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  1. Default 101-day Summer Exploration - Summer of '12

    I have been on road trips before and created a post asking about specific equipment for this trip. It's going to be a doozy. 101-days. Costs are roughly:

    I am looking at anywhere from $10,000-$18,000 total cost - depending on how cheap I want to be (which I am never a cheap always leads to me not enjoying my time, sleeping in cars).This is a pretty good deal for the time spent and a hotel each night averaging $80 (which I have searched to be the average costs of hotels, some as much as 200-300).

    I am overall looking to revisit many areas, and explore new ones. I will post an itinerary soon if anyone is interested. It is mainly well-known back country and a few cities. My questions is this. Does anybody know of any non-tourist historical spots, particularly spots with local lore/tales. I absolutely LOVE following local history, treasure tales, etc. I am just unaware of any spots out west other than the main ones, that could satisfy my need for history, without interference from loads of tourists all around me. Any suggestions of areas would be great, and possibly, a brief description. Thank you in advance.

  2. Default

    Here is the itinerary if it'll help anyone with ideas of where and when I'll be.

    Days: (starts may 6th)

    1 - Departing Largo, FL and saying goodbye to city life. Heading for St. Augustine
    2 - St. Augustine
    3 - Savannah
    4 - Charleston
    5 - Myrtle Beach
    6 - Myrtle Beach
    7 - Williamsburg
    8 - Washington, D.C.
    9 - Gettysburg
    10 - Gettysburg
    11 - Intercourse - Amish Country
    12 - NYC
    13 - NYC
    14 - Plymouth
    15 - Plymouth
    16 - Boston
    17 - Lake Placid
    18 - Lake Placid
    19 - Rochester
    20 - Lake Erie
    21 - Columbus
    22 - Ann Arbor
    23 - Lake Michigan Beach
    24 - Milwuakee
    25 - Mall of America
    26 - T. Roosevelt N.P.
    27 - T. Roosevelt N.P.
    28 - Badlands, N.P.
    29 - Badlands, N.P.
    30 - Mount Rushmore
    31 - Wind Cave
    32 - Rocky Mountain N.P.
    33 - Rocky Mountain N.P.
    34 - Denver
    35 - Denver
    36 - Colorado Springs (family)
    37 - Colorado Springs (family)
    38 - Aspen
    39 - Black Cyn-Gunnison N.P.
    40 - Capitol Reef N.P.
    41 - Capitol Reef N.P.
    42 - Zion N.P.
    43 - Zion N.P.
    44 - Las Vegas
    45 - Las Vegas
    46 - Death Valley N.P.
    47 - Death Valley N.P.
    48 - Great Basin N.P.
    49 - Great Basin N.P.
    50 - Boneville Salt Flats
    51 - Grand teton N.P.
    52 - Grand Teton N.P.
    53 - Yellowstone N.P.
    54 - Yellowstone N.P.
    55 - Glacier N.P.
    56 - Glacier N.P.
    57 - Mt. Rainer N.P.
    58 - Mt. Rainer N.P.
    59 - Seattle
    60 - Seattle
    61 - North Cascades
    62 - North Cascades
    63 - Olympic N.P.
    64 - Olympia
    65 - Portland
    66 - Corvallis, WA
    67 - Crater Lake N.P.
    68 - Crater Lake N.P.
    69 - Lassen Volcanic N.P.
    70 - Reno
    71 - Sacramento
    72 - San Francisco
    73 - San Francisco
    74 - Yosemite N.P.
    75 - Yosemite N.P.
    76 - Quick pass by Kings Canyon + Sequoia - been there too many times
    77 - Hollywood
    78 - Hollywood
    79 - Santa Ana
    80 - San Diego
    81 - Yuma
    82 - Saguaro N.P.
    83 - Phoenix
    84 - Phoenix
    85 - Grand Canyon
    86 - Monument Valley Navajo Tribe
    87 - Mesa Verde N.P.
    88 - Mesa Verde N.P.
    89 - Great Sand Dunes N.P.
    90 - Santa Fe
    91 - Carlsbad Caverns N.P.
    92 - Carlsbad Caverns N.P.
    93 - Big Bend N.P.
    94 - Austin
    95 - New Orleans
    96 - Mystic Caverns
    97 - Mystic Caverns
    98 - Mammoth cave N.P.
    99 - Mammoth Cave N.P.
    100 - Smoky Mountains N.P.
    101 - Drive home wooooo

