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Escapade road trip


Tex Bigfoot

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I was not just real sure where this should go so if the mods think it needs to

be somewhere else then so be it.

 

I will be retiring at the end of this year, so we are planning to attend the

Escapade in VT this summer. Having never been in a position that I could take a month if so inclined to get from point A to point B I am in a bit of predicament for things to do/see along he way.

I think that I would like to go full time in the near future but my wife just

can't seem to get her head around that idea so for now at least we will retain

the S&B. I'm not going to pressure her into anything but would like some things along the way that just might get her thinking about the possibility of going full time at some point.

A rough route that we are looking at is leave TX in Mid June and travel through AR, TN, KY, OH, PA, NY, VT . Then cross into Quebec ,Ontario and reenter the US at Sualt Ste. Marie then drive along Lake Superior before turning south to Texas again in Mid to late August.

 

She would like to go through the Cumberland gap so that will happen and I have

found so far and not necessarily in order the following things that have sparked our interest.

I felt that if I was having a bit of a hard time planning this

trip to Escapade then others might be having the same problem and we could help each other out or if someone has done something of interest to them along that

general route they could add it to the list .

AR Hot springs Nat. Park

TN (Memphis) of course some blues and BBQ

NY the Bolt castle

NY Fort Ticonderoga

NY Saint Lawrence sea way Eisenhower visitor center

NY Fort Niagara

NY / Canada Niagara Falls

VT the Ethen Allen house

MI Great Lakes Ship wreak Museum

MI tour of the Iron Mountain Iron Mine

 

I'm sure that I have only screeched the surface so please feel free to add

anything that comes to mind .

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We too will be traveling that way from TX but since we have a family reunion to attend in KS in July it will mean heading that way first for us.

 

Looking at your list I am wondering if you have ever traveled to the northeast before? I have been so some of what you list but there is a huge gap in your tour so might make a few suggestions to consider.

 

Natchez Trace from Natchez, MS to Nashville, TN.

Nashville attractions are a very long list

Vicksburg Natl. Battlefield & Iron Clad Cairo

St. Louis Arch NM

Branson, MO

Gettysburg Natl. Battlefield

Independence Hall

Land Between the Lakes

National Air Museum, Dayton, OH

Niagara Falls, NY

Washington DC & Smithsonian

Colonial Williamsburg, VA

Shenandoah Natl. Park

Antietam & Appomattox Courthouse

 

This is only a tiny part of what you will be passing through. I'm sure that others can join in with many more great suggestions.

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There are all kinds of wonderful things to do and see on the East Coast, don't miss Maine (OH LOBSTER!).

The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown NY, Lake George, Altoona PA and Strasburg PA (if you like trains).

But if you are considering Washington DC be aware that the traffic is a nightmare at all times of the day and night and at weekends.

In fact I would recommend avoiding I95 between Boston and Richmond VA, it's terrible. Look for a route further inland.

DC has great museums. BUT NOWHERE TO PARK!

Park outside the city at a Metro stop and ride the train in.

I worked in and around DC for 25 years so I know what I'm talking about.

BnB

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...A rough route that we are looking at is leave TX in Mid June and travel through AR, TN, KY, OH, PA, NY, VT ...

According to the mapping program I use, Cleburne, TX to Essex Junction, VT is 1831 miles by the most direct route. Six weeks may seem like a long time. However; if you travel a day and then take one day to visit and see what there is to see in the area, that translates to about 21 locations. It is true you will be passing through a lot of territory and I think you will have to make a lot of choices as to how much you can reasonably expect to see. For example, going from Hot Springs National Park to Memphis via Natchex, MS and the Natchez Trace adds 450+ miles. The most direct route, from Cleburne to Essex Junction does not take you into Pennsylvania let alone to the Eastern portion near Gettysburg or Philadelphia.

