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Old 09-12-2018, 06:40 PM   #1
TheGriz
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NE Pennsylvania to Mt. Rushmore

Hi folks,

We are thinking about a trip from our home in the Poconos in northeast PA (near I-80) to Mt. Rushmore. I'm thinking towing a 33' TT (ballcup to bumper) would be a nightmare through or anywhere near Chicago, and to a lesser degree around Cleveland. Any insight on this route...in whole and/or near the aforementioned cities, or alternate route suggestions???

What are the 'must sees' around Mt. Rushmore and along the route?

What is too late in the season regarding risks of snow and freezing weather?

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 09-12-2018, 08:40 PM   #2
labman
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Personally, I go thru Indianapolis and over to Champaigne Il then up thru Rockford onto I90 to avoid hauling thru Chicago when coming from or going to Louisville from Minnesota. My $.02
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Old 09-13-2018, 01:15 AM   #3
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Mike, you can ignore any grief towing around Cleveland. You won't really come close enough to have any problems unless you just happen to cruise by on Friday at 4:00.
We have towed through and around Chicago a number of different ways. None seem to work very well. Labman's two cents is probably as good as any.
Once you gain access to I-90 out of Minnesota you will be limited to very little in the way of scenery/hot spots along the way. Mitchell, SD corn palace, Wall Drug/Badlands NP, SD and then your final destination; Rapid City.
Rapid City area is a great place to visit. You can probably safely camp up towards the end of October, but not into November without freezing precautions.
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Old 09-13-2018, 03:19 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by notanlines View Post
... Once you gain access to I-90 out of Minnesota you will be limited to very little in the way of scenery/hot spots along the way. Mitchell, SD corn palace, Wall Drug/Badlands NP, SD and then your final destination; Rapid City.
Rapid City area is a great place to visit. ...
And in the Black Hills there are two National Park caves, the Custer State Park (where views of Mount Rushmore are spectacular), and several cute little towns (where the DW enjoyed shopping; the food was great at the Hill City Cafe). There's also the Crazy Horse monument. We could see it (on a clear day! it mostly snowed - mid-May) from our campground (Heritage Village Campgroud). At the Wall Drug area there is a Minuteman Missile silo and National Historic Site. You need to make reservations at least 24 hours in advance to tour it.

While sort of out of your way, the Warther Museum in Dover, OH is worth the detour. Warther (of knife fame) was an eccentric who carved (mostly) scale model trains out of ebony and ivory. And as you're down that way, the Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton is certainly worth the stop. We hit these on the way back from the Black Hills while headed to Maine.

Safe travels.
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Old 09-13-2018, 06:44 AM   #5
TheGriz
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...scale model trains out of ebony and ivory...
"Ebony and Ivory"...not my favorite song. But Paul and Stevie had an exceptional message in the lyrics that would benefit us all today. Excuse me for the diversion!

Back on topic. Lot's of good suggestions here already guys. Keep them coming please. And notanlines appreciate the feedback on undue concern about Cleveland! Trip is very much in the early planning stages right now, and even considering other destinations. I'm retired but the DW is still working. So trips need to be of shorter duration...2 weeks max.

I'm trying to get her to retire. But WHOA, we both have concerns about "24/7 togetherness"!!!

Regards,
Mike
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Old 09-13-2018, 07:01 AM   #6
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[QUOTE=TheGriz;307184!

I'm trying to get her to retire. But WHOA, we both have concerns about "24/7 togetherness"!!!

Regards,
Mike[/QUOTE]

Retirement, Wifes Definition: Twice as much husband, half as much money.
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Old 09-13-2018, 12:24 PM   #7
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We did this trip and Custer State park can take a full day. Would recommend going thru the needles (without the camper) and the meadows with buffalo. Crazy Horse monument is in that area as well. We also went thru Deadwood because I loved the HBO series and history in general. Happy trails!

Edit -forgot the weather question. We went out to Colorado on that trip in November. Every one said we were crazy but I guess we got lucky. There was some snow in the Black Hills but none on the road. Went up Pikes Peak and it was closed the last 2 miles due to driving snow. Begane our return trip after two weeks in Divide and took a southern route home to avoid the I 70 thru Kansas (in my opinion the most boring road in the US). So check ahead, if you check NWS you can find average temps and precip for anywhere.
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Old Yesterday, 05:20 AM   #8
ken56
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Some times we just have to buck up and grit our teeth and go through cities that we normally want to avoid. Is it worth a diversion out of our way to avoid some temporary grief and how much are we willing to go out of our way is the question I suppose.

Cleveland is no big deal really. Chicago area can be totally unpredictable. Looking at the route I would go straight through on 80/90 then stay on 80 all the way to Omaha and pick up 29 north to 90. Really, once past Chicago its pretty wide open from there.

Along the Missouri River is the Lewis and Clark trail with some interesting stops to be had. We try to get off the E-way and go secondary roads as much as we can and find it more interesting that way.
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Old Yesterday, 10:34 AM   #9
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Needless to say a good GPS is a definite requirement.
Went from Ind. to BC back in '13 and stopped at Rapid city for a week. 4th time there and as already pointed out see the suggested sites. We also stopped at iconic Sturgess. Not a real tough drive if you have your route and time (non rush hour) planned out.
We got seasoned for this trip with a 35' 5er through the GTA (population 6.5 million) in ON. on the 400 & 401. Up to 16 lanes each way at times.
So I90 was a breeze. You should not have a problem driving through that area.
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