In one week I’ll be driving across our great country… Going home… Leaving Vernal, Ut and heading to Jax, NC.
Most likely, I’ll be heading East on the I-70 route.
What are the points that “I Must Stop At”?  The best Eats, the best sights… If I’m crossing Kansas, there has to be something worth stopping for other than another tank of juice.
Normally I blast through as fast as possible.  But there has to be something worth pulling off the interstate for.
Or should I take another route?
Talk to me, Road Warriors.
I’m bringing one, maybe two of my Sons with me… So no titty bars.  I want them to see the best of our beautiful Nation along the way.
Speak to me, Road Warriors.
This is an important time for me and my Oldest son.  A time to bond.  A time to build memories we’ll cherish.  Maybe have some fun along the way.
React to me, Road Warriors.
Build me a map worthy of Remembering!

UPDATE:  If I take a route other than I-70, it would be a more southern route, not north.  I will travel no where through Illinois.

48 thoughts on “Stops”

  1. Topeka’s got the Combat Air Museum. Cool little place, lots of vintage birds crammed into a couple hangars. ‘Bout the only thing worth stopping for in KS!

    1. Ragdragger is right on that one, nothing to do or see here otherwise. The National Guard has a museum on the entrance to Forbes Field near where the Combat Air museum is located, lots of outdoor static displays of some pretty bitchin military equipment/aircraft. When you get bored with Topeka, and you will very quickly, head east to K.C. for some great BBQ. One of my favorite toilets to hit is Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ, off of 47th and Mission in KCK.

        1. Just an FYI, Oklahoma Joe’s is closed on Sundays. My second choice of BBQ would be Jack Stack, although that is a little more upscale than Oklahoma Joe’s. Zarda BBQ is a good place as well, it is in Blue Springs, just east of KC. Can’t really go wrong with any KC BBQ, although Arthur Bryants and Gates would be last on my list of BBQ to eat.

  2. I assume you are going to head south at some point, perhaps 64 to 77 in Charelston WV into NC then 40 west to the Raleigh area?

    Excellent BBQ in the Winston Salem – Greensboro area

    In Greensboro, you have the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park which is only a hour or so of time to go see.

    In Fayetteville, NC you have the Airborne and Special Operations Museum

    If you were willing to cut south on 75 in TN into Knoxville, you have Fort Knox IN Lousville, KY… Also, outside of Knoxville is Oak Ridge National Labs

    Just a hair west is the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg TN area which is a HUGE tourist area with tons of stuff to do. Everything from theme parks to river rafting. West of there is is the Cherokee Reservation. Also in NC, you have Asheville which is a hippy town but you can go see the Biltmore

  3. KC has real old time BBQ to refuel on, CZ USA, a drive by mkthe nation’s gold at Leavenworth and the Gateway to the West site, Nauvoo, civil war battlefields are ideas.

  4. Chief45 may have some ideas for Ks, as he IS the chief of police a few miles south of Topeka.
    An idea…
    When you hit KC, drop south to Springfield Mo… run US60/63 to Paducah Ky.
    This will cut out most of Illinois, AND give you the chance to visit Metropolis Il.
    A whole town devoted to Superman… with obligatory pics in front of the statue of Supes.
    It also gets you off of the interstate for a little while and dodges St Louis traffic.
    The scenery is also great, gentle rolling hills of the Ozark foothills.
    I MAY be partial to this route as I graduated from high school and had my 2 boys while living in Mtn Grove Mo.
    When you drop down from Tn into Ga, your GPS will tell you to head into Atl.
    Depending on the time of day this can be a HORRIBLE experience.
    When you cross into Ga on I-75 set your GPS for Dawsonville, this will send you thru the north Ga mountains and into moonshiner country.
    Dawsonville also has the Ga Racing Museum… and is the home of Bill Elliot, Awesome Bill from Dawsonville.
    Good southern small town experience.
    In Dawsonville it is an 80 mile or so run to my place.
    That route will take you thru Toccoa Ga, where you will find the Currahee Military Museum.
    If you are a fan of Band of Brothers you will remember Currahee.
    I am most familiar with the section of the trip I talked about, others may have ideas about the rest of the route.
    Safe travels Brother.


