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Hobo John

South Dakota to NY/NJ

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I’m trying to plan a trip from South Dakota to Long Island and New Jersey. And just the thought of it is giving me a headache. I’m wondering if anyone has already done a trip like this and would like to share the route taken.

I already have decided the following...

  • where i will be staying upon arrival
  • not to travel through Canada
  • to avoid as much traffic and congestion (metropolitan areas) as possible
  • i don’t need to rush

I will be traveling in a 21 foot diesel class B with a dog.

Anyone?

 

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I may be able to help. I am quite familiar with the eastern part of this trip from Ohio to Long Island, and I have traveled some of the western part in Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, and S. Dakota. 

Am I correct to assume that you want to take a leisurely trip so that you can stay a few nights or a week in places along the way to take in some sights?  If so, I have some ideas for stops to suggest that I think are worthy.  What kind of things do you like such as natural scenic beauty,  hiking, historical sites, museums, gardens...etc? 

There is going to be traffic congestion someplace along your route, particularly in NJ, all around NYC, and Long Island.  That can't be avoided.   To absolutely minimize the traffic, where you can, will add a lot of miles and time to the route.  You might want to compromise and put up with some traffic if it cuts your miles in half or more.  Are you sure you really want to avoid  as much traffic as possible?  I don't want to spend my time suggesting a route that is too far off the beaten path to be practical for you, or one that has too much traffic for you either.  There is a lot of choices in between the most direct routes with the worst traffic and the absolute longest route with the least traffic.  Explain a bit more about how much traffic congestion you can tolerate. 

Jim

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I would like to spend an average of no more than 2-3 nights per stop with the idea that each change of location would be no more than 200 miles - a trip that would take between 2 and 3 weeks. I realize that your suggestions of places to visit may lengthen the time it takes if they aren’t located along a direct route but that might be ok - my preference of location is natural scenic beauty, most everything else is difficult or impossible with the dog. My only time concern has to do with the fact that i don’t know how long i will be in NY/NJ and don’t want to run into any early winter or other inclement weather before i head south and west. I don’t expect to depart from SD until late September.

I was raised in NYC and drove there until i was 25 when i left - about 40 years ago. Although i have some experience with city traffic and congestion, i would like to avoid it as much as possible. 

Your response is very generous and i hope i answered all the questions you had.

Edited by Matilda's mate

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The most direct route is to take I-90 but you will run into some traffic in the Chicago area. There are many ways to avoid Chicago however but you will need to get of I-90 for awhile. 

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Route 20 is look across Iowa but drop south at Rockford IL or before to pick a route East. Part of 20 is good in Indiana but I haven't driven it all.

Clay

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Here is a route that was proposed by the trip planner of freecampsites.net that uses the following parameters: no highways (i think this means no interstates), no tolls, and available camping within 50 miles of the suggested route. As i plan this trip and make adjustments to the proposed route, i plan to post updates in this thread for others that may be considering traversing the same area. This route is approximate 1584 miles. Google maps shows the quickest route using Interstate 90 at 1465 miles.

https://freecampsites.net/#!Madison+SD~Bridgeport,+CT,+USA&query=routeSearch&routeDistance=50&routeIndex=0&routeAvoid=HighwaysTolls&optimize=true

 

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Sorry, I have not followed up before now, Matilda's mate.  I spent several hours working on an unfinished suggestion for a scenic, reduced traffic, route. Then I pulled up your route from freecampsites.net and see that I may not be picking roads you will want.  So I have a few more questions before I continue. 

1) It looks like your route is avoiding Interstate Highways all the way.  I didn't think that was even possible.  Is that your intention, to stay off all Interstates?  Does that software tell you how long that route will take?  Does it meet your needs time wise? 

2) I was trying to get you to Long Island.  Are you actually going from Madison, SD to Bridgeport, CT first? 

I really want to help you, but the roads on your route from freecampsites.net are so different from the way that I travel, I may not be the best person to be suggesting a complete route like I planned.  

