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Thread: Coast to coast

  1. Default Coast to coast

    I am trying to put a route together for 2013, and would like some comments on it. The trip is mainly revolved around photography, and a trip to the Indy 500. I know it could do with being longer, but it's already massively pushing the budget. I am also fully aware of distances (i did a 4,500mile 3 week trip in 2011).

    For your info, i haved already been to:
    Parks: Bryce Canyon, Capital Reef, Death Valley, Devils Postpile, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion
    Cities: Boston, LA, LV, NYC, SLC, Santa Barbara, SF

    May 2013
    4 San Clemente (fly in and pick up car... maybe Corvette?)
    5 San Clemente (Potentially watch Lowers Pro surf contest)
    6 San Clemente
    7 Las Vegas (change to cheap car!, maybe do Nascar experience)
    8 Grand Canyon
    9 Grand Canyon
    10 Page (inc. Antelope Canyon, and maybe the Wave)
    11 Page
    12 Monument Valley
    13 Moab (Arches, Canyonlands, etc...)
    14 Moab
    15 Moab
    16 Denver (more CO than Denver specifically... any ideas? maybe a drive up Pikes Peak? Ouray?)
    17 Denver
    18 Denver
    19 Badlands (+ black hills)
    20 Badlands
    21 Sioux Falls (to break up driving)
    22 Chicago
    23 Chicago
    24 Chicago
    25 Indianapolis
    26 Indianapolis (Indy 500)
    27 Pittsburgh (to break up driving)
    28 Washington DC (drop off car)


    The last 2 days are obviously a big rush, but they're there so i can make it a full coast to coast trip. It would feel wrong leaving from Indy and not getting all the way to the coast.

    Car rental seems to be an issue. If i keep the car in Chicago (which will be annoying) it saves me quite a bit of £ (even with parking fees). If i drop off at the start of the Chicago stay, then pickup after to take me to Washington, the Chicago to Washington bit is £250+ for a basic car (it's only 3 days!)!



    Option 2, is to go the other way. This is somewhat favoured as it means i end up with a quiet few days at the beach, but it does mean i miss out on a few things (Lowers Pro + possible nascar experience). It could reduce the chances of snow though (especially in Colorado!).

    23 Washington DC
    24 Pittsburgh
    25 Indianapolis
    26 Indianapolis
    27 Chicago
    28 Chicago
    29 Chicago
    30 Sioux Falls
    31 Badlands
    1 Badlands
    2 Denver
    3 Denver
    4 Denver
    5 Moab
    6 Moab
    7 Moab
    8 Monument Valley
    9 Page
    10 Page
    11 Grand Canyon
    12 Grand Canyon
    13 Las Vegas/Phoenix
    14 San Clemente
    15 San Clemente
    16 San Clemente



    Please give me your thoughts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Colorado.

    Hello and welcome back to RTA !

    I'm not sure that reversing the order of your trip will make much difference as Denver is pretty much in the middle so you should go with the dates and route that suit you best.

    A classic or specialist Corvette would be really expensive and with such a specialist rental I don't know that you would be able to drop it in a different location. Other than that the mainstream rental fleet always list vehicles as 'Or similar', in other words you won't be garuanteed a certain make and model, but a 'class' of vehicle.

    From Moab into Colorado you have many options. The Million dollar Highway through Ouray and Silverton being one of them. You have the Colorado National Monument near Grand junction, Mesa Verdes historic ruins, and along US50 you will find Black canyon, Currecanti National Recreation area and Monarch Pass. You could drive to Historic Leadville which happens to be the highest incorporated town in the USA and then cross the Continental divide over Loveland Pass on US6 from Dillon Res. Then of course you have the wonderful Rocky mountain NP and an opportunity to drive across the mountains on the highest continous paved road in America, The Trail ridge road within the park. Conditions ,permitting of course as you see a lot of snow up there !

    If you stayed south and kept to US50 for Pikes Peak you could go past the Royal Gorge bridge near Canon City and head towards Manitou Springs where you will find the Garden of the Gods and Cave of the Winds. From Pikes Peak/Woodland Park you could then head through the Pike National forest towards Denver. There are many more options so do a little research on the area.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default

    Dave is right; specialty car rentals are usually local and not for one-way rentals. You're better off choosing a class of car and keeping it from the time you pick it up, until the end of your trip. There are places in Chicago where you might need the car anyway; look for a hotel that includes parking fees with the overnight fees, or at least tells you what their parking costs. (Staying in the 'burbs might help; free parking and then commute to the nearest Metra station to get into the city.)


