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Author Topic: Help me plan a trip from Baltimore to South Dakota and back!  (Read 12227 times)

Laura

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Help me plan a trip from Baltimore to South Dakota and back!
« on: April 13, 2014, 03:51:10 PM »

My mom turns 60 this year, and she really wants to see Mount Rushmore and everything else the western part of South Dakota has to offer. I will take a road trip pretty much anywhere, so when she suggested the idea, I pounced onto it!

We would have eight days total to do the trip, from early Saturday morning to late Saturday night (she wants to be home by Sunday to recover before work on Monday). Here is the rough breakdown of the driving plan:

  • Saturday-half of Monday: Drive! Ideally, we'd drive 10 hours the first day, 10 the second, and 5-8 the third day (depending on which routes we take).
  • half of Monday-Thursday: Spend looking at sites in and near the Black Hills
  • Friday-Saturday: drive home (driving about 12 hours per day)

I need y'all's help with two things: routes and attractions.

  • Routes: We'd like to do two different routes to and from SD. Ideally, the only overlaps would be in PA and MD (and maybe Ohio).  The way home would have to be the fastest route since we only have two days, which looks to be mostly via I-90.  The way there is a bit more flexible. I was looking at doing something that involves Nebraska and being able to drive on and near old Oregon Trail alignments (and being able to see Chimney Rock and Scotts Bluff) and then heading north on US 385. Is it better to go through Iowa or Missouri to get to NE? What routes do you recommend/not recommend in the Midwest as far as scenic value, and what routes are must sees in the Black HIlls?
  • Attractions: Obviously we're going to Mount Rushmore, but there's so much to see and do in the area that it's going to be hard to limit it down to three and a half days. Definites on the mom wish list include some sort of "wild west" town, whether Deadwood, 1880 town, or another one; the Wall drug store, Badlands National Park; at least one cave (Wind Cave, Jewel Cave, or both if they're doable). There's a night sky program at Badlands that my mom wants to do, but really, any good stargazing spot will work. We plan on getting a cabin, so we'd like some down time to relax there and cook hotdogs and stuff. Optional would be the Minuteman missile, Devil's Tower, Crazy Horse monument, any other awesome kitschy roadside Americana. We'd like some good, easy hiking spots. Some time in Rapid City perhaps. Mom would love to go to the Little Bighorn Battlefield, but I don't think we'll have the time to dedicate a whole day (unless you guys think it's better than everything in SD).

Thanks for the help!
« Last Edit: April 13, 2014, 03:58:24 PM by Laura »
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Re: Help me plan a trip from Baltimore to South Dakota and back!
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2014, 04:01:03 PM »

Breezewood is on the way...
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Re: Help me plan a trip from Baltimore to South Dakota and back!
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2014, 04:05:45 PM »

Ha, I was actually at the Little Bighorn Battlefield yesterday. It's sort of interesting, but I wouldn't go out of my way for it, especially that far out of the way. It's really just a field with a monument, and you'll see sort of similar terrain anyway.

I think Devil's Tower is really cool and absolutely worth seeing, but that's just me.

As far as Nebraska, I'd assume you're getting off in Ogallala and heading northwest on 26. I'd take 26 to 71 all the way into South Dakota, but 26 to 71 to 20 to 385 is neat too- Chadron is an all right little down, and the views on 20 east are quite nice. N-29 is a cool drive, but it does take a little longer and I'm not sure if it's worth detouring for.  I definitely think 71 is better than 385 from a scenery perspective from US 26 to US 20, and timewise it would take about the same if you're already going to Scott's Bluff.

If you have added time in Nebraska, I'd consider getting off in Grand Island and using N-2 to get to Alliance, then head south to Chimney Rock, over to Scottsbluff, and then back up. 2 goes through great Sand Hill territory- one of the more unique regions of the country. Moves pretty well too, 60-65 MPH speed limit with infrequent towns.

You probably want to stay on the Nebraska side heading up to SD- Wyoming is much less interesting in that area than Nebraska- not nearly as many of the cool bluffs.

Once you're up there, I think US 16A is a must-drive. If you're in a hurry, SD 79 is a four lane, divided highway almost all the way down to the Nebraska line now with a 70 MPH speed limit.

I'd do a loop though- there's no reason you wouldn't be able to get Crazy Horse in if you see Rushmore- they're really not that far away from each other.

