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  1. Default 2-3 months Summer 2018 Road trip Out West

    Hello everyone, I am in the process of planning a summer road trip next year as the title suggests. I already have a preliminary rough itinerary

    If you could would you please look at it, and suggest things to do, festivals, etc or have any idea for any food that we should try at or near these locations. Also, please suggest any changes in the time budgeted for each area, if you think it would benefit us.

    Keep in mind also that we will be camping on BLM land, and would prefer to cook our own food on most nights. We especially enjoy hiking, but would also quite enjoy a few scenic drives and/ or cultural attractions such as museums, etc. Also, we will be taking a Subaru Crosstrek, And would not mind some light off road roads if need be. The plan is to leave about early June, and be back home in Michigan before September. The first days death march across the plains will be brutally long, I know, but we do plan to switch drivers.

    Please see itinerary via this link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing

    Also, please share any tips / warnings / advice that you may have.

    Thanks in advance for your understanding and help.
    -NightwolFe

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    12,990

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Saying you're going to drive non-stop across the plains means "death march" isn't just a figure of speech, it literally is a homicidal idea. "Switching drivers" does not mean you can safely drive non-stop for an unlimited number of miles, you still need real rest, which means actual sleep that you can't get in a moving car. If you're planning to drive more than about 600 miles in a day you are planning to put yourself and everyone else on the road in danger - in the exact same way that drunk drivers put themselves and everyone else in danger.

    The route you've laid out doesn't make much sense - almost as if you forgot to look at a map when planning it. Otherwise, I can't understand why you'd go all the way to Southern New Mexico, over to Arizona, then back to Northeast Colorado, before returning to the Grand Canyon.

    I would also say that you've listed long sections in "areas" that are often hundreds of square miles large. On top of it, your plan to camp on blm lands also sounds highly idealistic, and not particularly grounded in reality. Certainly, there will be times you can do some free, dispersed camping, but such areas by their very nature are remote - generally quite a long distance removed from all of the National Parks and such you've indicated you want to visit. It takes quite a lot of time to find suitable places that actually meet the criteria for where such camping is allowed. For example, any National Forest land you might want to camp on near Yosemite is going to mean at least an hour or two drive into the Yosemite Valley (and several hours away from Sequoia) and because of frequent fire restrictions, you may not be able to cook there. (Not to mention the challenges of trying to cook when you have to pack everything in and out and don't have access to things like water or a table that you'd have at an actual campsite.

    With 2-3 months, you've got lots of time to see and do a lot of things, but I think you need to put a little more thought into your planning, especially in terms of that things will actually cost you in terms of both money and time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,697

    Default Starting from the beginning.

    I fully agree with Michael regarding the start of your trip, it's a terrible and dangerous way in which to begin and worst of all, with the time you have there is absolutely no need for it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    157

    Default White Sands Sunset

    Hello!

    I think that 3rd line on your spreadsheet (after White Sands) was supposed to read northern NM, not northern AZ, so that part of your plan isn't unreasonable. Trying to get from Michigan to Alamogordo in one shot? That's beyond unreasonable. You want to start this adventure on the right foot, so you should avoid killing yourself in the first two days. 600 miles is a good target. Most people can stretch that some, but you risk fatigue, and there's just no point to that. Find some interesting things to see along the way and make a couple of overnight stops. Plan on rolling into White Sands on the afternoon of your third day. You'll be just in time for the sunset.

    As Michael says, you'll likewise need to re-think your plan to camp for free everywhere you go. That just isn't practical--not anymore.

    DSC04409-sm.jpg

    Rick

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,505

    Default

    Out here in the west, by June, the fire restrictions are already in place. If you have a camp-stove or burner, you'll be able to use it. But a campfire? Probably not. We've had a big problem with fires over the past 20 years, so "just say no" is applying to campfires everywhere.

    National forest campgrounds are more prolific than BLM sites, and usually $15 or so per night. For that, you'll have water nearby (bring something to tote it with), pit toilets, and usually a table at your site. In the non-fire-prone areas, they may still have a grill on each site, but from experience, they're never in good shape.

    You'll need to budget accordingly.


    Donna

  6. Default

    Thanks, we will definitely stop along the way to NM, would you recommend a couple of areas, and also mention some things to do for the way across the plains, please.

    yeah, the North AZ was a typo, I must have been thinking of something else at the time when I wrote it, thanks for the help though.

    thanks for the tip about the camping! $15 per night is actually pretty good for all they offer. Also, for cooking we will be bringing a propane stove of some type anyway, but thanks for the heads up on the fire restrictions. On the topic of camping, could someone also suggest some campgrounds, ideally national or state forest type campgrounds in the areas we would like to visit please.
    Last edited by NightWolfe; 09-04-2017 at 05:25 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,325

    Default If...

    If your initial goal is to get from Jackson to White Sands, then you'll need three full days to make the transit. I'd strongly suggest that you make that transit via Indianapolis rather than the very slightly shorter route around the southern tip of Lake Michigan through Gary IN and the outskirts of Chicago. Overnight stops would be roughly St. Louis and Elk City OK, west of OKC. But that does not include time for any sight seeing. If you want to see anything of the plains, you'll need even more time for the drive to White Sands. You will, however, have time for some short R&R stops that will let you see a bit of the country while also letting you re-energize as you drive along.

    A brief word of warning to go along with what others have already told you. You will be tempted, especially on the first day, when you are full of vim and vigor, to try to press on farther than St. Louis. Please don't fall into that trap. Fatigue is an insidious beast and will slow your reaction times and degrade your situational awareness long before you 'feel' tired. This is a case where you need to know your limits and stick to them no matter what. And by 'your limits' I mean your human limits which are well known, not what you think you can do because your young, seven feet tall, and bullet proof.

    AZBuck

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NightWolfe View Post
    Keep in mind also that we will be camping on BLM land, and would prefer to cook our own food on most nights. We especially enjoy hiking, but would also quite enjoy a few scenic drives and/ or cultural attractions such as museums, etc. Also, we will be taking a Subaru Crosstrek, And would not mind some light off road roads if need be. The plan is to leave about early June, and be back home in Michigan before September. The first days death march across the plains will be brutally long, I know, but we do plan to switch drivers.
    -NightwolFe
    My wife and I just took a nearly 5,500mi roadtrip in our Crosstrek back in March!! The Subaru's are such awesome little adventure mobiles! Just keep in mind that when you are loaded up and climbing the mountains, your Subie will be revving pretty high, so take it easy.

    We actually built a custom sleeping platform for ours so we could both sleep comfortably inside the car! It was awesome!

    And we stayed on BLM/State Park land for 100% free in Colorado! We spent 4 nights at two amazing spots!

    I have a video showing our platform and the coordinates to the free campsites we used!
    Check it out if you're interested.
    https://youtu.be/naSdvMZquAY

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