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Old 12-29-2023, 03:43 PM   #1
HiCountry
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Planning Coast to Coast RT

Iím in the initial planning stages for a ďbucket list tripĒ in my Montana from California to Boston Massachusetts and return. Iíd like to leave early May and travel approximately 300 miles every other day, using the non-driving days to explore local areas. I believe the trip can be completed in about 50 days utilizing routes ďbasedĒ on Interstate 80 Eastbound and 70 Westbound. Iíd like suggestions and recommendations from others who may have enjoyed similar trips. Thanks in advance.
 
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Old 12-29-2023, 05:48 PM   #2
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My advice would be to get off the interstate and see the real US. There are lots of roads that parallel interstates. You won’t loose much time and will see much more on secondary roads and at just 60 MPH you will only drive 5 hours a day.

Enjoy your trip.
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Old 12-29-2023, 07:34 PM   #3
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Make a list of what you wish to see on the way. National Parks or Museums or simply cities? We focus on National Parks. For example you can see Yellowstone in 1 full day or in a full lifetime. I plan 1 day to set up, and 2 days to site-see. So it is a 3 night reservation. Then 3 days to Grand Tetons plus 1 or 2 days in Jackson WY to do laundry shop and plan for bad weather to see anything we missed.


The sites along I-70 and I-80 are about the same. I suggest I-90 and I-40 or I-10 to see the Northern, Eastern, and Southern part of the USA
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Old 12-30-2023, 12:40 PM   #4
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I agree with TenOC about skipping I-70 and I-80. I grew up along I-70 in Missouri, and as much as I love farm country, it's not much to look at for hours on end from the interstate. I suggest driving different routes virtually on Google Maps Street View to determine which scenery you'd like to see in person, then search for local attractions once you determine your route.
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Old 12-30-2023, 05:49 PM   #5
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..... not to mention how beat-up the interstates are! You will do much better driving the US highways that run parallel the interstates or state highways. Interstate driving just sucks! You'll beat up your trailer and your tow vehicle, and your neck, and your back bouncing over beat up roads constantly under construction!
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Old 12-30-2023, 10:25 PM   #6
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My first question is are you on vacation or retired? Traveling every other day some places is fine, other places you will be lucky to see a fraction in a week. Don’t overlook I90. Also, being contrarian, there are lots of things right on the interstate such as Little Bighorn, Devil’s Tower, the SAC museum near Omaha, etc. If you go for longer, you can come back after the Fall Rally in Goshen. (Last year we drove from Alaska to rally then home to Colorado). You could also hit the CPRR in July. Enjoy your trip, back to packing for Quartzsite Circling of the Montanas.
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Old 12-31-2023, 07:59 AM   #7
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The OP's trip sounds too much like work. Travelling every other day and site seeing every other day leaves no time to slow down and have a 'day off' and take a break. Plus, there will be some places you can't see everything in one day. The schedule needs to be a bit more flexible.
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Old 12-31-2023, 10:26 AM   #8
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I also agree that the schedule sounds hectic. We've tried some every-other-day traveling the last couple of years and decided we just don't like it. There's really no time to really see anything or to relax. There's just no way around it. Taking time to really do some sightseeing TAKES TIME.

Decide what you really want to see, how long it will take to see it well, how long it will take to get there, etc. Build in time to rest and simply enjoy your surroundings, go shopping, do laundry, etc. You don't want to invest time and money into an extensive trip and then regret not having the time to enjoy it.

If time is limited then plan a trip with less distance and get all you can out of it.
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Old 12-31-2023, 10:54 AM   #9
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Not to mention, laundry, weather, potential repairs, grocery shopping. You will find that about once every week or two you will want a “down day” where you just relax. I remember another MOC member telling us we were still in “vacation mode” instead of retirement mode. She was right. We now try to stay under 300 miles and we do more 5+ day stays. We also try to work in MOC rallies on our trips.
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Old 12-31-2023, 11:59 AM   #10
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I am in full-time retirement mode. By staying at NP-BLM-NFS-COE parks for 1/2 price and dry camping/Boon-docking at some OUTSTANDING SITES my biggest expense is fuel. So I stay 14 days at each site. I chase the snow North (or east/west) and let the snow chase me South.
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Old 12-31-2023, 10:43 PM   #11
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I live in Denver. You can bypass thedowntown area if you take 470 around the city. Still crowded, but it’s a nice road.

