The road trip, as mythologized by movies, is a glorious thing. Yet on the relatively short ride from Cedarburg to Green Bay to see the great-grandparents, I was ready to ban the car as a form of transportation for our family. And I wasn’t even in the back seat.
But as winter is about to descend and the hazy days of summer seem far away, maybe a road trip would be nice. You know, then. Not now. Then, we’ll all be quieter, more patient, more relaxed. It might be fun.
And I love bison.
So South Dakota! Here we come.
Rob proposed I use the IRS mileage rate to determine the cost of the travel part of a road trip.
So 877 miles, at $0.55 a mile = $482.35
When I was in 4th grade we read about Mt Rushmore in social studies. And I talked my parents into taking a vacation there that summer. It is interesting how I want to follow that itinerary, which is ironic only because that was a fly-by-the-seat-of-our pants trip. No advanced reservations. Drive a few hours. Look around. Sleep.
I don’t travel that way. I spent the majority of that trip in the back seat looking in the hotel guides and trying to persuade my parents to stay at the ones that sounded nicest to me. I pouted at one of the places I didn’t choose. Its highlight was the vibrating bed. Put in a quarter and the “magic fingers” would soothe away your travel stresses.
I think we’ll skip that one this time.
It is about 5 hours to Albert Lea, Minnesota.
Holiday Inn Express
821 PLAZA STREET ALBERT LEA, MN 56007
Travel Dates Arrival: Sat 10 Jul 2010 Departure: Sun 11 Jul 2010
$89.95 3 FULL BEDS NONSMOKING Non-Smoking
Amenities: free high speed internet, indoor pool, Express Start Breakfast Bar (no waffles, darn it)
And then we’re back on the road the next morning. The only plus to driving through the midwest is that it looks surprisingly like home, no matter where you go. So it is pretty enough to look at from the car, but not much reason to stop. On day 2, we’ll drive about 4 hours to Mitchell.
1117 S. Burr St. , Mitchell, SD, US, 57301
Sunday, July 11, 2010 for 1 night.
2 Queen Beds, Suite
Free high speed internet, free breakfast, indoor pool
We’ll visit the Corn Palace, which seems silly. And will disappoint the kids. I was disappointed. Wow, the outside is amazing. And the inside is a big building. I don’t think I was expecting Epcot center, but maybe an imagineer could help the out.
For day three, we’ll drive to Wall Drug, which looks like it is about 3 hours. Then after the delight that is Wall Drug, we’ll go to the Badlands National Park, another hour perhaps. For night 3, we’ll stay in Badlands National Park.
Cedar Pass Lodge
20681 South Dakota Highway 240 – Interior SD 57750
“Without the distractions of phones or televisions, each cabin is furnished with heat/air conditioning, a coffee pot and a bath. Cedar Pass Lodge is a must stop when en-route through South Dakota’s Badlands.”
July 12, 2010
Cabin with private bath: $85.00/night
Two bedroom cabin with connecting bath: $100.00/night
I assume we’d get the 2 bedroom cabin. But maybe the cottage is nicer?
For day 4, we’d explore the Badlands. We’ll hike or drive through the eerie and haunting lands. Then we’d head west past Rapid City to Keystone and Mt. Rushmore. It is about 2 hours (or74 miles, so you know these are slow mountain roads) to Mount Rushmore. I’d like to spend 3 nights in this Badlands/Rushmore surround. Should it be nights in the rustic cabin or 2 nights in the nicer hotel?
(night 4) July 13 and/or 14th (night 5)
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites KEYSTONE
321 SWANZEY ST KEYSTONE, SD 57751 UNITED STATES
2 QUEEN STE WITH SOFA SLEEPER NONSMOKING
If we were quite serious about this trip, I would inquire seriously at the K Bars Lodge. It looks divine. Fabulous views on the lands near Mt Rushmore. That said, the Holiday Inn Express looks quite rustic and resort-like too.
Day 6, time to start heading home. I know of 2 families that have started driving home from SD and decide they just want to be home. And drive straight back to Wisconsin. I doubt the kids will be up for that.
Could we make it 6 hours in a day? That would get us to Sioux Falls.
Quality Inn & Suites
5410 N. Granite Lane , Sioux Falls, SD, US, 57107
2 Queen Beds, roll-away bed
Free High-Speed Internet, Microwave and Refrigerator, indoor pool, deluxe free breakfast
For Day 7, I don’t think we could make the whole 8+ hours back home. Maybe we could make it to Mauston, which is about 5.5 hours away.
Country Inn & Suites By Carlson Mauston
1001 State Road East 82 Mauston, WI 53948
High-Speed Internet, Indoor Pool
Fri Jul 16, 2010 to Sat Jul 17, 2010:
Our Standard Guest Room features:
And the on day 8, we’d drive home. The time estimate is 2-3 hours. We’d arrive home on Saturday, July 17.
And how much would the road trip cost (plus attraction fees, Wall Drug bumper stickers, and food)
+ $89.95 (Albert Lea 1)
+ $104.99 (Mitchell 2)
+ $110.00 (Badlands 3)
+ $162.99 (Keystone 4)
+ $162.99 (Keystone 5)
+ $119.99 (Sioux Falls 6)
+$94.99 (Mauston 7)
An interesting way to spend a week.