State Capitols · Midwest Tour
July 2007 - Route Overview

S t a t e s    W e ' l l    V i s i t
Reading left to right

South Carolina (-)

North Carolina (9)

Tennessee (6)

Kentucky (5)

Illinois (3)

Missouri (3)

Kansas (1)

Nebraska New!

Iowa (1)

South Dakota New!

North Dakota (1)

Wyoming (1)

Colorado (1)

New Mexico (1)

Texas (2)

Oklahoma (1)

Arkansas (3)

Mississippi (4)

Alabama (5)

Georgia (9)
The number after each state name is the number of times we have visited that state since these trips started in June, 2004. South Carolina, our home state, is unrated.
The state's name is a link to the route through that state.

R o u t e    O v e r v i e w

Click on the DeLorme Street Atlas map for a larger view
All of the maps for this trip were carefully created by The Navigator using DeLorme Street Atlas mapping software.

As you can see from the map to the left (click on it for a larger view), we'll be driving an irregular but circular route from Aiken County North to Bismarck, ND and West to Santa Fe, NM then East across Texas to Oklahoma and then to Memphis, TN. Along the way we'll visit the capitols of Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico and Oklahoma. This is our first visit to Nebraska and South Dakota since we started taking these trips in 2004.

The start of the route is indicated by a green dot and the end of the route by a red dot. Stops along the way, in this case the state capitols, are indicated by a blue dot.

You'll note this trip appears to end at Memphis, TN which is curious. That's because there are two endings to this trip. Each is explained below.

We'll be driving the Interstates quite a bit on this trip since the goal is to visit the state capitols. But we'll also drive some "back roads" where there isn't an Interstate that offers a convenient route.

We'll be visiting 20 states on this trip, a record!

Based on his work with the Street Atlas software, The Navigator has informed me this trip will be 4,848 miles long and take 91 hours to drive. Depending on how many days we sleep late and how many detours we take, he is estimating 11 to 14 days for this trip.

Check out the routing through each state below.

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S o u t h    C a r o l i n a    -    Going
Click on the DeLorme Street Atlas map for a larger view
We begin, as usual, in Aiken County, SC (that's a weak attempt at humor :). The first part of the trip is to go pick up my friend Pat in North Carolina. We'll take I-20 East to Columbia, then I-26 North to Spartanburg, then I-85 Northeast to Gaffney. Then we'll drive Hwy-18 North to the North Carolina/South Carolina border.
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N o r t h    C a r o l i n a
Click on the DeLorme Street Atlas map for a larger view
We'll continue on Hwy-18 to Shelby, NC where we'll pick up Pat.

We'll take Hwy-74 West from Shelby, rejoin I-26 for awhile and then take I-40 to the Tennessee/North Carolina border.

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T e n n e s s e e
Click on the DeLorme Street Atlas map for a larger view
We'll take I-40 West to Nashville and then I-24 Northwest to the Kentucky/Tennessee border.
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K e n t u c k y
Click on the DeLorme Street Atlas map for a larger view
We'll cross the far Southwest corner of Kentucky on I-24 to the Illinois/Kentucky border.
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I l l i n o i s
Click on the DeLorme Street Atlas map for a larger view
We'll stay on I-24 traveling Northwest until it joins I-57 North. At I-64 we'll hang a left and go West. Right before we get to the Kansas/Illinois border, we'll join I-55 for the ride across the mighty Mississippi River.
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M i s s o u r i
Click on the DeLorme Street Atlas map for a larger view
As soon as we cross the river we'll be in St. Louis. We'll get on I-70 and take it West across Missouri to the Kansas/Missouri border.
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K a n s a s
Click on the DeLorme Street Atlas map for a larger view
We'll stay on I-70 West, which becomes the Kansas Turnpike. We'll get off at Topeka, the capital of Kansas, and visit the state capitol. Afterwards we'll get on Hwy-75 North and take it to the Nebraska/Kansas border.
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N e b r a s k a
Click on the DeLorme Street Atlas map for a larger view
This is our first visit to Nebraska since we started taking these trips in 2004.

We'll stay on Hwy-75 due North for about 40 miles. Then we'll get on Hwy-2 West and drive to Lincoln, the capital. After visiting the capitol, we'll get on I-80 and drive Northeast to Omaha and the Iowa/Nebraska border.