    1. Mt. Grove is a nice place and 60 is a good drive. Great fudge to be had at Hillbilly Junction (along with more silly souvenirs than seems reasonable). 60 passes through Poplar Bluff, Mo. on my side of the state and is about a 30 min ride. If you choose to go that route, and timing for PB, Mo. is good, supper is on me. There really isn’t a ton of “great eats” in this area, but there are some “good” eats. If the timing is exceptional, you might luck into a home-cooked meal.

      After PB, you’ll pass through Sikeston, on the way to Paducah, Ky. Some good eats there, and Lambert’s “Home of the hand-tossed roll”. They have these huge dinner rolls they fling willy-nilly about the place. It was very good last time I ate there, but that was 10+ years.

      Regardless, have a safe trip and a great time with your boys.

  5. Stop in Chicago or 8 Mile Detroit. Those will give a perspective on things. Mt Rushmore is pretty neat, but out of your way.

  6. Take 80 over to Omaha and drop down to 70. The idiots who passed the antigun stuff here in CO don’t deserve a plugged nickel of your money in fuel or sales taxes. That also takes you through Cheyenne WY where you can get a great chicken fried steak at Little America. Just off the interstate before the junction with 25.

    1. Can’t say I disagree with this. However, if you must drive through Denver, a kick a@@ burger can be found at Cherry Cricket in the Cherry Creek area. That is if you can handle the freaks in the area.. I stress the word freaks.

  7. Bob Dole managed to get one of the best Air and space museums outside of the Smithsonian built in his hometown of Hutchinson Ks. complete with Apollo space capsule , german V-1 and V-2 rockets, collection of all US and Russian space suits and a SR-71 blackbird.

  8. National Museum of the United States Air Force Wright Patterson AFB Dayton Ohio. The worlds best aviation museum, admisssison is free,though if you are a aviation history buff the bookstore could be hard on the wallet. Presidential / experimental wing is closed due to “sequester” but the major part is open. B-52D, B-36 Peacemaker, B-29 Nagasaki bomber Bocks Car, B-17 G Shoo Shoo Shoo Baby, B-58 Hustler,Glen Millers trombone, just scratch the surface of what is on display. Their web site will give you more of an idea of what is there. I have been going since LBJ was in office. Not to be missed,plus you can pick up I 77 south just E/O Zanesville to go south to the Carolinas after your stop. Shoo Shoo Shoo baby will be going to Smithsonian after the B-17F Memphis Bell and B-17D “The Swoose “finish resoration. Be sure to read the history of the F-106 that is on display. It made a non piloted belly landing and returned to service

    If you have seen Man Vs Food you might also add a stop in Columbus OH at Thurman Cafe for a “Thumanator” or Schmidts Sauage Haus for a Bahama Mama

    A safe journey to you and yours

  9. You will need to get south quickly if you intend to bypass Ill-Noise. I suspect a trip via Memphis is in the cards. I have no suggestions otherwise. The same fate awaits anyone desiring to visit anywhere east of nEW yARK…..

    1. I’ll second that. My wife and I visited the Museum while in KC; it’s an extraordinary experience.

  10. If you do I-70, and stop for gas in Oakley, KS, visit the Fick Fossil Museum. A pioneer girl of that name collected tons of fossil sharks teeth south of town. She didn’t classify them or anything, being an amateur, she… made macaroni pictures with them. Seriously. It’s pretty cool. LOL Lots of other pioneer stuff to be seen as well.

  11. If you take a route through Memphis then Mud Island and walk on the scale map of the Mississippi may (or may not) be something to do with the boys. Been a long time since I was there but there was a cool paddle wheel steamer demo inside too.

    Of course you can get a full dose of kitsch at Graceland too and pay homage to The King.

  12. If you’re going to Jacksonville, NC, be sure to stop by the Chandler place if you want to see/ talk about serious guns.
    Norm Jr., built my 700 Remy beaucoup years ago when he and his son were first building M-40’s for the military minded. Really good guys and honorable men. I left my rifle with them for darn near a year on just a handshake. They built it using parts from guns that were being upgraded. Cost was about a third of what a new parts gun would have cost. Roy was also a pretty prolific writer. I bought as many of his different titles as I could afford when he was doing the occasional show in Virginia.

  13. If you cross into PA on 70 east be prepared for a lot of traffic once you pass Washington as the great commonwealth of PA decided to fix a bridge they just built 2 years ago. Not much to see really but honk when you cross the first river and I’ll wave

  14. Damn you guys are making me hungry. I’ve had some might fine meals in the small and medium town diners that serve the local working crowd. High calorie and low cost breakfast can usually be had at O’dark 30.

