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Discussion Starter #1
We plan on traveling to Idaho sometime between July 4th and Labor day. We want to get there the quickest route possible so interstate 90 or 94 will be the road of choice, one or the other. I've heard that I-90 across SD is pretty bumpy. Anyone have an opinion about I-94 in ND vs I-90 in SD?
Also, motels in the Dakotas seem few and far between. I don't plan on making reservations in advance since I don't want to be forced to be somewhere at any given time. Is this a bad idea? Are there more motels available in those areas that don't show up on Streets & Trips? I'd really like to hear from board members that live in the Dakotas.
I have two weeks to make this trip and might be able to extend it to three if necessary. Our primary goal is to visit Glacier NP, Yellowstone NP, and optionally Devils Tower and Mt. Rushmore on the return trip.
Anyone from SW Ohio that would be interested in joining us drop me a PM.
Thanks,
jb
 

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MC Trip

jb

We made that journey from Troy Ohio last summer although we did it the last 2 weeks of June. We also were under tight time constraints @ least for the beginning portion of the trip. We also were concerned about motels and made reservations for the first 2 nights in advance. It turned out the reservations were not needed and we made the rest of the journey flying by the seat of our pants and had no problems at all finding rooms. You may consider I70 west to Indy, I74 up to I80 across Iowa to I35 up to US 18 and then SD44. These roads shadow I90 and will get you into the Badlands and gateway to the Black Hills,Sturgis, Deadwood, Mount Rushmore etc etc. Very fast start to your trip. I'm sure there will be many more suggestions, it's just what worked for us.;) After that we worked our way into Montana, back over Beartooth Pass into Yellowstone, down into Utah, over to Las Vegas to renew our Wedding vows, down into Arizona to say Hi to Kin, across New Mexico into Oklahoma where I put the wife on a plane. I then left El Reno Oklahoma @ 5 a.m. the next morning came acroos Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky back into Troy Ohio at 11:30 p.m that night 1183 miles in 18 and a half hours for my Iron Butt. It was a very good trip! :doorag: :yes1:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
MC Trip

Bill,
Thanks for the info. We may return via the route you described goin' out. We have relatives in Chicago and Minneapolis that we'd like to visit at the beginning of the trip, that's why I was inquiring about the two interstates in SD and ND. But right now nothing's cast in concrete.
You're just a few miles up the road from me here in Lebanon. BTW, you didn't happen to be at the GL1800 luncheon at the Buckhorn tavern in the fall of 2007 did you?
Hope to see you on the road.
jb
 

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I'll answer your questions.

I90 vs. I94 across the Dakotas? The only thing that makes SD's I90 more attractive to a motorcyclist is it's proximity to the Black Hills. If you don't intend to spend time in the Hills, then I'd recommend I94 because it's a better road and from end to end and ND is somewhat better to look at than SD. ;-)

Motel reservations? They're usually only necessary in tourist areas such as the Black Hills.

Motels in small towns? Almost every town of more than a few hundred people has at least one motel. They're usually mom and pop places that don't charge as much as you'll pay in the bigger towns. This means that you will usually be within a half hour of a motel no matter where you are in the Dakotas.

And now, here are my opinions about traveling "the quickest route possible" to get to the mountains. I can understand quickly running through places that you've been before but why try to skip over entire states? It may be true that much of ND and SD are not as spectacular scenery wise as the mountain states but blasting through them as quickly as possible on interstates certainly doesn't portray them at their best. Did you know that you'll also have to ride through 400 miles of eastern Montana prairie before you get to the mountains? The Great Plains are huge and, IMO, it makes good sense to make that part of the ride enjoyable as well. So, I recommend that you get off that interstate and spend a little extra time on the plain's 2-lanes.

Have a great trip.
 

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Please DON'T skip the Badlands. That mean the southern route across SD. Of all the places you listed you'd like to see, I bet the Badlands come in 3rd. We just made that trip from Nebraska last year and I would say that Glacier and Yellowstone would be 1 & 2 with the Badlands being #3. Mt. Rushmore and Devils Tower are a distand 4 & 5 to us. Have fun and at least run through the Black Hills and take the Needles Highway from Mt. Rushmore south to Custer State Park. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
MC Trip

Thanks for the information. Sounds like motels shouldn't be a problem. Towns are a lot further apart than here in the midwest. I've driven a car across SD but have never ridden there on a m/c. It is kinda sparse in the scenery department until you get to Rapid City. I would like to ride through ND and that's the main reason for my original posting. It's good to know that the interstate across there is in better condition. I certainly will get off the interstate for several sight-seeing side trips. I didn't mean any disrespect by my "quickest route" comment. I hate the super-slab and will be more than happy to leave it for whatever amount of time we have to take in the local culture.
I've seen the Badlands and they are interesting and different from about anything else I've seen. I would like to ride in the Black Hills. Did it in a cage 10+ years ago but will try to pass through that area on the return trip.

Thanks for the helpful info.

jb
 

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JB
That sounds like something I would enjoy as well!:lol: It would be nice to make that kind of trip, but as I am now searching for a job it will have to wait a while. Have fun on your journey.

Still enjoying the Corbin Seat.
 

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M/C Trip

Hi John,
Good to hear that you're still out there and enjoying the new seat when you can. Not many opportunities lately if you're still on the east side of Cincy.
The job hunting doesn't sound too good either. Wish you the best of luck with whatever you decide to do. Hope to see you on the road soon.

jb
 

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Do yourself a favor and pay attention to Gizmo's advice...
Your choice is to treat these areas like 'flyovers' or enjoy and appreciate different geography and scenery for what it has to offer.
Example: The International Peace Gardens at the Canadian border with North Dakota. Out of the way but a very pleasant experience off the beaten path.
I'm no 'World's Largest Ball of Twine' kind of guy but I try to wring every bit of enjoyment out of every new road.

AG GL

Gizmo, you live in a beautiful state. Now if it just wasn't quite so cold in the winter...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
M/C Trip

AG GL,
I know we will enjoy ND. Thanks for your advice.
jb
 
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