On the road again

Beginning in the summer of 2006, my family rediscovered a love of road trips and we have since taken several long ones with all or some of us on board.  In 2006 and again in 2009, my family (in 2006 my mom, dad, me, and my cousin, then in 2009 mom, dad, me, and my fiance) have driven from Portland, Oregon to Louisville, KY with many, many stops in between.  Both of those trips took about two weeks, and we saw great things such as Yellowstone, the Badlands, lots of historic sites, a family wedding in Wisconsin, downtown Chicago, more family in Indiana, amazing museums in St. Louis, Oregon Trail history in Independence, MO, scenery in Colorado, and then back through Eastern Oregon for more cowboy country before returning to Portland.
This year, we're cutting it a little shorter and only going as far east as the Black Hills area of South Dakota, this time for a family reunion for the family on my mom's side.  None of them are from there, but it's a good middle-of-the country destination.  Here's our route:
Not as long as last time by far, it'll take between 20 and 25 hours each way.  We'll spend most of our time in the car in Montana, and I remember liking Montana fairly well, so that'll be fun--maybe we'll get to stop by some new tourist sites along the way to Custer.
I'll be gone today, Sunday the 25th, through next Sunday, August 1st.  I'll try to post updates throughout the week, and we have a couple guest posts coming up, but until then... have any of you done this kind of road trip?  Have you ever been to Custer, SD?  What's your big summer vacation this year?

8 comments

  1. Jennifer7/25/2010

    If you pass through Buffalo WY, stop at a restaurant called the Dash Inn. It's right off of I-25. Great food - although also really bad for you - hamburgers, fried chicken, my personal favorite soft taco. I grew up in Buffalo and I ALWAYS have to eat there once when I'm back. Have a nice trip!!

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  2. Clarissa7/25/2010

    Growing up, my father packed us all in the car and went all over the U.S. I later found out he abhorred flying. I have a lot of memories from my vantage point in the back seat of his Plymouth Valiant. (It was old when we were kids, ancient now) Most of them are good, only some are bad...no more like boring. I commented on a previous post that I spent my summers in the Black Hills area of South Dakota and have many great memories from there as well. There are so many things to see and do, I hope you have a wonderful time. I'm sure you have plans, but here are a few links of fun things to do in the Hills. :D
    Dinosaurs
    http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/10514
    Mammoths
    http://www.mammothsite.com/
    Caves
    http://www.nps.gov/wica/index.htm
    Harney Peak
    http://www.summitpost.org/mountain/rock/150511/harney-peak.html

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  3. I currently live in Rapid City, SD and Clarissa has a lot of good recommendations. If you're going out to the badlands, you have to stop at Wall Drug - it's super touristy cheesy but still fun! If you're in Rapid, there is a restaurant call the Fire House that I'd recommend.

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  4. Wow great road trip - have a brilliant time!

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  5. So you are skipping the best part of Montana, Flathead Lake and Glacier Park. Just sayin'.

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  6. I grew up on the eastern edge of SD but have been to the Hills more times than I can count. Deadwood is touristy, but fun. If you've never panned for gold that's something unique to try. You can also get good deals on Black Hills gold jewelry out there.

    The state park at Custer is where I assume you are going, be on the look out for the bison and donkeys.

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  7. I just got back from a 20 hour each way, road trip with my kids! We drove from Phoenix to Yellowstone, with a stop-over in the middle in Utah for a family reunion of sorts! Best vacation ever! It was amazing! Good luck on your trip! We had never been to 3 of the states we were in and have to say that Montana was beautiful!
    Rebecca @ RootsAndWingsCo

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  8. Yeah for South Dakota, headed up the the Hills in 2 weeks. It's my favorite state (I'm a little bias, since thats where Im from) it's such a great place to slow down and relax!!

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