Been back two weeks now, and now have a enough photos processed and some time on my hands so I'll at least START a report.
Left on August 28th, back home September 22nd - 26 days.
Total transit miles (spent getting from point A to point B) - 3,520 over 11 days for an average of 320 miles/transit day.
Total sightseeing miles (spent on days where we were plopped in one location) - 1104 over 15 days, or around 75 miles/'plop day'
Philosophical Comment: road trips are a matter of personal taste and situation; what works for one person may not for others. You have to decide what works for you and where you want to spend your time and money, and how much time and money you are willing to spend on a vacation. What works for an older couple who are willing to 'spend their kid's inheritance' may not work for a young couple or person just starting out in life. The ingredients are all the same... we all get to choose where we want to go, what we want to see, what we want to do, where we want to stay, and what we want to eat.
Linda and I enjoy the food and lodging as much as the locations, so our choices focus as much in THOSE area as the location and activities. Those are not a priority for many road-trippers. Because of our focus on lodging, you should know I booked many of these hotels 14-16 months in advance, just so we could be sure we were able to get a reservation at a place we wanted to be.
I like to hit as many places as I can... Linda likes to squat in one location. We compromise by spending at least three nights at a place we want to see, and only do 'one-nighters' when transiting between home and the start of the vacation proper, returning home, and occasionally when the distance between two 'attractions' is too far for one day's drive. This trip followed that pattern.
Day 1 (transit): Home to Reno - 200 miles, 3:50 elapsed. Pretty much just a drive through after work to get on the road. I like to schedule a short first day, as getting packed up and ready to go is stressful enough without having a long drive on top of it. Nothing much to write about here; traffic through Sacto was terrible, and Reno was heavy with smoke from the Rim fire in Yosemite.
Day 2 (transit): Reno to Twin Falls - 470 miles, 8:00 elapsed. Mostly just a straight drive. Finally broke clear of the smoke halfway through Nevada. Stopped for lunch in Elko; basque food served family style at one of the many traditional basque restaurants in towns along I80 in Nevada: the Star Hotel.
Photo: Don Casey
Turned left out of Elko and headed north to Twin Falls Idaho. After checking into the La Quinta (very nice hotel) we popped over and checked out Shoshone Falls. Running at maybe 10% of peak flow, it was still pretty impressive.
Photo: Don Casey
Dinner at Elevation 486 - decent food, good bar, incredible view of the Snake River gorge. (Name refers to how high it is relative to the Snake River)
Next post: final 'getting started' transit day, and first 'plop' location; Grand Teton National Park