My wife and I are going on a "trip of a lifetime" this summer. She is from Vancouver and hasn't been "home" in 7 years, so we are going to go visit her family (I haven't met most of them). We were going to fly there, but a co-worker convinced me that we should drive. I am a teacher and have June and July off. My co-worker is 65, my wife and I are in our early 40's, he wishes he were young enough to take such a trip, so before I let life pass me by I want to take this trip.
We have sat down and planned our trip to a certain degree, but there are many questions and concerns that we have. Here is what we have so far:
From New Orleans we plan on driving to Oklahoma City. It's a rather long drive, but I'm thinking the adrenaline will be flowing and why not knock this chunk out early. Nothing in Oklahoma City but rest. We then head to Wichita and a side trip to Dodge City. We are interested in the "Old West" and both cities appear to have that type of attraction. From Dodge City to Aurora, Colorado. We were expecting that to just be a rest stop, but there are many things to do and see in and around the Aurora area, and that's not even taking Denver into consideration. The towns of Black Hawk and Central City look awesome! From Aurora, a short trip to Cheyenne, Wyoming with a side trip to Laramie. From Cheyenne to Silver City, South Dakota. I must see Mount Rushmore. Question: Are the Black Hills and the Badlands worth the time considering the remainder of the trip?The next stop will be Yellowstone. Question: How many days should we take for Yellowstone? From Yellowstone we will go to Glacier National Park. Question: How many days to spend in Glacier? Next stop is Banff in Alberta Canada. Question: Will I need a passport? My wife has one, but I don't. How long does it take to get a passport?
Now at this point, from Alberta to Vancouver, my wife becomes the tour guide. We will probably spend 5 days in Vancouver visiting her family and she wants to show off her beautiful hometown to me.
Once we leave Vancouver we begin the part of our trip that is still kind of "up in the air". I want to see San Fransisco, Las Vegas, The Grand Canyon, and Carlsbad Caverns. I know there are many things along that route; Redwood National Park, Yosemite, not to mention the states of Washington and Oregon. So any advice that can be given along this route would be appreciated.
What kind of budget should I be expecting? We have a tent and will be travelling in a Chevrolet HHR. I'm sure we will stay some nights in hotels. The whole while we are in Vancouver we will stay in a hotel. Are there any good tent camping sites that are complete with water and electricity? We don't own a cell phone, would you say that it's a must to get one before the trip?
It's a daunting task, but we are both getting more excited the closer it gets.
Any suggestions are welcomed and appreciated.
If I did anything wrong, I apologize, this is my first post and my first time to the site. I was reading the JimiHendrix thread and decided to post.
Thanks so much,