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  1. Default Boston to Sacramento .... which route 90, 80, 40, 50, 66 ??

    I like to travel the most scenic routes from Boston to Sacramento the first two weeks in June. I will be traveling with my dog, so It will be a lot harder to get out of the car to do sight seeing. I like to take no more than two weeks to travel. At the moment I am planning on route 40, but the Northern route (90) may be more scenic??? Would like some advise.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Your Mileage May Vary

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Personally, if I had two weeks to cross the country with my dog, I would (and did) find less-traveled routes and start connecting the 'dots' better known as state and local parks. These tend to be a bit more pet friendly than national parks, but you'll still need to keep yours on a leash and pick up after it. For some specific routes, I'd look at US-20/US-202 out of New England, US-6 across northern Pennsylvania, US-30 and US-24 through the Midwest, US-36 across northern Missouri, US-30 along the Platte River in Nebraska, US-34 and US-40 over the Rockies and US-50 through the Great Basin and over the Sierra Nevada into Sacramento. "Most" scenic is a judgement, but those are certainly scenic, will allow you to travel at a relatively relaxed pace, let you see something of small-town America rather than just cookie-cutter exit ramp services, take you close enough to some great sites that side trips are certainly possible, and let you do all that within your two week framework.

    AZBuck

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

    Default The roads less travelled.

    Those are great routes Buck has laid out for you. I have travelled most of them. However, if you yearn to include some miles on an interstate highway, it is worth noting that I-70 in western CO and eastern UT is possibly the most scenic interstate you can travel. It also leads almost directly onto US50 across NV, a wonderful drive. Just fill up before you head out along it, fuel is rather expensive in the more remote areas.

    Having driven from Boston to the west coast several times, I would drive all these routes in preference to the interstate highways you mentioned.

    Lifey

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    If you plan on taking I-70 and US-50, fill your tank in Grand Junction, there's no services between Green River and Salina. I'd fill it again in Salina and Ely. There is very little gas between Ely and Fallon, and it's expensive (Eureka and Austin). The only gas between Salina and Ely is in Eagle and I think at the UT-NV state line.

  5. Default

    Thank you AZBUCK for your input. Do you have any particular towns/city's that you stopped in or visited along this route that you would recommend?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Serendipity

    There are a few small towns along those routes, just as there are along any routes, where one can enjoy the charm of the location an its inhabitants, as well as the local scenic beauty, a few that come to mind more or less on the specific highways I listed include Stockbridge MA, the Delaware Water Gap using US-209 to follow the PA-NJ border, the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, Ohio Amish Country, Lincoln sites in and around Springfield IL, Hannibal MO, Pony Express sites in St, Joseph MO, the Old Oregon Trail that followed the Platte River, Boulder CO and nearby Rocky Mountain National Park, the Great Salt Lake in Utah and Great Basin National Park in Nevada, and Virginia City NV.

    But those are just the immovable objects along your route. Some of my best RoadTrip adventures and memories have little if anything to do with such objects and locations. They are built around the people I meet along the way, and that's why I recommend that you get off the Interstates where everyone who's using them, and most of the people who work in the service industries along them, are in a hurry. Getting off on the 'back' roads will afford you the luxury of slowing down and actually talking to the people you meet along the way. I can't tell you exactly where that will happen or whom you will meet, but take the time for it to happen and your trip swill be far more rewarding.

    AZBuck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default You can make it happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    I can't tell you exactly where that will happen or whom you will meet, but take the time for it to happen and your trips will be far more rewarding.
    These moments are not once you can plan for, but you can to a certain extend create the opportunities. e.g. When buying supplies such as in a supermarket, don't immediately rush off to the vacant checkout. Choose the checkout with the longest queue, especially if there are little children, that can almost assure they are locals. Then make the most of your waiting time to start a conversation with the folk in front, and sometimes behind as well.

    Simply mentioning that you are just passing through will often have folk ask where you are from, how you are travelling, etc.

    Another opportunity is ................ there is nothing like an outstretched hand and a "Hello, my name is........" Once someone asks you where you are from, or you mention you are passing through, the conversation has usually started. Depending on your interests there is no knowing where it may lead.

    One of the reasons I like to travel the back roads of North America.

    Lifey

  8. Default

    Again, thank you for your advise.

    Why I ask about the towns/cities are because every time I go to all these apps to help try and make a route, it will not allow me to do so with just input of routes.... it keeps defaulting to the most direct route. I can put in point to point but must be listed as towns/cities.

    If you can't tell, i've never done this before and planning this trip in a short amount of time. I've been online, asked around, AAA, and the library. It's all overwhelming and hard to figure out the best way. Everyone wants to know where I want to stop. This is an oppertunity that I may never have again and want to make the most of it.

    To be honest, I have the time and I want to see the beauty of our towns/cities.... I don't feel the need to stop at all the major attractions. However, Grand Canyon is the only Major attraction I feel I should not miss. I know all this is a personal decision, but just looking for some guidance as to where to start.....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    Use paper maps to plan your routes. I'd start with a Rand McNally Road Atlas.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default A plan rather than an itinerary.

    It is at this point you stop asking and put away the electronics. This is your trip, and decisions have to be yours. Lay out the maps, highlight the routes you plan to take and do some research on the web about the places along those routes. Then decide where you want to stop..... or maybe better still, don't decide at all.

    If you have a good knowledge of the places you will pass through - make notes as you do your research - then you can decide to stop at will. If you are not comfortable with winging it, familiarise yourself with the accommodation which is pet friendly, and look to see in which towns or small cities these places are.

    See it is quite easy to travel without an itinerary (I never have one), but you need to educate yourself about the route(s) you want to take and what you could expect along the way. The only real way you can do that is with good old fashioned maps as a base, and the web as a tool to do your research.

    Here is a paragraph Buck wrote not that long ago, which really lays out the basics.....

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck
    Start with maps. Not GPS, not software, not Google, but real honest-to-god paper maps that show you your entire route, that you can mark up (and erase), that you can stick pins in, and that show something about the land you'll be driving through. Those are your essential tool in any RoadTrip planning process. Start by marking all the places you know you want to visit. Then connect the dots. Then look for more places of interest and scenic routes along the lines connecting the dots. Repeat until you've got as many sites and roads as you think you want.
    As an example of what I mean, I am about to embark on a five month trip, which I hope will include AK and the YT, and have a small note book, with notes about some of the places I plan to visit and stay along the way. Some of the route will be familiar to me, having done it before, but the rest will be new, and I have for many many months been reading about the places along any one of a dozen routes I have at my disposal. The details still missing, I will pick up along the way from visitor bureaux and similar information places.

    It also leaves me with tons of questions I can ask of the locals, and start a conversation.

    Lifey

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