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Old 02-21-2012, 12:36 AM
 
Location: portland for now
83 posts, read 136,247 times
Reputation: 82

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People always talk about small town america. It's different depending on where you go. For some it's a small farm town. For others it's a ranching,logging, mining or coastal fishing village. well I plan on traveling across the country form Oregon to eventually South Carolina. I plan on passing east through through Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the upper peninsula of Michigan and south through Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky then east through West Virginia and Virginia then south and east through North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas and Oklahoma and then south to the border of Texas and Mexico and east through Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama and south to Florida before heading north to Georgia and finally South Carolina.

Along the way i'll be visiting several national forest and parks, the rocky mountains, yellowstone, the black hills, the badlands, the great plains, the great lakes, the Appalachian mountains, the ozark mountains, the atlantic ocean, the mississippi and missouri river, the everglades and the gulf coast. My question to you is what do you think of my plan and what are some places i should visit along the way. I don't plan on staying in any big cities or taking the interstate the whole way. I wanna take as many back roads as possible and stay the night and visit in as many small towns as possible. I don't wanna stay in any tourist traps and I don't wanna change any small town ways. As a matter of fact I can't stand the city.
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:49 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
675 posts, read 1,261,007 times
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I sure wouldn't want to pay your gasoline bill.
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:44 AM
Status: " down to just 2 old dogs" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: Floyd Co, VA
3,429 posts, read 5,259,256 times
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The Blue Ridge Parkway is beautiful, no commercial traffic allowed and the speed limit is only 45 IIRC. Many small towns around and off it, places to camp too if that's your intention.

Blue Ridge Parkway - Home

Sounds like a fabulous trip, I hope you have a long time to enjoy it. Maybe you'd like to blog about it and share lots of photos of your experience.

Since I love maps I'd probably consider buying a few of these:

http://shop.delorme.com/OA_HTML/DELi...minisite=10020
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:10 AM
 
Location: portland for now
83 posts, read 136,247 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Mac View Post
I sure wouldn't want to pay your gasoline bill.
I'm gonna save money for four years while i'm in the marine corps and take a motorcycle to svae money on gas.
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:34 AM
Status: "living in a political world, where mercy walks the plank" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Bel Air, California
21,734 posts, read 22,544,107 times
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when visiting Minnesota, it would be worth your effort to head up to Ely which is near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. From there, find Highway 1 which takes you to Hwy 61 and the North Shore of Lake Superior. Head torwards Duluth to resume your travel either south and follow the St Croix/Mississippi River Valleys (Stillwater/Red Wing/Wabasha) or turn east and on into Northern Wisconsin.
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:39 PM
 
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I would second Ely. It is big on the tourist map, but there is a strong sense of community as well. Spring and fall are the best times. I once took US Hwy 2 from Seattle to Ely. A lot of lonely, wonderful miles. In Wisconsin, stop in Ashland. It is still trying to recover from the hey days of mining and shipping, but because of the small college, it has a decent downtown. I recommend the brewery, the Black Cat coffee shop for the best coffee you will have along the trip, and the Daily Bread bakery for European pastries. Check out the Porcupine Mountains just across the border in Michigan, as well as the ghost town nearby (I forgot it's name). Marquette is an awesome town, although bigger (about 20,000, I think). If there is a storm rolling in, head to Presque Isle Park on the edge of town to watch the big breakers crash--just don't get too close, or you won't make it to South Carolina.

There are two towns at either end of Picture Rocks NP. If you want real small town, go to Grand Marais (MI! There is also a Grand Marais, MN on Lake Superior--which is also pretty cool). It is tiny, tiny and right next to a very giant dune. If you will be camping, try to make it out to the mouth of the Two Hearted River. The campground can get a little packed, but being out on the lake with miles of sand beaches and NO towns within miles and miles is worth it. By the way, the river also shares it's name with one of Hemingway's books. The river he actually wrote about, though, was the Fox River, in the same area. One, he wanted to keep this fishing gem secret, and Two, The Big Hearted River just sounds cooler.

See Tahquamenon Falls if you have time and definiately stop at Whitefish Point, just north of Paradise, MI. They have a mariners' museum and is another amazing place to watch a storm come in. I believe the Edmund Fitzgerald Memorial is located here. Watch the boats go through the locks in Sault St. Marie is touristy, but almost a must... And that ends my knowledge of your proposed route.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:41 PM
 
Location: portland for now
83 posts, read 136,247 times
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do you know if michigan or wisconsin will let me buy a day pass for fishing? my buddies from wisconsin and whenever we talk fishing he always says that the walleye and northern pike is the best out there.
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:10 PM
 
12,683 posts, read 17,014,033 times
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Reminds me of the great John Travolta movie called Wild Hogs where, as urban professionals. they rode Harleys across the country getting into several interesting situations. Anyway, if you get to New Mexico, the small town of Madrid, northeast of Albuquerque in the mountains is a small but interesting place. An old mining town, it is actually more unique than the movie portrays.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:09 PM
 
2,542 posts, read 6,065,969 times
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Yes, they both have day licenses, I believe. If not day, then a week, which is what you might want for Michigan (or even longer, as you will spend a lot of time there). Links to Wisconsin DNR (http://dnr.wi.gov/org/caer/cs/licenses.htm - broken link) and Michigan DNR (http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10364_52261_52262---,00.html - broken link) fish license info.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:14 AM
 
Location: In a happy place
3,784 posts, read 7,043,431 times
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As you pass from Michigan into Northwest Ohio, you will find the little village of Grand Rapids just a little ways off to the west from Toledo. Located on the banks of the Maumee River, this little village serves both as the center of the rural farming community, providing the residents with their daily necessities such as feed and grain and mail, as well as an attraction for visitors with it's water powered gristmill and canal boat rides. If you happen to arrive in October, (I believe it's the second Sunday) you can join many other people there to spend some time reliving the years past with military re-enactments and such and getting their fresh Apple Butter, made in copper kettles over open fires.

There is a small B&B there that I have heard is a wonderful place to stay.

If there are any areas you don't get a response about, there is a great series of books called "Off the Beaten Path" one for each state I believe, that really does give some things that are interesting to see but not so well known, and thus away from the tourists. We have many of the ones for the Midwest states.

Have a safe trip.
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