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  1. Default I wanna feel the blues...

    Hello everyone,

    First time on a long road trip and counting the days to do so...
    Will be leaving early February and have no time frame to achieve so I can chill and just enjoy the trip!
    Going from Florida (Miami) to California (San Diego) and want to see what the south has to offer ;o)
    I am thinking about driving up to Georgia, then Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona (maybe Utah also?) then California :o)
    I am trying to dig as much info on this site and else where as I can so to decide on sight seeing and all the details.
    I'm a 29 year-old female, driving a small pick up truck on my own.
    Any cross-country traveling tips and specific places to visit welcome!
    Looking forward to sharing my plans and later my experience with you!
    Thank you all! :o)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Tennessee

    Have you also considered visiting Memphis, TN to "feel the blues"? That would definitely be on my list (and has been for quite some time).

    One thing you're going to have to consider is how much of a budget you have. Playing into this would be your preferred method of lodging, as camping, hotels, relatives, etc. all have varying costs associated with them.

    Once that part is more or less settled, the rest of the trip planning is relatively easy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Shack-up Inn in Clarksdale

    Quote Originally Posted by aline View Post
    I am thinking about driving up to Georgia, then Alabama, Mississippi,
    Well, one night you ought to consider staying at the Shack-up Inn -- here is a recent field report.
    I'm a 29 year-old female, driving a small pick up truck on my own.
    You have already read BirdyBird's field report, but here are a few more to get you "in the mood":

    Our poll on solo road trips
    Judy's tips
    Jillian and few more tipsters
    Camping and solo trips

    There are lots of ideas herein -- here is a thread about the Great River Road

    Happy Planning!

    Mark

  4. Default

    Wow... what a way to start... that's what I am talking about! I really appreciate the tips given…

    Mark, the shack up inn is exactly what I am looking for in this trip, affordable and with soul.

    Tim, Memphis is already included in the itinerary! As for my budget, it is short but money for any emergency etc will be available. Other than that I definitely look forward to traveling on a 'need to spend' basis…

    Talking about going cheaper, I also checked Judy’s tips (thanks Mark) and they made me so comfortable about camping on my on that I will start looking for a tent to buy and play with before my trip. It will be a nice way to save money and get to meet who is on the road and share some experiences as well.

    How about traveling during winter? Am I ok with a small truck? I may sound silly but I've seen snow only once so in case I will have to face a 'snowy' road I don't exactly know how to proceed (will be digging some info on that one as well).

    I am also a little embarrassed to ask the following but you guys have more experience and know the country better than I do so I will just shoot straight: I am Brazilian and, honestly, I only learned that I wasn't 'white' when I moved to the US. Americans are about the friendliest people I've met by far but I also heard that the more inland you go the more “reluctant of non-'white' foreigners” people get. Could you kindly give me a feedback on this matter?

    I am so happy about this all, thanks for popping in with suggestions! :o)

    Muito obrigada!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Snowy roads

    Quote Originally Posted by aline View Post
    How about traveling during winter? Am I ok with a small truck? I may sound silly but I've seen snow only once so in case I will have to face a 'snowy' road I don't exactly know how to proceed (will be digging some info on that one as well).
    Us Northerners sometimes forget there are people that aren't familiar with the white stuff.

    Any vehicle, when properly equipped, will be able to handle the challenges of winter driving.

    You will want to check out some of the tips on this page. It is important to have good tires on your vehicle - all-season radials should be okay for where you will be traveling; I would not recommend trying to tackle snowy roads with Summer tires. I've done it. It doesn't work very well at all. Are you familiar with the sport of "drifting"? Something like that.

    It is important to understand the physics of the situation - there simply isn't the same amount of traction available on a wet road when compared to a dry road. To that end, you will want to keep your speed in check. However, you can also drive too slow. Check the tips on the linked page and if you have any further questions on this, we're here to help. It is an acquired skill.