I-90 back across SD is a pretty unique experience- it's probably a pretty boring drive, but they've made it fun through billboards.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2014, 04:09:36 PM by corco »
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oscar

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Re: Help me plan a trip from Baltimore to South Dakota and back!
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2014, 05:52:41 PM »

Keep in mind that you lose two hours on the way back due to the time zone change from Mountain to Eastern, giving back the two hours you gain on the outbound trip.

Carhenge, near Alliance NE on US 385, is worth adding to your itinerary if you're going that way.  But I second corco's praise of N-71 as a scenic alternative between I-80 and Scottsbluff.

You'll see a lot of coal trains along US 26 in western Nebraska.  N-2 also has lots of coal trains, aggravating the people in the few towns along the way who hear trains roll through every few minutes in peak periods.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2014, 07:58:08 PM by oscar »
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Re: Help me plan a trip from Baltimore to South Dakota and back!
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2014, 07:53:07 PM »

Breezewood is on the way...

Unless you bypass it via I-79 and I-68.  The new I-70/I-79 interchange helps doing that route westbound.  But if you're taking the Ohio Turnpike through Ohio, I'd put up with Breezewood to get on the PA Turnpike that much sooner.

I like the Ohio Turnpike, but despise the Indiana Toll Road for its under-maintained and expensive service areas.  Taking I-70 and I-74 through Ohio and Indiana would be my preference, plus you save on the tolls.

As far as going through IA or MO to get to Nebraska, both are about equally boring, so I suggest just going with the faster route.  I-80 through Iowa passes near the famous covered bridges of Madison County.  Omaha is my favorite place to splurge on a steak dinner, if you get there in the afternoon or evening.  I-80 through Nebraska is very boring until you step off the Interstate in Oglalla, but at least it's really fast (75 mph speed limit west of Lincoln, which also is the limit on most of I-90 in South Dakota).
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Mapmikey

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Re: Help me plan a trip from Baltimore to South Dakota and back!
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2014, 08:11:02 PM »

I have not personally been there but another kitschy thing is the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD which is on I-90...

You can get a feel for the Badlands NP if you get off on the eastern side and go a few miles in, which is where the visitor center is and at least one short, easy interpretive hike that demonstrates what the place is/was like.  We drove the whole SD 240 (old US 16A) loop eastbound in 2000 and it seemed to take forever, although the view is more interesting than I-90 through here...

We ate at a really good steak place in 2010 in Kearney NE called Skeeter Barnes, located just south of I-80 on NE 44 (exit 272)...

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Re: Help me plan a trip from Baltimore to South Dakota and back!
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2014, 09:14:05 PM »

Wall Drug is another interesting brief stop on I-90.  If you are planning to go this summer, you will have to decide whether you want your trip to coincide with rally week at Sturgis.  Personally, I think it's worth doing at least once (lots of good people- and bike-watching even for four-wheelers), but dealing with literally thousands of motorcycles does add to driver task load.

I'd also endorse most of Corco's suggestions for the NE-WY-SD tristate area (I can't speak to Crazy Horse from experience, and have only driven through Wind Cave), but you will definitely have to pick and choose.  Chadron has a good museum dedicated to the fur trade, and the Badlands are especially striking in the west at sunset.  Fort Robinson (where Crazy Horse was shot under suspicious circumstances) is worth a stop, and the portion of US 20 immediately to the west has chalk bluffs and two of Wyoming's extremely low-population towns (Van Tassell and Lost Springs).

If you are looking into maximizing sightseeing opportunity with a loop tour, I'd suggest routing via (NE) Omaha-Grand Island-Alliance-Bayard-Scottsbluff-Fort Robinson-Chadron (SD) Hot Springs-Custer-Mt. Rushmore-Rapid City-Wall-(Badlands NP loop)-Mitchell, with side trips to Wyoming for Devil's Tower etc. held in reserve in case you decide to go during rally week and get more than you bargained for on the narrow roads through Custer State Park, or find the resort atmosphere a little overwhelming.  (Custer SP, for example, has literally dozens of white-on-brown signs with the names of various movies that have been filmed there on location.)

Nebraska SR 2 is the main route through the Sand Hills, but if you are a fan of Old Jules, there are some sites dedicated to Mari Sandoz which are just off SR 27 in the Sand Hills proper.  SR 2 has the railroad beside it and runs largely through cultivated bottomland, so as you go westward it is actually pretty isolated from the pure Sand Hills vibe until about a hundred miles east of Alliance.

