some thoughts before i begin...
1. finally! a site to express my anxiousness and excitement about road trips and journeys on the open road! most sites and / or friends other forums / sites just don't have that many people that are interested in road trips, which is depressing in a way.
2. hello to all! i'm excited to share my trip with you all and hope to get some good advice, neat info and tips and tricks before the journey begins, but if not, then it's kind of even more exciting.
3/11/12 EDIT: it seems that making it to Crater Lake is only possible if i drive 12-15 hours a day and avoid enjoying the journey and making as few stops as possible, which sounds like no fun at all. so i am "re-routing" my trip to something a bit closer to home, but the main goal is to enjoy the journey, not any specific destination along the way.
in August of this year (probably last week of August) i will be taking a week of vacation from work and driving from my hometown of Sheboygan, WI (on the shores of Lake Michigan FYI if you want an idea of where in Wisconsin) to Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, then to Bandon, Oregon and then back home.
all of this in about 10/11 days! so color me very excited.
here's the kicker(s): i'm 24, it's a solo trip, it's my first solo trip and it's the first time i'll be driving alone for longer than 60 miles, ever.
so in a lot of ways, i am incredibly excited, incredibly nervous and incredibly "mentally blocked" that in fact, i am doing this in a little over 5 months.
the car i will be driving will be my new 2012 Ford Fiesta SE Sedan, which arrives in early May, so car wise, i feel i am well equipped and prepared. also i have the feature of if my air bags deploy my car automatically calls 911, so if the worst came scenario arrives, that will be a slight "blessing" (i'm guessing unless i'm in the middle of nowhere and get no reception, maybe).
my plan (as of right now) is to leave early Friday morning (i will already have 45+ hours in by Thursday night of work, so i can take off Friday as a "sick day" and gain an extra day) and arrive in Oregon sometime Sunday afternoon (hopefully). at latest Monday night. then spend a day / day and a half at Crater Lake, then drive the coast (Bandon) for a day or two, and then head back. i imagine as long as i'm heading back to Wisconsin by Friday morning (depending how long it took me to arrive) i'll be in good shape to be home at a reasonable hour Sunday night to be (somewhat) ready for work the next day. and again, i could use another "sick day" if i wanted.
my boss knows this and is fine with this, which is awesome.
i'm very much a "plan every detail" person, which sucks and i'm trying to break away from because i don't want this trip to be planned out each and every minute. that's no fun. so while i am planning on taking back roads and quieter highways, i won't have everything carefully planned out: no real destinations besides the Park and the shore and no time lines / time frames except for the basic ones mentioned above.
i have a list of stuff i'm bringing along which i will share once i feel it's pretty complete, nd today bought the first item for the trip - 2012 Road Atlas. next purchase will be a GPS system (any suggestions?) and then some hiking / backpack / pack stuff. the less stuff the better, but i will be prepared.
also planning on having around $800 for gas. used the estimator on here, and was right around $670, so $800 may be good or a bit less than necessary, so may put more into it. also planning on having $800 or so for hotel rooms. most food i want to bring with unless i find neat restaurants that are specific to an area / state. most of this will also be cash since who knows what middle-of-nowhere town won't accept my debit / credit card. i will also be telling my bank and credit card company what states i will be in so they don't freeze my cards when they see otherwise suspicious behavior.
i will also only carry 1 credit card ($4,500 limit), my debit card and the rest will be cash.
i also want to have around $800 for anything else - goofy momentos / snacks and anything else that catches my eyes.
round trip i should be going through at least 13 states! and part of the way will be on "the Loneliest Road in America" - US Route 50 in Nevada. i'd also like to drive through ghost towns and maybe see some "haunted" locations on the way if not too far out of the way and / or if time is not an issue.
on the way back i'll be going through Montana, and depending where Going-to-the-Sun Road may be, i want to travel that as well.
sorry for the long post, but hope to hear from some experts out there on traveling through the great Pacific Northwest!
states i will be driving through: