This is long and windling text, and I don´t expect anyone to read it all. However, if someone read about the part of the country they know a little bit extra, and send a comment, I will be grateful.
I´ve been reading maybe a hundred threads in this amazing and totally fantastic forum, and learned a lot. Today I have tried to get a complete loop-route that will works with time and economy.
This is the result. It is a schedule that me and my wife will make more complete after finding more places nearby the route that we might think be interesting, but I don´t think we will change too much. This is what we wanna do in six weeks, sometimes in August – September 2007.
I have checked motels and hotels around the trip, and I know the cost. I usually selected Super 8, but we doesn´t need to use them. However, they offer free Internet Access i all motels that I checked, and they offer something called “Continental breakfast”. I was googling and first hit says “The free continental breakfast was fine”, second hit says “worst continental breakfast I have perhaps ever encountered”. (Search criteria: opinion continental breakfast super 8). I guess there will be a surprise every morning :-) But eating a breakfast at the motel before getting on the road saves a lot of time that can be spent for other activities.
I have refuse to have scheduled rides in a day for more than 500 miles. The average is 285 miles for the 29 days we’re driving. Driving for sightseeing have to be added. There is 13 days when no driving at all is planned. There is many opportunities to cut a day by driving two stages in a day, if we want or must. I however wanted to be realistic if something happens. If we´re involved i a accident so we need to change car, if we´re going to be sick with fever for a day or two, we must be able to catch that time again.
We have started to google around for things to do on the trips, and found a lot that we put inside the scheme bit by bit. We´re especially looking for things to stop and look at for 15-30 minutes, and then go again. Fancy places to eat, to watch and buy handicraft or just see the biggest X in the world. I don´t know if it really exists, but in many movies we see scenes from “farmer markets” with competitions like “biggest cucumber”, “most beautiful cow” or “the best blueberry pie”. To visit something like that would be great.
I will also try to visit one or two big sportsevent if possible. To see a NFL-game or a Nascar race woud make me happy. NFL-season is, as far as I could read, not scheduled for September 2007 yet. Nascar is scheduled, but we haven´t booked the flight yet, so yet we don´t know exactly when we come. Maybe we will change a little for having a chance to do these things.
So, even if it´s a little bit empty in the scheme, we have plans.
Day 1-3: New York without a car. No problem with things to see and do, more problems with not having enough time.
Day 4: Picking up the car. First days tripp is not too long, it will be Philadelphia and Independence National Historic Park. Sleeps in Philadelphia.
Day 5: Wilmington, DE and see Fort Cristina and the ship Kalmar Nyckel. Then we are going to Washington DC and watch the White House. Then to south of Richmond, VA for sleeping.
Day 6: We wanna reach the south, so today it´s a long trip to Savannah, GA on I-95.
Day 7: Time for the beaches, Jacksonville Beach, FL. We choosed Jacksonville since it looks to be not so “heavy” as Fort Lauderdale or Miami. Are we doing the right thing?
Day 8-9: Sun and bath at Jacksonville Beach. After all, we´re on holiday.
Day 10: Across norther Florida on I-10 to a motel close to Pensacola, FL. We will have lunch in Marianna, since my wifes name is Mariana.
Day 11: Todays goal is New Orleans, LA
Day 12: Still in New Orleans.
Day 13: Now begins a week with long distances to drive. First stop is Houston, TX where we will sleep.
Day 14: San Antonio, TX is the goal today.
Day 15: Alpine, TX is where we sleep this night. We drive US-90 since it looks more scenic then I-10. I don´t know if Texas is scenic at all, but all these endless land is a must seen too, since it is big part of US.
Day 16: El Paso, TX is the fourth and last stop in Texas. My plan from the beginning was to drive through Texas in two days. Then I decided I didn´t wanted to drive more than 500 miles per day, so longer trips was splitted into two parts. Maybe we try to drive through Texas in three days.
Day 17: Phoenix, AZ is the goal today. If we drive through Texas in three days, we probably have an extra day in Phoenix. Otherwize we probably only sleeps there. The original plan was to visit San Diego, but we changed, and saved some hundred miles and some days. Insted we take...
Day 18: A trip to Flagstaff, AZ, for taking position into the next days trip to...
Day 19: Grand Canyon. We hope we can drive through the park and in the evening entering Las Vegas, NV. Everybody says it should be entered when the sun is down, because it´s so many lights.
Day 20-21: Playing at the casino, so we can afford to continue the ride :-)
Day 22: We will go to Los Angeles, CA. The place that all the famous, sooner or later, will visit. Now it´s time for us. :-)
Day 23: Sightseeing in Los Angeles. My wife loves american films and TV. She knows everything about nearly every celebrity in Hollywood, and therefor I think we will spend most of the times in Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. Maybe also in Malibu Beach.
Day 24: It´s time for the PCH1 to San Francisco. It´s hard, but many swedish people tolds me that it is possible to go to SF in one day without pushing too hard, if we starts early in the morning.
Day 25: Sightseeing in SF
Day 26: A trip to Reno, NV. I have skipped the plans of Bodie and Yosemite.
Day 27: Elko, NV. If someone asked me to go to a place in the middle of nowhere, this will probably be the place I go for.
Day 28: Salt Lake City, UT is todays goal. The last three days can maybe be driven in two days, and if so, we can have a extra day in Salt Lake City.
Day 29: We will go north, to Rexburg, ID and look at the enormous fields of potatoes there. It is also a good position for the next days adventure...
Day 30: Yellowstone! I really look forward to this day. We drive around inside Yellowstone all day, and in the evening go to Cody, WY. (If the map is right we will also have a few miles in Montana before we enter Yellowstone).
Day 31: It´s time for taking position for the next event. We do it in Sturgis, SD, because it´s close to Mt Rushmore, but not close enough for motels to rise their rates.
Day 32: We look at Mount Rushmore, and then we will have a glass of free icewater, so we go to Wall, SD.
Day 33: The time is running away, and we need to drive to east. We will go to Sioux Falls, SD today.
Day 34: We go to Minneapolis, MN. My wife tolds me they have the worlds larges shopping centre right there, so I guess we will be there for a while.
Day 35-36: Two days of discover parts of Minnesota, where so many people with swedish roots live. Maybe we have Minneapolis as a base, maybe not...
Day 37: Today we are going to Chicago, IL. It´s pity we don´t have time to really see this city, but then we have reasons to came back.
Day 38: Cleveland, OH is todays target. We´re also back in eastern timezone.
Day 39: We think Niagara Falls, NY is a must, so we´ll go there today. Anyone who knows the price for good barrels in wood? :-)
Day 40: My wife, Mariana, says the she must buy a really quilt made by Amish people. So today we´re going to go through Pennsylvania to Lancaster, PA. I hope we can get one.
Day 41: Time to enter New York, leave the car, pack everything and say goodbye to US for this time.
Day 42: The plane will take us back to Sweden.
And BTW, all working people in motels, hotels, restaurants and taxidrivers that should be tipped, will be tipped.