Jim

 

 

 

Edited by Jim Gell

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5 hours ago, Jim Gell said:

Sorry, I have not followed up before now, Matilda's mate.  I spent several hours working on an unfinished suggestion for a scenic, reduced traffic, route. Then I pulled up your route from freecampsites.net and see that I may not be picking roads you will want.  So I have a few more questions before I continue. 

1) It looks like your route is avoiding Interstate Highways all the way.  I didn't think that was even possible.  Is that your intention, to stay off all Interstates?  Does that software tell you how long that route will take?  Does it meet your needs time wise? 

2) I was trying to get you to Long Island.  Are you actually going from Madison, SD to Bridgeport, CT first? 

I really want to help you, but the roads on your route from freecampsites.net are so different from the way that I travel, I may not be the best person to be suggesting a complete route like I planned.  

Jim

 

 

 

Please go ahead and make your suggestions...

the freecampsites.net route i posted was just to see what i would get if i clicked the options buttons requesting no highways, tolls, etc. I had previously only searched an individual location and never tried their trip option.

I used Bridgeport, CT as the destination to force the program to avoid NYC to get to LI (Mt. Sinai is one of the places i will be visiting). From Bridgeport, i can get to LI via the Port Jefferson ferry. 

I am not necessarily trying to avoid Interstate highways altogether, just trying to avoid metro areas with a lot of traffic and congestion. I do recognize that Interstates can give me better access to diesel fuel. 

I’m open to any options/suggestions.

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Matilda's mate,  I want to send you a route I made using Microsoft Streets and Trips which is no longer sold or supported.  Unless you have the software you probably can't open the file if I send it.  But, I can save it as a PDF and e-mail it to you though. 

PM me your e-mail address.

Jim

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Matilda's Mate,  

As long time residents of the area and now traveling from Ohio to Joliet, to visit my parents, 30 is the preferred route thru Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.  I would say once you hit the Chicago metro area, I would recommend going US Rt.47 South to US 30 or I80/US 30 instead of 20 or 6. The actual condition of the roads are TERRIBLE along with the congestion with traffic lights and rougher neighborhoods going thru "East Chicago" and  Northwest Indiana on 6 and 20. HWY 30 is well kept (not as many potholes) and minimal congestion on 30. Its just a suggestion, if you would like more information I can go further in detail and also suggest areas to stay along that route of 30. 

In my opinion, I would go across Minnesota, Northern Wisconsin and the UP of Michigan (US 2???) and drop down the "thumb side" of the the mainland, you may hit Detroit but if you stay on the Interstate thru the Metro area, its worth the longer detour. Lots of sceinic views and nature and potentially see 4 of the 5 Great Lakes. 

 

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On 3/23/2018 at 8:31 AM, Black N Tan Caravan said:

Matilda's Mate,  

As long time residents of the area and now traveling from Ohio to Joliet, to visit my parents, 30 is the preferred route thru Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.  I would say once you hit the Chicago metro area, I would recommend going US Rt.47 South to US 30 or I80/US 30 instead of 20 or 6. The actual condition of the roads are TERRIBLE along with the congestion with traffic lights and rougher neighborhoods going thru "East Chicago" and  Northwest Indiana on 6 and 20. HWY 30 is well kept (not as many potholes) and minimal congestion on 30. Its just a suggestion, if you would like more information I can go further in detail and also suggest areas to stay along that route of 30. 

In my opinion, I would go across Minnesota, Northern Wisconsin and the UP of Michigan (US 2???) and drop down the "thumb side" of the the mainland, you may hit Detroit but if you stay on the Interstate thru the Metro area, its worth the longer detour. Lots of sceinic views and nature and potentially see 4 of the 5 Great Lakes. 

 

Thanks Black N Tan Caravan!

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We took US 20, NE 12 through Nebraska. IA 44, US 6 through Iowa to Moline then I 80 to avoid the worst of the Chicago nightmare. The trip through Iowa and Nebraska was awesome, beautiful country out there. You can make pretty good time on those roads and see some nice sights.

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