So this summer is, in many ways, my last "free" summer for a very long time :( (school and such) ... SO, I've always wanted to take a "road trip" of sorts and "see america".
I enjoy camping, hiking, and enjoying nature in all her beauty! and am hoping to experience just that (and avoid big cities if at all possible). My first question is west or east (I'd be starting out in Arkansas)? I've been to the Rocky Mtns and Yellowstone and have really enjoyed the scenery, the "openness" (if that's the right word), and the wildlife. I have little experience with the east, except parts of South Carolina and Gulf Shores. It was nice, but I felt it didn't compare to the west; however, it's not much of a fair comparison given my past experience.
So given that, west is preferred, BUT: to see what I want to see (Redwood forests, west coast, Grand Canyon [and others I'm forgetting]) seems like a long way to drive. I'm use to 2-4 hour stretches, and have driven around 8 hours at a time on other vacations, but never 7k-8k miles, making a giant loop around the western United States. It has me worried a bit, so I'm wondering what people think. The distance factor, obviously, is much less heading east; but then again, I think I'd enjoy the west more!
Any comments are appreciated.
I'd most likely be doing this solo; i've camped for a week by myself and had a great time hiking and exploring the state park I was at, but, of course, what I'm thinking about would take much longer.
So I guess I'm also asking if it seems feasible, from other's experiences, that this would be enjoyable and relaxing (cause I'll need it!).
Finally, I'm still searching and searching and have just now found this site, but are there any sites and/or books that have a good list of national parks, state parks, natural-related "attractions", and the less obvious road-side treasurers that can be found? I've already requested travel "guides" for most of the states on my list (free of course), but I suspect those attractions that will be listed will be the more $$ producing attractions, not necessarily what I'm looking for!
I know I had other questions, but I can't think of them now (besides, the above is plenty). Anywho, any comments are appreciated.