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  1. Default Gonna' do a solo 3 week/10K coast-to-coaster. Oy!

    Post number one! Long warning.

    In an attempt to prove that an old fart doesn't inherently possess any more common sense than the younger generations, I've decided to sow my remaining oats all over the roads of the USA this summer, in a quest to see as much of our treasured scenery over a given route with a semi-flexible time schedule.

    From what I've scanned within this site, its contributors are fantastic. Thank you for being here. While the routes I plan to take have no doubt been covered, & recovered, I'll try to limit my questions only to the extent of "What am I missing?"; rather than "Please write an itinerary for me while I go take a nap".

    The basics - I'm 67 years old, retired, widowed, & in decent health. I bought a well used, but well maintained '96 Dodge Grand Caravan with a mere 205K on the clock. I recently had a competent mechanic run a fine-tooth comb over all this beast, & pronounce it healthy enough to venture forth. I gutted the interior of all seats except for the front two buckets. The interior will be outfitted as a camper, & I plan to use for gas what I don't spend at the Holiday Inn. Two grand's worth of 4 buck gas ought to get me through the entire circuit. I'm going solo, so I can play the stereo as loud as see fit.
    I did a 3,500 mile trip last year throughout mid-southern California last summer in a rented Dodge Caliber (Yup, slept in it) & survived, so figger I'm ready to take on bigger ventures.

    The plan - Starting out around August 23rd from the Baltimore, MD area. No real concern about sightseeing 'til I get past Chicago. & get on I 90 in Wisconsin. I'm heading for the Seattle, WA area, allowing about a week to diddle along. I do know most of the attractions in S. Dakota, Montana, & Idaho; & I have a couple of old friends to visit along the way. After a stay in Port Townsend, WA, I'll head south along 101 through Oregon, over to RT 5 in Cali, & down to Sacramento to visit with my daughter. She'll probably throw me out after a couple of days, & I'll continue down RT 5 & link up with RT 40 heading east through Arizona (stop at Grand Canyon & Sedona), New Mexico, & "maybe" pick up RT 285 to go peek at Rozwell to visit my alien ancestors, than head east via RT 380 to Dallas/Ft.Worth. How I get back home from there is "to be determined", but of no consequence to me from a sightseeing point-of-view. I planned to be back home by mid-September, as the goldfish should be real hungry by then.

    In general - I'll probably seek camping space along the way. Between Nat'l parks, truck stops, KOA, & whatever else turns up, I should be able to sleep in peace, & shower on occasion. ANY SUGGESTIONS, or "favorites" along my mentioned routes are appreciated. As mentioned, time permitting, I'll try to drop in on the usual favorite park sights (Rushmore, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons etc. etc.). BUT if there's one or two of those "must see" off-beat attractions within a few hours of my routes, please mention your favorites. I don't plan to spend a lot of time sightseeing within major cities, as I have all the congestion I can handle back home. This cruise is kind of an "easyrider" approach just to scan what's out there. If I like what I see, & want more of it I'll probably get on a plane (assuming there's an airline still in business in 2009), rent a car, & spend more time with the "gems".

    I apologize if this has been a yawner, & I'll be checking around to see where some of my questions have been addressed. BUT....ya' gotta' start somewhere, & time's getting short. Thanks to all.

    Ron.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Maybe the goldfish should go with you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caravanron View Post
    ... rather than "Please write an itinerary for me while I go take a nap".
    Looks like you have been reading a few posts...Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!
    I'm going solo, so I can play the stereo as loud as see fit.
    Besides music choices, your route choices are your own as well.
    I'll continue down RT 5 & link up with RT 40
    I think you must mean Interstate 5 and Interstate 40? If so, they don't actually ever intersect... Although you can reach I-40 via CA-58 at Barstow. A short detour would take you along one of the more interesting sections of historic Route 66 through Oatman on the way to the Grand Canyon.
    I planned to be back home by mid-September, as the goldfish should be real hungry by then.
    Yeah, I would think they might be getting a little peckish by then.
    This cruise is kind of an "easyrider" approach just to scan what's out there. If I like what I see, & want more of it I'll probably get on a plane (assuming there's an airline still in business in 2009), rent a car, & spend more time with the "gems".
    Warnings of demise are vastly overstated at this point. This is a lot of miles for three weeks of travel, certainly doable, but you will need to keep going. One thing you can find in just about town of any size is roadside murals and here are a few that might be on your route, you could also go looking for shoetrees. I would also look at our A to Z list for each of the ~ 27 states or so that your route will probably touch upon.

    Sounds like a lot of fun to me!

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Yawner? I think not!

    Hello and welcome to R.T.A.

    I apologize if this has been a yawner, & I'll be checking around to see where some of my questions have been addressed. BUT....ya' gotta' start somewhere, & time's getting short. Thanks to all.
    No apologies needed, I for one found it very entertaining.:-)

    It seems obvious that you know what to expect from your trip and how much time you may have to do certain parts of it so I am just going to add that by going pretty much Interstate from Sacramento to Grand canyon you will miss so many great places. If you have the time you could do one of two things and see so much more.

    One would be to go to Yosemite and cross the sierras along the Tioga pass [120] which are amongst my favorite places and visit Death valley on the way to Grand canyon. With more time a trip to Zion N.P and Bryce canyon via ST George, located north of vegas, could be done before heading through Page and onto the Grand canyon. All of these places offer unbelievable scenery.

