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  1. Default 4 week road trip Ma to Ca and back

    Recently retired couple, planning a 4 week cross country trip month of May. We start in Ma, but since are familiar with Northeast, we are interested in stopping to see the sights from the Smokey Mountains Nat'l Park on to La, SF then a northerly route back to Ma. We would also like to travel a bit of Rte. 66., also see Grand Canyon, yellowstone, grand tetons, yosemite and anything interesting along the way. Any Suggestions for routes, places to see, It seems overwhelming. Help! and Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default good reason

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    There's a good reason that you'd feel overwhelmed, there really are so many things you could do and routes you could take on a trip that covers a loop of the entire US that it can't simply be broken down into a neat list, or a single forum response.

    The best way to get over the overwhelming aspects is to break your trip up into segments. Take a look at the major things you'd want to see in each region and then start investigating what lies between those points. From there, you can start working up a rough itinerary that will give provide a guide for what you can do with the time you have available. A month is a great amount of time to be on the road, but you are also talking about covering a whole lot of miles, so your time will go by faster than you might think.

    As you work forward in you planning processes and start coming up with more of an outline, we can certainly help you more to put it all together.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default A Skeleton for You to Flesh Out

    Although it may not seem like it to you, you actually are well into planning a great trip. You've got the basic idea decided upon, you've got a reasonable time frame for what you want to do, and you have the sense of adventure required. The problem as I see it is that you're trying to skip several steps and go right to filling in the final details. Michael is right in that the next step should just be to lay out the general framework, the skeleton so to speak, of the trip, and only then move on to more detailed work. So, let's think about that skeleton or segments.

    Down to the Smokies you indicate that you've 'been there, done that' in the northeast. That's fine, but as you get south of Washington at least consider places like Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Then heading west from the Smokies, think about how much, if any time you want to spend at some of the following: Nashville, Memphis, Oklahoma City, Santa Fe and Taos. The next major area to investigate would be northern Arizona with the Petrified Forest, Grand Canyon and the largest remaining old section of the route formerly known as US-66 from Seligman through Peach Springs to Kingman. Do you want to include Las Vegas on the way to L.A.? From L.A. north to San Francisco, you should definitely include the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH, CA-1) through San Simeon and Monterey. By the 'northern route' back home, I'm assuming you'll want to visit Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, etc. and then a bit of the Great Lakes. You can even include a drive through Canada over the top of the Lakes to get back to Massachusetts if your passports are in order.

    So, that's what we mean by a rough itinerary, segments, or skeleton. Take a look at those places on a big map of the U.S. See what roads connect them. Decide how much time you want to spend at each of the major stops along the way and how much you want to spend just exploring the 'unknown'. At that point you'll have a true sense of the trip ahead of you and how much fun it will be, and you'll be ready to start filling in the details such as where to spend your nights and finding smaller venues all along your chosen path to make every day of your trip its own adventure.


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