    Donna

  4. Default

    Yes, i know about one way car rental issues, the Corvette would be for pickup/dropoff in LA/SD (depending on where i start), and would only be for a couple of days fun.

    It's the rental for the rest of the trip that is potentially difficult (eg. what to do when stopping in Chicago).

    I am concerned about weather if i do option 1 of the trip (eg. all in May), i am not sure i believe i will be able to do a lot photography wise in Colorado! Everywhere else will probably be ok.

  5. #5
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    Default One car.

    If you are spending 2 or 3 days by the beach at the start of your trip do you even need a car ? If you can find one then dropping it off at the same place shouldn't be an issue, although your post made it sound as though you wanted to drop it off in LV and pick up another. Renting one car from start to finish would be the most economical way of doing things and if that's the case keeping it until the end of your trip would seem to make most sense, just find a hotel on Chicago that includes parking if possible. Otherwise you will have multiple one way drop fees and higher rates for shorter rentals.

    I know there are a couple of places in Vegas you can hire exotic cars and that would be possibility. A one day rental and quick trip to Death Valley or Valley of Fire could be fun !

    i am not sure i believe i will be able to do a lot photography wise in Colorado! Everywhere else will probably be ok.
    Why's that ? A Beautiful place for photography !

    I am concerned about weather if i do option 1 of the trip (eg. all in May
    I can't see the connection with having to start one way at an earlier date than the other as you already mentioned the possibility of things you would miss out on. Why not start option 1 on the 23rd of May or do you have to be somewhere at a specific time ?

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    If you are spending 2 or 3 days by the beach at the start of your trip do you even need a car ?
    Corvettes are fun! :)


    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    Renting one car from start to finish would be the most economical way of doing things and if that's the case keeping it until the end of your trip would seem to make most sense, just find a hotel on Chicago that includes parking if possible. Otherwise you will have multiple one way drop fees and higher rates for shorter rentals.
    Yeah, it probably makes sense to pickup an economical car after dropping off the fun car and having it for the rest of the trip.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    I know there are a couple of places in Vegas you can hire exotic cars and that would be possibility. A one day rental and quick trip to Death Valley or Valley of Fire could be fun !
    I have been to both of those places, and it probably makes more sense to have it in California as i'm there for much longer than i will be in LV.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    Why's that ? A Beautiful place for photography !
    The big concern is bad weather. Eg. snow making a lot of places inaccessible. Fully cloudy days, etc...

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    I can't see the connection with having to start one way at an earlier date than the other as you already mentioned the possibility of things you would miss out on. Why not start option 1 on the 23rd of May or do you have to be somewhere at a specific time ?
    The Indy 500 is on the 26th May.

  7. #7
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    Default I missed the obvious !

    The Indy 500 is on the 26th May.
    Aha ! Got it now. [Doh !]

    The weather will be what it will be anywhere, so here's hoping for those blue skys and snow covered peaks in Colorado that I experienced during an October !

    With your concerns about a car in Chicago, have you considered flying direct into the City on the 20th/21st, pick up your car and drive to Indy on the 25th and continue driving west ? If Washington is a 'must do' for you, perhaps you could fly from LA to the east coast, but that may depend on where home is, as it would break up a flight back to Europe, but not a lot of good if heading for Australia for example. I know it wouldn't make it quite a coast to coast trip, but might be worth considering with time and budget issues.

    You're gonna have a lot of fun whatever you decide !

  8. Default

    The main reason for Washington is to make it a coast to coast trip :). It could end elsewhere (suggestions welcome!), but Washington seemed a good option (I've done nyc and Boston).

  9. Default

    Does anyone have anymore thoughts of the route? and whether there is a better option than Washington for finishing? and also a good idea of a California beach town to start/end on would be useful :)

    Thanks

  10. #10
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    Default It's what's best for you.

    As you have been to NY and Boston, Washington would make perfect sense and a good option, if it appeals to you that is !

    For the beaches I would say that the LA/SD area is your best option, and I would imagine that you will get the better flight deals into LA, but check to see what deals are out there.

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