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  1. Default Cross Country Trip - Best Route - Aussie Traveller

    Hi All,

    Well I've decided its time for another road trip through the great USA and looking for all the help I can get.

    I received a great deal of handy advice when planning my last trip from Atlanta to LA back in 2010 and had the time of my life driving across with a good buddy of mine for 3 weeks. We travelled along i-40 / route 66 and found it to be an amazing journey that showed us some of the variety that exists in your great country.

    We are looking to do a similar trip probably September/October 2013 but am really stuck on where to start. Have read up on US50 and like the look of that type of trip but have heard that its a fair trip to do and considerably slower then perhaps I70. But is there another path across the country that should also be considered?

    We will probably have about 3 weeks again and would love to catch some college football or any type of sports and just soak up the heartland and spend some time in the smaller city's/towns and meet plenty of interesting people. We want to experience everything "Americana" and enjoy some of the great variety of awesome food that is served up.

    Appreciate any help that may be on offer and really looking forward to laying the foundations of another great trip.

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 09-12-2012 at 08:01 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Getting started.

    Hello and welcome back, glad you had a blast on your previous trip !

    There are many, many ways to cross the country and it doesn't have to follow one path, you can combine a number of routes and road numbers. What you need to concentrate on is what it is you want to see, what interests you, and mark them on a map. Once you have done so, the route will start to develop, so I would suggest you do a little reading and research using the forums and RTA planning pages above with a good map, and get those dots on the map. Once you have got that far the rest will start to unfold.

    Certainly, as you start to create your journey, we can help fill in the blanks and make suggestions but you need to make a start, as there are just too many options to make meaningful suggestions.

  3. Default

    Thanks Dave,

    I get your point regarding picking the key points of interest and going from their, i guess the thing is im more about experiencing the unknown and just seeing where the road takes us. I have been to the states 3 times now and have been to a lot of the places on my wish list.

    I guess im looking to pick a good route that takes me through states that i haven't been to before and whether that be a trip through the middle again (i70 ish) or a trip down south further.

    I guess i was looking for opinions on what route others would take if driving east coast to west coast apart from i40.

    Thanks again

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Planning an unstructured roadtrip.

    Hi Mick, In that case, may I suggest you do what I do - and have done on most of all of my five visits..... hit the road, 'and see where it takes you'.

    The best way to plan for something as unstructured as that, is to educate yourself on what routes go where, and what some of the great points of interest are along each route. That way you will always know what alternative roads are within your reach, when you feel the need for a change. You will know what the major attractions are along the way. Then decide which attractions are on your 'must see' list, and which you are happy to let go in favour of the unknown suprises which may be ahead.

    Start by using the resources on this site in conjuction with a good map of the US. Use and utilise anything and everything you come across in magazines and books, see on the TV or hear on the radio. Keep making notes of those things which interest you.

    This is how I have travelled for more than 120000 miles across North America, seen the most amazing sights and stumbled upon gems I never even knew existed.

    Enjoy the planning.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A few areas to note possibly.

    I guess im looking to pick a good route that takes me through states that i haven't been to before and whether that be a trip through the middle again (i70 ish) or a trip down south further.
    I70 is one of the most scenic in the country through Colorado and Southern Utah, but there are just so many great National parks, Monuments, State parks, scenic drives and mountain towns a short distance away, it's a choice I find hard to ignore. It's certainly somewhere to get off Interstate and get 'lost' for a while, although the section of US50 in Colorado is also very scenic as it makes it's way across the Continental divide at Monarch Pass, through Currecanti National Recreation area and right by Black canyon of the Gunnison. It also links up with US550 at Montrose where just south is the very scenic 'San Juan Skyway' that includes the mountain towns of Ouray, Silverton, Durango [[aka 'The Million dollar Highway'] to Dolores and Telluride with Mesa Verde NP a small detour away.

    Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce canyon and Zion NP's are all well known but certainly worth a visit, and between Capitol Reef and Bryce canyon is Utah scenic Byway 12, another wonderful drive. Not too far away you will find the North rim of the Grand canyon.

    San Francisco is a great City and is certainly a place I would consider ending my trip as you went to LA last time, although if LA is your destination you could drive down the scenic coastal highway from SF on CA1 around Big Sur. From Utah you could head across Nevada on US50 [aka 'The Lonliest Road' or head further south towards Vegas and across Death valley. Either way I would recommend making a line towards Yosemite NP via the Tioga Pass [CA120] that crosses the Sierra Nevada, it's one of my favourites !

    You have time to meander along US50 and detour 'here' and 'there' and I would agree with Lifey above, keep researching, take notes and see what you stumble upon, hopefully some of the above might wet your appetite and help get you started.

  6. Default

    Hey Lifey

    Mate id love to hit the road and see where it takes me but i want to have a rough direction or route so that i make use of the time i have and not backtrack or detour too much. Im doing a heap of research and noting things down with a focus on or around a trip loosely following I70. 120000 miles is massive you must have seen some sites! Hopefully i can tap into your knowledge again as my trip takes shape!

  7. Default

    Thanks again Dave - Thanks for the info on i-70, it sounds like the way to go. Definitely plan to spend some time on US50 also.

    San Francisco is definitely the place i will be ending the trip, never been there before and that is one thing that is locked in and will fly in and out of.

    I really want to spend some time at either Bass lake or Lake Tahoe but not sure which area would be the best place to go. I guess Im tossing up whether to go US50 to Reno (a fan of vegas but wanted to check out something a little different and understand Reno may be an option) and spend time at Lake Tahoe or head along Tioga Pass as suggested, check out Yosemite and then head to bass lake then onto San Fran. What are peoples thoughts re Bass Lake V Lake Tahoe?

    At this stage I have St Louis to San Fran via I70 as a rough outline but keen to start the trip from further east but will keep working on a starting point. I guess i need to consider the best place to hire car from aswell.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Time.

    Other than factoring in the time, there is no reason why you couldn't head to Reno and then down through Carson City to 395 and across the Tioga Pass and include a detour to Lake Tahoe. While in Yosemite, Bass lake isn't too far from Mariposa Grove and the south entry point, but there is a whole lot to see and do in Yosemite itself !

    Once you have worked out roughly what time you will have left by the time you get to this end of your trip, you should have a better idea of what can be achieved, but as I hinted at earlier, Yosemite would most certainly be top of my list in the area

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