First, hello everyone and forgive me for this lengthy first post. I found this site fairly recently in looking for advice on a trip I've been considering and it's been rather helpful. I'm a 21 year old male and will be graduating college in May of 2011. The idea for this trip came from not having an immediate job lined up and not being ready to be stuck in an office just yet combined with just going through a pretty bad breakup and having a bit of an epiphany about life in general. So I figured what better way to figure myself out and enjoy life than traveling across the US. The following is really just a quick very loose itinerary/plan i came up with with just some place I'm fairly interested in.
Day 1: From my house in suburban Philadelphia, PA to my uncle's house outside Charleston WV
Day 2: Spend the day with my family in WV
Day 3: Travel to Daniel Boone National Forest, hiking
Day 4: Travel to Hoosier National Forest, hiking
Day 5: To St Louis to pick up Rt 66, side trip to Lake of the Ozarks/Osage Beach
Day 6: Spend day at Lake of the Ozarks/Osage
Days 7-19: Traveling Rt 66, definite 1 day stops at Grand Canyon and in LA
Days 20-21: To Santa Monica and spending the day in Santa Monica
Days 22-25: Driving up the Pacific Coast Highway
Days 26-27: Getting to and spending day in SF
Day 28: To Sacramento, time in Sacramento
Day 29-30: To Lake Tahoe/Day in Lake Tahoe
Day 31: To Reno, afternoon in Reno. to Battle Mountain
Day 32: To Bonneville Salt Flats, time in Bonneville, on to Salt Lake City
Day 33: Day in Salt Lake City
Day 34: Side trip traveling to Denver
Day 35: Day in Denver
Day 36: To Omaha, NE
Day 37: To Chicago
Day 38: Day in Chicago
Day 39: To South Bend, IN, time on ND campus, to Pittsburgh
Day 40: Day with friends in Pittsburgh
Day 41: Hop on the PA Turnpike and go back HOME
Notes: -The routes were given by google maps after I just plugged in a few points of interest.
-This is a solo trip as of now but I'm hoping to recruit some people, but in all likelihood will remain solo due to a lack of friends with sufficient time/money/sense of adventure
-I'm driving a '04 Mitsubishi Eclipse (tiny car)...roughly 27 mpg highway
-These points are just over 6300 miles total, I'm guessing closer to 6500 or 6600 after side trips?
-I don't my long driving days
-Don't mind sleeping in the car occasionally (I have seen the debate on here about that topic)
-Not opposed to camping to save some money
-Guessing between 800-900 for gas
-I love photography so of course will be wanting to stop and shoot places too
-I realize this is a bit ambitious for a first real road trip but I'm trying to get all the adventure I can in.
So, I was just wondering how in the ballpark I am on this. Any cities/places not worth the day or time I gave them or maybe some worth more? All said and done is this trip comfortably doable for like 3000-3500? I have more than that available but that was a rough range I was guessing, not trying to drain my entire bank account haha. Any other general advice the experts can give a first timer?
Again sorry for the long post and thanks for any help!