellowstone/Tetons
« Reply #40 on: June 08, 2019, 07:00:34 AM »
An update to our trip, now just 37 days away. We have decided to travel from KY to SD via Indianapolis, Peoria, and Des Moines. It will be a 2 days drive with one night stay over in between.

7/17 - leave home at 3am arrive Des Moines West KOA 3pm

7/18 - Des Moines West KOA to Keystone, SD 6am to 5pm

7/19 - Tour Badlands, Mt Rushmore

7/20 - rapid city to Cody, WY via Gillette, WY 9am to 5pm. 2 nights in Cody, seeing Museum and driving Beartooth Highway.

7/22 - Cody, WY to West Yellowstone KOA 9am to 3pm

7/27 - West Yellowstone to Jackson WY 7am to 1pm. Tour Tetons and Jackson.

7/29 - Jackson to Cheyenne KOA 8am to 4pm

7/30 - Cheyenne KOA to KC East KOA 3am-3pm

7/31 - KC KOA to home 8am to 6pm

John Stephens

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Re: 2019 Trip from KY to Yellowstone/Tetons
« Reply #41 on: June 08, 2019, 10:19:06 PM »
Good luck with this itinerary. We are on the road right now in Mitchell, SD. It took us since last Saturday to get this far. Mind you, the last two days were spent at HWH in Moscow, IA and Winnebago in Forest City, IA getting repairs done to the coach, but that leaves six days that we have traveled. Yesterday, I was so tired, I hit the wall and crashed in the customer service lounge waiting for the coach repair to be finished.

I just hope that if you can make this drive as quickly as you have planned, you are still in a condition to enjoy your vacation when you get there. Others have previously told you to consider how big the West really is and what kind of slowdowns you might encounter. Take heed of what has been said by those who have already made this trip. Driving any kind of RV is going to take more out of you than it would if you were driving a car or truck. I can drive about three days of 300 miles per day before needing a break. I'm sure you can go farther than that, but sooner or later, it will catch up with anybody.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
2018 Chevy Equinox

CharlesinGA

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Re: 2019 Trip from KY to Yellowstone/Tetons
« Reply #42 on: June 09, 2019, 01:11:26 AM »
Rushmore by itself will be a waste. I see you did come around to the idea of driving thru the Badlands on the way to Rapid and not back tracking like the original plan. Wall Drug is a neat tourist trap. The kids might actually like it, I found it a waste of 30 minutes of my traveling time. I stayed at Spearfish in the City campground. No pool but very scenic and adjacent to the fish hatchery which reminded me of Japanese gardens. You would find people at all hours of the day and night wandering in there looking at the fish. The extremely nice city park is adjacent to the campground and fish hatchery.

I haven't been to the battlefield but as noted, there isn't much there from what I see on the web.

The Badlands are a huge erosion. Very scenic, especially after a rain when the colors of the soil stand out, but I would do a dedicated Black Hills/Badlands trip and skip all of that this trip to give you more time in Wyoming.

The Black Hills are a trip unto themselves. You can spend two hours at Rushmore and see the busts of "four dead presidents" and the museum and the movie, or you can do all of that plus visit Crazy Horse (which I liked a lot more) and then return for the night show at Rushmore (which I did not). Parking at Rushmore is $10, admission is free. Parking is in a parking garage and extremely tight. A dually is not a good choice there.

There are pay showers at Colter Bay, which are open to campers from other campgrounds, you may need them.

I am planning on leaving from South of Atlanta July 27 or 28 and traveling to the Tetons. Returning home about August 12 or 13. Trip hinges on getting the girlfriends niece to come down from Philly and live with my cats. I will not put them thru the pain of being boarded.  I plan about 500 miles a day (when I had the motorhome) and expect to do the same with the truck and trailer.

Charles
« Last Edit: June 09, 2019, 01:14:55 AM by CharlesinGA »
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jackiemac

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Re: 2019 Trip from KY to Yellowstone/Tetons
« Reply #43 on: June 09, 2019, 04:13:30 PM »
Rushmore by itself will be a waste. I see you did come around to the idea of driving thru the Badlands on the way to Rapid and not back tracking like the original plan. Wall Drug is a neat tourist trap. The kids might actually like it, I found it a waste of 30 minutes of my traveling time. I stayed at Spearfish in the City campground. No pool but very scenic and adjacent to the fish hatchery which reminded me of Japanese gardens. You would find people at all hours of the day and night wandering in there looking at the fish. The extremely nice city park is adjacent to the campground and fish hatchery.

I haven't been to the battlefield but as noted, there isn't much there from what I see on the web.

The Badlands are a huge erosion. Very scenic, especially after a rain when the colors of the soil stand out, but I would do a dedicated Black Hills/Badlands trip and skip all of that this trip to give you more time in Wyoming.

