Capital City Tour 2008

Get ready, here we come!

One trip a year is always planned for my brother Alan who is 46 and has Down's Syndrome. He's a great guy to be around and has always been able to recite the capital city for any state (and most countries) that you throw his way. I can't remember a time when he didn't carry a flag around with him, and it has to have a "point" on it.

So, as we did this year by making a circuitous loop through OK, KS, MO, and AR, we're making plans for next year about June 1st after Memorial Day weekend. I've gathered up as much as I can from the posts here (especially those of the famous Red Rock Country man DL Rupper.) The requirement is that we have to tour each state's capitol building. That is by Alan's request, because he's like the rest of us and has some kind of fixation that won't let him go! :laugh:

Anyway, here is the link to my Google planning map. I hope you can offer me some suggestions on the routes that I have chosen (for one reason or another.)

Also, I hope this shows you something about routing on Google's map. You click and double-click on the map and details that I have drawn to zoom in or out or get more details. It really works well, and the routing tells the mileage of the route. (I'm still a little leary of the real-world accuracy, but its a good planning tool.)

Most people have an up or down vote on it. I hate Google, but I'm still going to use their map.

Click the link below for the real thing and learn something new!

View Larger Map


Senior Member
Re: Capital City Tour 2008

looks like it will be a great trip and a fun one. Good job TexasClodhopper,

Love and Prayers , Ms Jackie, brodavid and Sarah

DL Rupper

Senior Member
Re: Capital City Tour 2008

Hey Texas Clodhopper, Your route looks good; however, if you have time, I would take Utah Highway 24, (I-70, exit 149), just West of Green River, UT and go to Capitol Reef Nat'l Park and then take Highway 12 over to Bryce Nat'l Park. From there you can go up US 89 to I-70 and resume your Google route. Beware Highway 12 is a humdinger through the Grande Staircase Escalante Nat'l Monument. Fantastic views and scenery. If you don't want to take on Highway 12 you can stay on Highway 24, through Loa, UT, back up to I-70.

Your brother will love the State Capital of Utah. It sits up on the top of State Street overlooking SLC. :)
Re: Capital City Tour 2008

DL, I knew you could improve the route. I'll look at that. I have to be careful, because Sallyberetta treatened my life after I took her on Skyline Drive on our way back from Royal Gorge! We were in a little Toyota car!
Re: Capital City Tour 2008

I was leary of taking U-95N from US-191N to U-24W into Canyon Reef Nat'l. Park. Is this a white-knuckle road? (I really think we'll have to pass on U-12 this trip! Sallyberetta renewed her threat. ;) )
Re: Capital City Tour 2008

We would like to visit Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, but it is on the very northern part of our loop and I would have to backtrack to get back on the main route. If I go on the freeway, as marked on my map, it is a 500+ mile trip.

It seems like there is a shorter route from Cheyenne Wy on I-25N to US-18/20E to US-18N (at Lusk) to US-18E then US-385 into Custer and then north into Mount Rushmore. [*]from Cheyenne Wy on I-25N [*]to US-18/20E [*]to US-18N (at Lusk) [*]to US-18E [*]then US-385N into Custer and [*]then north into Mount Rushmore[/list]

Is someone familiar with that area that can calm my fears? ;)

DL Rupper

Senior Member
Re: Capital City Tour 2008

You could take U 95 over to U 24 and Capitol Reef Nat'l Park, but you would miss Moab, UT and Arches and Canyonlands Nat'l Parks. Stay on U 191 to Moab and see the Nat'l Parks and then take U 191 to I-70 and travel past Green River, UT and then take U 24 (exit 149, I-70) to Capitol Reef Nat'l Park. There is a great little campground in Capitol Reef. No hookups, but really neat. We were hosts there in 2001. Then go on U 24 through Loa, UT back up to I-70 and complete your route to SLC. None of these roads should give Sallyberetta any problem. Just stay off of U 12. It would probably give her cardiac arrest. It has drop offs on both sides as well as 12 percent grades up and down.

DL Rupper

Senior Member
Re: Capital City Tour 2008

Surprise Texas Clodhopper, I've been on US-18E from Lusk through Nebraska. No problem. I haven't been on US-365N into Custer, but have been on US-365 in the Black Hills around Mt Rushmore and it is fairly easy. You shouldn't have any problems. It is in the Black Hills so you will have some ups and downs. :)
Re: Capital City Tour 2008

We have significantly reduced our "Tour" due to the time constraints of traveling with my brother Alan. We'll produce the remainder of the trip on the next go round.

