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 Adventure of a Lifetime - Camping across the USA!
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reereebee
True Blue Farmgirl

142 Posts

Marie
Clark WY
USA
142 Posts

Posted - Apr 18 2011 :  4:28:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am planning and replanning (and getting VERY excited about) the adventure of a lifetime! My stepdaughter is graduating from highschool in Montana at the beginning of June. Her father and I (along with our 3 other young children) live in Florida. We promised to be at her graduation, come heck or high water, so starting this Memorial Day weekend, we will be camping our way across the USA. FL to MT - aiming for between 500 and 600 miles per day. I think that's all my little ones can handle, plus I want to explore and enjoy along the way. This country has SO many amazing things to see.
I would really welcome as many other farmgirl perspectives as I can gather. Any suggestions on places to stay, things to see, games to play in the car, etc. are appreciated. I love advice and ideas from all you sisters.
After graduation, we will stay a few days and visit with my husband's family, then with the new graduate in tow (driving her car, that she worked very hard to buy with her very own money), we will all caravan back to FL, where we will all live crowdedly (is that a word?!?!) in our tiny home together while she attends college.

Just a little side note - this trip will be on a VERY tight budget, as most of you know the feeling, I'm sure. Fuel will be our greatest expense. I am packing food and restocking at local grocery stores - or farms, if I can find some- along the way. We are tent camping at inexpensive campgrounds, friends' yards, whatever we can come up with (**insert Farmgirl suggestions HERE**)________________________. And housing on the MT end is free because we're staying with family

I really look forward to hearing your comments...so please let them flow freely. I truly appreciate it.

Thanks,




--Marie--
Farmgirl Sister #1627
www.reereebee.etsy.com

“Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else” - J.M. BARRIE, Novelist



Edited by - reereebee on Apr 18 2011 4:51:36 PM

Lady Woodworker
True Blue Farmgirl

259 Posts

Karen
Chamberlain Maine
USA
259 Posts

Posted - Apr 19 2011 :  09:45:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Marie,

I don't know your route but since I have taken a great number of long road trips I may be able to offer a few pointers.

When I was little, my folks would search out public playgrounds in small towns along the way. We'd get a 10 minute play break (whether we actually stuck to 10 minutes I don't remember). What I do remember are the neat playgrounds with different playground equipment and different kids than I was used to. These were short, sweet, and highly memorable stops for me. We'd play extra hard then nap for hours.

We also sought out small town local cafes, especially breakfast places. I still do this whenever I travel.

Another thing my mother and I used to do on our road trips was to stop whenever we spotted some silly thing and take each others pictures next to it. Things like Paul Bunyan and Babe (found all over the north), a hotel with a funny sounding name (I have a picture of my mother laying on the ground in the parking lot of the "Lazy U" motel). Things like that. These mini-stops are great memory makers and are inexpensive fun. These things keep you stopping too. It's so important to take breaks.

When I was college age and took a road trip with friends, we made a game of mispronouncing the name of whatever town we were in to see how many locals would correct us. Usually all of them did. Smart-aleck me (I still enjoy it now and then).

Thanks for bringing back these nice memories. Sounds like you have a wonderful adventure to look forward to.
Have a great time!

Karen



Farmgirl Sister # 2419
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reereebee
True Blue Farmgirl

142 Posts

Marie
Clark WY
USA
142 Posts

Posted - Apr 19 2011 :  12:33:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Karen - Thanks for all the wonderful ideas! I want to stop at all kinds of fun places for pictures, definitely. I hadn't thought of the playgrounds. I'll see what I can rustle up. My tentative route (so far) is from FL to TN, then from TN to MO (where we have friends), then from MO to SD, SD to southern MT to see family, then from southern MT to the northwest corner of MT for our final destination. My husband grew up in a tiny town just outside of Glacier Nat'l Park and this is where my stepdaughter still lives.

--Marie--
Farmgirl Sister #1627
www.reereebee.etsy.com

“Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else” - J.M. BARRIE, Novelist


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MagnoliaWhisper
True Blue Farmgirl

2817 Posts

Heather
Haysville Kansas
USA
2817 Posts

Posted - Apr 19 2011 :  12:57:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The zoo in St. Louis Mo is free, and awesome! HUGE! There is a charge for parking but not much, if you have handicap tags, or a zoo pass for your own zoo they usually will waive the parking fee as well.


http://www.heathersprairie.blogspot.com
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reereebee
True Blue Farmgirl

142 Posts

Marie
Clark WY
USA
142 Posts

Posted - Apr 19 2011 :  1:04:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Really? A FREE zoo? We'll be going right by St. Louis on our route. I am THERE! Thanks for the suggestion.