I actually think it would be a struggle just to get out to Devil's Tower in Wyoming, so I wouldn't recommend a detour to the Little Bighorn battlefield, though it is worth a visit.  The Pine Ridge reservation is an eye-opener, but not really on your route unless you skip the Corn Palace, draw the loop tight, and go back home via US 20 in Nebraska rather than I-90 in South Dakota.  (US 20 is a good choice since it has a speed limit of 65, which is fairly unusual for two-lanes in eastern Nebraska, and there is an interesting deck truss bridge near Valentine.)
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Re: Help me plan a trip from Baltimore to South Dakota and back!
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2014, 10:14:50 PM »

Not sure how far out of the way you want to go or how much new territory you might want to cover, but my dad, brother and I took a long vacation out west back in the early 1990s. We had overnighted somewhere near the Badlands on our return trip home. Our route home was I-90 to I-29 (with a short diversion into Nebraska to say we'd been there; this was long before I was into county collecting but it remains my only foray into that state) to I-680 to I-80 to I-74. We started looking for a room for the night somewhere in eastern Illinois but everything was filled up, so my dad (who was driving at the time) stubbornly pressed on before finally pulling into the Kentucky welcome center on I-75 for a nap. After some sleep, we drove the three hours on home and were here around 10 a.m., I think.

The point of all that is that if you are interested in clinching highways or visiting new counties, you might want to dip down into Kentucky. Don't remember how you came to Ashland, but you could always do I-70 to I-68 to I-79 to I-64. You could save some time by taking the AA Highway across northern/northeastern Kentucky, and then that would put you in a position to clinch all of "real" I-74 from Cincinnati to the Quad Cities. Or if you didn't want to come that far south take US 50/OH 32 (Corridor D) west from Clarksburg. I think you could conceivably make Indianapolis on the first day, and my experience tells me that you'd be in the target area by the second day.

A warning, though -- you might find Corridor D and the first 75 miles of I-74 to be interesting, but I don't think much of the rest of the route would hold much interest. I've done 74 between Cincy and Indy several times and that route is so old that I'm tempted to use I-65 through Louisville the next time I am traveling to or through Indy, and I am not a fan of that routing. I don't remember I-74 west of Indy but the terrain was not very interesting, based on what I can recall from daylight travel in Illinois and subsequent brief ventures on the route. And I-80 through Iowa just seemed long.

Even if you don't want to do all that, avoiding Chicago might be worthwhile. A cousin of mine who bird hunts in Wisconsin a few times a year uses I-74 out of Indy and I-39 for just that purpose.
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Brandon

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Re: Help me plan a trip from Baltimore to South Dakota and back!
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2014, 09:48:40 AM »

I would exercise caution going by Chicago.  If you take I-80 through the area, it's not too bad, but rush hour on the Borman Expressway (I-80/94) in Indiana can be a bit crazier than usual.  Also, the ramp for I-80 west from the Indiana Toll Road is currently closed.  You would have to exit at I-65 south and get back to I-80 west.

I-80 isn't bad through the state, and the cheapest gas between Indiana and Iowa is usually at the Ottawa, Utica, or LaSalle-Peru exits.  On I-80, you go past the AASHO Test Loop between Exits 81 and 90 (a stop on the tour for the Starved Rock Meet on 5/17).

As HB said, I-74 through Illinois is a viable option.  However, around the Quad Cities, you have two ways to go.  I'd avoid I-74 through the Quads unless you have a desire to see the I-74 Bridges.  Otherwise, if you use I-280, you have a seamless transition onto I-80 in Iowa.  If you use I-80, you go past the rest area in Iowa.

I-74 isn't too bad, but you do have a choice of going through Peoria (I-74) or around (I-474).  I prefer through as the route is more interesting.

Another option for going through Iowa is taking I-380 up to US-20 or following the Avenue of the Saints to I-35 and I-90.  My only word of caution for this one is to watch your speed through Cedar Rapids.  They do use speed cameras on the downtown stretch.  Had a coworker get nabbed by them once, but they do warn you with signage.

Another option includes taking I-90 through Wisconsin and northern Illinois.  I-90 is under construction right now between Rockford and O'Hare.  if you take that route, you can use the following to get between there and NW Indiana: I-90 straight through by the Loop and Circle Interchange (slow by the Loop and costly on the Skyway); I-80 to I-294 to O'Hare (not bad, three oases along the way); or I-80 out to I-355 to I-290 (a bit less traffic, and you get to see the I-88/I-355 interchange).

