Four friends and I have decided that we want to take a road trip this summer. Our plan is to head out west for about 3 weeks. And that's pretty much the extent of our plan. We haven't ever gone on this kind of an adventure before, but here are a couple of things that I think may be on our side in this uphill battle for the teenage road trip:
-We have been spending extended periods of time together since we were little kids. We have all been on two week trips during the summers to places like mexico, california, michigan, alabama, and mississippi. Although we have never done the "five people for three weeks in a minivan" thing, we are well-acquainted with 20+ hour bus rides with 50-70 other people.
-We have made the "weekend trial trip." A few months ago we all pitched in a few bucks and drove to the southern part of the state to camp for a few days. Roughing it was great. We had a blast, and we handled the occasional tough decisions with cooperation and common sense.
-We KNOW each other. Caleb snores. Kelsey analyzes everything to death. Alexa just goes with the flow, even when she would rather not. Jacob can quote movies no one else has ever seen for hours at a time. But somehow our odd mix always winds up fitting somehow. We're all laid-back enough to let things go. We have sticking power.
-We all have the same goal. We want to get out and make some good memories somewhere in the American West.
-Caleb and I have done a lot of camping and road tripping with our families, even though we've never planned this stuff before.
-We are all light packers.
Here are the basic guidelines for the trip. We will have a total budget of about $5000 (We can safely manage $1000 apiece). We will have approximately 3 weeks. We are all into the nature thing, rather than the city thing. We are all fine with camping or van-sleeping in wal-mart parking lots. We are all fine with a lot of meals from a cooler.
We plan on taking my minivan with the middle two seats removed to make a sort of bed area. The trunk is pretty roomy, and we can get a hard shell for the top if we need to stow stuff up there. The back bench seat lays down into a bed, even with the trunk full of luggage.
Now I need the thoughts and advice of all you seasoned road-tripping veterans. Where should we go out west? We love hiking, sightseeing, and adventure-seeking. We have a wish list of destinations as far east as colorado, west as california, north as montana, and south as arizona. I doubt we can cover all that territory in three weeks (although we move quickly). What destinations would you reccommend? On the one hand, I can't see missing Yosemite. On the other hand, how could we cut Yellowstone off our list? What do you suggest??
Oh dear, in all my excitement I've forgotten to mention to you that we will be leaving from and returning to Indianapolis, Indiana.
I want to thank you all SO MUCH for your time. I apologize for such a long post. I appreciate whatever advice and ideas you can provide!!