I'm transferring the various legs of the Tour to my Garmin GPS. I'm finding that that the Google mileage estimates are right on the money, too. I was surprised at that. I'm marking the routes at Googles "1 Mile" and "2 Mile" zoom levels. This is a somewhat tedious process compared to doing it on the GPS (where you usually only need to specify the start and end points), but necessary in order to leave some history for my particular circumstance (I blog all of this for mine and Alan's websites.)

I hope this is educational to some and at least interesting to others.
Re: Capital City Tour 2008

A few years back I made a trip to the Grand Canyon, then backtracked somewhat and picked up I-25 and headed up to Colorado Springs, enjoyed Pike's Peak, Garden of the Gods, etc., then headed up to Cheyenne, WY, through "Chugwater", and cut over to Custer, did the Mt. Rushmore, Reptile Gardens, Bear Country, and other attractions near Rapid City, SD, did Sturgis, Lead/Deadwood (enjoyed Homestake Gold Mine tour), and enjoyed several forays into the Badlands (breath takingly beautiful). We stayed in Wall, SD and did day trips. Along our northern route back to the east coast we stopped at the SD welcome center - fantastic overlook, avoided a tornado in MN, stopped at Blue Earth MN for kids pictures with Jolly Green Giant, stopped numerous places in Wisc., (of course I bought cheese), bypassed Chicago (didn't want to deal with the toll roads and congestion). I vaguely remember cutting through IN to end up in Decatur, IN, and from there puttered home on more rural routes through OH (I cannot stand the OH toll road section). Just thought I'd pass it along!


Senior Member
Re: Capital City Tour 2008

HEY PattieAM now that trip that I am planning this year, however have no idea how long it would take , can I ask you how long it took you to complete your trip. I live in South GA so I know there would be some different. My DWwill make changes along the wayto see other site so our time frame would flexable. thanks for any advice you care to share.

Re: Capital City Tour 2008

Thanks for the tour, PattieAM. We've also been completely out of breath on Pike's Peak and are still waiting for the Balancing Rock in Garden of the Gods to tip over! I got some beautiful pictures there one evening!

Hollis, I'm developing a seat-of-the-pants formula: 3000 miles = 14 days. (Averages used to develop this formula: 4.5 hours driving per day; 14 days; 50 mph)

Anything more than that is an 'aggressive' trip, and anything below that is and 'slowandeasy' trip (but not quite fulltiming.)

Think that is about right?


Senior Member
Re: Capital City Tour 2008

Well since you cut back your route my little add will be for next time or someone else.
Out of Salt Lake City take route 150 to Evanston Wy through Green river Redrock, one beautiful route and a good camp at the visitor center south of the Wy border. Then there is Weber canyon and little side loop with good wild life(desert sheep). About the same distance as the route you showed but better looking and a very good camp area and again with wild life.

Re: Capital City Tour 2008

Thanks for that, Len. I just split the Tour into more than one segment, so I'll be back on it in later years. We can only keep my brother out of pocket for a while. Otherwise, we all get edgy. ;)
Re: Capital City Tour 2008

It looks like a great trip.

Think about taking Rt 191 from just south of Provo to I-70, good road and save ya a few miles, or vice verse.We stayed in a nice campground in Fruita, Co which is just west of Grand Junction. The National Monument is there, worth seeing that. Go later in the day as the setting sun makes the canyons look very nice
We had a problem finding a good campground around Ogden, Utah; we had to stay there 4 days for repairs one year but did enjoy seeing all there is to see and hear about. Never stayed at GC Railroad park but I almost stopped last year because they had a job opening for a conductor, 3 days a week, figured even I could do that. But too lazy to work.
While at Gouldings in Monument Valley, make sure your awnings are in when you go away from RV;big winds can kick up at anytime there.

If your plans change, American RV Park off I-40 just west of Albuquerque is a good stop. When you go through Colorado Springs are you stopping at Air Force Academy and climbing Pikes Peak? If you do Pikes peak don't eat the World Famous Donuts at the top, they were terrible. But I guess it's a real feat to make a donut at 14,000 foot altitude.

Have fun and try not to get too politically involved with the State Senators but I would assume you will be dining with each Governor.
RE: Capital City Tour 2008

Hey Tex,
... Or should I call you Mr. Clodhopper? :)

I write for an RV travel magazine called "Scenic Route," which mostly focuses on fun destinations and the rea-life experiences of RVers. I was reading about the Capital City Tour and just loved everything about it. I was wondering if you would be open to being interviewed (over the phone) about your experiences for a travel feature we run called "Favorite Travel Memories." It would involve a phone conversation (brief) and your willingness to share some photos about your trip.
Please let me know if you would be open to talking more about it. I'd also be glad to answer any questions you might have.

Thanks so much!
Kimber Williams
Scenic Route magazine
(678) 947-1161