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Old 05-14-2017, 04:42 AM   #1
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Extremely Long Road Trip planned for the fall, Ideas welcome.

So, here's the deal.
I don't like flying if I can avoid it, and I do like road trips.
Im located on Long Island, NY and have made road trips to Atlanta, Biloxi,Clevaland and most recently, Nashville, Memphis. Some for business, most for pleasure.

When I went to Cleveland, I told my wife that was my limit. couldn't do the Rock Hall of Fame in one day ( cause the kids were being brats), so we returned and finished it up. Then, had a business conference in Atlanta. Did that ( solo), and I told my wife, that was my limit. Following year, my daughter had an OceanBowl competition in Biloxi, Mississippi ( She's studying Oceanography,Mathematics, Engineering and Atmospheric Sciences). As you might have figured out, after that trip, I claimed that as being my limit. Most recently, celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. Decided to get married by Elvis, but Vegas was a little far, so we found similar accommodations in Nashville, and decided to make a Music - Themed anniversary trip out of it ( Nashville, Memphis and everything in between. Once again, had reached my limits.

Fast forward to today. My son, applied to graduate school and got accepted ( and decided to attend ) the University of Montana. Yes I know its practically across the country, yes I know its almost double my driving limits, but I'm stupid , crazy and actually do enjoy road trips.

So, this brings me to my reason for posting this post. I will be passing through multiple states and multiple cities. Clearly I won't be able to stop/ take advantage of all of them. But, since DC has a variety of members from different cities, states and traveling adventures, Id be curious to hear any suggestions of 'Must see ' things I should consider while on my journey. Which would include either places to eat ( remember Im vegetarian), and also, maybe foods that I should try locally, that would only able to get sub-par imitation living somewhere else.

I haven't plotted out my journey ( in detail) yet, as i am in the beginning phases of this ( since he just accepted a week ago, I was kinda hoping for virginia or rochester universities ( 1/3 the drive). But, it is what it is, and Im going to make the best out of it.

As of right now, it looks like Ill be passing through ( or close to) the following cities / states.
Jersey
Pennsylvania
Ohio (Northern part of state, Cleveland, Toledo)
Indiana (Northern part of state)
Illinois ( Chicago Region)
Wisconsin
Minnesota (Minneapolis)
North (and or ) South Dakota ( may do one one way, the other coming home)
Montana

The trip is going to be primarily driving to see my son, and I don't have all the time in the world, so the pit stops aren't going to be too far off the chosen path, and for not lengthy periods of time ( accept while in Montana, where Ill be for a bit). That being said, he'll be there for a few years , so Ill likely make a second trip the following year. So what can't do the first time around, i can try and work in the second.

The trip will likely take place in October. In addition, I prefer to drive during the day hours, since I like seeing where Im going and the surroundings, so after a days drive, we will be overnighting it in a city ( or where ever). So, under those circumstances, id be able a little more time at what ever location Im spending the night at.

Thanks for any suggestions

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Old 05-14-2017, 05:01 AM   #2
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Roasted chick peas
Pita chips
tomato chips
kale chips

I love roasted chick peas when I am on the road.
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Old 05-14-2017, 06:35 AM   #3
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Missoula, Montana? Remember I lived there for years. The Good Food Store has a fantastic salad bar and will make sandwiches to order. Several Vegan restaurants, the Dinosaur Cafe is a good one.
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Old 05-14-2017, 11:27 AM   #4
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Extremely Long Road Trip planned for the fall, Ideas welcome.

