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 > 2019 trip from KY to Yellowstone/Tetons

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wadecool

ky

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Posted: 01/18/19 10:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

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


tragusa3

upstate south carolina

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Posted: 01/19/19 06:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wadecool,

It is admirable that you are doing this trip. I have 14 year old twin boys and we have done similar trips each summer for the last 5 summers. These trips have become a huge part of our identity as a family. We have memories together that exceed my wildest dreams as a father. You will too.

Driving...yada, yada, yada. For many of us, our only other choice is to not do the trip. That wasn't going to happen for us. Yes, you will be exhausted, but there is a price to pay for these experiences. Relaxing and RVing can only go together is you have no time limits or are taking local trips. I dream of the days I can roam the country "relaxing". However, our purpose on these trips wasn't to be relaxed, it was to have experiences.

If there is any way you can be creative to grab more time, it would be so helpful. In our case, we approached my wife's employer and asked for unpaid time. Turned out to be attractive to the company and it gave us more time. Just a thought.

Good move to remove LBH. We enjoyed our stay there, but unless you are a history buff, it is a field with markers. We enjoyed it, but had the luxury of time to spare.

Random thoughts:

-Adding Tetons is a good move and a MUST. Boat across Lake Jenny and hike to Inspiration Point. Or hike the whole thing. We had 4-5 days there and it was sad to leave.

-Regarding dry camping. We've done a bunch of it. We are now a well oiled machine and going up to two days without hookups doesn't feel any different to us (even 3 days). The pinch doesn't happen until staying longer, which we do as well. You do give up some things, but you also gain some. Don't hesitate for 2 nights, when you can dump and resupply easily.

-We found Badlands to be a surprise. We had 2 nights and added a 3rd after we arrived. We enjoy landscapes that are different than what we commonly see, and Badlands is otherworldly. Give yourself at minimum one complete day there with a night on each side. Hike every short hike you can and drive the length of the park.

-Black Hills area. Another surprise to us. At the time, we said we enjoyed it at least as much as Yellowstone. If all you can do is see Rushmore, you left some of the countries best stuff just a few miles from you. Drive the Needles Highway, hike around Sylvan Lake. Personally, I would skip the caves unless they were your thing. Coming from Kentucky, you have opportunities around home.

-Yellowstone: I think our expectations were too high. We left after day 5 when we could have stayed longer. Every day was lots of driving, the mosquitos were horrific and the endless train of tour buses had me stressed. In hindsight, we've grown to appreciate it more. I think on a return visit, we will slow down. Trying to see it all will kill you. I remember our kids saying, "how many geysers do we need to see? 10, 100, 1000" They had a point. They are all amazing, but we started getting a "more of the same" feeling. Personally, we will concentrate on the NE loop on our next visit and not visit the rest. Our best memories are the quiet evenings sitting in a lawn chair in Hayden Valley, watching wildlife.

You will be hustling and checking off boxes as you see things. Doesn't mean it will be a bad trip, just a different type of trip. Our most enjoyed times in National Parks has been the quiet times that we wander at our pace and discover the unplanned things. Go into this prepared for the type of experience that your pace dictates, and it will be amazing. If the family has other expectations, it could potentially be frustrating.

BTW, if you check out Season 2 on my link below, you will see my families visit and thoughts on these locations.

Don't let any of this change your excitement. Just take it all in and you will be better prepared.


New to us 2011 Tiffin Allegro Open Road 34TGA
Join us on the road at Rolling Ragu on YouTube!


wadecool

ky

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Posted: 01/19/19 01:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

tragusa3 wrote:

wadecool,

It is admirable that you are doing this trip. I have 14 year old twin boys and we have done similar trips each summer for the last 5 summers. These trips have become a huge part of our identity as a family. We have memories together that exceed my wildest dreams as a father. You will too.

Driving...yada, yada, yada. For many of us, our only other choice is to not do the trip. That wasn't going to happen for us. Yes, you will be exhausted, but there is a price to pay for these experiences. Relaxing and RVing can only go together is you have no time limits or are taking local trips. I dream of the days I can roam the country "relaxing". However, our purpose on these trips wasn't to be relaxed, it was to have experiences.

