Hey there! Sorry for the long (first) post, but I thought it better to give too much info, than not enoughÖ
Iím moving from Washington, DC to Portland, OR, and Iíve decided to take 3 weeks to see some sights and friends in the southwest along the way. Iíve been scouring the interwebs for weeks, and lurking this board for a few days, soaking up as much as I can. Iím trying to do all this on a very low budget, with a dog, but otherwise by myself. I discovered www.freecampgrounds.com and I think Iíve found quite a few free or cheap places to camp along the way. I have friends to crash with in Austin, Ft. Worth, Phoenix, San Diego & Eureka, and I really want to see the Grand Canyon and Yosemite, so those are my primary way points. I listed dates, just so I could give my friends an estimate of when Iíll be knocking on their doorÖ and Iím definitely leaving on the 15th, currently scheduled to arrive in Portland on the 31st, but thatís just wishful thinking. I could arrive in Portland as late as June 4th. Ideally, Iíd like to get there a few days earlier, since I start my new job on the 5th, but I do have a few extra days built in, so maybe you guys could point out, where Iím mostly likely going to need or want to spend those days. Iíd love any advice or recommendations the experts around here might have. Some specific concerns of mine, as I outlined this tripÖ
Is it unreasonable to think I can get up at the crack of dawn, and drive 10+ hrs to a campsite?
How bad of an idea is it to sleep during the day and drive at night?
Iím considering this because Iíve had difficulty finding a place to stay in the Yosemite area. I plan on camping at Lake Isabella, south of Sequoia park. From San Diego, I should get there early enough to get plenty of rest, and get moving before dawn, the following day. From there, Iím tentatively thinking Iíll head up 395, east of the Sierras, to Yosemite (~5hrs) and cross through the park westbound on 120. Unless I decide this is a totally stupid idea, Iím thinking I could hang out in the park all day, and take my time, catch naps here and there, or find a nice place to curl up for a few hoursÖ then head out after the sun goes down, and haul it all the way to Eureka (~ 8 hrs, via I-5) where Iíll have a day or two to rest.
Any help you guys have is greatly appreciated. Iíve never been on the road by myself for more than 8 hrsÖ and Iíve never traveled west of the Mississippi, so this is all very exciting, albeit somewhat intimidating.
Hereís my tentative outline:
- May 15th: Blacksburg, VA to Natchez Trace, TN (500 miles, 10 hrs)
- May 16th: Natchez Trace to Lambert, AR (320 Miles, 6 hrs)
- May 17th: Lambert to Austin, TX (465 miles, 9 hrs)
- May 18th: Austin, TX
- May 19th: Austin to Ft. Worth, TX (190 miles, 4 hrs)
- May 20th: Ft. Worth to Palo Duro Canyon, TX (340 miles, 6 hrs)
- May 21st: Amarillo, TX to Petrified Forest, AZ (520 miles, 8 hrs)
- May 22nd: Holbrook, AZ to Grand Canyon, AZ (180 miles, 3 hrs)
- May 23rd: Flagstaff to Phoenix, AZ (150 miles, 2 hrs)
- May 24th: Phoenix to San Diego, CA (350 miles, 6 hrs)
- May 25th: San Diego, CA
- May 26th: San Diego, CA to Lake Isabella, CA, (400 miles, 7 hrs)
- May 27th: Lake Isabella to Yosemite National Park (240 miles, 5 hrs)
- May 28th: Yosemite to Eureka, CA (480 miles, 9 hrs)
- May 29th: Eureka/Redwoods, CA
- May 30th: Eureka, CA to Crater Lake, OR (200 miles, 4 hrs)
- May 31st: Grants Pass, OR to Portland, OR via 101 (370 miles, 9 hrs)
Totals ~ 4,700 miles, 90 hrs
Thanks so much for all the great advice Iíve already gained from this board, and any other guidance anyone can provide.