The states and cities you mentioned, you really can't go wrong with any of them. Minneapolis in particular will have some excellent vegetarian restaurants. If you pass through ND, it will probably be through Fargo, which has really good restaurants, as does Grand Forks, but that's a bit further north.
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Old 05-14-2017, 11:29 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
The states and cities you mentioned, you really can't go wrong with any of them. Minneapolis in particular will have some excellent vegetarian restaurants. If you pass through ND, it will probably be through Fargo, which has really good restaurants, as does Grand Forks, but that's a bit further north.
No kidding, re: MPLS. Fargo and GF are also vegetarian friendly.
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Old 05-14-2017, 01:10 PM   #6
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I've done lots of driving trips around the West and lived in Bozeman MT for awhile. Once you get past the Mississipi and particularly once you get past the 100th meridian, things will change quite a bit from what you are used to in the East. The trees end.
Things spread out. Particularly as you get to Eastern MT, you can't just assume you will find a motel or restaurant or gas station at the next exit. You do need to plan ahead a bit on where you intend to spend the night and you should stock your car with drinking water and snacks. That being said, I love driving in the West. The vistas will knock your socks off.
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Old 05-14-2017, 01:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
So, here's the deal.... snipped ...
As of right now, it looks like Ill be passing through ( or close to) the following cities / states.
Jersey
Pennsylvania
Ohio (Northern part of state, Cleveland, Toledo) -Toledo Mud Hens, remember them? Very cool!
Indiana (Northern part of state)
Illinois ( Chicago Region)
Wisconsin
Minnesota (Minneapolis)
North (and or ) South Dakota ( may do one one way, the other coming home)
Montana
- Glacier National Park/Whitefish, MT has a great Farmer's Market. We ate at the Buffalo Cafe and Ciao Mambo, good stuff.
BTW, the drive we took was from Jackson WY (Grand Tetons NP)
to West Yellowstone (Yellowstone NP)
to Helena MT (visited a very old friend)
to Whitefish MT (take your passports and go to the Canadian side too)
then to Billings MT (Pompy's Pillar and Little Big Horn NP)
to Cody WY (Bill Cody Museum, great town! Granny's Family Dining)
then on to Sundance WY (Devil's Tower and you'll drive through Sturgis, cool!)
to Deadwood SD (Old West Town, we were there for just the afternoon)
to Keystone SD (Mount Rushmore NP & Crazy Horse Memorial) we ate at the Powder House Restaurant,
through the Badlands NP
and on to Wall SD (very cool place but one night was enough)

Thanks for any suggestions
*Note: Larry, in the West, there aren't alot of Vegetarians. You'll find some places to eat but mostly in the bigger cities. We took along multiple coolers and our own food for the majority of our "Great Western Adventure" and would stop in the big cities for more supplies. The Farmer's Market were great.
We traveled through out the month of September, Oct could be iffy weather. Watch out for some of those passes through the mountains too, they can sneak up and sock you in pretty bad if the weather turns.
Also, get a stand alone GPS, your cell reception will be poor at best.
We always have maps, an atlas, printed driving directions (Google, Mapquest, etc.) and our GPS. That's the best investment we've made since moving to the Continental US. In fact, we're working on our second one now.

Just some ideas for ya
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Old 05-14-2017, 01:56 PM   #8
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I use the "belt and suspenders" approach to navigation as well, K-girl, including the stand-alone GPS.
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Old 05-14-2017, 03:19 PM   #9
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Wisconsin, america's dairyland, you can search out your path and look for cheese factories (many have outlets and tours), and all kinds of food and music festivals in Milwaukee and across the state, and the first waterparks (and hotels) in the tourist area of the Dells and Baraboo (just nw of Madison), and casinos w/hotels in many places (and just off the interstate in Baraboo). Wisconsin has many many lakes, beautiful bluff areas, forest, farmland, and prairie. If you follow the interstate from Milwaukee, to Madison, to MPLS, that is the good part of a day and the roads are in pretty good shape.
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Old 05-14-2017, 03:28 PM   #10
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Larry, northern Indiana has a lot of Amish areas where you might find some good restaurants or farmers markets. Around Chicago, you will find practically anything you want. They're best known for beef and pizza, of course, but as a large cosmopolitan city, you can find anything. I'd imagine you can get vegetarian pizza.
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Old 05-14-2017, 05:59 PM   #11
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larry, have a great time! Driving cross-country can be a wonderful adventure!

If you are in Cleveland on a day they are open, I suggest you try to stop at West Side Market. Send the carnivores into the market building while you shop the outside arcade area. There are dozens of produce stands along one long and one short wall of the market; some of them have fresh cut produce in take-away containers. Also, there are several cheese stands inside the market, along with many bread-and-bakery stands. If you stop, call it lunch and figure about an hour...if you move fast.
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Old 05-14-2017, 06:38 PM   #12
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All these suggestions are great, and will help me in planning my trip.
I've done so many decent sized road trips over the past few years , that Im getting pretty good at it. But this one, by far , will be the longest one. My starting and ending points for each day will be pretty clear cut, but I want to leave time to deviate a bit and take in as much as I can. Once I get past Ohio, Im in uncharted territory ( for me). Once was west of the Mississippi once , and that was while I was in Memphis. I kinda went over the bridge into Arkansas, just to say I was west of the Mississippi.
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Old 05-14-2017, 06:57 PM   #13
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Larry, starting right now, send a letter to the Chamber of Commerce of each state you plan to travel through. You will most likely receive a list of motels and sights to see along with a lot of other interesting information.

You can find the address of each state's COC on line. I have never been charged for any of the information packets I ever received.
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Old 05-14-2017, 07:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Larry, starting right now, send a letter to the Chamber of Commerce of each state you plan to travel through. You will most likely receive a list of motels and sights to see along with a lot of other interesting information.