It may be interesting to take one route there (I-74) and an entirely different route back (I-80 or I-90).
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Re: Help me plan a trip from Baltimore to South Dakota and back!
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2014, 01:39:59 PM »

As noted above, if you get near Omaha, and like steak, it is worth a stop.

Good places to try would be:

Gorat's

Piccolo Pete's

Venice Inn (if they are still open)

Anthony's

Cascios



and you never know, if you stop at Gorat's, you might see Bill Gates and Warren Buffet at the next table.
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oscar

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Re: Help me plan a trip from Baltimore to South Dakota and back!
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2014, 02:00:50 PM »

As noted above, if you get near Omaha, and like steak, it is worth a stop.

Good places to try would be:

Gorat's

Piccolo Pete's

Venice Inn (if they are still open)

Anthony's

Cascios

and you never know, if you stop at Gorat's, you might see Bill Gates and Warren Buffet at the next table.

Gorat's, which I've been to, and Piccolo's, which I haven't, are where Buffett sends Berkshire Hathaway shareholders attending their annual meeting in May (a good weekend to avoid Omaha).

I'm pretty sure I've also been to the Venice Inn for steak as well.  Also Omaha Prime downtown (good but pricey), and Johnny's in South Omaha.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 02:09:27 PM by oscar »
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Laura

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Re: Help me plan a trip from Baltimore to South Dakota and back!
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2014, 11:24:29 PM »

So much to comment on! This is awesome. Wow.

What I've concluded from your comments so far:

Take I-70 and I-74 through Ohio and Indiana
Take N-2 from Grand Island to Alliance through the Sand Hills and stop at Carhenge
Take 26 to 71 to 20 to 385 in Nebraska
Stop at the Corn Palace
Add Fort Robinson and the Fur Trade Museum in Chadron to the maybe list
Little Bighorn is not worth the extra distance, but Devil's Tower is
Get off at Badlands on the eastern side of the part. US 16A long but more interesting than 90
Go the faster route through either Iowa or MO
Get Steak in Omaha or Kearney
Don't forget about time zones
Will choose not to go at the same time as Sturgis this time
Potentially avoid Chicago
Going through Peoria is more interesting than around it
Lots of cool stuff in KY if we had more time
Lots of additional routing ideas through IL, IA, WI

plus much much more!

This has been amazingly helpful so far. If you have more suggestions, keep passing them along :)
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Re: Help me plan a trip from Baltimore to South Dakota and back!
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2014, 12:09:52 AM »

Well, here is a reason to stop in Chicago.

Do you like cheese?


Caputo Cheese Market in Melrose Park  is about as close to cheese heaven as you'll ever get.


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Laura

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Re: Help me plan a trip from Baltimore to South Dakota and back!
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2014, 12:51:16 PM »


Well, here is a reason to stop in Chicago.

Do you like cheese?


Caputo Cheese Market in Melrose Park  is about as close to cheese heaven as you'll ever get.

Mmm Cheese...

The idea of stopping in Chicago has been thrown around by my family: the problem now is that I have to see how feasible that would actually be. The awesome Nebraska stuff keeps piling on...I think we will have hard decisions to make.

I wish we had more time, but eight days total is better than none.

Another obstacle is that the only night we would be able to do the Night Sky program at Badlands is Monday. Ideally, we would check into our cabin first and be able to see Wall and the Badlands also in the daytime. That means we'd have to be well into Nebraska by Sunday night or skip some/all of the cool NE stuff. So we may have to drive longer on Sat/Sun than originally planned.

My family should hopefully be fine with this. We did a road trip once when I was 10 from Baltimore to AL, then AL to various spots in FL, then Jupiter, FL to MD. I remember the Md-Al segment was 18 hours long and we did that in one day. My parents split the final segment from Fl to home over two days (18 hours also).


iPhone
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Re: Help me plan a trip from Baltimore to South Dakota and back!
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2014, 01:14:37 PM »

A few thoughts:

*  Google timetables Baltimore to Chadron at 24 hours by the most direct route, and 26 hours by the component of the loop route that has been recommended upthread, so it is entirely do-able to be in western Nebraska by nightfall the second day out of Baltimore.

*  Chicago is only 11 hours' drive from Baltimore, and is also much more easily accessible by air (BWI-ORD nonstop is a triviality, and BWI-MDW is probably easy too).  Perhaps it would be better to reserve this trip for the less accessible stuff and do Chicago as a weekend citybreak?

