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  1. Default A Volvo - Air Matress and $3500

    So that is what I have so far, I'm piecing things together at the moment there is no dedicated route, figure I'll leave from Seattle, hit the Pacific Coast Highway, food from a cooler. Driving an 850 Wagon, big boot so I've found an air matress with its own inflate system that i can run off an inverter - I have lots of good blankets as I know several places will still be relatively chilly.

    Showers I figure I'll hit Pilots and other truck stops also have a few friends all along the west coast (or/ca/az) will def crash a few homes. I figure maybe a motel/hotel two or three times the entire month but not likely. I want to be gone for roughly a month, no major goal.. just going to a few places I want to see before I get too old to fully enjoy them.. sure I can pay for extras when I'm older, but I want to get to the places and do the things I wont be able to once I am older (hope that makes sense)

    Moving forward, Yosemite, Yellowstone, gonna check out the shrubbery in California so probably spend some time in Nor Cal (this is likely where I'll get my hotel rooms) Also want to go to AZ and check out the Stalactite caves - beyond that I'm not too sure. I "think" $3500 should cover the trip expenses for the most part (its all i can budget)

    So any thoughts, suggestions, recommendations on stops. I've done short 400-500 mile drives, pushing an extended trip where i spend days at each destination is completely new.

    I have a tent, gps, will be picking up a portable stove and a few other camping supplies, though I'm considering not even bringing the tent, but then again, i will be hiking in to places so maybe some early spring camping in the warmer areas is an option.

    Thanks!

    Oh I wanted to add, Trip would be early part of april to whenever I decide to come home. No real hurry which is why no real itinerary has been set.
    Last edited by AprilMadness; 01-18-2011 at 12:52 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    Welcome!

    If you want to do Yellowstone, April may be too early. All the interior roads are not open till around the middle of May. You are going to have the same issue for full enjoyment of Yosemite. I'd recommend you start the trip by going down the coast and wandering around the more southern parks first, then head for the mountains once spring has taken full effect.

    If you plan on sleeping in the car, I'd recommend you do it at truck stops with permission, and give them some business - shower, meal, gas.

  3. Default

    Do you suggest I wait an extra two weeks and leave the first part of May instead of mid April?

    I wish i could go in the summer but the trip is not feasible I pretty much have a April/May schedule of freedom

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AprilMadness View Post
    Do you suggest I wait an extra two weeks and leave the first part of May instead of mid April?
    That would be advisable since the weather is more likely to be in your favor.

  5. Default

    Ok cool, this is really my first long trip. It stems from some far more personal things ie graduated college, no job no direction need to find myself all that crap lol

    I'm giving up my life to try and find something new, a part of this road trip is exploration on a personal level and going to places that I may ultimately want to call home in the long run. I'm tire of not being satisfied on a personal level. Not being happy with my life and where I live etc.

    I'm in Emergency Management with lots of mitigation/hazard training so I "hope" my physical drive to actually show up in parks hundreds of miles from my home state would allow employment to open up, if not, no big deal either the trip does not purely revolve around work.

    Are there any major stops in Or, Ca, Az, NV, Wy, Ut and even possibly TX. That some here would recommend?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default tent

    There really are so many things you could see in those states - its basically the entire west. Certainly the dozens of national parks in that area could be a good start, but you'll have to narrow things down a bit more yourself, before anything we could say would be much more useful than throwing darts at a map.


    I will say that if I were you, I'd certainly bring a tent. I'm sure you'll be fine sleeping in the car some of the time, but the back of a car with an air mattress is a pretty cramped space where you won't have a lot of room to even sit up. Especially in areas where you'll be staying a couple days, I'd bet you'll be more comfortable having a place, outside of the car, where you can relax and get comfortable.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Getting some dots on the map.

    The National parks 'park finder' is a good place to start picking through major attractions. Once you have started to map out those you wish to stop at, you can then start working on all the different route options to take and attractions between them. There is no shortage of incredibly scenic Highways and By ways in these parts and I would encourage you to look around the RTA site. Search the forums for info, including the Roadtrip field report section and check out the tool bars above where you will find route ideas, roadtrip attractions, plus the Map center where you can create your own routes and search for points of interest along the way. Once you have some dots on the map we can then help to fill in the blanks.

    Enjoy the planning !

  8. Default

    Thank you for the comments thus far, hopefully I'll have an updated Itinerary soon.

    It looks like AZ is off of my list. I cannot take any thing that I define as a risk to my personal safety or in this case career in terms of criminal prosecution based on what I find to be a relatively ridiculous law.

    I'm a Washing State Medical user and due to Arizonas DUID "per se" law - Even if I consume my medication at a hotel the night before since it can be read for up to 12 days - Technically in AZ i would be at threat of a DUI at all times even though never UTI. Frustrating as I was really really excited to go there.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default

    I'm by no means an expert on the subject, but just doing a quick look, Arizona's DUID "per se" law is not significantly different than laws on the books in about 20 other states.

    Nevada and Utah also have similar laws, so I guess those states will also be off limits for you. And I suspect that in every state, if you were ever stopped because an officer had reason to believe you were under the influence, a positive test would be enough to bring a DUI charge regardless of your medical status.

  10. #10

    Default

    I happened to do the same thing you are thinking about doing. I graduated college with no real desire to start working and wasnt too sure what my next move was. The only difference was I bought a camper van to sleep in rather than a car ( I didnt have the option of having a space big enough for an air mattress). I suggest trying out couchsurfing.org for opportunities to meet new people and take free showers. There is an app if you have an iPhone that is helpful called roadsideamerica that will help you find new places to check out wherever you are at. Regardless, getting away from the norm and seeing the world was one of the biggest parts of my traveling today. I was going to take a year off to travel and its been 2 and half now.


    Quote Originally Posted by AprilMadness View Post
    Ok cool, this is really my first long trip. It stems from some far more personal things ie graduated college, no job no direction need to find myself all that crap lol

    I'm giving up my life to try and find something new, a part of this road trip is exploration on a personal level and going to places that I may ultimately want to call home in the long run. I'm tire of not being satisfied on a personal level. Not being happy with my life and where I live etc.

    I'm in Emergency Management with lots of mitigation/hazard training so I "hope" my physical drive to actually show up in parks hundreds of miles from my home state would allow employment to open up, if not, no big deal either the trip does not purely revolve around work.

    Are there any major stops in Or, Ca, Az, NV, Wy, Ut and even possibly TX. That some here would recommend?

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