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I o w a
Click on the DeLorme Street Atlas map for a larger view
Once in Iowa we'll take I-29 North-northwest to Sioux City and the South Dakota/Iowa border.
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S o u t h    D a k o t a    -    Going
Click on the DeLorme Street Atlas map for a larger view.
This is our first visit to South Dakota since we started taking these trips in 2004.

We'll take I-29 pretty much due North, paralleling the state's eastern border to the North Dakota/South Dakota border.

We'll visit South Dakota again after visiting North Dakota. That route is below.

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N o r t h    D a k o t a
Click on the DeLorme Street Atlas map for a larger view.
We'll continue driving North on I-29 until it intersects I-94. Then we'll turn left and drive to Bismarck, the capital of North Dakota. We'll be officially "going home" when we leave Bismarck and take US-83 South to the South Dakota/North Dakota border.
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S o u t h    D a k o t a    -    Returning
Click on the DeLorme Street Atlas map for a larger view.
We'll stay on US-83 driving South until we get to Pierre, the capital of South Dakota. After visiting the capitol, we'll continue on US-83 until we get to I-94 where we'll turn West.

There are several places we want to visit in Southwest South Dakota, including Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Jewel Cave and maybe some other places as well. So our route will be somewhat undetermined until we get there. We may spend several days in South Dakota.

Eventually we'll drive North to Hwy-34 and take it West to the Wyoming/South Dakota border.

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W y o m i n g
Click on the DeLorme Street Atlas map for a larger view.
Hwy-34 in South Dakota changes to Hwy-24 once we enter Wyoming. Go figure :) We'll visit Devil's Tower and maybe some other places as well.

After sightseeing we'll take Hwy-585 South until it intersects US-85 which we'll take South to Lusk, WY where we will turn West on US-18 until we get to I-25.

We'll continue to travel South, using I-25 to reach Cheyenne, WY, the capital. After our capitol visit, we'll continue South on I-25 to the Colorado/Wyoming border.

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C o l o r a d o
Click on the DeLorme Street Atlas map for a larger view.
We'll stay on I-25 South to Denver and visit Colorado's capitol. Then we'll continue on I-25 South.

We'll make a couple of stops on the way: Pike's Peak and the Garden of the Gods for sure. And maybe some others as well.

We'll take I-25 South to Walsenburg, CO. Then, just to get off the Interstate and enjoy the scenery, we'll take US-160 West to Almosa, CO and then US-285 to the New Mexico/Colorado border.

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N e w    M e x i c o
Click on the DeLorme Street Atlas map for a larger view.
We'll stay South on US-285 to Santa Fe, the capital of New Mexico. (Note: we could have continued on I-25 up in Colorado and made it to Santa Fe, but the back roads are so much more fun :). After visiting the capitol, we'll get back on US-285 South and take it to I-40. Here the trip turns in an Easterly direction. We'll take I-40 the the Texas/New Mexico border.
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T e x a s
Click on the DeLorme Street Atlas map for a larger view.
With all due respect to my fellow Texans (I was born in Amarillo), what can I say about this route? Not much: I-40 East, straight across the Panhandle of Texas until we get to the Oklahoma/Texas border.
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O k l a h o m a
Click on the DeLorme Street Atlas map for a larger view.
I-40 East to Oklahoma City to visit the capitol and the Murrah Building Memorial, a very solemn place.

Pat has a relative that lives near OK City. We may have lunch or something.

Then it's back on I-40 East to the Arkansas/Oklahoma border.

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A r k a n s a s
Click on the DeLorme Street Atlas map for a larger view.
Arkansas is kinda like Texas... I-40 East to the Tennessee/Arkansas border.
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R e s t    o f    t h e    t r i p
Click on the DeLorme Street Atlas map for a larger view.
Have you ever gone to one of those movies that has multiple endings? This trip is like that. There are two possible endings.

The first possible ending is mapped to the left. Pat may come home with me and spend a few days. Then I'll drive her back to Shelby, NC so she can catch her plane. In this ending, we take US-78 Southeast out of Memphis across Mississippi and Alabama to Birmingham. There we get on I-20 and take it East across Georgia into South Carolina and then to home.

Click on the DeLorme Street Atlas map for a larger view.
In the other ending, mapped to the left, we take I-40 across Tennessee, and then back to Shelby, NC (the yellow dot on the map) so Pat can catch her plane. Then the Navigator and I will drive back to Aiken County.

Which ending will be the real ending? I honestly don't know. Stay tuned...

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N a v i g a t i o n
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