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  1. Default San Diego to Milwaukee

    My husband and I are driving from southern California to our new home town of Milwaukee October 15th. Movers are taking our stuff - we just have our car. I love road trips - but my husband can't stand them. Because he loves me, he has agreed to the trip (he just gets really bored and his bum hurts from sitting!). I'd like to make the trip as fun and memorable as possible - in hopes of changing his mind about the joys of the open road.

    Any advice on places to stop, stay, see and visit are MUCH appreciated. We're aiming for 500 miles per day for our 2100 mile trip. We can add on days - but figure 5-6 days would give us enough time to see things, and yet still get there.

    We're starting out in Barstow (to see family) on the night of 10/15
    Day 1 - Barstow to Green River, UT? (596 mi) - where should we stop? What should we see - I've driven to Lake Powell before and just loved the scenery on the drive! We may add a day in Utah as we think this state is gorgeous and much better for visiting than NE/IA.
    Day 2 - Utah to Denver, CO (348 mi) (to see family). We may add a day in Denver.
    Day 3 - Denver to Lincoln, NE (490 mi)? Is there anything worth seeing in Nebraska or Iowa?
    Day 4 - Lincoln to Mikwaukee (560 mi)

    As I mentioned - we may add a day or two in UT & CO - they seem to be the prettier places with most to do.

    Any suggestions are appreciated - thanks for putting together this great forum.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Treat Yourselves Like Children

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    One of the things you'll see recommended over and over is for people who are traveling with children to stop and do *something* every couple of hours. I think that would be a good way to alleviate your husband's boredom with such a long drive. You could make this trek in as little as 4 days if you just concentrated on the (boring) driving. So if you have the extra day or two, use them. Yes, take a day in the middle to visit with family in Denver, but also use the hours of the other 'extra' day sprinkled throughout the rest of the drive to take some time out of the car and enjoy the trip you're on. The obvious stuff in the west includes Las Vegas; Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Arches National Parks; and Colorado National Monument. There is also plenty to see along I-80 in Nebraska and Iowa. Don't sell them short and try to just drive through them to Milwaukee in a couple of days, or you will self-fulfill your prophecy that they're boring.


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

    Default Would it help to know more about what you're seeing?

    We always have enough print-outs from the web or guidebooks to tell us a lot about where we're driving through. Whoever is the navigator will skim through the info and share information about history, geology, and any other fascinating tidbit about things we're going past or going to stop and explore up ahead.

    I think another thing that makes a trip fun is to look for great photo opps. We tend to try to get a photo of the car in each shot.....or at least a section of it. But some people have a lot of fun traveling with something to take a photo of at interesting places along the way. You can help with the Beans Around the World project or travel with Beer Can Bob. Maybe something silly like this will make it less "boring"?

    Have a great time!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default Boring... such thing!!!

    Hi, I used to feel the same way as your husband about driving long distances across the plain states (we lived in Denver and our parents lived in Kansas City so we saw 600 miles of eastern Colorado and Kansas, and back, at least once a year).

    However, with a little planning and a resourcefulness the trip can be fun.

    First, check on websites like this and guidebooks at the library for what there is of interest along the way. One stop in Nebraska that I highly recommend to anyone who is 40 or 50 years old is the Harold Warp Pioneer Village in Minden, NE (it has been mentioned elsewhere, but bears repeating). It will take half a day to see it all, but just seeing part of their historic collection of cars, appliances, cameras...anything you can think of, as well as fully outfitted and furnished buildings and rooms from different time periods will be entertaining to anyone with a little interest in nostalgia and American cultural history.

    Second, a trick for making the hours fly is to record good radio shows like those on NPR. I make tapes or CDs of "Prairie Home Companion," "This American Life" and other shows. We also know people who check out books-on-tape or old radio shows like Jack Benny or Abbott and Costello from the library, and mail them back if they are going to be gone past the due date. Just playing one or two of those a day will make the time fly.

    Finally, regarding is tired bum. They do make special cushions for people with this sort of problem, if it is a medical problem for him. Check with home healthcare stores who supply them for folks in wheelchairs. Otherwise, get out at scenic pullouts and rest stops and walk around the grounds, toss a frisbie or a football, read the tourist signs for a few minutes, just do something to get the blood moving. It can be hard to make yourself stop, but you've got to remember to do it.

    The most important part is, if you are enthusastic and have a good time...he probably will, too.

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

  5. Default Thanks!

    Thank you for all of the great ideas!

    Although I am only 28, I'm excited to check out Minden, NE. From what the site says - it kind of reminds me of the historic small town by us in San Diego called Julian (minus the mountains and apple pies). That's my kind of place!

    We're definitely going to bring a frisbee, and football - GREAT idea! I think the idea of stopping every 4 hours will help him stay sane and happy!

    I'm a big fan of prop pictures - so whether we hop on the bean or beer can bandwagon, that's yet to be determined - we'll do something fun! I hope to be able to share our trip with you all when we're done.

    I also like the idea of renting and mailing back books on CD. That will work well!

    We've gotten the AAA books for UT, CO, NE & IA - so hopefully they'll have some more suggestions for little places to stop.

    I'm happy you all think our timing is right - that will make it better for us knowing our trip is realistic from the start.

    Your site is awesome - keep up the good work and sharing wonderful ideas and stories!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default If your husband feeling more excited now?

    I'm glad we've helped a bit. Yes, please come back after your trip to share how things went. And any beer/bean/other prop photos you take.

    Since you referenced stopping ever 4 hours, I just wanted to emphasize that you might be stopping ever 30 minutes one some stretches of highway. One of the things that keeps road tripping fun, imho, is being on the lookout for something odd along the roadway and stopping whenever something strikes your fancy. There have been times when I've stopped 5-6 times an hour if the sights demand it.

    Part of the fun to me, even if I need to really burn miles that day, is the rush of the stop, mad dash to check something out, take a few photos, and the mad dash back to the car for the next stop. If I have a companion, the race between us can be part of the fun.

    In other words, stay loose and make the scenic viewpoints, historical markers, roadside oddities, or whatever intrigues you a game. A game to spot 'em, a game when stopping to check 'em out, a game to get the best photo, whatever. There's no better time to play and act like a kid than when you're on the road and nobody knows you. :-)

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