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  1. Default Early May solo 7 day trip suggesitons?

    I'm contemplating going on a week long solo road trip in early May, but have no idea where to start. This will be my first road trip in my adult life, and besides a trip from Wisconsin to Florida when I was 12, I've never been on a proper road trip.

    I live in far northern Wisconsin and I'm looking for suggestions for a route that would allow me to get away from the area and see some new parts of the country. I really don't know where to start or how to plan something like this; I've always had a destination in mind. A coworker suggested I hop on route 66 and drive 4 or 5 days taking my time checking things out, then driving straight back via interstate. It's not a bad idea, but the northern section of route 66 looks somewhat ho-hum, or am I wrong?

    Ideally, I would love to head out to the Rocky Mountains or the southwest and see the Grand Canyon, but I'm afraid I would waste lots of valuable time driving out and back leaving me with two or so days to explore my destination. I've also thought about heading south or southeast, but again I'm not sure where to go or what to see. I'm afraid that if I do embark on this journey without somewhat of a plan, I'll come home disappointed, wasting a week of vacation and burning a lot of gas.

    Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    In a 7-day round trip, you could feasibly get 1200-1400 miles away and then turn around to make your way back. This is allowing for stops, overnights, and longer sightseeing.

    What you might do is take out an atlas or a good road map of the USA, and see what's that far away that you might like. Rocky Mountain National Park DOES meet that mileage, since it clocks in at 1200 miles (I used Mercer, WI to figure mileage, since I don't know exactly where you are in "northern Wisconsin", and I happen to have a cousin there). Unfortunately, Grand Canyon clocks in at 1800 miles -- you'd just get out there and have to turn around and go home, with only 1 day to stay at the park.

    But seriously, take out a map and see what jumps out at you. It's YOUR trip, and you should do something that you'd like to do. As you said, why waste the gas? When you get some ideas, pop back in here and we can help you. The planning is half the fun!


    Donna

  3. Default

    Thanks Donna! I actually live in Rhinelander so Mercer isn't too far off.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    RMNP in early May may not be that great an idea - Trail Ridge Road probably won't be open yet. If you can delay the trip to June, that would be an excellent choice.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Benbrook, Texas, United States
    Posts
    14

    Default

    Why not head south to warmer weather?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default A trip to remember.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt715 View Post
    ----- the southwest and see the Grand Canyon, but I'm afraid I would waste lots of valuable time driving out and back leaving me with two or so days to explore my destination.
    It would actually not give you any time to explore the Grand Canyon, it would take you three to three and a half days to get there. So lets forget the Grand Canyon.

    But there is a LOT you can see in a week. The Rockies being on your list, you could head down to I-70 - which simply is the most scenic interstate in North America as it winds its way through the Rockies. Head towards Utah and Moab.

    Along the way you could check out Loveland Pass (which is maintained all year round) and the spectacular views up at 11000', Should be beautiful in spring. Further along you could check out Colorado National Monument. Even if it is not fully open, still very worth a visit. As you head into Utah, there are stops along the interstate which are spectacular views over canyon country, and will give you a longing to go and see the Grand Canyon some other time. From I-70 take 128 into Moab, a beautiful drive. Moab which is a lovely small town. is the gateway to Canyonlands and Arches National Parks.

    You will probably not have a great deal of time to spend in the NPs, but you will have a trip which will blow your mind, if you have never been out west..... so very different from northern Wisconsin.

    Eveb if you go back the same route, you can check out all the places you by passed on the way there.

    Be sure to pack your camera.

    Lifey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Fly-drive an option ?

    I agree with Lifey, Colorado and parts of Utah has much to see with plenty of amazing scenery and beautiful drives to enjoy, there is a lot more to it than RMNP. Depending on budget, your other option would be to fly out west, rent a car and do something like the 'Grand loop' out of Vegas which would include the Grand canyon and much more.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default A very memorable week.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    Depending on budget, your other option would be to fly out west, rent a car and do something like the 'Grand loop' out of Vegas which would include the Grand canyon and much more.
    But you'd miss beautiful Colorado.

    Why not leave the faraway West Coast attractions until you have more time to really enjoy them. Especially since you have so much, relatively close to home.... definitely possible in a week.

    Lifey

  9. Default

    Thanks for the great ideas and suggestions. The reason why I would love to explore Colorado/Rocky Mountains is that I was out there for a wedding back in 2011 and I was able to spend a few hours hiking in RMNP and it was absolutely awesome. My short hike and visit to the area only made me want to come back for more.

    I've visited Las Vegas a few times with this past April being the latest. I thought about heading up to Zion NP, but I didn't think it would be worth it only being able to spend a few hours there. My friend also wasn't too wild about spending too much time away from the strip so we settled for the Valley of Fire, which was nice.

    I think since I don't have the time to do this right, the money to fly in to an area and explore from there, and the time of the year isn't the greatest, I'll probably postpone my road trip to late summer or early fall. Unfortunately, I can't take off any time during the summer due to job constraints.

    I'll most likely take a few days this spring to explore closer to home; perhaps the U.P. or some other part of Wisconsin I've never been to before. It's just that the weather stinks around here that time of year!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Benbrook, Texas, United States
    Posts
    14

    Default

    I still say after spending a hard winter in the tundra called home to head south!!! .... Tons of fun festivals and cook offs and bbq contests ... sounds you need to take a break somewhere before a hard summer of working!

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