The Black Hills are a trip unto themselves. You can spend two hours at Rushmore and see the busts of "four dead presidents" and the museum and the movie, or you can do all of that plus visit Crazy Horse (which I liked a lot more) and then return for the night show at Rushmore (which I did not). Parking at Rushmore is $10, admission is free. Parking is in a parking garage and extremely tight. A dually is not a good choice there.

Charles

For what its worth, I agree with these comments.....
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Travelling in the US till Nov 2019
Currently in site C145 Gros Ventre campground

CharlesinGA

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Re: 2019 Trip from KY to Yellowstone/Tetons
« Reply #44 on: June 09, 2019, 11:34:00 PM »
Oddly, I went through most of my life thinking the "Badlands" was an area where the bad guys of the old west, the murders, and the troublemakers, hid out. I did not realize that the indians quite literally gave it a name that translated, meant "bad land", hence, useless land.  ::)

Not sure how I missed that, I have a college education and took many history and geography courses, but it never came up before.  :-[

If you plan on visiting the Black Hills, I HIGHLY suggest that you FIRST spend a couple of hours in Rapid City (simply known as Rapid to the locals) at a museum called "The Journey" which covers the geologic development of the Black Hills, Indian history of the area, and the history from the time of the first white men appearing in the area and the 1874 expedition by George Custer, all the way to the present day. It is a large and well presented museum, and quite worthy of 2 to 3 hours of your time to learn about what you will see touring the area.

http://www.journeymuseum.org/visit

Charles
« Last Edit: June 09, 2019, 11:42:49 PM by CharlesinGA »
SOLD - 2007 Winnebago View 523H
Replaced by a '03 Ram 2500 CTD and a Thor 18 ft TT until the unicorns bring me a 25 ft Airstream or Bigfoot.

wadecool

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Re: 2019 Trip from KY to Yellowstone/Tetons
« Reply #45 on: July 13, 2019, 05:28:07 AM »
I want to thank everyone again for all of the great advice! We are a few days out now from pulling out of KY and are very excited. It will be me, wife, two 12 year old girls and my aunt piled into a crew cab truck for several days in a row. I suppose it's time to teach the girls how to play the license plate game.

Larry N.

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Re: 2019 Trip from KY to Yellowstone/Tetons
« Reply #46 on: July 13, 2019, 07:55:11 AM »
There's also the billboard or sign game, where each kid, looking out her own side of the truck, looks for certain words or things in alphabetical order, calling it out loud. Depending on where you are, this may go quickly or it may take a while to get through the alphabet. Of course there's also Riddle-Me-Ree, where one says, "RIddle me, riddle me, riddle me reee, I see something that begins with C." Then the other has to figure out what it is, then it's her turn. Maybe it was a car. And that last part can be changed to get something like: "RIddle me, riddle me, Riddle me ray, I see something that begins with A." Perhaps it was an antelope.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL, Bounder, Beaver
  de N8GGG

Isaac-1

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Re: 2019 Trip from KY to Yellowstone/Tetons
« Reply #47 on: July 13, 2019, 09:58:22 AM »
Good luck and keep us updated, at least for much of the drive you will have interesting or at least varied scenery along your route to help pass the time.  I find the worst, longest feeling drives are the ones where the scenery looks the same mile after mile after mile.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

Old_Crow

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Re: 2019 Trip from KY to Yellowstone/Tetons
« Reply #48 on: July 14, 2019, 09:07:57 AM »
I want to thank everyone again for all of the great advice! We are a few days out now from pulling out of KY and are very excited. It will be me, wife, two 12 year old girls and my aunt piled into a crew cab truck for several days in a row. I suppose it's time to teach the girls how to play the license plate game.

There was talk somewhere else of adapting the old "Slug Bug" game to motorcycles.  The premise was that someone who played "Slug-Bug" as a kid still notices VW's as an old guy.  It would be very helpful to teach younger people to notice motorcycles as kids so that they might still notice them when they are of an age to share the road.  The cool thing is, the kids wouldn't even realize they were learning anything.
Wally Crow
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LarsMac

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Re: 2019 Trip from KY to Yellowstone/Tetons
« Reply #49 on: July 14, 2019, 10:48:44 AM »
There was talk somewhere else of adapting the old "Slug Bug" game to motorcycles.  The premise was that someone who played "Slug-Bug" as a kid still notices VW's as an old guy.  It would be very helpful to teach younger people to notice motorcycles as kids so that they might still notice them when they are of an age to share the road.  The cool thing is, the kids wouldn't even realize they were learning anything.

Great idea.
gotta come up with a new name, though.

"Bike Bonk"?

 
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