Hello there, newbie here!!! I am so glad I found this forum, its so helpful.
So I am in the early stages of planning a 22 day road trip with my husband and two daughters (they will be 15 and 12) for June 2015. We will be renting a minivan and basically only have a rough outline of what we would like to accomplish. One thing important to us is that we don't try to do too much and make this experiance unpleasant and exhausting. We have been tweaking "routes and stops" and I'd like to see what thoughts you all have before I go any further with my planning. I would like to point out that I realize there are a couple days that have quite a bit of driving, we don't think this will be a problem because we are already used to making a long trip at least once a year to visit family. We have done 12, 14, and 18 hour drives in a one day trip at least every other year, and yes we do take precautions to make sure we are traveling safely (we always get plenty of sleep the day before the 18 hr drive, and always switch off driving every few hours - if we feel at all tired then we stop for the night). So here is my route and thoughts. If you would share yours that would be great.
Day 1 - Start out after work from Houston area just to get a portion of the Texas driving out of the way (maybe as far as Abiline)
Day 2-3 - Arrive in the Sante Fe, NM area and stay for 2 nights (maybe white river rafting, hiking, or taking a scenic drive)
Day 4 - Leave NM around 7am drive west and pass through the 4 corners (my youngest picked this as her one must do), and then make as far as Flagstaff, AZ area (?) in late afternoon - we would like to get a hotel near a major freeway but also close enough so we can drive into the Grand Canyon for just a couple hours to watch the sun set and have a picnic then go back to hotel
Day 5,6,7,8 - (long day - about 12 hours) Leave AZ and make it to Santa Cruz, CA area and stay a few nights. The kids want to do the boardwalk and a beach one day, the other days are flexible but some ideas are San Francisco, PCH drive, Muri Woods.
Day 9 - arrive in Redwood National Park - a little hiking and picnic that evening.
Day 10 - arrive in Portland and check into hotel and just relax. (ex - Pool, movie, dinner)
Day 11 - take scenic route (Troutdale, Oregon to The Dalles: Oregon's Historic Columbia River Highway) get out along way and hike, site see. continue on our way and possible stay in Spokane, WA
Day 12,13,14,15 leave Spokane and drive to Glacier National Park by way of Going to the Sun Road. (ideas hike, sitesee, and any adventures we can find)
"this part of trip is still really rough"
Day 16 - leave MT and head south Maybe stop for night in Jackson, WY area (could stay 2 nights and then visit one place for 3 in CO)
Day 17,18 - Grand Junction, CO area ???
Day 19, 20 - take scenic drive to telluride then cut over to Colorado Springs, CO area
Day 21 to 22 make our way back to TX in two 8-9 hour days.
Thoughts? Ideas? Concerns? Did I get anything right, lol?