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Elkhart to Custer State Park

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Thomas4854

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Elkhart to Custer State Park
« on: August 11, 2018, 09:40:07 pm »
Kind of short notice. Any recommendations on overnight stops from Elkhart. Was planning on taking 80 west, 380, 20, 35 north to 90. PC guys said they took 80, 39, 90. It does plot out faster but ??. I don’t know how far we’ll go each day. As you know it all depends on start time, traffic, and weather.

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Elkhart to Custer State Park
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2018, 07:10:26 am »
We live 3 hours closer to Custer State Park than Elkhart is.  We live off I-90, 20 minutes west of Chicago.  Taking the route recommended by Phoenix is longer in miles but avoids lots of tolls or lots of traffic.  And that route is least complicated.

When we travel out west on I-90 to the Black Hills area, actually throughout our travels everywhere, we stay overnight in a Walmart parking lot.  If one is not found, our second choice is overnight parking in a rest area.  We are never doing that alone.  There are always other RVs...strength and safety in numbers.  It's legal too.  Walmart welcomes it in most their stores outside huge cities, or tourism towns.

Don't just run direct to Custer State Park.  Spend your second night at Badlands National Park.  While there, visit Wall Drug and Minuteman Missile National Historic Site.  When we were at the missile site, the visitor center was a double-wide trailer.  I see on their website, the visitor center is so much more now.  Get reservations to see the off-site Delta 01 and 09 (underground command center and silo with rocket), but if there are non available, sign up there as a stand-by.

My favorite hike at Badlands is the notch trail at sunrise or sunset, but I see the ladder is being worked on, closing the trail this season.  Double-check at the visitor center for they might have reopened it and did not update their website.  The notch trail is short and fairly easy as long as you can use the easy-to-use cabled ladder as shown.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2018, 07:34:19 am by Ron Dittmer »
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Thomas4854

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Re: Elkhart to Custer State Park
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2018, 09:56:13 am »
Ron are you recommending 39 to 90 or my first route? I got the first route off this forum. And yes we will be taking in things along the way. We check in Friday at Custer and are just leaving Elkhart right now. Thank you for the reply!

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Elkhart to Custer State Park
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2018, 10:52:00 am »
Ron are you recommending 39 to 90 or my first route?
I recommend I-80w to I-39n to I-90w, staying on interstate routes 100% the time, especially in a brand new PC where you need to warm up to driving the rig.  But even if you are comfortable driving it, I still recommend that route from Elkhart to I-90 west.  Pick up I-90 in Rockford, IL.  You will put on a few more miles but miss the tolls and all Chicago area driving.  People around here watch their cell phones more than the road, and going way over the speed limits.

If you are daring and want to try another route....May God be with you driving through the heart of Chicago or pay tolls up the ying/yang taking I-80 to I-294 to I-290, to I-90.  I-90 is a tollway from O'hare airport to Rockford so driving through down-town Chicago still costs.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2018, 10:55:49 am by Ron Dittmer »
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donc13

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Re: Elkhart to Custer State Park
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2018, 03:04:40 pm »
Another way from Rockford is taking 20 west.  It is good road especially thru Iowa.  It is beautiful country.  In Dyersville, the movie set from Field of Dreams is just a few miles out of town.  I too, would stay far away from I-90 in Chicago. 
We have stayed at a campground right off of 20 in Galena. It was nice.  I don't remember what it cost. If you want to do the boondock thing, the Sam's Club in Dubuque is dark and quiet.  We felt safe.  It is in a newer area of town. 

There are any number of places where you can get back up to I-90.
Last Fall when we were in Custer, the buffalo herd walked along the road everyday right past the cars.  We stayed at the Legion Lake c.g.   They may have some fire damage now.  We even met a Phoenix Cr.  family from Nebraska there.
Patti
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Thomas4854

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Re: Elkhart to Custer State Park
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2018, 03:47:06 pm »
Thanks for the replies. We planned on staying clear of Chicago and did. Taking my original route that had also been recommended. We did meet a couple at a rest stop that told us to take 80 all the way to 680 then north. Stuck to my route and are stopping in Waterloo, Iowa.
Patti- I was stuck in that buffalo herd for 45 minutes on a motorcycle 19 years ago! I hope to see them again, hopefully less traumatic this time.
Thanks again and safe travels everyone!