At roughly 600 miles a day, I don't know that a one or two hour side trip would be of much use to either you or the little one. If you're going to run that hard to get to Yellowstone, do that. Break up the trip home if at all possible with a day off the road after a couple days of driving. JMHO here - we've done a lot of that long distance stuff and this is what worked when our kids were at that age.
On edit: I-70/PA Turnpike does have some construction. We were through this stretch about three weeks ago. No lane closures, so there was no traffic slowdown at all.
Ouch. It's your family and your trip so I am certainly not going to tell you not to do it. However, I spend a large portion of the spring, summer, and fall pulling trailers mainly for horse shows and some for pleasure. We make a couple of 1200 mile trips with the horses every season and do it in 2 days. I can tell with an absolute certainity nobody is in a good mode after 2 days of sunup to sundown driving but the wife and I are both pulling large and heavy trailers when doing this. I can't imagine what 3+ days of doing that would be like
When pulling for fun (i.e. just FW and no horse trailer) we tend to limit ourselves to around 300 miles a day if making a long distance trip and up to 500 miles if just taking the day to get there.
It certainly can be done in your timeframe but I wouldn't do it.
In Nebraska, you can not find anything closer to I-80 than The Great Platte River Road Archway. There is also the original Cabelas in Sidney that in addition to the store has a campground if you need a place to stay.
We got back last week from an 2 month trip out west. On the way out, we took I80 across PA to I76 and I71 to pick up route 30 across OH and IN. Route 30 is a divided highway across OH and IN and we went that way to avoid the toll roads. Our route took us south in IN after Fort Wayne, but you can continue on route 30 to join I80 near Chicago.
On the way back, we picked up I74 at Rock Island, IL to I70 at Indianapolis to the PA Turnpike. The Toll to the NJ line on the turnpike was nearly $40 for our Class C without a toad, so we probably will stick with I80 in PA for future trips. We did run into several areas of single lane traffic due to construction on the interstates, but no backups.
If you stick with your original route, route 36 across Missouri from Hannibal to St. Joseph is a good divided highway. We used that road on the way west.
No way we could do that drive in 3-1/2 days. It took us 10 days to get home to NJ from Yellowstone.
We are planning our trip for next weeks drive out to Yellowstone. We have a 31' Class C and tow a CRV. We plan on taking
Rt. 70 thru Ohio to Indianapolis
Rt. 74 to 72 thru Illinois and Missouri
Rt. 29 to 80 up to Grand Tetons Area
We have 3 1/2 days to make this 2,200 mile/36 hour trip out. (We know we are pushing it, but we have limited time to make this and don't want to waste it all on driving out and back.)
We would like to break up our drive with little hour or 2 side trips. We have a 10yr old daughter who will be making the trip with us. Any suggestions on where to stop are greatly welcomed!
Also, how are these roads to drive? Any major trouble spots that we may encounter?
I always take I-76 to I-80, then I-90 to US 16 over the Bighorns. I think that way does give you many more side trips along the way. But, with the time frame you are looking at, you won't be able to stop much and the route you suggest will most likely be faster...but take that with a grain of salt since I've never gone that way.
If you have two drivers that makes the long driving days much more feasible. Personally, I can string multiple 500 mile days together if I have to but anything much above that is really tiring to me...
First thing is to be sure you have a lot for the 10 year old to do on the drive to and from.
Second -- I have found that when we make trips like this and need to really save days -- if we start on Friday (the last day you work)and drive that night -- you might be able to get 300 miles in and save some time on the full days driving out.
Are you driving Rt 36 after I-72? to get to I-29? If so it should work -- roads are good and traffic is light compared to the northern routes.
You can do it, and the only side trip you might take would be to catch a good RV park with a pool after day two (2 1/2 days out)IMHO Cody is a neat town that is great for getting National Park ready.
Travel Supreme 42DS04
States traveled in this Coach
Thanks for the suggestions and helpful tips. I have all the junior ranger books for all the state parks that my daughter will work on while we are driving out. She is also going to spend a lot of time reading to get ready for her Reading Olympics team this year. My husband will do most of the driving, but I will help out for some mid day driving. We plan on leaving right after my daughter's band concert on Thursday and drive for a good 4 hours. That will get us started. We aren't due into GT until Monday. We plan on a big push on Friday with both of us driving and then again on Saturday. That will ease up the Sunday and final leg on Monday. We plan on driving 6am - 9am and then stop and grab breakfast. Then drive 10am - 1pm and then grab a late lunch. Then drive 2-5pm and do dinner, drive 2 or so hours and chill. I plan on driving too, so even thought it is going to be rough, we should be able to swing it.