Gah, it's been forever since I've been on these forums. I hate it when life gets too involved.
It's a year ago (tomorrow) that I came home from my "48 states in 30 days" roadtrip. And what's really sad is that I haven't finished organizing my pictures and videos yet. I'm going to have to take a week's vacation and dedicate it to just working on that, day and night.
Anyway, I was planning on Alaska and Hawaii back-to-back for 2006, with a "western states" roadtrip for 2007. As luck would have it, plans got changed and I've reversed those two trips.
This year, I'll be going (with my folks) on a 2-week roadtrip around the mountainous terrain of the western United States. We'll be going through 10 states (technically touching 12, doing the Four Corners again) and actually spending full days at a few destinations instead of travelling every day.
We'll be leaving Saturday, October 14th and tentatively returning as late as Sunday, October 29th. That would put our roadtrip in the "Fall 2006" category. Crowds will probably be substantially less severe than the summer. But we'll be quickly losing daylight as it's the final two weeks before the winter time change. There's also a risk of more adverse weather, especially freak snow storms that could alter our route.
Some destinations will be repeats of my 2005 roadtrip. My parents and I have never gone on a trip, just the three of us, since I was born, so we figured to do this now before they get too old. The nice thing is that my parents are early risers and we'll be able to fully sleep and get going for the day between 6-7am, instead of leaving at noon every day like last year.
From San Juan Capistrano, CA and heading east, we'll be visiting:
Montezuma Castle (Arizona)
Grand Canyon (full day stay)
Monument Valley (Arizona)
Four Corners (again)
Mesa Verde (Colorado)
Colorado Springs (full day stay)
Mt. Rushmore/Crazy Horse (South Dakota - already saw this, parents haven't)
Yellowstone (Wyoming - full day stay, unlike last time where we couldn't even stay in the park overnight)
Spokane/Coeur d'Alene (Washington, Idaho - family/friends)
After this we'll be going down through Oregon to see a distant relative and then make our way down the eastern side of California. If we have time at this point we can definitely see Yosemite National Park and/or Sequoia Kings Canyon on the way home. These are tentative and depend if we still have the emergency cushion day I have put aside.
The full day stays are at Grand Canyon, Colorado Springs, and Yellowstone. Any pointers and/or inside tips on those areas would be appreciated.
(Judy, I tried so hard to squeeze in extra time to go see Mt. Saint Helens this time around, but I couldn't do it. One of these days I'll just take a roadtrip straight there and dedicate a day to it. That will be when I do a random Idaho trip to see a friend.)