Yeah, I know I've still got over a year, but that means that I just have plenty of time to plan everything down to a tee. The trip's purpose is to take my wife and our 2 boys to Disneyland.
My dream road trip is to drive up to Chicago and start at the beginning of Route 66 and follow as much of the old road as I can all the way to Santa Monica. I've followed the current Interstate routes between Chicago and OKC and have gotten off on the old road in a few places and seen a few of the sights, but not much. This trip will give me the chance to see some of the parts of Route 66 that I have the most interest in.
All of the big trips I've ever taken have been to the midwest and southeast parts of the country. I've never been farther west than Albuquerque, NM, but that was as a kid. I've never been farther west than White Sands and Alomogordo, NM that I actually have any real recollections of. I want this to be an awesome trip. We'll be sticking to the main roads for the most part, but I'm looking at a couple of detours to take in some of the sights. Most of the things I want to see will more-or-less just be pull over, hop out, snap some pictures, stare for a few minutes and then drive on sort of deals.
The route from here to LA will have us follow US 287 from here to Amarillo, TX. From there we'll follow I-40 to Barstow, CA where we take I-15 into the LA suburbs before grabbing a couple other highways to Anaheim.
My first detour will be to exit US 287 in Clarendon, TX and drive straight up 70 to I-40 where I'll pass through Groom, TX and check out the leaning water tower and the giant cross. From there we'll head on to Amarillo where I just HAVE to stop by the Cadillac Ranch. I really have nothing in particular in mind for New Mexico. I haven't yet really found anything to grab my interest. I wanted to check out the Meteor Crater in Arizona, but a friend said he had to pay $15 when he went. I just don't think I can justify, at least on this trip anyhow, spending $15 a head to look at a hole in the ground, so, reluctantly, I'll probably skip that. My plan is to make Flagstaff, AZ on for the first night. At 830 miles, that should be do-able.
I cannot allow myself to pass within an hour of one of the greatest natural wonders of the world without going to see it, so the next morning the plan is to drive up to the Grand Canyon and check it our for a bit. In California, I want to jump off and get on the old route from just west of Needles and drive down through Amboy so we can check out the craters, Roy's Cafe, and just generally see what it was like back then. From there, we'll head on out to Anaheim.
At least one afternoon/evening while we're in California, I want to drive over to Santa Monica and see the end of Route 66 and take in a Pacific Ocean sunset. I've seen the Gulf of Mexico, but I've never seen a true ocean before.
Somewhere along the way I want to stop by and look at one of the Wigwam Motels and I wouldn't mind finding some good cafes and whatnot for some good road grub.
I'm open to suggestions and ideas!!