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  1. #1

    Default NY to CA but not straight.

    Hello all,

    We are 4 Finnish wannabe Road-trippers :) We started to plan a coast-to-coast road trip for next summer (2009). Now i wanted to get some input on whether our plan is doable, and this forum seems just the right place for that ;) So here it goes:

    Planning on renting a car for a month and driving a route which could possibly go like this (see the attachment):

    1. New York
    2. Through Smoky mountains to Atlanta
    3. To New Orleans
    4. To Memphis to see Graceland
    5. To Sioux City to see some native american stuff
    6. To Mt. Rushmore
    7. To Utah and Salt Lake City
    8. Through Grand Canyon to Las Vegas
    9. To Los Angeles

    Now my question is, is this a doable / viable route to do in a month? TripTik gives around 4700 miles for the whole route (70 hrs driving time), and when all the other driving is calculated there, its probably around 6000 miles. Is TripTik anywhere near right on those driving hours and do you think this route is good?
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default all over

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    I think your route should be just fine if you've got a month to cover the ground. However, personally, I would add in Yellowstone on your leg between Mt. Rushmore and Utah. I'd also be curious if there is anything specific that you are looking at in terms of Native Americans in the Sioux City area. There certainly are some native american things in the area - as there are in most of the US - but there's no one thing there that stands out to me.

    As far as the TripTik goes, the mileage should be accurate but the time estimates can be off a bit. Really, anytime you're trying to break a trip of this size down into hours, its kind of a pointless excersize.

  3. #3


    Thanks for the input and welcome!

    About the Native American stuff, Sioux City just happened to be in the way to Mt. Rushmore and i saw it had a reservat nearby. I really dont know if its a good place to see that side of american culture. (im just in the beginning of my studies on what should be seen there ;) If you have better suggestions on this, those would be most welcome.

    Yellowstone seems nice and interesting, tho im not yet convinced about that yet. It wouldnt be that big of a leg to put in the itinerary tho.

    About the hours in TripTik, yes i know its a far strech, but if, say there would be a week of long drive days and 3 weeks of lodging on the spot, im thinking that might be a good balance? Do people have opinions on whether to drive long legs and stay longer on spot, or drive shorter legs and stay shorter whiles on spot?

  4. #4


    A new question about this route: How would you feel, is it doable in 3 weeks, and if not, what would you drop out from the route to make it more streamlined?

    I would really like to drive it in a month, but it might be, that we have ppl in our group that cant be there for the whole time so we might have to squeeze it a bit.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default More to Contemplate


    As your time available decreases, what you're losing is time spent at the places you'll be driving to. You can still cover the roughly 5,000 miles to see everything on your list, but in going from a month to three weeks, you've taken a week out of the time you have to enjoy the fruits of your labors. Try not to think of the driving in terms of hours, such as mapping software gives you. That's almost meaningless. Think in terms of days. On a long-term RoadTrip like this, you can comfortably cover about 500 miles in a day of driving. That's a pace you can keep up day after day because you'll still have a little time each day to get out of the car for short hikes or relaxed meals. So, you'll need 10 days of driving to complete this trip. That leaves you around 10 days to spread among the venues you'll be visiting. Is that enough to see and do everything you want? Only you can decide if it is, but I'd be fairly happy with a 50/50 mix of driving/sightseeing as a RoadTrip

    Adding Yellowstone raises your mileage by only about 125 miles (plus the time to see it, of course) and is included in my 5000 mile rough estimate above. It is absolutely worth that type of 'detour'. Finding native American culture will require a bit more than just stopping at random reservations. Summer is a time when many Indian Nations hold their Powwows (tribal gatherings) and many are open to the public. There are also any number of museums and cultural centers that you can visit. As just one example, the Museum of Northern Arizona outside Flagstaff (near the Grand Canyon) offers insights into the anthropological history of local tribes. Try doing a search for native American powwows or museums and see what fits into your plans.


  6. Default

    Are you from Finland? I have always wanted to visit Finland. We live in Alaska and are planning a trip very similar to yours next summer too. However, we will start on the west coast and end up on the east coast. I am hoping to allot 8 weeks for the round trip...however, we are considering a back...? not sure... I know I want to see Wyoming, Colorado (Durango), New Mexico (Taos and Santa Fe), Nebraska (Omaha and Lincoln), Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and maybe Maine....

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