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Old 03-30-2023, 02:05 PM   #1
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Great River Road

ANyone ever traveled the so called 'Great River Road Route' froim LA all the way up to MN? Seems it follows the Miss River on both sides. A map can be had from Amazon for around $15 or so.

I'm looking for a lazy road trip for later this year and that seems like A good one.
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Old 03-30-2023, 02:42 PM   #2
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Big Muddy

I have travelled the northern portions of the road, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, & Missouri. That stretch can be very scenic with bluffs and interesting with the river towns along it, some old and notable.

Coming or going, you could do a stretch on the Natchez Trace Parkway or start near Nashville.

This is a trip to do slow motion, if you can. And it's a commendable summer road trip selection.

bon voyage
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Old 03-30-2023, 03:11 PM   #3
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I have to agree, this is a Great trip. There are COE campgrounds all along the way. If you use your senior pass the sites are $10 for Electric.

Showers and bathrooms are always clean and the grounds are well maintained.

Have fun
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Old 03-30-2023, 03:25 PM   #4
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I really like COE parks. The problem I have now with then is you must have reservations. The ones I go to on fishing trips won't allow you to just come up and check in, no matter how many sites are available

No attendents on the gate anymore. I don't know if all of them are like this. I wouls rather not make reservations. I like to wander about.
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Old 03-30-2023, 03:30 PM   #5
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Two very nice travel guides are available for tourism in iowa. They are free, and can arrive at your home by mail or you can learn a lot from their websites. The ones I would recommend are:
traveliowa.com
IowaByways.org. Details the many scenic byways in Iowa

As far as the river road some of it runs very close to the Mississippi and some runs a mile or two off the river.

When you get your paper roadmap from the tourism mailing, it will have state parks marked on it and you will see the county names on the Iowa side. You can then google the county names for the county parks under
Mycountyparks and learn about the attractions in the counties the Great River Road runs through.

Other byways have world famous attractions if you’re not just traveling along the river. Bridges of Madison county,
The iowa Great Lakes region” Mason City/ Clear lake where the music died, the home used in the Grant Wood painting American Gothic, the National Czech and Slovak museum, to name a few.

My paraphrased slogan. Good looking faces in many great places. Or “A lot of corn, not much porn” can’t understand why that didn’t get an honorable mention.
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Old 03-31-2023, 07:57 AM   #6
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I really like COE parks. The problem I have now with then is you must have reservations. The ones I go to on fishing trips won't allow you to just come up and check in, no matter how many sites are available

No attendents on the gate anymore. I don't know if all of them are like this. I wouls rather not make reservations. I like to wander about.

We use Corp parks a lot. I like to think of them as self-checkin now, rather than reservation only.

With a smart phone and rec.gov app, one can drive through a campground, find a site they like, and if available, check themselves in and pay for as many nights as available.
I do miss the chatter and recommendations of the gate attendants, though.
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Old 03-31-2023, 08:08 AM   #7
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The Great River Road Camping Tour is a great idea! We've ridden our Harley on a lot of it from Louisiana to Dubuque and enjoyed it.

We have two upcoming COE camping trips booked. One in Missouri at Mark Twain Lake ($24/night) in early May and another in Iowa at Lake Red Rock ($10/night) in late June. The Iowa trip is "for work".

Both have electric and both at 50% Off.
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Old 03-31-2023, 08:35 AM   #8
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I’ve had some good conversations with gate people over the years. I’ve also asked rangers, seasonal parks workers, and camp hosts for Recommendations on places to eat, car repairs, local attractions, fishing possibilities etc. Haven’t ever been steered wrong on purpose but probably misinterpreted advice a few times. When I used to fly fish on western vacations I usually went into a nearby town with a sports shop to get a license. If there was a young person there in the fishing area I’d ask if they fished and if they did, I’d ask them for the current hot patterns and buy a dozen flies. Almost always I had success with their recommendations. I’d rather deal with a college or high school kid than a secretive old guy with nebulous answers. Probably just me.
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Old 03-31-2023, 09:07 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by jerryc View Post
We use Corp parks a lot. I like to think of them as self-checkin now, rather than reservation only.