--Marie--
Farmgirl Sister #1627
www.reereebee.etsy.com

“Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else” - J.M. BARRIE, Novelist


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MagnoliaWhisper
True Blue Farmgirl

2817 Posts

Heather
Haysville Kansas
USA
2817 Posts

Posted - Apr 19 2011 :  1:56:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Welcome and yes it is free. Like I said they do charge for parking though. But, still that zoo is the best!


http://www.heathersprairie.blogspot.com
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prariehawk
True Blue Farmgirl

2914 Posts

Cindy

2914 Posts

Posted - Apr 19 2011 :  9:45:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
there is a place near Bowling Green, KY, where the motel "rooms" are shaped like teepees--it's one of only two motels like it in the U.S. Makes an interesting picture. The zoo in St. Louis is also very good, and, of course, is free (though you may have to pay for parking if you're not familiar with Forest Park and where to park). The best free place to park is on the end of the zoo (can't remember which direction) that's away from the main entrance. You have to walk about half a mile to get to the entrance so it's not too far. sounds like you're going to have a wonderful trip!
Cindy

"Vast floods can't quench love, no matter what love did/ Rivers can't drown love, no matter where love's hid"--Sinead O'Connor
"In many ways, you don't just live in the country, it lives inside you"--Ellen Eilers

Visit my blog at http://www.farmerinthebelle.blogspot.com/
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MagnoliaWhisper
True Blue Farmgirl

2817 Posts

Heather
Haysville Kansas
USA
2817 Posts

Posted - Apr 19 2011 :  10:45:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Prairiehawk I was pretty sure you could park a ways away for free, but didn't want to say 100 percent that was true. So thanks for letting us know. I know I usually park in the parking lot though, since I have a local zoo pass (I live in Kansas) and when I show it to the parking people they usually let me park for free since I have a different zoo's pass. But, when I was little my dad used to go off and park, he would drop us off at the front then go off that long ways to park some where free. I would highly suggest that with kids. And now days with cell phones a dad could find you pretty easy once he got back to the zoo himself.


http://www.heathersprairie.blogspot.com
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Joey
True Blue Farmgirl

1800 Posts

Joey
Gulf Coast FL
USA
1800 Posts

Posted - Apr 21 2011 :  9:45:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What a wonderful trip! My DD & I spent the last 4 years travelling the country. It is a fabulous way to see our own country and the incredable people. When I took my 3 yr old DD and left my ex-husband (many years ago) he took the TV and I took all the camp gear. I bought a tent I could put up by myself and took my daughter & her best friend all over the place. These are memories we still talk about and now we take the grands with us too..in a tent.
One thing I did on long trips: I went to the dollar store or Michaels, ect and bought a few things. Then I put several things in lots of little bags. Every 200 miles I'd give the girls a new bag with coloring book and crayons, or a snack, or a small puzzle, etc. They had no idea what was in the bags when I put them in the car, loved getting a surprise to use then and something to look forward to.
The other thing I did, especially with little kids was that I gave them each a roll of dimes or quarters. everytime one of them asked "Are we there yet?" they had to give me a coin. They got to keep whatever money they had left over.
When we went to Disneyworld, my daughter wanted to carry her own money in her own purse. I knew she would lose it so I took her money and put an equal amount of Monopoly money in her purse. Every time she wanted to buy something she'd give me the monopoly money from her purse and I'd give her the money to pay for the thing she wanted. Worked out well.
If you e mail me, I have a book that lists all sorts of things to see on the roadside by state. Tell me your route and I'll check my book and tell you what there is to see on the way that is just outside the norm. You are going to have such a fabulous time. Joey

Well behaved women rarely make history.
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reereebee
True Blue Farmgirl

142 Posts

Marie
Clark WY
USA
142 Posts

Posted - Apr 22 2011 :  3:35:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Joey - Thank you so much. I will definitely email you with my route once I get it finalized. The ideas for the young kids are fabulous. I had planned on going to the dollar store for "supplies", but never thought of handing them out in "surprise bags" along the way! I love it.
I'll be in touch with you soon. Thanks again.

--Marie--
Farmgirl Sister #1627
www.reereebee.etsy.com

“Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else” - J.M. BARRIE, Novelist


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Joey
True Blue Farmgirl

1800 Posts

Joey
Gulf Coast FL
USA
1800 Posts

Posted - Apr 28 2011 :  09:07:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Glad to help. Keep me posted. Joey


Well behaved women rarely make history.
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