 

You do not say want your interests are. Once we set a general route, I use these websites to find things of interest along the way: National Parks

National Wildlife Refuges

State Parks

Scenic Byways

Legends of America

Roadside America

Ghost Towns

Slot Canyons

Pow Wows

Flea Markets

Rock Art

Native American Ruins

Factory Tours

Water Falls

Scenic Railroads

State Fairs

Lighthouses

Breweries in the United States

Wineries in the United States

National Historic Trails

Civil War Traveler

Civil War Trails

Trip Advisor

State Tourism Websites

Frommers Guide

Scenic USA

Road Trippers

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As folks are plotting their route to Vermont, especially for those not from the northeast, be aware that it's passenger cars and motorcycles only on anything called a parkway in New York State. No RVs, no trailers, no motorhomes.

 

http://www.hudsonvalleytraveler.com/perl/ParkwaysOverview.pl

 

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/trucks_nycarea_parkways.pdf

 

The usual culprit that fouls folks up is the Taconic Parkway since it's a nice north-south road east of the Hudson River and GPS and mapping software LOVE to route you that way. Don't.

 

You wouldn't want to, anyway. Low clearance stuctures, no shoulders, and nothing but a short guardrail separating north and southbound lanes in many places. But it is a pretty drive in the tow car.

 

Michelle

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Thanks everyone for all of the ideas . I will be checking them out and putting in order so that I can work several into our plans. Yes I knew that there was so much more than I had on my list and that is why I posted .

 

Kirk

You are right I have never been in the north east as a tourist and only a couple of times at all and that was with a 45 ' dry van or refer . At the time I was not the least bit interested in sight seeing, only finding a load going west. Quite frankly did not like driving an 18 wheeler on roads that were built for a horse and wagon so told the dispatcher not to send me east of Ohio or north of South Carolina, I tried to run mostly the heartland and west ,so this is all new ground for me and my wife .Looking forward to the trip but I really am lost as to where to go or what to do . I have been in NY (Albany area) one time on a hunting trip and we have taken a one week vacation to DC but that is the extent of my eastern travels other than the southern states.

 

Someone said that 6 weeks is not really as long a time as it seems, yes that is true and at least in theory my wife is willing to extend for another couple of weeks. But if we get to the point that we need to head home then we will just pull off and come back for another trip.

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Some travel schedule recommendations, if you haven't already thought of this:

 

Plan your travel day for 200 miles or less. Of course if you are trying to get from point A to point B and it is 900 miles then that is different, you are just trying to cover the ground to get to point B. Going 200 miles lets you leave at your leisure and arrive in early afternoon to get set up for the night.

 

If you are going to sight see somewhere, then arrive one day, sight see then next day and then leave the 3rd day. If there are more than one thing to see, then plan a full day for each thing. Much more relaxing this way.

 

Try to NOT make reservations that are difficult to cancel (penalty for canceling). We always try to "wander" as we travel. We never know what we will find to keep us in the same place for a day or three longer. Many times when we are in one place, we discover something we are interested in that keeps from from wanting to keep the original schedule we had planned. That is an extra stop along the original route, or something a few miles out of the way we didn't know about when we were planning our route. Also if unpleasant weather pops up, not needing to travel that day just to get to the reserved site makes for a much more relaxed travel.

 

Something else to consider (which we prefer) is, instead of traveling one day, sightseeing for 1-3 days, traveling one day and repeating the process, is to travel directly to the Pennsylvania/NY/Connecticut/VT area, pick a city/area and plan on spending 7-10 days there relaxing and sightseeing at your leisure. Then move 50-100 miles to the next place of interest and spend another 5-10 days.

 

For places to stay, we use RV Park Reviews to decide which RV Parks or State parks to stay at.

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MKC

 

Thank you for that info hopefully that will keep me out of some trouble.

 

Al

 

I like that idea , as I said just starting off on this no schedule thing and I am learning to not push .

I never not had to be at point B at a given time .

 

At this point looking to be in the Essex Junction area, or at least within a 100 miles or so by at least the 22 or 23 of July and that is the only reservation I will make . Other than that we have no solid plans that cant be changed .

