USA on $25 a day…well, actually…$300

Remember the Lonely Planet’s Shoestring series, including USA and Canada on a Shoestring, and Europe on $25 a Day (Arthur Frommer/1985). That was then, this is now.

I am budgeting for the coming month-long road trip with my best travel buddy…The Lace. Almost every day driving and staying in motels. Almost every day eating gas station food with McDonalds for the good times. Please let me assure you that we intend to find country kitchens full of tasty nutritious food (or more likely hotel/motel “dining” rooms) … but in the daylight there’s always a fish sandwich and apple turnover wherever you go, whenever you desire, however you’re attired, whomever you’re with……..

Here’s how it breaks out: Gas $75-150 per day; hotel average (with luck) $100; evening meal with wine! $50-60; daytime food $30+; souvenirs (everyone should have a Mt. Rushmore or Sturgis biker or North Dakota oil well t-shirts) $50; park entrance fees $0-50. How much a day was that again? A low of about $300 up to about $440.

photo from National Park Serive of Teddy Roosevelt National Park.

photo from National Park Serive of Teddy Roosevelt National Park.

But out on the road. Trying to decide the route from Mount Rushmore to Winnipeg. I think it will be almost all of the way on US 85 to the Canadian border. We will go through Teddy Roosevelt State Park which is one of my favorite parks—it is so easy to imagine Teddy galloping about and shooting pretty much everything that moves but he loved this country. It was where he regained his strength after the many sorrows in his life.  . Cross the wide Missouri, one of my favorite rivers—because anywhere you cross it is indeed impressively wide (as in ♪Across the Wide Missouri♫) and you know Lewis and Clark sailed this way past the very spot at which you gaze. Hear the buffalo and the Mandan warriors in pursuit. Always stop your car and just sit there with the windows down. It is as still as it was when the explorers floated by. I’m sure you cannot say this about every pullover along this big meaningful American river but in North and South Dakota it is true.

ND tourism

ND tourism

US 85 runs 1,479 miles from El Paso, Texas to Fortuna, North Dakota. It will actually be the main route of our northward trek. Unfortunately in New Mexico it is mostly subsumed by 1-25 and we are NOT freeway travelers.  In Colorado, to stay on the west side of the Rockies we miss most of 85 I think but once we are in Wyoming we are US 85 followers until close to the Canadian border. So through Wyoming, South Dakota and North Dakota it is OURS. Blogs named US 85: Interesting things will be plentiful!

Tomorrow I will tell you about Williston, North Dakota which is where we will eventually spend the night…across the wide Missouri. I love to say that.

The final NCIS’s for this year are on soon. Must leave the road for now…the imaginary road…for a few more days. The big issue of the moment for me is this: The Killing comes back on June 2nd. Teresa and I will be in Minneapolis. It is imperative that we find a hotel with AMC obviously. Travel stress springs from many sources.


About mneset

Writer, Traveler, Director/North Fourth Art Center

Posted on May 15, 2013, in Living LIFE and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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