Also,if you’re travelling in the fall, be aware that I70 goes over some serious mountain passes, and it can snow at any time. Check the weather, and don’t get in a hurry to get home. On the other hand, fall in Colorado has some of the nicest weather of the year, and the scenery is beautiful.
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Old 01-01-2024, 03:18 AM   #12
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I-70 through Colorado is gorgeous. Be aware that 470 around Denver is an expensive toll road, though--they take a picture of your license plate and mail a bill to whatever address is on your vehicle registration. If you don't get the bill, or you forget to pay it, it goes to collections.
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Old 01-01-2024, 06:03 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by scattershot View Post
I live in Denver. You can bypass thedowntown area if you take 470 around the city. Still crowded, but it’s a nice road.

Also,if you’re travelling in the fall, be aware that I70 goes over some serious mountain passes, and it can snow at any time. Check the weather, and don’t get in a hurry to get home. On the other hand, fall in Colorado has some of the nicest weather of the year, and the scenery is beautiful.

Isn't 470 a toll road? And I checked recently and I think (as near as I could figure online) it would cost $50 to go when towing a rig - 4 axles. I may have done something wrong as that is a LOT.
And do NOT go thru on I25. A few years ago I went thru at 10 am , 1pm and 3 pm (different days of course). Everyone of them I had at least one stretch of stop and go for 1/4 to 2 miles. I take the other route thru Aurora- a little longer but much less crowded in my opinion.
OOPS! I missed the above post! LOL
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Old 01-01-2024, 07:20 AM   #14
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Congrats on your upcoming bucket list trip! Sometimes planning is just as much fun as doing it!
I agree that unless you are going to do it again in the future, slow down a little and be sure to put more memories than fuel receipts in that bucket. Have fun!
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Old 02-07-2024, 02:26 PM   #15
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Highway 30 Traveling East of Wyoming

Just wanted to thank those who replied to my post and provided some good advice on how to optimize my cross country trip. Several responses recommended off interstate travel for a more enjoyable trip. I wondered if anyone could comment regarding traveling East of Wyoming on Highway 30 (much of which is the old Lincoln Highway) on my way to the East Coast? Thanks again in advance for your comments!
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Old 02-08-2024, 02:56 PM   #16
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I have took 30 many times up to Medicne Bow then up to the Shirley Basin. That is as far as I have been on 30. The Shirley Basin is 440,000 acres of prairie that you can camp on any where you choose. If search for Shirley Basin on your GPS it will take you to an abandoned trailer park that is a great place to kick back for a few days and watch the pronghorns and prairie dogs and experience a real prairie. You will be at least 10 miles from the nearest house and 2 miles from a road. You will probably not see any people, except very rarely a ranger checking on his cattle if they are there and more likely there won’t be any there.
The Shirley Basin is my second favorite place to camp. The first is Union Pass Wyoming.
You can Google the Shirley Basin and find lots of pictures and history.
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Old 02-08-2024, 03:44 PM   #17
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If you want some real excitement, take the road over the Big Horns in NE Wyoming US14. My 'Mountainous Driving' book calls this road the 'Oh, my God' hill! LOL It is 8 miles of 8% and then 10 miles of 10% up the west side. There is an easier route on Shell Canyon Highway US 16. Sheridan and Buffalo are on the east side.

Highway 14 continues east and loops down to I90 at Gillette and then back north to within 5 miles of Devils Tower!

And if you go thru Iowa, the Amana Colonies are near Iowa City on I80. They were settled by a group like the Menonites or Amish. It was settled in 1855 and was a complete socialist community. Individuals didn't own anything. In more modern times they had many factories making clothing and wool, furniture, food products, etc. The government forced them out of the socialist community and made them allow private ownership, eventually. Anyway, the food is excellent - served family style - bring bowls of veggies, potatoes, etc rather than individual servings.
You would never tell Wyoming is my favorite state and I would live there except for the temperature and I spent 39 years in Iowa where I grew up! Ha HA HA.
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Old 02-08-2024, 05:16 PM   #18
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You would never tell Wyoming is my favorite state and I would live there except for the temperature and I spent 39 years in Iowa where I grew up! Ha HA HA

Naw we would never guess. Nor would anyone ever guess it my favorite place to vacation and camp.
If I had to move it would be to Wyoming.
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Old 02-08-2024, 10:30 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Cat320 View Post
The OP's trip sounds too much like work. Travelling every other day and site seeing every other day leaves no time to slow down and have a 'day off' and take a break. Plus, there will be some places you can't see everything in one day. The schedule needs to be a bit more flexible.
Couldnít agree more. RVing should be an adventure, not work.
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