What to see between OR and WI?
August 1, 2008 2:34 PM   Subscribe

Driving across the country: Cool places to see/things to do on Highway 12?

In a couple weeks my parents and I are gonna be driving from Oregon to Wisconsin by way of the Twin Cities, probably on Highway 12 (though maybe 212 through South Dakota). What sights should we make sure to stop for?
posted by Vibrissa to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have no pointers for US-12/212. But I can personally vouch for US-14 & US-20, especially if you like volcanoes. 14 runs by Devils Tower into Yellowstone, and 20 goes by Craters of the Moon in to Bend, which is a couple hours from Crater Lake, via the Newberry Volcanic Monument.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 3:02 PM on August 1, 2008

Holy shit, are you a fellow UW student?
posted by kldickson at 3:10 PM on August 1, 2008

Aha, from your posting history, I see that you are probably a new student at UW. (I'm an upperclassman; I'm halfway through my third year of college.) Welcome!

Go to Taliesin house. There is an article on Wikipedia about Route 12.
posted by kldickson at 3:13 PM on August 1, 2008

Response by poster: * grins * Thanks for the welcomes, but I'm actually not a student. I grew up in Oregon (thus the origin), went to school near some relatives in MN (whom we're planning on visiting), and am now moving to Madison (I'm pretty excited about it; Madison seems like a nice place to live).
posted by Vibrissa at 3:27 PM on August 1, 2008

Welcome to Madison; it is indeed a great place to live. People say great things about the crane habitat in Baraboo, which'll be right on your way.
posted by escabeche at 8:40 PM on August 1, 2008

There's not a lot to see on Highway 12 through most of western Montana through most of South Dakota. It's rangeland through MT and the Western Dakotas and transitions more into farmland once you cross the Missouri. A few highlights, though:

Miles City, MT to Baker, MT. 80 mile stretch which is basically open range. This is an awesome stretch of highway to drive on a cold, clear, moonless night -- Miles City is barely a glow on the horizon and there's only a few isolated ranches or oil wells off the main highway. Watch out for deer, antelope and cattle -- this is true open range.

Marmarth, ND is just -- stop at the Pastime. It's a little steakhouse that is (was?) run be refugees from the Las Vegas restaurant circuit. It's a local joint but does decent business when there's a paleontology dig in town. The old railroad bunkhouse has cheap rooms for rent (call ahead), but it's the sort of place where they provide the roof and you provide the rest. (Think a hostel which may or may not have electricity and running water.)
posted by nathan_teske at 9:33 PM on August 1, 2008

Oh, to plug my hometown: stop in Scranton, ND if you're hungry for pizza or decent bar food.
posted by nathan_teske at 9:37 PM on August 1, 2008

The world's largest ball of twine is a few blocks off Highway 12 in Darwin, MN.
posted by hootch at 12:28 AM on August 2, 2008

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