I'm a first time road tripper driving from Chicago to California with a friend and my dog. We've got about three weeks in total, with one week spent in California not driving. With the exception of Vegas, I haven't been anywhere between Chicago and California, and I'm really excited for the trip...but I have many questions:
1) Which route do we take? On the way there, I was thinking of heading toward Colorado and then south, and on the way back, taking the southern route...Do I want to go these different routes? Is one preferable than the other?
2) Regarding motel reservations, should I make these ahead of time, especially since I have a dog? How do I know where I want to stop/stay on the trip?
3) What about stopping for food? I'm not comfortable leaving the dog in the car and/or the motel room. Will one of us have to go in somewhere to get food and bring it back to the car? Are there outside restaurants that allow dogs?
4) I'd like to drive between 8-10 hours a day (roughly). What time should we start each day?
5) What are the coolest sites/places to stop on my trip?
ANY thoughts/advice/suggestions are most appreciated!