With a smart phone and rec.gov app, one can drive through a campground, find a site they like, and if available, check themselves in and pay for as many nights as available.
I do miss the chatter and recommendations of the gate attendants, though.
Exactly right. Easy enough to use the reservation site while sitting in the new campsite, provided there's cell signal of course. Or one can log in and reserve something just ahead while sitting in a town at midday, too. And often there still will be a person on duty to chat with at some point. Yes, it's a bit of a pain compared to how it used to be, but considering what we seniors get (most times a paved, level site with electric hookup, water spigots nearby, and some lake action, all for about $10) it's worth the extra bit of trouble.
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Old 03-31-2023, 09:07 AM   #10
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The Great River Road starts in Minnesota.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 03-31-2023, 09:37 AM   #11
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Or ends in Minnesota

2-way travel road.
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Old 03-31-2023, 10:22 AM   #12
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2-way travel road.
One-way river though.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 03-31-2023, 11:10 AM   #13
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Iíve had some good conversations with gate people over the years. Iíve also asked rangers, seasonal parks workers, and camp hosts for Recommendations on places to eat, car repairs, local attractions, fishing possibilities etc. Havenít ever been steered wrong on purpose but probably misinterpreted advice a few times. When I used to fly fish on western vacations I usually went into a nearby town with a sports shop to get a license. If there was a young person there in the fishing area Iíd ask if they fished and if they did, Iíd ask them for the current hot patterns and buy a dozen flies. Almost always I had success with their recommendations. Iíd rather deal with a college or high school kid than a secretive old guy with nebulous answers. Probably just me.
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Old 03-31-2023, 12:11 PM   #14
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The river

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One-way river though.

Enjoy,

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Old 03-31-2023, 12:48 PM   #15
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It has occurred to me before to make the res. when I get to the park I want. I have a smart phone but do not use it as such. Mine is prepaid and can use WiFi but the park would have to have WiFi and I have not been to a COE park that has it.

The COE parks I go to here in TX have gate codes so unless you know the code, you can't go in to pick a spot. The codes at the parks I go to here have not changed since I've been using them. )

I've about decided to convert my phone to true 'Smart' even tho I would rarely use it that way.
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Old 03-31-2023, 12:54 PM   #16
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Do the upgrade

I went from a sorta smart prepaid phone to full bore iPhone. A dent in the pocketbook, but it really is a useful and very functional tool. No regrets.
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Old 03-31-2023, 09:46 PM   #17
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PureTalk USA has low cost plans and some very good prices on iPhones, too. Just a thought. AMAC members get a small break btw, if you happen to be a member.
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Old 03-31-2023, 09:47 PM   #18
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One-way river though.

Enjoy,

Perry
Heh. Yeah, but I think Texans are accustomed to "going against the flow."
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Old 04-01-2023, 06:38 AM   #19
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I got a 'free' map 8-10 years ago. My hazy recollection was a request for a $5 donation upon receipt of the map. The link: https://experiencemississippiriver.c...-10-state-map/


I also signed up for occasional email from 'Mississippi River Parkway Commission'.


I keep wanting to try that adventure.
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Old 04-01-2023, 07:27 AM   #20
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We use Corp parks a lot. I like to think of them as self-checkin now, rather than reservation only.

With a smart phone and rec.gov app, one can drive through a campground, find a site they like, and if available, check themselves in and pay for as many nights as available.
I do miss the chatter and recommendations of the gate attendants, though.
We really like COE sites, but have always used them as destinations,10-14 nights. I'm going to investigate one-night stays on a trip.

I don't like the small screen on my smart phone, so I open a connection for a hotspot and use a laptop or tablet. I have VISIBLE 5G service for unlimited talk/text/data for $30 monthly, tethering data speed is throttled, but it's fine.

Thanks for the suggestion.
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