Hey everyone, just found and joined this forum. I'm taking my first major road trip this upcoming Monday, leaving Northern Virginia and heading for Santa Barbara, CA.
I'm 23, out of college, no job yet, and figured that this is the perfect time to do this trip. It's now or never, because once I start a job I can't take 2-3 weeks off unless I get fired! The furthest west I've ever been is Chicago, I'm dying to see what else is out there.
I have a 98 Honda Prelude with 120,000 miles on it, but it's been meticulously maintained and has never left me stranded.
I'm doing it alone because all my close friends are either still in school or have full time jobs. This doesn't bother me though because I have plenty of people to see along the way. Plus I prefer to drive alone.
I plan on moving on a slightly quick pace, about 7-8 hours behind the wheel a day. I'm not very interested in seeing sights that are far off my path, or seeing the big national parks, because I am alone, and I think those things are best done with other people.
What I am looking forward to the most is meeting local people out in the middle of nowhere. I can't wait to pull into a motel for the night and walk down the street to the local watering hole and have some beers with people from a completely different part of the country.
So here's my planned route:
Departing Monday morning for the University of Kentucky, about 8 hours. My cousin goes there.
Tuesday I will drive another 8 hours to Kansas City, MO, where my best friend is working. Those first 2 legs of my trip will be taken via the quickest interstates available.
On Wednesday I will leave the beaten path and take US 56 which will take me to Dodge City, KS.
From here, I plan on following my nose to Monument Valley, probably along US 50 to US 160, then south to Tempe, AZ (right outside Phoenix) where I'll be visiting another friend at AZ State University. This is where I expect the best scenery and the most interesting roadside attractions. Any suggestions here are welcome!
From there I'll find my way to Santa Barbara, by this time I expect it to be Sunday, so I can probably avoid any LA traffic.
I haven't quite finalized the trip home, but I plan on taking a more northerly route, going up US 101 to Washington, then cut east and find my way to Chicago to visit my sister who's at school there.
That's about it. If anyone knows of any great roadside bars and/or cool mom and pop motels, please let me know!
I'll check in during my trip to see any suggestions and let everyone know how it's going!