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  1. Default 'Lucy the Elephant' Margate, NJ -> 'Golden Gate Bridge' San Fran, CA

    Right coast boy making a move to the left. Trying to plan the ultimate 10 day to 2 week solo road trip. My goal is to do about 300 miles a day, staying at hostels and camping. I want to start out going down through West Virginia and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Along the way I want to hit Graceland, St. Louis (to see the Arch), Dodge City (so I can actually say 'let's get the heck out of Dodge' as I drive away), Denver, and that place where you can touch four states at once.

    Along the way I want sky dive, bungee jump and check off as many of the "Life's To Do List" things that I haven't done yet.

    I would greatly appreciate any suggestions of 'must see' spots and 'must do' activities.

    Journeyman Jack
    Last edited by RoadTripper Brad; 05-18-2006 at 10:58 AM. Reason: language use

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default To do List

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    10-14 Days is a good time to get across the country and have time to see some of the sights along the way.

    Just keep in mind, even on the most direct route, you are looking at a 3000 mile drive. To visit all the places you want to stop, you will have to zig zag around quite a bit, so you may have to either increase your daily drives or cut some places out of your itinerary to make this work in under 2 weeks.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Oh, so many things....

    Dodge City (so I can actually say 'let's get the heck out of Dodge' as I drive away),
    This is hysterical!

    It seems to me that if you go to Dodge City....a hangout of Wyatt Earp...that you might enjoy Tombstone, AZ, as well. Or Deadwood, SD, a hangout of Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane and where Bill met his "Deadman's Hand". Or Cody, WY, so named after Buffalo Bill Cody and with museums, etc. in his honor.

    Of course, these are spread out all over and you'll likely not be able to see them all.

    What kind of "must-sees" are you most interested in seeing? Give us some clues of what you seek and we'll do our best to help you find.

  4. Default Must do's and must see's

    Part of the reason for posting on this forum is that there are so many things to do in this country that the list of possibilities is daunting. Things that I know I want to do include: sky diving, bungee jumping, water white rafting, hiking in the grand canyon, mountian biking over red rocks in the southwest, and rock climbing anywhere. I've lived a pretty safe life up until this point and need to test my own personal mettle.

    The list of 'must-sees' include anything that is definitively American. I want to spend the day at a proper ranch with a name like the 'Circle K'. Seeing the Arc in St Louis and the Grand Canyon certainly fall into this category, but also things like Niagra Falls (which I've seen several times now). Are there any really great, truly American spots that I should make it a point to see in this life time? I want to go there.

  5. Default

    Journeyman -- that's a big list --- Things to do that are quintessentially "American"...

    Hmm.. a few totally random suggestions..

    -- Washington DC. Contact your local congressman and get tickets on the special White House tour (not the usual walk -in one). Visit the National Archives and read the Consitution (the original) and the Declaration of Independence (the original). Visit Lincoln and Jefferson memorials. Visit the Captial Building. If its available, watch the Marine's drill at the Marine Barracks.

    -- Visit either Gettysburg or Antetiem battgrounds on your way east or south east. Heck, most Civil War battlefields would be a good stop.

    -- Stop somewhere in the SE to MidWest and have Barbeque. Heck, try the different local flavors and varations on that as you travel.

    -- Most of the places I know for rock climbing and etc are west of the Mississippi (just my familarity, not that they aren't very good elsewhere). For mountain biking, nowhere is better than Moab, UT. Get some trail books and plan a stop.

    Hiking in the Grand Canyon? Be prepared. There are some good outfitters that will carry most of your gear down and back via mule, so you only have to haul yourself and a day pack out if you want to do trip down and back. But its a serious hike out ...

    White water rafting and Sky diving I've done, but only locally in the SW -- Kern River and Parris/ Elsinore, CA. There are lots of others around...
    For something spectacular for that? I've heard of some places in the Utah, but have no experience.

    You might consider bagging "a 14" (peak over 14,000' ) in Colorado as you pass through -- there are a bunch that are available as day hikes.

    You should also go see a rodeo somewhere. And I don't mean the glitzy big production rodeos, but the medium sized small town rodeos. When I was growing up we'd got to the Navaho and Indian nations rodeo in Gallup NM -- just that it was held when we'd typically be driving through on a summer vacation.

    You might also go to Monument Valley and tour some of the other Native American areas in the Southwest Some spectacular landscapes and some interesting histories.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France

    Default 1 000 things to see


    This book might give you a couple of ideas.

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-20-2006 at 09:40 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Lotsa good books with great ideas here

    Check out a round-up of books by RTA here and here that might be good additions to your library to help you plan your trip. From true Americana to kitsch, the books on these pages are a good starting point to research ideas.

    One of my favorite guide books that tells you about outdoor activities and extreme sports including where to go, how to get there, etc. is Frommer's Outdoor Guide to Washington & Oregon. They have a series of these for different geographic areas. Unfortunately, I don't think they have covered the entire country but these should give you good ideas as well. Check out this search page at Amazon for a list of some of them. Maybe if you poke around you'll find other, similar books to help you in your quest.

    Personally, I think there's nothing better than spending a few hours at the local library or, even better, enjoying a Starbuck's latte at Barnes & Noble in one of their overstuffed chairs while browsing through their book selections and jotting down notes. While internet searching will answer a LOT of your questions, some things are just found best in a book.

    Hope this helps a bit!
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-20-2006 at 12:29 PM.

  8. Default Tons of great advice

    Thank you to everyone who has offered so many wonderful suggestions. I've 'surfed' through many of the RTA listings of places to go and things to do and have found a endless list of things that I want to include. Being that time and money are finite, now I have to widdle down my list, but that is certainly a problem that I'd rather have.

    Currently it looks like most of my adventures are going to start in Moab, UT which seems to be a virtual mecca of adrenaline sports. I'm looking at some hikes and sight seeing (like the world's largest ball of twine!) through middle america, and some more physical activities once I get to the rockies.

    Thanks again for all the advice, my adventure is certainly taking shape well. Keep the great ideas coming, i'd love to hear anything that anyone might think of.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default A couple more

    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman Jack
    ...check off as many of the "Life's To Do List" things that I haven't done yet.
    I would add spelunking some caves -- lots in New Mexico, soak in as many hot springs as you can find -- here are some in Texas -- one of my favorites is found on the hill behind the Mono Hot Springs Resort. One of the best gliding areas in the country is near Las Vegas.another near-by Las Vegas activity is Kite Buggying. I would also include board surfing in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon

  10. Default Blast off

    The clock is winding down and all the planning is done (at least enough to make my trip successful while not imposing on spontaneous turns and unexpected adventures!) Thank you all for your advice and suggestions. I'll write again once I arrive on the left side of the country. (With pics to boot!)

    Thanks again,

    John Payne
    Journeyman Jack


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