You can find the address of each state's COC on line. I have never been charged for any of the information packets I ever received.
Great Idea, and Im actually one step ahead of you
I just have a few more states to go, but I have received info on most. And as you said, its usually free info, along with printed material, website links ....

What makes this trip a little different than past trips, is that other than ending up in Montana on a specific day, I don't have too many restraints. Its like an open book with blank pages.

When I did Nashville and Memphis last year , I had shows, concerts, Elvis wedding ceremony all preplanned, so I really had to be diligent on where i was ,how long Id be there and when I'd arrive at the next place. A lot less pressure this time around.

That being said, Im a very time/ schedule/ itinerary oriented person. So Im sure by the time I'm done planning, Ill be able to say ( in advance) all the details. But, I'm sure there are many things that you just don't know you're going to experience, encounter...on a journey such as this, until i actually pass by it in person.
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:29 PM   #15
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Larry, looking at a map, the most direct route would bring you right through Minneapolis. We have a number of vegetarian restaurants here.

One that I've eaten at several times is a place called Spoonriver. It's owned by Chef Brenda Langton, who is a vegetarian herself. The menu isn't 100% vegetarian, but it's kind of what they do.

Here's a link, if you're interested:
Spoonriver Restaurant in Minneapolis, MN

It's also right in the heart of the Warehouse district of the city, sharing real estate with the Mill City Museum and next to the Guthrie Theater. If that doesn't grab you, there's a nice Thai restaurant across the street called Kindee that I would highly recommend. I just ate there last Thursday, as a matter of fact.

Let me know if you're able to make a stop in the area. I'd love to meet up with you if it happens to work out.
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Old 05-15-2017, 03:10 AM   #16
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On my last trip to the USA, I was in Chicago for a Travel Convention and here are 2 reasonably priced and enchantingly lovely Bistros:

1) PEGASUS: Located in Greek Town / Mezze or Appetisers, run from $6.95 to 13. Almost all are vegetarian .. It is awesome. One feels as if they are in a Greek Tavern.

2) CAFÉ BA BA REE BAH: 2024 N. Halstad on the North Side of the River.
It is a Spanish Tapas Bar & Bistro. The majority of the Tapas are also vegetarian.

Have a safe and wonderful trip.
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:44 AM   #17
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Larry, looking at a map, the most direct route would bring you right through Minneapolis. We have a number of vegetarian restaurants here.

One that I've eaten at several times is a place called Spoonriver. It's owned by Chef Brenda Langton, who is a vegetarian herself. The menu isn't 100% vegetarian, but it's kind of what they do.

Here's a link, if you're interested:
Spoonriver Restaurant in Minneapolis, MN

It's also right in the heart of the Warehouse district of the city, sharing real estate with the Mill City Museum and next to the Guthrie Theater. If that doesn't grab you, there's a nice Thai restaurant across the street called Kindee that I would highly recommend. I just ate there last Thursday, as a matter of fact.

Let me know if you're able to make a stop in the area. I'd love to meet up with you if it happens to work out.
Larry, as I do not eat out I have no suggestions, but I hear the restaurant Steeve mentioned above is in fact good. Mainly I want to mention that I too would love to meet you if time allows. Please let me know.
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Old 05-15-2017, 01:13 PM   #18
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Glad to hear you were ahead of my suggestion. When I took a trip out to Wash./Oregon with a friend I did that. He was surprised that I had the sense to do that. I already knew about Western Washington since I had lived there for a while. Our biggest laugh was when he went to find a station, and up came a Native American station playing there dance music with drums and their singing.
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Old 05-15-2017, 01:35 PM   #19
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I drove from Boston to Yellowstone and back once.

Expect a LOT of nothing!!

Chicago and Minneapolis are true foodie meccas but there's a lot in between. You know it when Fargo is considered a destination spot ...

Sounds like you'll be driving right by The Brat Stop in Kenosha, WI which is worth a visit just for the spectacle if nothing else.
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Old 05-15-2017, 01:36 PM   #20
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Chicago! Eek! I just realized folks were steering you through the more crowded route. I'd avoid it like the plague -- then again, I'd be threading my way along rural highways once I reached Ohio to avoid cities and their delays.

My advice, for what it's worth, is to head out of NYC following I78 rather than I80, keep further south and don't join I-80 until Davenport, IA. Pick up I-90 at Sioux Falls and I-90 takes you right to Missoula.

One stop that's definitely worth it and is right on the interstate is Greycliff Prairie Dog Town State Park in the middle of Montana. Worth a quick stop.
Montana State Parks :: Greycliff Prairie Dog Town
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