A Travellerspoint blog

Day 4

Travel from Ft McCoy, WI to Rapid City, SD

sunny 88 °F

Hey folks!

We traveled from Ft. McCoy, WI to Rapid City, SD, a distance of 671 miles and it took 11 hours and 22 minutes. The drive was pretty uneventful. We crossed from Wisconsin to Minnesota within 1.5 hours crossing the mighty Mississippi and then traveled along the river for about 10 miles. The view was spectacular! The State of Minnesota contains hugh farmland that is covered in cornfields (see picture). We saw cornfield after cornfield. The beginning of the State is rolling hills but soon flattens out. Then you could see for miles and all you see is farmland.

South Dakota on the other hand starts out very flat and stays that way for 250 miles and then the hills start showing. The interesting thing about South Daktoa is the lack of trees. You can literally see for 30 miles because the area is so flat and there are very little in the line of trees (see picture). We stopped at a large Cabella's in Mitchell, SD. Great store, got some nice t-shirts at a good price. The interior of the store was quite interesting. The back wall was designed like a mountain with all the animals that would be around (see picture).

We arrived at our campground around 4:30 P.M. MST (6:30 EST) and setup (which takes about 15 minutes with the Scamp) so that we could relax for the evening, do a bit of laundry and get some rest after 2 days of driving. Tomorrow we will travel to the Badlands and tour around there and then go to Mt. Rushmore in the evening because they have a lighting ceremony that we are told is quite nice. Look for more pictures tomorrow.

Posted by rburke8 18:46 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel Comments (1)

Day 3

Travel day - Wright- Patterson AFB to Fort McCoy.

sunny 89 °F

Our 3rd day consisted of driving from W-P AFB to Fort McCoy located in Wisconsin. Total distance driven was 554 miles and total time was 10 hours and 34 minutes. This time included all fuel stops (3) and lunch at 12:15 P.M.

The western side of Ohio is pretty flat with an occassional hill. Nothing like the east at all. There was plenty of traffic to contend with. I drove the first stint which last 4.5 hours and then we had to stop for fuel. But because of the traffic we only went 210 miles. By this time we had past Indianapolis, IN. Indiana is very flat and you can see for miles in all directions. We pasted by a Wind - Turbine area that contained hundreds of Wind- Turbines and it was here that Diane made the quote of the day; " Must not be windy on that side of the road because the windmills are not turning". A little further down the road she realized that the turbines that were not turing were under construction.

As we entered Illinois we joined up with Rt.90 and was within 25 miles of Chicago. Traffic was really heavy and there were many construction areas that contributed to the slow travel. By the way, Rt 90 is a toll road all through Illinois which is a real pain due to the way the toll booths are situated. The cash booths are off to the right of the highway and hard to get to because they come up very othen and they do not give a lot of notice. The traffic definitely thinned out as we got further away from Chicago and we were able to picked up the speed. The Honda Pilot coupled with the 16' Scamp handles quite well at 70 MPH. We entered Wisconsin around 1:00 P.M. and arrived at our campsite on Fort McCoy at 4:42 P.M. (3:42 CST). Wisconsin is very much like NY with green rolling hills. Lots of trees and greenery to see.

Tomorrow is another travel day (669 miles) and then we should be in Rapid City, SD. We will be pretty much back on schedule.

So far the weather has been hot, but we are expecting a cool down tonite to 64 degrees. Good sleeping weather.

Posted by rburke8 16:24 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel Comments (1)

Day 2 of the trip to the Northwest

Air Force Museum

semi-overcast 92 °F

Hello friends!

We arrived at Wright-Patterson AFB Family Campground around 10:30 last night. We encounted traffic backups due to construction which delayed us by a hour. We quickly (and quietly) set the scamp and got some much needed sleep after a long, stressful day.

This morning we had to first go to an RV parts store to replace the "adapter" plate which got bent during a very sharp turn that I had to make when we came upon an accident at a exit ramp. Once the plate was replaced we proceeded to the Wright-Patterson Air Force Museum.

This Museum consist of 3 very large hangers full of hundreds of airplanes from the very early stages of flight up to the latest planes flying today for the military. It also includes a IMAX Theater and cafe. Even as much as I love flying and planes I got tired and bored after wandering around and around for 4 hours. There is a lot to see and even more to read. The exhibits included articles donated by the men and woman who fly these planes over the years. The best part of the Museum is the display of Presidential aircraft used by FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Nixon, and JFK. This display is in a separate hanger located away from the main Museum.

The part I liked about the Presidential display was the plane that JFK flew in to Dallas, TX in November 1963. This is the very same plane that returned his remains to Washington, DC. It's tail number was "26000" and you can see a picture of me standing right next to the tail number. This plane was last used by Bill Clinton.

Tomorrow is a travel day. We will drive 551 miles to Ft. McCoy in Wisconsin. The very next day after we will drive 608 mioles to Rapid City, SD where we wwill stay until Monday morning to visit the sites. I will provide "on-the-road" blogs as we go along.

Posted by rburke8 17:56 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

Our first leg to the Northwest

Buffalo, NY to Dayton, OH

sunny 77 °F

Today we left Buffalo to start our journey to the Northwest to see the Grand Tetons, Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, Sturgis during bike week, and Yellowstone National Park with all the extras that go with a 3 week vacation.

We were suppose to leave on Saturday, 7/31/2010, but as most of my friends and relatives know my Mother lost her battle with cancer on Saturday and we had her funeral today, 8/2/2010. Even though we are sadden with the events of the past 3 days Diane and I are excited to be on the road travelling. So today at 3:30 PM we left Buffalo for our first leg. 357 miles to Dayton, OH where we will setup the scamp for 2 days and visit the Air Force Museum.

So far traffic has not been too bad. We were slowed down a little going through Cleveland but now we seem to be moving along quite nicely. The Honda Pilot coupled with the 16 ft Scamp trailer is handling very well. Of course our gas mileage is not that great. Right it looks like we will get around 250 miles per tank. At around 60 MPH that gives each driver around 2 hours drive time. At this rate our next leg (Dayton, OH to Ft. McCoy, WI) will take around 10 hours.

Tomorrow after the Museum visit I will post pictures, so be sure to look for them.

Posted by rburke8 17:44 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel Comments (2)

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