    I am also a little embarrassed to ask the following but you guys have more experience and know the country better than I do so I will just shoot straight: I am Brazilian and, honestly, I only learned that I wasn't 'white' when I moved to the US. Americans are about the friendliest people I've met by far but I also heard that the more inland you go the more “reluctant of non-'white' foreigners” people get. Could you kindly give me a feedback on this matter?
    Don't be embarrassed - it's a good question and has been brought up here a couple of times before. In any country or any town, you could run into a few people here or there that, for some unknown reason, would proceed to judge your character based on nothing more than the fact that you are a stranger in their town. Heck, I get "that look" on occasion in my own town, even though I've lived here for most of my days.

    I think much of this relates to people misinterpreting the looks they are getting from other people. So, when Bubba looks like he's staring at you, give him a friendly "howdy" and you'll most likely start up a conversation.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Be back-end heavy

    One of the problems pick-ups can have in snow and ice is caused when the back-end is light so the wheels can't get enough traction. Because of this, many people I know with pick-ups buy bags of either sand or kitty litter, wrap them in garbage bags to keep them dry so the bags don't tear, and place them in the back corners. This works well for two reasons. First, it adds that weight you need for the tires to have good traction. Second, if you do get stuck on some ice and can't get your vehicle moving, you can sprinkle some of the sand or kitty litter under the tire(s) that don't have good traction and this will usually give you the traction you need.

  7. Default Excellent!

    This must be my week. Every time I wonder about something you guys come and clarify my doubts!

    Tim, thank you for the tips about the tires. Great help. Back to the Memphis subject... I checked some info online and learned about Beale Street. You are so right about including the city in my route if is to really 'feel the blues'. What a tip, thank you.

    Judy, I read some other of your replies to other people's inquiries and liked them all but this one you just gave me about putting some weight on the back of the truck is just awesome. Tell you why... I am actually moving back to California and was a hesitating a bit about loading up the truck with my stuff and wondered if it wouldn't be better to go lighter. Now I have the answer! And, the trick with the kitty sand to help with the wet road is super cool.

    Guys, so far what I have:

    Miami to Savannah by the Atlantic of course
    Savannah to ?somewhere else in Georgia? then to Memphis (Tim's tip) :o)
    Memphis to Clarksdale (shack up inn - Mark's tip)
    from Clarksdale down to New Orleans following the Mississippi river
    New Orleans to Dallas
    Dallas to Oklahoma
    Getting on the route 66 in Oklahoma until Flagstaff, AZ
    Going to Grand Canyon
    Back on the route 66 to its end in Santa Monica, CA
    Santa Monica to San Diego

    That's about it for now. I keep checking on site seeing and routes and with your help I'll be able to put together this great journey!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default What a great route!

    I think that looks very well planned. It's about 3900 miles. You could do this in about 7 days but, since you don't have a tight time-frame, I'd allow a minimum of 2 weeks. More if your budget can afford it.

    If you're not used to camping, do try to do some weekend camping trips before you go so you can learn your equipment and get more comfortable with the concept before you hit the road.

    Also, be aware that your fuel consumption will drop if your pickup is rather full. And plan for easy driving for at least the first day. Your pickup is going to handle differently when it's full of stuff so you might want to ease into driving it until you learn how to handle it fully loaded.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Check out this info from Scott!

    Quote Originally Posted by aline View Post
    I am thinking about driving up to Georgia, then Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana,
    Scott Stanton is our resident "blues man" -- check out his tips here.

  10. Default First day of the trip...

    Thank you so much to both of you... the links, the tips... tris trip planning is getting better by the day.
    Yes, I will do some camping close by here prior to my trip to get use to the equipment...
    I first thought of driving straight to Savannah right on the first day but you are right and maybe I should stop halfway to not overwhelm myself with excessive driving right at the beginning.
    An alternative could be keep the plan to get to Savannah in the first day but then spending 2 days there to recharge my energies... In this case I would do a 2-3 hours light lunch break and a nice walk somewhere between Daytona Beach and JacksonVille before continuing the trip.
    Right now I am checking some liners and covers for the back of the truck (do not have one yet) to keep my stuff hiden and dry.
    More news to come...
    Thanks again guys!

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