I had a few days to spare, so it was back to the detailed route planning. So far I had planned two of the major parts of the tour (the Atlantic Coast and the Central States) but for me, I was now about to start the most interesting part – travelling south down the Rocky Mountains.
The mountains themselves, the lakes, rivers and of course the twisty, winding roads that result from such geography will make this the most interesting part of the trip.
I spent these few days doing the detailed route planning through two of the States in this region, South Dakota and Wyoming. Just thinking about the places I would visit in these two States evoke strong memories of watching films set in these places when I was a boy – Custer, Crazy Horse Memorial, Boot Hill Cemetery, Sundance and other cowboy related towns. Combine those with Mount Rushmore, the Devils Tower (where they filmed the alien landing scenes in Close Encounters of the Third Kind), Yellowstone Park and the Teton Mountains, and this stacks up to be one of the parts of the forthcoming tour that I am most looking forward to.
Total miles planned so far = 6950
I should mention one website that I found to be incredibly useful in this detailed planning stage and that is Mapquest (www.mapquest.com). This is both an electronic map site, but even more useful is its “Directions” section. This allows you to type in the names of two towns or cities and the website then calculates and displays a route between those two places, giving mileages, times, road names etc. There are a number of websites that do this but Mapquest has one feature that is incredibly useful. This is the ability to drag the route shown with your mouse to a different road, say one that you want to use. The software then instantly re-calculates the distances and time. This is excellent when route planning.
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