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  1. Default Pleasant Hill, California to Blountville, Tennessee

    Hello all!

    This is my first thread, and I'm happy to announce my exciting plans for a week or possibly longer, long road trip!

    My start is in Pleasant Hill, California, and my destination is Blountville, Tennessee for my old best friend's wedding!

    I can't explain much right now, as I am at work and my itinerary is at home right now, but when I get it I can post it.

    Basically I will be following the Google Maps directions there and on the way back, go through a bunch of different states. (Sort of making an ugly oval).

    My first question right now is this:

    I am strapped for cash, and with the cost of living killing me,... I'm not sure if I'll have enough money by the time our trip arrives. I have a ton of family oriented family and friends who know about the trip, and they all are glad to see me take this trip. (I'm 21, they are all my parents ages, so it's not so weird but...)

    I was curious how unorthodox it would be to write each a letter describing the road trip in its full entity and ask if anyone would be willing to throw a few bucks my way? It feels wrong, I know that, but this is also the trip of a lifetime for me, since I do not travel much. They all know that and wish the best for me, but I don't know if I should ask or not?

    Any comments are appreciated, and more info to follow for advice on the sites and see's along the way! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default virtual panhandling

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    To be honest with you, I think you'll end up sounding pretty selfish. Its one thing to try and cut costs by staying with friends along the way, but to actually ask them for cash so you can stop by while you travel to a friends wedding would be a bit over the top in my opinion.

    Personally, I'd recommend cutting costs and doing what you can to save the money yourself. It might not be easy, but if its important enough, you could find a way to do it. Otherwise, you might have to look at just flying, which for a solo traveler would probably be your cheapest option.

  3. Default

    Ohhh man. Thought that might be the case. I guess I can no longer see the fine line between right and wrong. Thanks for that.

    I got a hold of my itinerary, and so far here's the partial trip plan:

    From To
    Pleasant Hill, CA Green River, WY
    Green River, WY St. Joseph, MO
    St. Joseph, MO Nashville, TN
    Nashville, TN Blountville, TN
    Blountville, TN Muldrow, OK
    Muldrow, Ok Gallup, NM
    Gallup, NM Needles, CA
    Needles, CA Pleasant Hill, CA

    So thats:

    Time Miles
    12:34 884
    11:54 851
    9:20 607
    1:30 95 Wedding this day, so only a short trip to my motel
    11:47 786
    12:07 849
    5:40 400 Dropping by the Grand Canyon for a visit most of the day.
    8:12 542

    Each day. My family tells me I'm insane and should slow down to enjoy the views, and I think I agree. I'd like to extend the trip by at least 3 days to allow for a little less time driving for more time enjoying to sites and the see's.

    This is just a rough trip right now, we may extend it to go to Chicago and see a show as well assuming we can save enough money up, but the likeliness isn't looking good. We are also thinking of hitting Montana, but still... maybe not...

    Here's a link to our route:

    Anyone live or have been near by that has recommendations as to what I should see and visit?

    So far we have: Old Sac Town? Auburn? Nevada Boarder, Reno, Utah Boarder, Salt Lake, Wyoming Boarder
    Colorado Boarder visit? Nebraska Boarder, Iowa Boarder, Kansas Boarder, Missouri Boarder
    Illinois Boarder, Kentucky Boarder, Tennessee Boarder
    Living Proof, Memphis (elvis/country), Mississippi Boarder, Arkansas Boarder, Oklahoma Boarder
    Texas Boarder, New Mexico Boarder - EAT A FATTY FOOD AT TX
    Flagstaff, AZ boarder, Grand Canyon!!!!, California boarder
    Any interesting Cali Points

  4. Default Living Proof?

    Never heard of Living Proof and I live in TN. WHat is it? As for what to see in Memphis, if you can swing the admission you can't come to Memphis and not see Graceland. You'll need at least a couple of hours. If it's freebies you need, the zoo is free on Tuesday afternoons (I think) not sure the hours but check out their website. We have a great zoo with lots of new exhibits and pandas. Walk down Beale Street and see where the Blues started. Have dinner in one of the restaurants here and you can usually get a free show as well.

    Have fun and enjoy the RIDE. Half the fun is having time to explore unexpected things that look "interesting."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Slow down is right!

    In other words, I agree with you family telling you to drive less miles each day. We generally recommend that people drive no more than about 500-550 miles per day and all but one of your driving days are far longer than that. You will be on the road about 9-10 hours to drive 500-550 miles. This includes time for very quick stops for fuel/food/bio breaks but no time for sightseeing. So, once you add in a stop or two for that, you can see how you're already looking at a fairly long day.

    Your longest 884 mile day would take about 15-16 hours. No time to play at all.

    Of course, if you add days, you also add dollars to the cost of your trip. If you can swing this, go for it. If not, I agree that flying might really end up being your best option.

    To help you decide what will work best for you, you might check out these budgeting tips and these tips for eating out of your cooler to save money. If you're into camping, you can save money by doing that instead of hotels.

    Hope you can find a way to make this work for yourself. Have you considered taking a friend with you to share expenses?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Ouch

    Yeah, I agree with Judy and your family, you aren't giving yourself any time to enjoy the views.

    Quite frankly, you aren't giving yourself enough time to be safe.

    Computer mapping programs times are pretty optimistic especially when you are looking at a long distance solo trip. 800+ miles in one day is beyond a safe level for a solo trip, and that's before you attempt to cover those distances in back to back to back days. Even if you made it in the time you've listed, you'd be a zombie by the time you got to the wedding. And I can also assure you if you travel 400 miles on your grand canyon day, you won't have "most of the day" to view it, you'll have a few hours.

    I'm also not sure how you'd have time to visit any of your family friends on this trip. You'd be showing up late at night, and need to get as much sleep as possible to continue on this frantic pace early the next morning. Again, this is my opinion of politeness, but I'd find it to be pretty rude if someone wanted to only use my house to sleep and didn't even leave time to chat about their trip.

    Right now, you really need to worry less about finding more things to pack into this trip, and look a little more at finding ways to make the trip you're currently planning fit closer within the realities of traveling.

  7. Default

    Updated my trip!

    Gave myself from the 13th, thru the 23rd. I found out I can afford it. I'll be doing a lot of camping along the way, following some of what I believe Judy wrote about groceries saving a ton of money, and I'm updating my itinerary to match.

    Itinerary to follow. Been spending hours plotting every hour, and so far it's playing out well. Money shouldn't be an issue either. If need be we could extend our vacation to the 12th.

    Here is a rough draft of the plot we are hoping to take instead of the detailed one above:,9.624023&z=7

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