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  1. Default Yo Scott's Bigtime Road Trip (I Need Help!)


    This is my first post on this forum, however I have spent most of this evening reading posts and reading articles. Introducing myself here... My name is Scott, I'm 31 years old, and am looking to plan a huge road trip in Late September to early October. I am planning to be on the road for 3-4 weeks, with no definite location or route. At this point I'm trying to get some ideas.

    The problem is, determining the route is easy, but I want to see and experience things on this trip. The first thing I read on this site is to determine the goals for this trip. Is it the Journey or the Destination? For me it is the Journey. I am going through a rough patch recently separating from my wife, and need to get out of town for a long while and see what is out there. I have not seen most of America's greatest traditional tourist attractions aside from the ones on the east coast.

    The kicker is... I'm also kind of counterculture. Not only do I want to see things like The Grand Canyon I want to see some crazy and weird things too. America's largest ball of yarn might be off the beaten path, but America's largest Toilet might be more of an interesting picture and story for me. That's just an example of what kind of person I am and what would make me happy in my trip.

    I made up a potential trip, but it is definitely not set in stone, and I am looking for ideas of things to check out. The plans are this: From Roanoke Virginia, head to Atlanta for the aquarium then head to Memphis. I don't know what to do in Memphis except maybe get some BBQ! From Memphis, I'd like to head to Tulsa for a visit with a friend and then south into Texas hanging a right at Dallas and heading for the Panhandle. I don't know much about what to do in Texas except that I'd like to see lots of open roads. From there I thought about heading North to Carlsbad NM to the caverns and up to Roswell for the traditional UFO tourism. I considered heading up to Billy The Kid's grave in Fort Sumner and maybe up to Santa Fe, but I know NOTHING about that area either. I was planning to stay on the southern border and take a side trip to Tombstone AZ, and then up to Phoenix. After Phoenix, head west to LA past Joshua Tree. From there I head north toward Frisco (maybe on PCH?) and East into Nevada and on to Salt Lake City. (I've already done Death Valley, but not Yosemite and I dont know the best way to get there.) From Salt Lake, north to Yellowstone for a visit to Old Faithful, and then east all the way to Mt Rushmore and Sturgis. After Sturgis, I don't know anything interesting on the way to Chicago. From Chicago I'm thinking about going through Detroit into Canada and up to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and to Quebec City. From there I can head into Maine and back down 95 to NYC, DC, and then home to Roanoke.

    I am travelling in a Subaru that is completely road-ready and itching for a long long trip. I have about 300 CDs and recordings to listen to on my trip, and I plan to bring my Laptop, Cell Phone and Digital Camera with me to document my trip as I'm going. (Specifically on my website.) The biggest challenge on the trip will be for me NOT to eat 8000 slim jims and 40 cases of mountain dew, ::laughs::.

    Anyone have any suggestions or ideas on places or ideas for my trip? I'd love to hear anything you have to say!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Its a big country

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Some of the best trip you can have are the ones where you don't know exactly what you are going to see until you get there. Staying flexable will often lead to discoveries you wouldn't or couldn't ever plan for. I think that's exactly the kind of trip you'd enjoy.

    That said, you are going to run into some major logistical problems with the plan you have right now. 3 weeks really isn't enough time to do a big loop of the country and actually see things along the way. 4 weeks is about the minimum, but that still doesn't give you much time to be flexable.

    Some of the questions you're going to need to ask yourself are things like, how much you are willing to drive per day. How long you actually want to spend in the locations you will be traveling through, and how much time do you want to give yourself to explore those things you will find along your journey that you haven't otherwise planned for.

  3. Default


    Thanks for the info about time. I don't really have a time frame. I was guessing on being gone about a month, but longer is fine too. I have people taking care of everything while I'm gone. I do know that I don't want to get stuck in the snow or ultracold weather.

    You're right, if the trip is unplanned it will probably be more fun... Which is why I don't have the trip set in stone. I think my goals for this trip are as follows:

    1) Get away from the monotony of my life and spend some great time thinking.
    2) See Amazing things I don't get to see in my insular life. Have an appreciation for the diverse nature of our nation. By Amazing things I mean things like Major landmarks (like maybe Grand Canyon) and things I just can't believe exist... like fictionally "The Worlds Largest Garbage Bag Full of Bottle Caps". I heard there's a crazy Toilet Lid guy out in Arizona somewhere. These are the things that make me go "THAT IS AWESOME!!"
    3) and least important.... Keep my mind open to a possible place I really want to come back to spend more time and possibly relocate to.

    I think what I'm asking from the fine people here is.... do you have any suggestions of great experiences I might have by taking a quick trip off the interstate, or perhaps any really great routes to follow instead of the interstate?

