Summer 2005 

Our far-flung western adventure

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Saturday, June 18

- Elkhart, Indiana -

  • We drive to Elkhart in the afternoon. We will stay at a local hotel.


Hotel, not yet determined

Sunday, June 19

- on the train -


  • We catch the train in Elkhart, Indiana at 7:00 in the morning!
  • We will be on the train all day and all night.


sleep on the train!

Monday, June 20

  - Flagstaff, Arizona -

  • Arrive via Amtrak about 8:50 in the evening, rent a car and then stay at a local hotel there in Flagstaff
Arizonan Hotel

Tuesday , June 21

 - Payson, Arizona -

  • From Flagstaff, we drive to Payson, Arizona and stay somewhere near the Mogollon Rim. Here is a great little article about a fellow who travels to the place. Mogollon Rim - in northern Arizona, marks the southern border of the Colorado Plateau. Pronounced: mug-ee-yun.
Cabin in the Payson/Christopher Creek area, we are staying at Pinecrest Cabins

Wednesday, June 22

 - Mesa, Arizona -

  • We enjoy a leisurely 90 miles drive on State Route 87 from Payson to Mesa, Arizona. We go shopping for all the supplies we will need for the RV, and go to local Thrift Stores to buy dishes, blankets and towels, then to a laundromat to wash our new/old purchases! We hope to pack sheets, but this might not be feasible. Either this afternoon or tomorrow morning, we might visit the mother of one of my old professors from University of Cincinnati. She still lives in Arizona and several people from UC have visited her over the years. We will also find the RV place and the car rental return.
Hotel, not yet determined

Thursday, June 23

- North of the grand canyon? -

  • Hopefully we will be able to pick up the RV quite early in the morning, like 10ish or so. I would like to be able to drive almost all the way to Utah tonight, although I expect to still be in Arizona when we stop for the night.
  • We will drive north on I-17 through Flagstaff, and drive on State Route 89 pass the Grand Canyon. We went there via train two years ago, and so will skip it this year. If we have the time, we might take the brief drive on State Route 395 to visit Sunset Crater and Wupatki.
  • We will take State Route 89 all the way to Utah. We are headed towards southern Utah, Bryce Canyon and that area.
Campsite, not yet determined

Friday, June 24

- Panguitch, Utah -

  • Today will be an easy, slow, very scenic drive as we leave Arizona towards Utah. It should be noted that we will make very sure to drive carefully in Utah, considering the weapons used by the Utah Department of Transportation! Once in Utah, we will stay on State Route 9 until we hit I-15, although we might just cut over to I-15 on SR-17 at La Verkin. We will go north about 30 miles on I-15 then get off in Cedar City and drive east on SR-14 towards Panguitch. We might drive the final way to Panguitch on SR-89 (the same one we were on earlier, or we might take the very rough (but scenic) road SR-143.
  • We then drive to Panguitch, stay at the Panguitch KOA, this is the start of the State Route 12, an official "All American Road." Seriously.
Panguitch KOA

Saturday, June 25

- somewhere near Green River, Utah -

  • This will be a wonderful driving on one of the most scenic roads in America. This road even has its own website: We will be driving through the Bryce Canyon National Park area all day. This will be a fairly short day of driving, so that we don't kill each other! Once we get to Torrey, we will continue on SR-24 east until we get tired. Unless we are already tired, then we will head west on SR-24 to cut some serious time off of our trip.
dry camping, no campground tonight!

Sunday, June 26

- Smoot, Wyoming -

  • Fairly boring day of driving, we go north all day on I-15 towards Idaho. In Brigham City, we get of and continue on SR-89 again, the same SR-89 as before. We are headed for Smoot, Wyoming. We gotta see Smoot! Here is the world's worst city website: Here is an aerial view of the town.
dry camping somewhere just south of Yellowstone Park

Monday, June 27

- Yellowstone -

  • I hope to get going really early so that we arrive in Yellowstone in the late morning.
Stay in Yellowstone National Park in Grant Village

Tuesday, June 28

- Yellowstone -

  • We tour Yellowstone today. In the morning we will see Old Faithful. We have several hours planned to slowly work our way around Yellowstone towards Canyon village where Ben and I are going to go on a horseback ride in the afternoon. We hope to find a campsite available nearer to the exit, but might have to return back to Madison where we have a reservation.
Yellowstone: Madison Camp Ground

Wednesday, June 29

 - Badlands, South Dakota -

  • We drive the Beartooth Highway. This is another great road for us to travel on, this link has a great description of the road. Breaking news: Unfortunately, there was a landslide just last week (the week of May 16th, 2005), and the Beartooth Highway is closed. We might drive some of the length if we have the time.
  • Our goal is Mount Rushmore. Tour the place, see the Badlands, then drive to Wall Drug. Wall Drug is an amazing store with its history in the Great Depression, when weary travelers wanted a rest and a drink of icy water. Here is a nice description of the history and lore of the place. Here is a pdf map of the drive from Mount Rushmore to the Badlands. Here is another more detailed map of the Badlands area. We hope to get an early start so that we don't have to "rushmore" than we have to....
Camp site: unknown

Thursday, June 30

- De Smet, South Dakota -

Camping at the Ingall's original homestead.

Friday, July 1

Just inside Wisconsin

  • We will stay right at the start of one of the most scenic northernmost reaches of the Mississippi river. If we have the chance, we will drive a bit north and see where Laura Wilder was born. Here is a pdf map of the drive, we will be driving in from the west via I-90 shown on the lower portion of the map. Laura Wilder was born in Pepin, Wisconsin, near the top of the map. The road along the Mississippi River is very scenic. This link also provides a great deal of information about the Great River Road and focuses on the Minnesota portion..
Northern Mississippi campsite

Saturday, July 2

- west of Chicago -

  • Enjoy a leisurely drive down the Mississippi, stay somewhere deep in Illinois.
dry camp

Sunday, July 3

  • Our goal is to drive to Elkhart, move the van to the rental agency, drive to Ann Arbor. If we have the time, we will head home on the Lincoln Highway, the first intercontinental highway in the country. Otherwise, will will just zoom home on I-90, a boring major toll road.
dry camp

Monday, July 4

  • Empty RV, drive to Elkhart to stay the night, the drop off time is 9-11 AM.
Stay in Elkhart area at a campsite with Ben and Gilly while my wife stay at home...she has to work the next morning!

Tuesday, July 5

  • Drop off RV in the morning, drive van home to Ann Arbor, I teach in the evening!
back home!

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