  3. Default

    You have so much crammed into 101 days that I hate to suggest anything more. But since you asked... I'm not going to try to talk you out of the Mall of America, but you won't learn anything historic there :-) It's interesting to see it though, and you might enjoy it. If you want to see something in Minnesota a little off the beaten path, I'd head north up to Duluth, which is about 2 1/2 hours north of the Mall of America. It's a beautiful city, perched on a hill overlooking Lake Superior. From there you could head straight west to T.R. national park in North Dakota.

    Also, if you haven't been, I'd recommend Glacier National Park in northwest Montana and Yellowstone National Park in northwest Wyoming.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Traveling through History

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Throughout my travels, I have tried to keep an eye on the history of the region I'm in at any given moment. it's simply, in my opinion, the best way to understand what's there now, geologically, culturally, gastronomically, etc. There are of course major historical sites such as Jamestown, Gettysburg, and the like, but if you really want to understand an area you need to 'get down in the weeds' and the best way to do this is to visit some of the untold number of local history museums, sites. and lectures. The things I really look for are docent led tours of sites and museums where I can get some interpretation and ask questions. Now, if you're expecting me to give you some list of places to go, you're going to be greatly disappointed. There are just too many. I have recently had cause to look for sites pertaining to Native American Anthropology and Archaeology within a day-trip of Tucson, AZ. Now that's a pretty limited subset of "non-tourist historical spots, particularly spots with local lore/tales", and yet I easily found somewhere between 3 and 4 dozen such possibilities. So, if that's the type of attraction you want to see, you're simply going to have to inquire locally at such fonts of information as Welcome Centers, tourist information booths, and local libraries. And at the end of each visit, tell the people which way you're headed and ask what similar sites are particularly interesting.


  5. Default

    Awesome guys, thanks for the replies. And no, wasn't expecting a huge list, and yes, there are many places. I just find it hard, with research limited. The advice you gave about asking locally is definitely a great idea. In your experience, do you think that local libraries would keep full records of historical events available for a tourist (non-local) to research?

    I have always lacked skilled in history research, which is one of the reasons I am unable to experience all of the country (besides N.P.'s and other well known back-country areas). All of your tips are greatly appreciated!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Even better than the local librarian

    Quote Originally Posted by LtBrannigan18 View Post
    Does anybody know of any non-tourist historical spots, particularly spots with local lore/tales.
    Just adding a source that is often over-looked when doing local research. Stop in at barber shops or nail salons in whatever town you are going to. Get your hair cut, a shave or whatever and ask the customers and the barbers about local events and local history. I've made some of my best discoveries from these informal oral history sessions.


  7. Default

    WOW, I didn't even think about that! That would be a great idea, as I would need to get my droopy hair cut several times anyways, and a few extra ones wouldn't hurt for the stories. Great share, thank you! I love these forums, everyone is so quick to help out a fellow traveller. I will take those tips into consideration.

    PS: I am also considering knocking out a few of the bigger cities in my travels and taking the time to explore local history with those extra days.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Huge list of books, but....

    There are thousands of good books detailing US history -- but one I would certainly pick up and take with you, was supposed to be the first of a series, but the authors grew disenchanted with the process and so, alas, there was only one published -- but check, out Suzanne & Craig Sheumaker's
    America's Living History - The Early Years. and then here's a growing reference of books that RTA contributors are submitting for local historical reference.


  9. Default

    Awesome! Thank you again for all of the refernces. I will definitely be checking them out.

  10. Default

    I am not an experienced traveler of the US but what I've learned from traveling through Europe is that it's best to not pressure yourself and just go with the flow... Sometimes you find gorgeous sights when you least are looking for them.
    Try not to stay on the highways too much, sometimes just drive into a town and get acquainted with some locals. They can tell you some of the history and perhaps you could even go to a local festival or a race or something.

    A few are featured on here but there's more of them when you just drive around.

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