Looking at the ideas that have been given and will hang onto them, even if we don't have the time to do them all and save for a future trip.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I would advise getting the Passport America membership.

Dittos on:

Natchez Trace, PA park across the river. Check Frogmore Plantation for tours.

Vicksburg

Nashville, worth two days PA park on Country Music Drive. Free bus service in Nashville. Free parking at Bicentennial Park.

Go east to Knoxville or Chattanooga, TN Aquarium

Then north up the Shenandoha(sp?) Valley, I81 and US11Lots of thing to see and do.

Stop in eastern PA for the Penn Dutch

Either before or after the Escapade you need to see the Maine coast at least as far as Bar Harbor. The routing to and from Maine is via US 2

Avoid the NY Thurway, tolls high. Avoid all bridges and tunnels near NY City. Tolls are outrageous and traffic is brutal. The bridge at Newburgh, I 84, is the least expensive at around $6-8

Are you a member of an fraternal organizations? ie ELKS , Moose. Think about joining as they have a lot of parking with hooksups, at least electric.

Shipwreck Museum on Whitefish Bay is great. Sault Saint Marie for the ships transiting the locks. Campground on the river south of the lock is great for ship viewing.

Cooperstown - worth it.

Saratoga Springs, NY horse racing and a great auto museum south of town

 

That should get you started. Don't rush and avoid the interstates as much as possible. The fun is on the two lanes. We have gone from the RGV via the Hill Country to Livingstone to Shreveport to Memphis using less than 30 miles of Interstate. About a two week trip.

 

Bill

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  • 3 weeks later...

What are your wife's interests? If she is a quilter go to Paducah,KY to the Quilting Museum. I dragged my husband through it(he really didn't want to go) and he ended up with a new appreciation for quilting. I think you are trying to do too much in too little time.

 

Al Florda has good suggestions for pacing.

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MKC

 

Thank you for that info hopefully that will keep me out of some trouble.

 

Al

 

I like that idea , as I said just starting off on this no schedule thing and I am learning to not push .

I never not had to be at point B at a given time .

 

At this point looking to be in the Essex Junction area, or at least within a 100 miles or so by at least the 22 or 23 of July and that is the only reservation I will make . Other than that we have no solid plans that cant be changed .

Looking at the ideas that have been given and will hang onto them, even if we don't have the time to do them all and save for a future trip.

I did North East this last summer. We were gone 90+ days. about 5200 miles. We also went to Quebec and Montreal. There is way to much to see and do you will need to decide where you want to spend your time. Or just take more time.

One thing some one pointed up in DC there is no parking. We all was stay at Cherry Hill RV park, 9800 Cherry Hill Rd, College Park, MD 20740, cherryhillpark.com, (301) 937-7116

The main reason is the access to the Metro line. There is a buss that stops in the park you can ride to the station or drive your toad. There are also a daily seminar on available tours and how to get around on the Metro line.

If you plan on going to Canada you will need your passport and if taking pets all their shot records. I mention this because if you go to Niagara Falls you will want to go to the Canadian side and don't miss riding The Maid of The Mist.

We went all the way up the East coast to Eastport Main. Don't miss Arcadia National Park.

By the way I keep my coach at my property in Joshua.

Bill

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Thank you all for these helpful suggestions we are slowly putting things together and as most of you have said there is so much to see and do we are having to choose carefully for the time allotted. We are in the process of applying for passports (gathering the info required) and will have that completed with time to spare.

 

Hoping to leave the Houston area ( wife has a family reunion ) after June 10th and start east through Louisiana I what to pick up some good Boudin and the stuff you can get in the Dallas area is just not the real thing.

 

After that planning to slowly work our way toward the Cumberland Gap as the wife has been wanting to see that area for as long as I can remember. Also thinking of going up through Ohio and visiting some of the Erie canal sites then turn east again and work our way past Niagara falls and into VT .

 

All is subject to change but this is the general direction that we plan to take .

 

Any other suggestions are well come and thank you all again .

 

.

