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  1. Default Your "Ultimate Bucket List" for this trip?

    Hi Everyone,
    I'm excited to have found this site, I have been "Road Trippin" all my life but never really tried to be organized until now. Even if all this was put together on very short notice (work...) this is a trip of a life time for us and I don't want to screw it up!

    OK, here is the rough plan for our next 35 days!

    Leaving at the end of this week (Friday) from Montreal, Canada

    Heading west entering the US in Detroit and then keep going west until I have to go south ...:)

    I have extensive knowledge of the US East Coast and the Canadian West Coast as I travel it all the time , that's why I keep the East coast for the end of the trip , if we run out of time I can always skip it and zoom back to Montreal in a 24 hrs drive from Alabama back to Montreal.

    We are leaving in our trusty 1992 Corvette, which I bought last year when I was working out west for a week (Alberta) , I flew my girlfriend over and took it for a 5 days drive through the Canadian Rockies and to the Coast (Vancouver BC.) This time its going for a full tour around the US.

    We pack light and this car can eat lots of miles in a day... when the road gets flat and boring

    But with two GoPro cams on board and a decent DSLR camera ,we will probably take millions of pictures and videos.

    a picture of the two girls in Glacier park :

    We like the outdoors,the ocean, surfing, swimming, hiking,climbing etc...

    We enjoy good food, doesn't have to be fancy... just Good and local ! (BTW no meat here, but Seafood is fine)

    She likes walking downtown , coffee shops and some shopping and is very much about seeing VEGAS and Hollywood...Personally I don't know why, but that's fine... and happy wife happy life ;-)

    I'm a Gear head I raced motorcycles and cars all my life, and will DEFINITELY hit Bonneville Salt flats around August 9-10th for Speed week !!! but also very much a beach bum.

    Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone Park, Moab, the Northwestern Forests, driving hwy 1 (PHC) along the coast, Nappa valley or Paso Robles, the beaches, death valley, Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Red Rock, Austin, the Miss. Delta , New orleans etc... You name it...

    So now that you guys know what drives us, please give us what is YOUR ULTIMATE BUCKET LIST for our lap around the US !

    Also seeking some guidance here like best/coolest roads to take (We're in a Corvette after all) , or hidden secret beaches, greasy spoons or little off the track adventures..

    The maps I illustrated is only a rough Ideal of where we are going , feel free to suggest alternate routes and detours , I love detours !

    Thanks for your help , It is Greatly appreciated !

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

    Default A few to start.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    That sounds like a great adventure you have planned. As you enter Colorado I'm pretty sure you would want to drive the Trail Ridge road through RMNP, the highest continous paved road in the US, and another iconic drive would be up Pikes peak. If you can find the time I would certainly recommend delving into Colorado some more and also driving through Southern Utah. A couple of great roads to drive would be the 'Million dollar Highway' (US550] through the mountain towns of Ouray and Silverton to Durango. Another is UT24 to scenic Byway 12 in Utah which is a great route to link Arches and Canyonlands NP's to Bryce canyon and Zion NP's with a side trip to Capitol Reef NP. You have to drive the Beartooth Highway into Yellowstone NP and it looks as though you have included Tioga Pass from Yosemite across the Sierra's. As you drive down the coast be sure to drive the Avenue of the Giants at Humboltd Redwood State park and of course through the iconic Momument valley. You might want to do a search for 'Moki Dugway' and see if you think the drive is worth the detour, I think you might !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Speak with the locals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peteracer View Post
    ... or hidden secret beaches, greasy spoons or little off the track adventures.
    Once they are published in a book or on the internet, they are no longer either hidden or secret.

    These are the things you discover along the way. On the road, follow an interesting sign, turn towards that unusual structure or enter a cool looking restaurant. These are the things you find cruising along the byways and backroads.

    Often the locals will tell you. When shopping choose the checkout with the longest queue and engage with your fellow shoppers. No knowing what you may learn.

    But you're not likely to find any flying at high speed along the super highways.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Perhaps the first of many such ultimate bucket list trips?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peteracer View Post
    We pack light and this car can eat lots of miles in a day... when the road gets flat and boring
    As you will probably discover as you read the posts on this forum, we've never found a boring road in North America, that being said, excellent first post -- you've provided us with a well-constructed snapshot of what you two are about and your goals and interests for this trip.