  15. On the food issue, again in Kansas City, Oklahoma Joe’s can’t be beat. There will be a line; it moves fast and it’s worth it.

  16. Fort Riley is right on I-70. The Cavalry Museum isn’t that big, but no crowds and very interesting. A nice break on a long trip (if you go that way).

  17. Come through on I-40. Stop by Oklahoma City. See the OKC Bombing Memorial and the National Cowboy Hall of Fame.

  18. If taking I-70, stop at the indianapolis motor speedway on your way through indy. Stop at the loon lake lodge off of I-69 and 82nd street in Fishers (NE corner of Indianapolis). They have wild game and some other interesting fare.

  19. I-40 makes sense – you could whip up a little out of the way to Claremore (near Tulsa) and see the J.M. Davis Arms & Historical Museum. This guy had over 20,000 firearms – the world’s largest private gun collection, they claim. Not to mention the boot jack collection.

  20. Its a little past your destination, but either after you settle in or as a great end to an important trip Tryon Palace just off 70 in New Bern is a must see, the former seat of colonial government, the govenor’s personal palace, and they have a few blocks of that era houses maintained and furnished just as they were, all lived in by some important historical figures of that era in our nation’s history. Since you talked about seeing America as a theme of the trip, this could be a great ending point, but it really takes a day to fully view it and appreciate it, about an hour from Jax. Perhaps best left until you’ve settled in.

    Its beautiful, and everytime I go there it reminds me that we once threw off an oppressive government with nearly unchecked power.

  21. If you head south you can take in Telluride, Mesa Verde, Chaco Canyon, Loyola’s Family Restaurant in Albuquerque, and Palo Duro Canyon in the Texas Panhandle which is often said to be the 2nd largest canyon in the continental US. Country similar to where you are though, so maybe not a big deal. You can try Tyler’s Barbecue in Amarillo. The Cadillac Ranch is just west of Amarillo but I don’t know that I consider it ‘art’.

  22. Welcome to NC! When you get settled you’ll find great food all over the state. BBQ in central and eastern NC (different styles). Great fishing east of you out of Morehead and parts up and down the coast. If you get time this fall check out the State Fair in Raleigh, lots of great old machinery thereabouts. Also a couple great museums in the capital if you care to take a look and Jax isnt too far from the USS North Carolina in Wilmington. Watch out for hot brake Subaru’s as you come down Black Mountain on I-40 east of Asheville. They tend to forget that bit of a curve in the road. Take it easy and good luck in your new adventure!

    1. I will have to disagree with the State Fair in Raleigh. It’s a madhouse x100, parking is a night terror, rides suck and what ever you eat will be coming out of you within a few hours of consumption. I believe a worthwhile trip once settled in would be to Mackey’s Landing in Jamesville off of 64. Pack a lunch as you will be there all day just to take it all in as it’s extremely overwhelming.

  23. The Cussler Museum in Golden, CO. All the cars from Clive Cussler’s Derrick Pitt novels.
    A little further west is the Georgetown Loop steam train route. Perfect for those who prefer their technology 19th Century.
    Second the USAF Museum. Spent 2 1/2 days there. Have extra memory cards and batteries for camera.
    Try Angelo’s in Washington, PA. Calories don’t count in PA.

  24. George, if you can swing through the Missouri Ozarks that would be great. While you are there you can visist the College of the Ozarks. Every student attending must work at one of the various school industries to pay for their education AND they have a killer gun museum…AT THE SCHOOL!

  25. If you are a coffee fiend and heading on I-40 through NC, stop in Black Mountain at “the Dripolator” for some of the best coffee a man can buy. It’s about a minute off the highway on the main East-West drag through town.

  26. The Kansas Cosmosphere in Hutchinson is worth seeing. Lots of older NASA artifacts including original Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo capsules, an SR-71 in the lobby, spacesuits, etc. They actually had more stuff there than what I saw at Kennedy Space Center in Florida (aside from the giant Saturn V rocket Kennedy has).

    I’ve heard the Underground Salt Museum in Hutchinson is good too, but I’ve never been there myself. I have heard that if you are claustrophobic or have a fear of being undeground, you might want to skip it. It’s a little bit off your main route since you will have to go south of I-70 to get to Hutchinson.

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