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You might want to check but the Erie Canal starts in Albany NY ends in Buffalo NY.

http://www.eriecanal.org/

After you pick up some good Boudin I would head up I-55 and pick up I-40 in Memphis then to Knoxville TN. As long as you are this close I think you should spend a couple days or more in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area and visit the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. Then it is a short drive up State HY 25E to Cumberland Gap, TN. Don't miss the New River Bridge over the New River Gorge it is an amazing area.

From there you can go east to DC or north to the lake Erie area via 79 or 77 your choice.

 

Bill

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My mistake you are correct the Erie canal is in New York ,I was speaking of the Ohio and Erie canal in Ohio.

 

While that route is a good one and one that I would have taken without question when time was short (read during my working life ) one of my few goals on this trip is to use the interstate as little as possible and just slow down on the secondary roads and see the sights .

I think my wife may be starting to get excited about this trip she is now talking about possibly skipping the reunion and leaving early. There went my Boudin as we would be leaving from Cleburne. That's not a big deal when compared with leaving sooner.

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My mistake you are correct the Erie canal is in New York ,I was speaking of the Ohio and Erie canal in Ohio.

 

While that route is a good one and one that I would have taken without question when time was short (read during my working life ) one of my few goals on this trip is to use the interstate as little as possible and just slow down on the secondary roads and see the sights .

I think my wife may be starting to get excited about this trip she is now talking about possibly skipping the reunion and leaving early. There went my Boudin as we would be leaving from Cleburne. That's not a big deal when compared with leaving sooner.

I have heard that before "just slow down on the secondary roads and see the sights" It always sounds good. Ben there done that. I now use the interstate to get me to the area I want to explore. I park my condo and use the toad to explore. You can see and do much more. You will also find the secondary roads in the north east can be a challenge. Many low overpasses narrow bridges Low hanging trees.

What kind of coach do you have?

If you get to Vermont you will be on lots of interesting roads. Look around New Found Lake and the White Mountains.

Now I have slowed down and I don't drive long days like I use to, now 300 miles is about it.

 

If you leave from Cleburne I recommend the first stop be at the Downtown Riverside RV Park, 250 S Locust St, North Little Rock, AR 72114, northlittlerock.org, (501) 340-5312. use your Passport America discount for 50% off. If you don't have a Passport America card you should get one it will pay for itself in a couple stays. I like this park because it makes a good first day stopping point.

By the way I was in Quebec this summer if you would like some suggestions.

Bill

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  • 5 months later...

Does anyone have suggestions on the best route to take from Saratoga Springs, NY to Essex Junction? We have never been in the Northeast before. We are pulling at 38' 5th wheel. We have been told to take I-87 straight up and then cross over to Vermont above Burlington, but those roads between New York and Vermont don't look that good. We do not want to take the ferry either. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

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From I 87 you can take the exit near Glen Falls to 149 that takes you over to Fort Ann and up Route 22A. 22A is a 2 lane road and OK for RVs. There are not many places to stop but there is a "mini truck stop" at Shoreham about 45 minutes south of Burlington. It takes about 2 hours or so from I 87 to Burlington. Pretty, scenic route so just take your time.

 

Here is a link to the route (It begins south of the DC area so just zoom in to the end of the route.):

 

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?hl=en&authuser=0&mid=1VlKJCuLFjwyguTn-Sp8eYxvMBSw

 

You may be north of the beginning of the mapped route, so zoom into the NY and Vermont section; the Mobil stop at Shoreham (shown as B on the map) is also on this map link.

 

Don't think you'll be happy going north of Burlington and crossing on the ferry or backtracking to cross Lake Champlain....but you can check it out to see.

 

We've driven this route several times in a 40 ft MH; typical New England roads but no issues and pretty easy driving.

 

Just after you get on 22A going north you'll see a silver tank with white pipes coming down from the trees on the hill---maple sugar collection tank. And there are nice views of the Adirondacks on the New York side of Lake Champlain with glimpses of the lake in places.

 

Safe travels and enjoy the trip!

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