    Two. By getting on HWY 99 instead of I-5 you could visit all, or some of the following from Sacramento. Yosemite, The Sequoias and "The generals highway", a lovely mountain drive through The Giants forest. Also near Visalia there is a stunning mountain drive through Quaking aspen, Johnsondale and on through the Kern valley following the Kern river into Kernville on Lake Isabella. This is a much less visited area and offers real peace and quiet from the "real world".

    As said it will all depend on timing, after all those fish are gonna be pretty hungry ;-), but let us know if you would like more details.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Yawner? No. You write with great wit.

    So much so that I'm already hungering to hear more about your plans and really hope that you will give us a report about your trip. I bet it will be fascinating.

    After a stay in Port Townsend, WA, I'll head south along 101 through Oregon,
    Lovely city! There are many things to do in and near there. How long are you planning on staying there?

    This discussion should give you a lot of ideas, particularly post #9. Some ideas for SW Washington, focusing on the beach areas. This post has links to several other posts about the PNW that might be helpful.

    Why not have a friend babysit the little fishies so you can play on the road a bit more?

    Looking forward to continued discussions about your trip!

  5. Default

    I think you must mean Interstate 5 and Interstate 40? If so, they don't actually ever intersect... Although you can reach I-40 via CA-58 at Barstow. A short detour would take you along one of the more interesting sections of historic Route 66
    Yeah, I tried to shorten my essay by omitting a few connector routes here & there. I meant I 40 - oops. I'll take closer look at the RT 66 suggestion.


    Thanks, Mark.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-02-2008 at 07:17 PM. Reason: format

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    One would be to go to Yosemite and cross the sierras along the Tioga pass [120] which are amongst my favorite places and visit Death valley on the way to Grand canyon. With more time a trip to Zion N.P and Bryce canyon via ST George, located north of vegas, could be done before heading through Page and onto the Grand canyon. All of these places offer unbelievable scenery.

    Two. By getting on HWY 99 instead of I-5 you could visit all, or some of the following from Sacramento. Yosemite, The Sequoias and "The generals highway", a lovely mountain drive through The Giants forest. Also near Visalia there is a stunning mountain drive through Quaking aspen, Johnsondale and on through the Kern valley following the Kern river into Kernville on Lake Isabella. This is a much less visited area and offers real peace and quiet from the "real world".
    Hi, Dave. I know that I'll be hitting a lot of "forks in the road" where a decision must be made as to which hunk of beauty will make the cut list. I neglected to mention that last year's California voyage included Yosemite, & all that I could squeeze in whilst traveling RT 395 from Tahoe to L.A. I may decide to take I 15 at Barstow & head to Vegas & see Lake Meade/Hoover Dam, then venture back down RT 93 to I 40 & up to the Grand Canyon on RT 64.
    It all depends on the time, the weather, & if the tranny in the van still has a few forward gears left. Thanks much for the suggestions.

    Ron.
    Last edited by Mass Tim; 08-02-2008 at 07:49 PM. Reason: Added quote tags

  7. Default

    So much so that I'm already hungering to hear more about your plans and really hope that you will give us a report about your trip. I bet it will be fascinating.
    Aw, shucks, miz Judy. You're the guru, & I'm not worthy.
    Lovely city! There are many things to do in and near there. How long are you planning on staying there?
    Port Townsend is the destination, because I have old friends who relocated there from the humidity of the Wash. DC area. They've been warned that I'll be seeking a hot shower, so I guess I'll stick around a couple of days (long shower). I'll probably be at their mercy to see as many sights we can jamb into that space. I know - too short, but I gotta' travel on.....

    I'll be reading through those posts when I get done with this.
    Thanks much.
    Why not have a friend babysit the little fishies so you can play on the road a bit more?
    I have a neighbor who's to be stuck with chow duty. Wait 'til he sees what it takes to de-muck the pond filter every week. Har-har!
    Looking forward to continued discussions about your trip!
    Assuming nothing blows up along the way, you guys'll be the first to know.

    Thanks for all the help!

    Ron.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-02-2008 at 08:00 PM. Reason: added some quote format for clarity

  8. Default

    One question about routing. Assuming I avoid abduction around Rozwell, it seems I have a couple of choices when heading towards Dallas. The most direct route is RT 380. BUT if I decide to drop down to Carlsbad, I'd take RT 180, & COULD pick up I 20 later if time is a concern. Just wondered if there's any one of these routes that's more "scenic" than the other, or are they all just endless miles of tumbleweed.

    Thanks, Ron

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default I kinda like tumbleweeds!

    Really, the scenery should be thrilling on either route. While I'm familiar with the roads in New Mexico, I haven't made it into much of Texas so I can't give you experienced intelligence though. Sorry.

    I can that Roswell is a hoot. But be careful. You never know what you'll run into.



    They usually hang out here




    Go to Carlsbad Caverns! Don't miss it. Take a tour later in the day so you can stay for the amazing flight of the bats.


  10. Default

    Go to Carlsbad Caverns! Don't miss it. Take a tour later in the day so you can stay for the amazing flight of the bats.
    Looks like you've talked me into Bat world, Judy, so the southern route it is.

    Thanks for the pics. Looks like the ants on my kitchen counter-top.

    Ron.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-05-2008 at 08:35 PM.

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