If there is any way you can be creative to grab more time, it would be so helpful. In our case, we approached my wife's employer and asked for unpaid time. Turned out to be attractive to the company and it gave us more time. Just a thought.

Good move to remove LBH. We enjoyed our stay there, but unless you are a history buff, it is a field with markers. We enjoyed it, but had the luxury of time to spare.

Random thoughts:

-Adding Tetons is a good move and a MUST. Boat across Lake Jenny and hike to Inspiration Point. Or hike the whole thing. We had 4-5 days there and it was sad to leave.

-Regarding dry camping. We've done a bunch of it. We are now a well oiled machine and going up to two days without hookups doesn't feel any different to us (even 3 days). The pinch doesn't happen until staying longer, which we do as well. You do give up some things, but you also gain some. Don't hesitate for 2 nights, when you can dump and resupply easily.

-We found Badlands to be a surprise. We had 2 nights and added a 3rd after we arrived. We enjoy landscapes that are different than what we commonly see, and Badlands is otherworldly. Give yourself at minimum one complete day there with a night on each side. Hike every short hike you can and drive the length of the park.

-Black Hills area. Another surprise to us. At the time, we said we enjoyed it at least as much as Yellowstone. If all you can do is see Rushmore, you left some of the countries best stuff just a few miles from you. Drive the Needles Highway, hike around Sylvan Lake. Personally, I would skip the caves unless they were your thing. Coming from Kentucky, you have opportunities around home.

-Yellowstone: I think our expectations were too high. We left after day 5 when we could have stayed longer. Every day was lots of driving, the mosquitos were horrific and the endless train of tour buses had me stressed. In hindsight, we've grown to appreciate it more. I think on a return visit, we will slow down. Trying to see it all will kill you. I remember our kids saying, "how many geysers do we need to see? 10, 100, 1000" They had a point. They are all amazing, but we started getting a "more of the same" feeling. Personally, we will concentrate on the NE loop on our next visit and not visit the rest. Our best memories are the quiet evenings sitting in a lawn chair in Hayden Valley, watching wildlife.

You will be hustling and checking off boxes as you see things. Doesn't mean it will be a bad trip, just a different type of trip. Our most enjoyed times in National Parks has been the quiet times that we wander at our pace and discover the unplanned things. Go into this prepared for the type of experience that your pace dictates, and it will be amazing. If the family has other expectations, it could potentially be frustrating.

BTW, if you check out Season 2 on my link below, you will see my families visit and thoughts on these locations.

Don't let any of this change your excitement. Just take it all in and you will be better prepared.


Thanks for the positive feedback! My wife is already taking her full 2 weeks plus an unpaid day as it is. There's always a tradeoff with anything. More time at one place or more places...

I'm 47 years old now and my parents took us to Yellowstone when i was 9, and i still remember it. I don't remember any of the problems or issues that undoubtedly occurred as my dad piloted our Ford Country Squire wagon out West and back over 2 weeks but i remember it being amazing. I'm hoping these girls with be left with the same impression.

tragusa3

upstate south carolina

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Posted: 01/19/19 02:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I’ll send the link when I get home. Your girls will have the same impression! BTW, I’m 49 and did our first big trip at 44. I can definitely feel the need for a slower pace as I age. That said, our toughest pace yet is coming this summer!

padredw

East Texas

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Posted: 01/19/19 08:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have followed this thread with interest but have felt no need to add to the excellent advice and encouragement from Tragusa3. This is to give him some encouragement. We have made RV trips to Canada twice in the last three years and I am just now 86 years and still towing!

I follow tragusa's You Tube channel with interest and affection. I remember when he was concerned that no one really wanted to watch his first travel videos. And now he has a great You Tube audience.

So "keep on traveling" I haven't reached the end of the road yet.





Busskipper

Arnold,Md/Superior, CO

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Posted: 01/19/19 09:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

padredw wrote:

I have followed this thread with interest but have felt no need to add to the excellent advice and encouragement from Tragusa3. This is to give him some encouragement. We have made RV trips to Canada twice in the last three years and I am just now 86 years and still towing!

