In 2006, we took a road trip to Minnesota to visit Farmer John’s mom.
It was a 4300 mile adventure with a mom, dad, 3 year old boy, 9 month old boy and a yellow labrador… and we camped out of our dodge truck most of the way.
DAY 1: Our first day started with a short 4 hour drive to Emigrant Springs Campground in Oregon
DAY 2: Next up was a 7+ hour drive to the volcanic wonder that is Craters of the Moon.
DAY 4: Explored the Grand Tetons and traveled north to Yellowstone.
DAY 5: Watched Old Faithful erupt, crossed the continental divide, and drove east to Cody, Wyoming to watch a rodeo.
DAY 6: Walked through Old Trail Town in Cody then continued east to Devils Tower.
DAY 8: We went back to Mount Rushmore, then drove to Keystone to visit the Historical Museum. From there, we explored Custer State Park – which we loved. To top off our day, we went to the Crazy Horse Memorial.
DAY 9: Before leaving the KOA in the Black Hills, we kayaked in their pond. On our way east we stopped at a farm and at Wall Drug, drove through the Badlands, and retired for the evening at a campground off I90.
DAY 11: Before leaving De Smet, I took the Laura tour through town. Then we drove about 2 hours to Walnut Grove, for more LIW knowledge. We toured a museum, walked the banks of Plum Creek, and watched the Wilder Pageant.
DAYS 12 – 16: Spent time with John’s family in Minnesota. We relaxed. We went to Lake Superior and the Mall of America.
DAYS 17 – 20: Drove through Minnesota, North Dakota, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Montana, Idaho, and Washington to get home to Oregon. I planned our trip home to be much shorter than our drive to Minnesota. But, we even shortened it by one day because we were ready to be home. We drove into Canada at the International Peace Garden and came back down into the US at Glacier National Park. It was a fairly uneventful drive back with only a few random stops.
This amazing road trip included 4300 miles, 8 States, 3 Provinces, 5 National Parks, 2 National Monuments, 1 National Memorial & numerous random stops along the way.
I couldn’t have asked for a better trip. We saw a lot of our great country, with no major hiccups.
We enjoyed it so much we did another road trip 6 years later in 2012.
2006 Road Trip National Parks Final Total:
National Parks: 5
National Monuments: 2
National Memorial: 1