    Thanks again for the feedback and warm welcome. :D

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Keeping it loose

    I really think that it sounds like you need a trip without a lot of structure. Or maybe I'm putting my own desires into things? But I've had few opportunities to travel without a set destination and I've never had the time you are able to take to do it. I just have a feeling traveling with the spirit of a vagabond, a happy wanderer, might be the most rejuvenating thing for you right now.

    Some websites that focus more on the fun and funky things you want to see are Roadside America and Eccentric America. Both are worth a look. And if you're into cool architecture, especially the fun varieties like Googie, Tiki, and more, check out Roadside Peek.

    Of course, there are great books on these types of things as well. Chris Epting has some great books you might enjoy. For more great books, check out the Roadside Americana page here on this forum, or look through some of the other recommended books by using the yellow "Roadtrip Book" tap in the upper-right corner of this website.

    This should give you a good start on finding what you seek. Enjoy!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Ontario Canada

    Default aaahh - free time!

    Go for it. Have fun. And vary the slim jims & Mountain Dew with Coca Colas & you'll stay slim (ha!).

    Places to look up & head for (some quite unique places):

    ** Very Large Array (near Socorro, NM)

    - Queen Mine Tour (Bisbee, AZ)

    - Tombstone, AZ (lots to see & do here - the OK Corral, the Tombstone Epitaph, etc.)

    ** Titan Missile Museum (near Tucson, AZ)

    - White Sands National Monument, NM

    - Fort Sumner (Billy the Kid's grave)

    - Lincoln, NM (historic buildings including the court house where Billy the Kid was once jailed)

    - Capitan, NM (the real Smokey the Bear's gravesite & museum)

    - Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument

    ** don't miss!! Kartchener Caverns, near Benson AZ
    (Bisbee Queen Mine, Tombstone, & Kartchener Caverns are all in same area)

    - Sedona & Oak Creek Canyon, AZ
    - Grand Canyon, AZ

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Kartchner Caverns Update

    Kartchner Caverns is scheduled to reopen next week after repairs and maintenance activities are completed in the cave and at the visitor's center. If you're planning to visit in the next week or two, be sure to check ahead. Reservations are usually a good idea in any event due to the limited number of tour slots.


  7. Default

    Thanks again for the information.

    I wanted to let you guys know. I started my road trip today, from Roanoke VA. I am planning to get to Los Angeles, then head up the coast and back east home. I hope to be gone for at least a month. I have my trusty books and laptop with me.

    In fact, I am sort of "liveblogging" the whole trip. If anyone is interested in checking out the site for it... its at (I hope its ok that i post links... it is not for commercial purpose in ANY way.) I'm going to try to post a blog and pics and map update every day (though in some towns i may be parked for more than a day.)

    Take care an thanks again for your support!

  8. Default Yo Scott's Cross Country Trip Update

    Hey guys, I'm at day 12 of my trip, and I'm loving it so far. Ive gotten to see friends, neat sites... Did Roswell, White Sands, and Billy The Kid's grave today, doing the rare Trinity Site tour tomorrow and the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta on Sunday. That puts me to either Page or Kayenta AZ on Sunday evening. Either place is a decent tackle spot for the Grand Canyon. Anyone have any advice about the north or south rim? I want to see scenery and possibly get a hotel around there. I am not going to hike or do any strenuous sporting activities, just want to see the sights and all that. The advantage of going south is that Monday I can possibly make a trip to Sedona. Going north, I can visit Zion national park on the way into Vegas (where I must be by 1pm Pac time Tuesday for work)

    Any advice on the Canyon? Are there hotels around there in case I forgo my trip to Sedona, or go North Rim?

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 10-08-2006 at 12:45 PM. Reason: Links to personal blogs are generally not recommended herein, (and there is already one above).

  9. #9
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default North Rim vs. South Rim


    If you're looking for hotels/motels, I would not advise going to the North Rim. Services are not availble at the North Rim. Although the North Rim offers a less congested experience, it is far more rural. You'd definately be better off with the South Rim. There is lodging in the park, but is known to be expensive and booked far in advance. The nearest lodging from there is in Tusayan and Valle, AZ. Other than that, you would have to travel to Williams or Flagstaff.

    The nearest lodging that I know of to the North Rim is Page, AZ or Kanab, AZ.

    -AZ Brad

  10. Default

    Hey brad, thanks for the advice. I think what I'm looking for out of the canyon itself is the best views for photography, and not too far off the beaten track. I don't mind rurality. I looked at the North Rim Resort and its booked, I think im going to just suffer it and drive extra long hours and crash for the night in Hurricane, UT.

    Thanks for any advice about the Canyon you have! :) I'm really looking to find appropriate drive points to get views.

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