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Thread: My dream!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Salinas,CA (for now!)
    Posts
    6

    Default My dream!

    I am turning the BIG 50 this year! To celebrate, my dream has always been to drive form the West Coast to the East Coast, to the furthermost part of Maine. I would stop in NYC as I also have always wanted to go there, and am a big Harry Chapin Fan so (I know it sounds weird) but want to pay my respects by visiting the Hungtington Rural Cemetary in Long Island, and of course, Statue of Liberty and Empire STate BLDG. . I assume the best time to go on highway 80/90 is in the Fall. I have seen gorgeous pics of Maine in the Fall online, and trying some seafood! I have calculated the time it would take and money to do this. Just trying to find someone now who won't drive me nuts after a week in the car! HAHA!! I would cover about 400-500 miles a day, I have a great running 99' Jeep Cherokee 4wd. That is what I want to take on this trip. I need to work it out with my boss about taking a mnth off, so would whoever goes with me. I decided it wouldn't be a good idea to do this trip alone, safety reasons and it's nice to share the experience with someone who also likes to drive, see sights, is patient, etc. Open to any suggestions!
    Last edited by 56mercgal; 04-28-2016 at 08:05 PM. Reason: more words

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Safety is not much of an issue.

    There are many solo travellers that travel quite safely throughout the USA and that are happy to meet and chat to folk along the way. However I can understand the benefits of sharing the experience with a like minded traveller.

    Although it's not 100% clear, if in your post you are actively looking for a travel companion, away from people you know, I have moved your thread to the 'Share the gas' forum where people look for a travel companion.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Going solo.

    As Dave mentioned, safety should rarely be a concern. You will be fine so long as you use the same common sense, the same sixth sense which keeps you safe at home. It really is that simple. If you find yourself in an area which makes you feel uncomfortable, just move on.

    When I first hit the road as a solo, not by design, but simply through circumstances, I had a decade up on you. Now, 15 years later I have almost 200000 miles on the clock, and adding more.

    The major benefits I find as a solo traveller are that I can sleep in when desired, stop early when tired, turn the corner to follow an interesting sign and stay as long as I like - all without a single argument. Travelling with a total stranger could make this challenging. I rarely plan an itinerary, but then, I am only restricted by time to catch my flight home.

    Another benefit is that most folk don't really approach or speak with others who have company, but when they see a lone stranger will often speak, and certainly when spoken to, give a positive and mostly friendly response. Sometimes I will see another lone traveller dine or have lunch, and so long as they are not absorbed in a book/paper or on their phone, I will ask if they would like company. Over the years I might have had a 'no' half a dozen times. When waiting at a checkout in a store it is easy to speak with the locals (folk with little children usually are) . Ask a 'Dorothy Dixer', i.e. a question to which you already know the answer, if you can't think of anything else. But if you tell folk you are passing through, and what is here that you should not miss, they are usually only too eager to tell you.

    As well as that I carry business cards which have on them my name, email, mobile phone number. I do not include other personal information. Often folk will contact me, or I might follow up on something. Several have remained friends whom I visit each time I travel across the Pacific. On a few occasions I have been invited into a complete stranger's home. Again, the sixth sense decides if it is OK.

    Small souvenirs from your home town also come in handy, to reward anyone who is particularly helpful and/or generous.

    What you could do to start preparing is to get a good wall sized map of the US, (I like the National Geographic map laminated.) and each time you think of another place/attraction you want to visiit, mark it with a post-it note. Soon you will see a basic route appear, which you can then refine and fill out with the help of the experts here.

    For a month I would aim to keep the total distance well below 10000 miles, to get a good balance of driving, leisure and activity.

    Hope this helps, have a great trip.

    Lifey

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Salinas,CA (for now!)
    Posts
    6

    Default

    [Wow, thanks to you guys for the great input! I would really like to go alone, I flew to Ohio twice alone, was a little scared but the thing is, IT WAS GREAT! I got to go where I wanted, when I wanted, was able to see a guy friend of mine without worrying about someone else being with me. The one advantage of having a friend along is sharing the $$$$, otherwise, I agree with the independent thing. I drive 300-400 miles alone on weekends, just to get away from work (we are closed on weekends anyway!) Driving relieves my stress, even if sitting in traffic, unless I HAVE to get somewhere at a specific time. My "Maine" goal is to take 80, just straight across to Eastport Maine, staying a week or longer. Checking out places like Bar Harbor, renting a small 2 bedroom for about like 9-10 days. You can find some good places to rent for the same price as a hotel. I like renting a house, much better! Then head down to Long Island for a few days, then to MAYBE Cincinnati for two to three days to see a friend. Head back home going thru Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona and up to the Monterey Bay area. This would be about a 30 day trip. Thanks again! Happy tripping!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default All My Life's a Circle

    And it sounds as though you are planning a circle (we call them 'loop') RoadTrip, returning to the west coast eventually. Just a thought... You could also make this a homage trip of sorts by including San Francisco ("Taxi"), North Dakota ("Mail Order Annie"), Dayton ("Mr. Tanner"), Scranton (There really is a "hill that leads into Scranton, Pennsylvania"), and perhaps other sites.