*  It would be kind of sad to make sacrifices to be in Badlands NP for the telescope program on Monday only to arrive just as clouds roll across the sky . . .
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Re: Help me plan a trip from Baltimore to South Dakota and back!
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2014, 01:19:41 PM »

Quote
Well, here is a reason to stop in Chicago.

Do you like cheese?

Caputo Cheese Market in Melrose Park  is about as close to cheese heaven as you'll ever get.

You obviously haven't been to Vermont...;o)


Laura:  here's a few photo pages to help out, all from our 2005 roadtrip:

Photos from US 20 in Wyoming, eastbound from I-25 to the WY/NE border.

Continuing eastbound along US 20 from the WY/NE border to US 385 near Chadron.

Meaghan's photos from the trip.  In particular, 3rd row from the bottom is from a stop on US 20 in far NW Nebraska, near the chalk bluffs that J N Winkler mentioned earlier.
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Re: Help me plan a trip from Baltimore to South Dakota and back!
« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2014, 09:40:25 PM »

    Hi all,

    We have made our reservations for our cabin in South Dakota, so this is the real deal! After a few date changes, we have decided on going in mid-August. I've sketched out our basic itineraries to and from, and this is what we have (this will continue to be a work in progress until we actually drive them):

    Route to SD:
https://roadtrippers.com/trips/535d903f8565839f05000149

  • Friday night: That evening head west from Baltimore  to Morgantown, WV on I-695 and I-70.
  • Saturday: Drive from Morgantown, WV to Hannibal, MO via I-79, I-70, I-74, I-72.
    I could use some good ideas for points of interest along this route. One we have in mind is the old brick national road in Old Washington, Ohio (brief stop).
  • Sunday: Drive from Hannibal, MO to Alliance, NE via US-36, US-28, NE2
    Planned points of interest include Mark Twain's boyhood home in Hannibal (photo stop); Walt Disney's hometown of Marceline, MO (brief stop); Pony Express Barn Museum, Marysville, KS (photo stop); Geographic center in Lebanon, KS (photo stop); Willa Cather's hometown of Red Cloud, NE (longer stop - I'd love to do the tour of this!!)
  • Monday: Drive from Alliance, NE to points along the Old Oregon Trail near Scottsbluff, NE, then north to our campground in Keystone, SD via US-385, NE 88, US 26, NE 92 scenic, Old Oregon Trail, NE 71, US 20, US 385, NE 87, South Playhouse Rd, Alt US 16.
    Planned points of interest include Carhenge, Courthouse and Jail Rocks, Chimney Rock, Scottsbluff National Monument, our cabin!

Route from SD: https://roadtrippers.com/trips/535d9b2b2b939f308d009d5a

  • Friday: Keystone, SD to Madison, WI via I-90, MN 16, US 52, US 18
    Planned points of interest include the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD; Laura Ingalls Wilder home in Burr Oak, Iowa (photo stop)
  • Saturday*: Madison, WI to Baltimore, MD via I-90, I-94, US 12, MI 66, IN 9, I-90, I-80, I-76, I-70, I-695
    I could use some good ideas for points of interest along this route. One we have in mind is the  Michael Jackson's house in Gary, Indiana.

    *We saved Sunday as a free day in case we did not make it home on Saturday night and had to stay in PA or something.

I'm still not 100% sure what to do driving wise around the Chicago area. I'm going to reread the posts in this thread again regarding traffic and the like there...
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Re: Help me plan a trip from Baltimore to South Dakota and back!
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2014, 10:08:39 PM »

^^
You will also be passing by Springfield, IL.  In Springfield is the Lincoln Home and visitor center.

Around Chicago, you have many options.  I-90 is under the knife right now, but the trip isn't too bad.  You do have a choice of going through the city (I-90 all the way), using the Tri-State (I-294) to I-94, or using I-290 to I-355 to I-80 back to I-94.

The trip through the Loop is neat, but slow through the Circle Interchange.  You will, however, get to see the Kennedy and Ryan express/local setups.

The trip down I-294 is fairly construction free and passes by three of the tollway oases.

The trip down I-290 and I-355 has a bit of construction around Thorndale (Exit 5), but is also fairly construction free.  This one takes you through the Des Plaines River Valley.
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Re: Help me plan a trip from Baltimore to South Dakota and back!
« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2014, 07:58:44 AM »

Quote
Friday: Keystone, SD to Madison, WI via I-90, MN 16, US 52, US 18
Planned points of interest include the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD; Laura Ingalls Wilder home in Burr Oak, Iowa (photo stop)

The SPAM Museum is right off I-90 Exit 178A or 178B (either one will get you there) in Austin, MN.

