Hi! I'm Kris, an experienced short-trip (a week or less) road-tripper, about to leave on my first-ever longer trip. I have driven cross-country before, however, I was young and dumb and drove 16 hours a day, multiple days in a row at that point. I'm too old for that stuff now.
I am embarking in a little over a week and a half (On July 25) on a cross-country, down the coast, and back home road trip that I've been planning for months. As such, I've been lurking around here, reading up what I can (the 55 mile per hour benchmark has helped me plan tremendously), and would like to get some opinions on my trip.
Days 1 and 2 I am planning on driving 1400 miles total to Minneapolis, where I will spend 4 days. I know this is ambitious, and have planned so if another day is needed, I have it (it also should probably be said that I will have a driving partner the entire trip, so I won't be driving for 12 hours straight two days in a row)
After I'm done in Minneapolis, I'm planning on heading out through South Dakota to about the Wall area for a night, this is about 500 Miles. I'll spend one night there, then drive for 400 Miles to the middle of Wyoming, where I'll spend another night, before going a couple of hours further into Yellowstone, where I'll spend 3 days. This is the only part of the trip I'm concerned about (as it will be the only part with a few days of long hours driving). Am I being too ambitious?
After Yellowstone, we're going to drive to Seattle (stopping for the night if we need to, but hoping to push on through - I should note that we are picking up a friend in Missoula MT. who will be able to help drive just to Seattle as well). We'll spend 4 days in Seattle (leaving the friend behind) before driving somewhere on the Oregon Coast to camp for a night, and on to the Bay Area in California. (This is another long day, at 600 Miles). 3 nights in San Fran, then a 6 hour drive to Santa Barbara for a two night stay, onto Vegas for two nights, then hitting up Zion, and the Grand Canyon, at a night each (Only about 4 hours from Vegas to Zion and 5 from Zion to GCNP South Rim). We'll then take a 4 hour drive to Phoenix, where we'll stay for 3 days before starting the long 2700 mile drive home. I've allotted a full week for the drive, so I think I'm safe there.
Now, if you've managed to get through this, I apologize for the overly detailed analysis of my route. But my major question: Am I pressing too hard, or is it viable to drive hard for one day and rest for a few, as outlined above? I'm planning on taking 90 most of the way out to Seattle (with the exception of getting to Yellowstone). Are there any roads I should avoid? Though I'm familiar with mountain driving in the Appellations, I'm not familiar with the west coast. Are there any roads you would recommend?
Lastly (I promise) we are spending our time camping and with friends, so any suggestions for camping along the way would be appreciated (AAA has sites listed in their guidebooks, but personal experiences are always better!).