    Even in a go-fast Vette, pretty hard to complete that circuit in 35 days and still find time to mosey, explore downtown coffee shops, wander in unique shopping areas and hike to distant lakes.... Several of the roads that I would recommend are not ones I would recommend for a vette.

    You might find that you could spend the 35 days in a particular region and really explore and drive to your heart's content. I like driving fast some days and other days I like to mosey. I could easily spend 35 days in one state and never run out of cool roads to drive and places to explore. My bucket list for a state like Texas would take more than a year of 35-day road trips to fill. (And Texas is one of the "flatter" states in the country). I prefer mountain driving!

    Southwest Dave has provided you with several alternative ideas -- you might take a quick look at the RTA routes page and see if any of those ideas trigger some cool alternative plans for you.

    And Lifey seems to have forgotten a key tenet of our road tripping creed.... It doesn't matter a whit how often a particular road or place has been written about -- you could travel the same road every day for the rest of your life and as long as the driver is on a "road trip" the trip will be different and unique every day. (different weather, different attitude on the driver, etc. etc.) But if you want the skinny on a local road... best way is to stop and have your nails done or get a hair cut. Local barbers/manicurists are great sources for local intel. -- But I liked her idea about standing in the longest line in a grocery check-out line and talking to the locals.. Brilliant idea!

    Since I mentioned Texas, a very cool detour for music and entertainment is the Starlight Theatre in Terlingua, Texas.

    Bandy Troll Haven is a place that can only be seen from the road --

    Enjoy Speed Week -- One of my treasured car renovation friends was a founding partner of the enterprise...

    Actually if you want a surreal experience -- take your Vette to the Black Rock Desert -- the land speed records were once set there. On the edge you can slow down and read the messages found on Guru drive.

    Great shopping opportunities abound at the trading posts in the Monument Valley region -- for a really unique lodging experience -- see if you can fit in a night at Firetree Inn in an authentic hogan.

    And.... there is nothing wrong with your plan. A circuit through the states identified will be epic. Our view is that every road trip can be the "ultimate bucket list" kind of trip. My first solo road trip was made was I was 19 -- I drove over 15,000 miles in a time span that shall remain off-the-record (in those days, speed was part of the appeal of a cross-country trip -- I am a tad bit wiser these days). So... slow down in the towns --- no need to contribute to the local economy with speeding tickets and let the ponies run on those stretches when you can.

    Hey, you gotta drive to Key West... No place like it in the world. A bit of vertigo-inducing driving over those long stretches of bridges. See if you can stay overnight. Eee. August in Key West.... hmmm, maybe not. Save this one for the cooler months!

    Enjoy the planning -- that is one of the best parts of any road trip!
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 07-28-2014 at 10:29 AM. Reason: added commment

  5. Default

    Thanks guys for the replies. Maybe I should have said the top 20 or 30 or maybe 40 bucket list for this trip. I totally understand that someone just a bit curious can spend more than 35 days in the same state, even in Rhode Island :)

    Please let me use a food analogy here. Let's say you get the chance to hit Paul Bocuse's 3 Michelin star restaurant , this is not going to happen often and you know it, and you want to make the best out of it. Obviously you cant order everything on the menu so what do you do?

    You'll have to go with the house specialties, and maybe the waiter's suggestions...

    This trip is more like a tasting menu...

    As for Key West I agree its a nice drive, being a beach bum I drove up and down the keys many many times :) and even if I lived in Florida for a while , it's a bit flat for my taste...I really enjoyed the Rockies last year.

    I have been in almost every single town East of the Mississippi river when I was still racing and now since I travel for business I only spend two or three weekends home each month.

    I know , I guess I sound crazy to take my time off work to hit the road again, but I'm sure people here are the exact same... after a couple days home off work, I get serious itching to fly, ride,drive or hike somewhere else...the world is so vast...


