Hi everyone. I am a 21 year old male planning my first solo long term road trip. My departure date is set for Oct. 5. I have never done anything like this so I am a bit nervous, but I understand that this is common. Anyway, I plan on going from Cincinnati, OH to my final destination of Phoenix, AZ to stay with some family. I plan to take about 3 weeks to do this, but I do not have unlimited funds, about $2,000 including gas money. I own most of the necessary camping gear I will need. I will be driving a 1994 Honda Civic EX. I plan to camp most of the time, possibly a cheap motel/hostel every now and then. Also, I will buy most of my food from grocery stores along the way and cook for myself.
The route I have planned at the moment includes: Northwest through Minnesota, then through North Dakota(Theodore Roosevelt Natn'l Park), Southwest through Montana into Wyoming where I plan on hitting Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, afterwards I am driving south to Utah and going to Moab, then driving through Monument Valley to get to Arizona. In Arizona, before I go to Phoenix, I am going to the Grand Canyon, then possibly Prescott National Forest.
I would like to go to other places along the way, but I am not sure what I can go to without going too much out of the way. Suggestions are appreciated, especially for the first half of the trip.
Also, a few questions for you road trip experts.
1. Annual Nat'l Park pass - This appears to me like it is well worth the $80, but in order to camp am I going to have to pay an additional fee? If so, what can I expect to pay per night. Are there ways to camp for free?
2. What can I expect the temperatures to be in the Northern part of the country and along the eastern side of the Rockies in early-mid October?
I can't think of anything else right now, I will post later when I think of something.