Mystery Cave State Park is a few miles south of MN 16 before you get to Preston.  Part of one of the larger cave systems in the country (that also connects to the private Niagara Cave southwest of Harmony, MN).

If you time it right, there might be an Amish farmers market going on in Lanesboro, MN (there are a lot of Amish farms in southeastern MN).  Take MN 250 into downtown Lanesboro from MN 16.  It's about a 6 mile detour off your route.  Even if the farmer's market isn't going on, Lanesboro is a neat town to take a look at.
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texaskdog

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Re: Help me plan a trip from Baltimore to South Dakota and back!
« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2014, 09:50:57 AM »

Wall Drug & Badlands are a must.  Stay at Wall and you can hit the Black Hills early.  Keystone is a great place to stay.  I'd do one cave.  Wind is the NP but I think Jewel was a bit nicer. The drive on 16 through Jewel is really cool.  Take Iron Mountain Rd & Needles Hiway for sure.  You can do it as a loop but both have tunnels that face Mount Rushmore so it's nice to do both loops twice (out & back).  There is a cool drive up a mountain, Mount Coolidge, just south of 16 on 87 that takes you up to a very high point.  I haven't been to Crazy Horse.  I didn't care for Devil's tower.  Its a long way out and its not any more impressive than the pictures.  Center Lake is a nice lake and it's also on a shortcut (also on google maps) to the south end of the black hills.  I thought Deadwood was a bit overrated too.  Check out the Corn Palace in Mitchell...but dont go out of your way to do it.  Chamberlian SD is really nice and the drive on 90 gets really nice after that too.
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andy3175

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Re: Help me plan a trip from Baltimore to South Dakota and back!
« Reply #21 on: April 30, 2014, 12:57:43 AM »

Chamberlian SD is really nice and the drive on 90 gets really nice after that too.

A nice truss bridge crosses the Missouri River (Lake Francis Case) via Business 90 parallel to I-90 at Chamberlain; each direction of travel gets a one-lane bridge.

P.S. Laura, I think your itinerary is terrific and believe you will have a great time on your trip!
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texaskdog

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Re: Help me plan a trip from Baltimore to South Dakota and back!
« Reply #22 on: April 30, 2014, 11:44:08 AM »

Chamberlian SD is really nice and the drive on 90 gets really nice after that too.

A nice truss bridge crosses the Missouri River (Lake Francis Case) via Business 90 parallel to I-90 at Chamberlain; each direction of travel gets a one-lane bridge.

P.S. Laura, I think your itinerary is terrific and believe you will have a great time on your trip!

Yes, exit chamberlain and take the old highway.  the overlook rest area on the south side of 90 provides a good view too.
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Re: Help me plan a trip from Baltimore to South Dakota and back!
« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2014, 04:09:47 PM »

In 2012, we did Baltimore to Mount Rushmore.  A short trip off I-90/94 in Wisconsin is worth this:  Take WIS 113 across the Merrimack Ferry (Lake Wisconsin).  It's free, it runs every 15 minutes, and the surrounding area is pretty.  Since you're coming East through Wisconsin on 90, shoot off at Exit 92 for US 12, work your way over to WIS 113 in Baraboo, and take WIS 113 the entire way to Madison, where you can get back on I-90 via Aberg Ave to WIS 30 to the Badger Interchange.
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Jardine

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Re: Help me plan a trip from Baltimore to South Dakota and back!
« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2014, 04:24:30 PM »

Would some other posters here from Chicago please spring to the defense of Caputo Cheese Market please?


It really and truly is an amazing place to buy cheese.  Domestic and foreign, I can't imagine anywhere else having a better selection under one roof.


BTW, if you haven't tried Leiteria De Minas Brasile Cheddar, (no idea what the Portuguese part means) you have NEVER had sharp cheddar in your life.  I have never encountered any cheddar labeled sharp, extra sharp or super sharp coming anywhere close!!!  It is the essence, quintessence, the be all and end all of sharpness.

Be advised, the odor is strongly (putting it mildly) off putting, but the flavor is VIVIDLY INTENSE.


spoiler alert:
the odor is very strongly that of vomit and rubbing alcohol !!!  People will notice what you're eating!!!!
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