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Some Not So Obvious

    Skipping the big ticket items that will be obvious such as the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone, I'll suggest instead a few that I've hit over the years that most people would overlook. Just west of Hagerstown MD where I-70 and I-81 hook up, there's a town called Big Pool with two quietly intriguing places, Fort Frederick State Park and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. Outside of Austin TX, there's a BBQ joint known as the Salt Lick. It's a local legend and worth the effort to find. In New Mexico, it looks like you'll pass near to Socorro. If so, it would be a shame to miss the Very Large Array which you'll recognize from any number of science fiction movies. And if that intrigues you, then while in Flagstaff AZ visit the Lowell Observatory where Pluto was discovered. Another little known venue in that same area is Walnut Canyon National Monument. As a side note, when I was last there, there were perhaps a dozen 'vettes in the parking lot. And be sure to use AZ-89A down through Oak Creek Canyon between Flagstaff and Sedona on your way to Phoenix rather than I-17. If you're going to stay north through Washington and northern Idaho, then consider US-12, the Lewis and Clark route, over Lolo Pass through the Rockies. But I'd also suggest that you consider a slightly more southern route, up the Columbia River Gorge and the Snake River Canyon with a particular stop at Bruneau Canyon and Bruneau Sand Dunes. And if you're a baseball fan, first my sympathies on Les Expos and second, the Field of Dreams is in Dyersville IA. Finally, I don't know why you're jogging to Milwaukee, but while there be sure to check out the harbor and art museum.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Arkansas will surprise you

    Quote Originally Posted by Peteracer View Post
    I know , I guess I sound crazy to take my time off work to hit the road again, but I'm sure people here are the exact same...
    Peter... relax, you are among compadres here.... There is not a single person who wouldn't give a limb (albeit a minor one) to be on a road trip about now.... We never tire of another road heading to a distant horizon.

    That being said....

    Arkansas.... One of the most gorgeous states to drive. So many lakes, so many unexpected discoveries.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Mark's right -- most of us would love to get out on the road right now -- heck, my husband and I just returned from our trip last week. I turned to him this morning and said, "so where are we going on our next trip?" He grinned back at me and said, "Hey, that's usually MY line!"

    We enjoy good food, doesn't have to be fancy... just Good and local ! (BTW no meat here, but Seafood is fine)
    What worked for us:
    * For dinner, ask at the hotel. If you ask, "where's a good place to eat?" you'll likely get sent to some chain that's nearby. If you ask, "what's a good local place where you like to eat?" and explain that you love "hole in the walls", or looking for a vegetarian/vegan place, you may get a lot different answer.

    * If the hotel clerks are busy, and you happen to be in the grocery store/Wal-Mart/Target for something, ask somebody while you're standing in line. Most folks at these stores are locals and will be glad to point you in the direction of something good. (The cashiers in the stores are also good for this, if not too busy.)

    * TripAdvisor and UrbanSpoon, either on the computer or the apps for the smart phone. These worked for us when we were on the road for breakfast, brunch or lunch. One of us would drive while the other combed TA for something likely. We not only found some unique places, we were also pointed in the direction of what was good on the menu. We found Uncle Tom's Diner in Pierre, ND, and ended up ordering their pulled pork and homemade potato salad for lunch, through TA. Also found a place called The Griddle in Winnemucca, NV, which had the most fantastic crepes!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default My three best...


    OK, Here's are my top three trips I most want to take...

    The Great River Road -- I've driven sections of the road. But I want to start at the headwaters and drive to the mouth.

    The Lincoln Highway. The very first transcontinental road -- some of it has never been paved. Imagine the history of this route. Here's the "bible" on this route.

    I've spent a lot of time in the south -- but I want to drive US-161 from New Orleans to Pigeon River. Come on! Here's the definitive text on that drive.

    Some of my best road trips happened when I got lost on other trips.

    OK.... more of your your bucket list. What is your highest priority?


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Angel Fire will always be special

    One more...

    I am from the era of of end of the Vietnam/USA conflict ... for me... Few roads can eclipse driving into Angel Fire on US-64.

    Beyond that -- the highway is very scenic!

    Ah... I saw you looking at a thread that mentions the Strawberry Park Hotsprings near Steamboat Springs and that is a very cool drive...

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 07-28-2014 at 10:18 PM. Reason: added another place

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