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  1. Default Senior Woman Traveling Alone with Dog

    I'm 65, a retired teacher and passionate photographer. I want to take a road trip this summer from Phoenix to Indiana by way of Mount Rushmore. I calculated that this is approximately 2500 miles. My only traveling companion will be my Cocker Spaniel. To save on costs, I'd like to spend a few nights camping along the way.

    Any advice? (This will be my first road trip.)

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

    Default Any areas of concern ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Is there any areas in particular that you feel you need help with ? You don't say how long you have for the trip, or mention your interests or other attractions you might like to visit. If you are using an electronic mapping program to work out your travels, I would not rely on estimated times as they are unrealistic when taking into account 'real world' travel. You would need a minimum of 4 overnight stops just for the driving, anything beyond that you can start to look at attractions. You should not rely on electronics alone for direction and travel with good old paper maps to guide you. These are great for planning as well so if you haven't already got some, now is a good time to get them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    Like Dave, I don't see the paradox. But what I can do is relate my experiences. I was already a senior when I hit the road solo - without dog - for the first time, back just after the turn of the century. Now almost 200000 miles later, and having my own van in which I sleep, I am yet to come up against a serious issue.

    With accommodation always make sure you see the room before committing - no matter what price. Check that the smoke detector is working and that the door has a lock which cannot be opened from the outside, such as the chain/bolt lock. Even though I sleep in my van, I sometimes stay in hostels, which are not just for youth these days, and for the single person a dorm bed is often much cheaper than a hotel room. It is also nice to have the company of other travellers, and to have the ability to cook one's own meal.

    Back in 2009 I met a lady at the hostel in Fairbanks who was 75 years young. On my last visit to AK I took my van all the way to Prudhoe Bay.

    Dave suggested you get good maps for the planning and before you hit the road. Don't rely on your electronics, it is not worth the risks. Whereas they are good to find an urban address, out on the open road you need the complete picture which only good maps can give you.

    A membership with AAA is valuable just in case. Cheap insurance for peace of mind. I always take out the top plan to cover towing distances in the more remote areas. Having had to use that once, it paid for the membership several times over. While there I pick up a map of all the States I plan to cover as well as maps of the larger urban areas I will be visiting.

    On the whole people are lovely and I have made many friends on my trips. With a dog you will no doubt meet like-minded folk.

    To find out-of-the-way places of interest and scenic routes, I find that the local authorities and people are usually the best source. Sometimes even law enforcement. I always visit a Ranger's office or BLM office when I see one, or I know there is one in the area. Those folk often have incredible suggestions if you tell them what interests you.


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