I follow tragusa's You Tube channel with interest and affection. I remember when he was concerned that no one really wanted to watch his first travel videos. And now he has a great You Tube audience.

So "keep on traveling" I haven't reached the end of the road yet.


[image]---[image]---[image]---


Busskipper
Maryland/Colorado
Travel Supreme 42DS04
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States traveled in this Coach



yr2017

Montana/Panama

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Posted: 01/21/19 09:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wadecool wrote:

Taking into account the girls needing burn energy after driving long days and shortening the days somewhat as well as all of us being on same sleep schedule, i have updated the itinerary:

With u getting another day off here’s my updated itinerary:

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 Hardin, MT via Gillette, WY 9am to 3pm. Go to Little Bighorn battlefield in afternoon

7/21 - Hardin, MT to West Yellowstone KOA 9am to 3pm

7/26 - West Yellowstone to Jackson WY 7am to 1pm. Tour Tetons in afternoon

7/27 - Jackson to Cody 7am to 3pm. Tour museum and beartooth highway in 2 days

7/29 - Cody to Ft Collins KOA 6am to 2pm. Drive through RMNP.

7/30 - FT Collins KOA to Topeka KOA 8am to 6pm

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


Your times are ambitious - some can be done as you write, and others are perposterous.

Don't drive Wyo or Mont roads at night - for one thing outside of major towns there are no highway lights. If you strike a steer, or a deer/elk you'll be in the ditch or worse. The winds can be worse at night than in daytime.

I didn't have time to read all the responses, so let me tell you my twice yearly routing from Macon GA to my other home in Wyo/Mont:

Macon GA - St Peters MO;
St Peters - North Platte NE;
North Platte - Hardin (the longest stretch) to visit AmerIndian friends at Crow Agency - BigHorn Battlefield; Avoid US14/14A - not necessary - there are two ways to get to MT72 from there without climbing mountain passes. Overland from Hardin down to Cody and the 'tooth into Cody. BBHC and rodeo
Cody to YNP - allow 4 hrs to get there - depending on bear jams;
then turn north to Great Falls and Charlie Russell Museum, but don't camp in Browning. Onto Glacier, the Going to the Sun Road is tops - but you'll need to park the trailer.

Then southeast to Medora ND to visit a few bison I relocated at Teddy Roosevelt Park. Return trip from Medora down to Mt Rushmore and back to winter home.
2.5 days out to Cody; 3.5 days from Glacier back

Skip the Tetons for another trip. Nothing in Jackson to see - except more tourists and HIGH prices for everything.


Big AL -
1977 Skookum 53, DD453, slps 6, 2 heads in Panama - cruising the Pearl Islands

greyhook

western new york

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Posted: 02/01/19 12:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We took our first RV in 2014. In 2 weeks, we packed in Corn Palace, Badlands, Rushmore, Devils Tower, Cody(museum and rodeo), Yellowstone, Bozeman(museum), Grizzly and Wolf Discovery center, Craters of the Moon, Jackson and Colter Bay CG in GTNP. We reprised the trip last year leaving out Bozeman, Devils Tower and Corn Palace. The last 2 days in GTNP were very relaxing before the long ride home(we live near Buffalo NY). I think you're in for the trip of a lifetime. Have fun and what Tragusa3 said was spot on--the best times were when we discovered things at our own pace. My wife and I travel with our 2 daughters and our 2 dogs. Wouldn't have it any other way.

john&bet

North Vernon,in.

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Posted: 02/01/19 07:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Take this advise from someone who lived in Rapid City for 9 years and is from southern Indiana, 50 miles north of Louisville. We used all interstates and with an RV it is more than 2 days as it was 1200 miles. Me and the DW did 750 miles to Souix Falls in '99 in a truck only and we both drove and beat. The next to day too Billings. That was really pushing it. Just advise from an old fart that's been around.


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wadecool

ky

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Posted: 06/08/19 05:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

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

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