Originally Posted by whitepine
We are planning our route to ETI for pickup of our 21' escape. Sure would appreciate any advice as to route or stops that anyone has experienced. We're located in East TN and will also be traveling with our dogs. Looks like it will be a long trip, plus we'll be tent camping until we pickup the escape. We'd like to be able to see some sights along the way as well. Also considering after taking possession of trailer that we would like to travel in Canada & since we have family near Albany, NY come back to that area before completing our trip home. Also would appreciate any advice that anyone can offer as to weather for later in the year. ETI has told us that there is a campground across the road from them & we are considering staying at it a couple of days before starting the journey home so that we can check out everything on the escape & become familiar with it.
We probably did a superset of this trip in July/August. On the "to Chilliwack" route we veered from Raleigh to Michigan/Ohio to visit family, so I'm not sure how much our routes will overlap. We stayed at hotels, with an 8 year old and no dogs, and so our interests may not align with yours(or anyones). But basically, from Michigan, I-90 West to I-15 North to Brooks, AB, and then across Canada, West on HWY 1 to Chilliwack.
Stops of interest for us on the way there:
Rapid City SD(as strange as that may seem): Mt. Rushmore, underground gold mine tours and gold panning, herds of buffalo and burros(bring carrots)at Custer State park, catwalks/walkways over an active 31 Woolly mammoth excavation site, the Badlands(like being on another planet, with big horn sheep that come up to your car), Wind Cave and lots of surrounding BLM land to collect jasper, agates and petrified wood
Brooks AB : Our base camp for the Dinosaur Provincial park. The Drumheller museum is the best I've ever been to. They do have a campsite here, at the south end of the park, but be forewarned, in July the mosquitoes were pretty bad. The Ramada has a great indoor water slide.
Lake Louise/Moraine Lake AB: Beautiful, beautiful place. Was crowded and expensive(in high season with last minute in town reservations) though.
On the way back, we took I-5/US 101 South to I-40 East and across the US. Highlights for us, on the return route were :
Shari's - Restaurant chain on the West coast - excellent pie
Olympic National Park : The Hoh rain forest, spooky, but cool/different. Lots of hiking trails. Trees were impressive.
Trinidad CA : Great place as a base camp to tour the Redwoods. Very impressive, IMHO you should see them if you haven't. Agate beach nearby, you can't go wrong. Roosevelt Elk herds. Salmon were being pulled from the Klamath, fun to watch. You've got to do the drive through the tree, I think it was only $5.
Petrified Forest AZ: on the exit off I-40(Holbrook?) has some of the real life versions of the places in the Pixar "Cars" movie(teepee village motel, dinosaurs downtown) struck a chord with us, more Route 66 memorabilia(a restored hotel) is in the park as well as the impressive petrified trees.
On the weather, sorry, can't help you there, we went in July/Aug
Lastly, on the "ETI has told us that there is a campground across the road from them & we are considering staying at it a couple of days...." - I think that is the Cottonwood RV park, and it is literally across the street from them, 2 turns, maybe 2 - 3 miles ?
ETI pointed us to Cottonwood while we were in our holding pattern(exports suspended), and Cottonwood grew a vacancy(earlier in the day, they told us they were full) when we told them we were there to pick up a trailer from ETI. Its a very clean/safe park(they would not let us in to inspect the park unless we were guests), but a little close to the highway, so you get some road noise. Nice place, though, greenery between spots.
Good idea on testing everything out while you're there. We did that as well, and had 2 minor adjustments....water pump and door latch adjustments, done before we left.
Hope this helps and you enjoy your trip. I'm sure you will. Its a lot of miles, but lots out there to see/do. Wish we would've had more time. It is a nice trailer. The ETI folks were great to meet and work with.