    Also note that I-80 only goes as far as New York City (and there are better ways of getting there). To get to Maine you'll need other routes such as I-84 (which starts in Scranton!), I-95 and US-1. There are some great, and relatively accessible, points that should be included in any tour of the coast of Maine including the Nubble, Colonial Pemaquid, Acadia National Park, and Quoddy Head. Oddly enough though, I'm going to suggest a spot in New Hampshire for your (required) lobster dinner, and that's Newick's in Dover. It's about as old-fashioned as it gets, just wooden picnic tables with red and white checked table cloths and a view of Great Bay. As a single diner, you will be required to sit with others and will have a real chance to talk to the locals, ayuh.

    One other recommendation. I understand going to Long Island, but don't subject yourself to two trips through New York City. If you head from Maine to New London CT, you can take the New London-Orient Point Ferry to the northeastern tip of the island and only have to drive through NYC once.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 04-29-2016 at 05:44 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Salinas,CA (for now!)
    Posts
    6

    Default

    VERY cool idea! So you know Harry's music? :) I met his brother Tom a couple of times at shows he has done. Thanks also for the suggestion of trying Newicks! I love the old "family style" restaurants! I have been to a couple of them, one is Woolgrowers in Bakersfield and Giosti's in Walnut Grove,CA. I love meeting new people, talking to them and getting to know the area I am visiting. I guess I am a little scared about going at it alone, but at the same time it would I guess be easier. Just a matter now of getting the time off, saving the money and telling everyone I am gone for 30 days!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Live the Music

    I am old enough that I was around for Harry's career. I saw him perform several times. He actually sat on the edge of the stage at one concert and sang Mail Order Annie directly to my date. He is also why my favorite instrument combination is guitar and cello. It hardly seems possible that it's been 35 years since he's been around. To this day, I play his music (myself, on guitar) but he had no business driving the LIE that day.

    Anyway, I think you're in for a great trip. By all means, talk to the people in the various places you visit. Say "Hello" at least to folks in state and local parks, which are great places to get off the highway for a while. Eat at small town diners rather than exit ramp fast food franchises. Harry's music was all about people. ("It was an early mornin' bar room, and the place just opened up...") Take his advice and engage.

    AZBuck

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

    Default A little scared = being alert and staying safe.

    Quote Originally Posted by 56mercgal View Post
    I guess I am a little scared about going at it alone, ...
    I can relate to that. Feeling a little scared will keep you on your toes, will help keep you safe. At least you are in the same country, and driving on the same side of the road.

    At the end of my first day, which I cut short, I checked into the first hotel I saw, went to my room and sat and cried, wondering what I had let myself in for. Wondering why I was doing this. (I was heading to my son's wedding.) After a good meal, I went to bed.

    Next morning I hit the road afresh.... and now almost 200000 miles later, I can't wait to hit the road again... in three weeks' time.

    First visit my family in Massachussets and Florida, and then hopefully make one more trip to Alaska.

    Lifey

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,545

    Default

    Though I am married, I occasionally travel by myself. It's a little bit scary at first, but it wears off and the enjoyment of being able to make my own decision about where to eat, where to stop, etc., rolls through.

    For more peace-of-mind, be sure to have some sort of emergency road service plan such as AAA. It will include towing (of so-many-miles) as well as travel services such as maps and tour books.

    Also, make sure that you have your vehicle inspected by your trusted mechanic before you go. They can check your hoses, belts, filters, and battery, do an oil change, etc., which will also help give you peace-of-mind.

    Don't forget your camera, or make sure that your phone has enough space on it for a lot more photos.

    We'd love to hear how you make out, and see some of those pictures, when you actually DO make this trip. It's how most of us die-hard road trippers survive between trips, and it helps others who may be considering a similar trip, to see how yours works out. We have a forum just for this purpose.


    Donna

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Salinas,CA (for now!)
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Great idea on taking Harry's advice, it does take me a few extra miles away form my original plan, but I just need to work it out! I am so jealous, good for you! I would haved loved to see him perform, he died July 16th, and I remember that day as it came over the news, I was in shock. Read up on it on Wikipedia, interesting stuff about that accident. Not like I thrive on people dying in traffic accidents, ewww! Anyway,I have an old videotape of his Live concert from 1980? I think it is. I have all of his records including a RARE test pressing of Danceband On the Titanic album I found at a Goodwill 25 years ago. A Better Place to Be is a great song, one of my favorites! :) Money and getting time off is the issue now. So need to work it out, when there is a will, there is a way! Thanks for your help!

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