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  1. #1

    Default 13 States, 14 days

    I'm 18, just graduated high school and working for a year before going to college. I've always wanted to do a cross-country road trip, but living in a big family with little siblings made this unrealistic. Finally I have my freedom.

    Car: 1997 Pontiac Grand Am (I'm a fair mechanic and this car is in good shape and reliable)

    Companions: might be just the radio, iPod, road maps and a camera.

    Date: sometime next spring after I know what schools i've been accepted to

    Reason: mostly for kicks, see parts of the country i've never been to, visit friends, tour some colleges.

    Stops: Decorah, IA, Colorado Springs, CO, Laramie, WY, Provo, UT, San Francisco, CA, Scappoose, WA, Rexburg, ID, Minneapolis, MN, HOME.

    THE PLAN: Leave my home in Fond du Lac, WI, spend night with a friend in decorah, IA.

    From there, drive as quickly as possible to Colorado, one overnight stop. (Is there anything to stop and see along the way in IA and NB?). In Colorado, stay in Colorado Springs and tour schools i've applied to.

    Next stop is visiting a friend going to Wyotech in Laramie WY, then look at more schools in Utah while staying with a friend near Provo.

    Then go see San Fransisco before heading north to stay with a friend about 2hrs. east of Portland, WA.

    Stop one day in Rexburg, ID, tour BYU-Idaho, spend night somewhere. Travel to Minneapolis.

    Visit friend in Minneapolis, drive home next day.

    I plan on taking two weeks to do this trip, staying in a reasonable motel whenever i'm not staying with someone and packing food for at least one meal a day to cut costs. I may be completely alone in the car, but since i'll be staying with several people, i'm not gonna be by myself for two solid weeks.

    I'm not too concerned about money, I'm saving 70-80% of what I make right now anyway. Once I have my plans solidified, I will make myself a budget to stick to, just so that when I get home, I don't suddenly discover that I spent two or three times what I intended.

    Right now, this trip is just an idea and a highlighted map on my wall. Thought I'd let more experienced heads than mine review it.

    Thanks, John.

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

    Default looks fast, but good

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    Your certainly going to be doing a lot of traveling to get everything in during your 14 days, but I don't think you've got anything thats unreasonable. You aren't going to be able to spend much more than a day at any single location, but I think you can still have a great trip!

  3. #3


    Thanks. It's nice that the first person I meet is also from Wisconsin.

    Yeah, I wish I could just take a month on the road to really enjoy all the sights along the way. But at least I'll get to see places I've never been to and then I'll know what's worth coming back to sometime in the future.

  4. #4


    wow thats alot to do. in those number of days but i wish u luck and happy travels!

  5. #5


    Sounds like a fun trip. Take your time through Western Nebraska and the Rockies...enjoy the scenery. I took a speed trip from Indianapolis to Colorado Springs and back in 5 days in March 2006. It was fun, and you can learn where you would like to go back to. Have fun, and I hope you enjoy college (make many, many trips).

  6. #6


    thanks, the rockies are definitely what i want to see the most. i'm glad you all think this is doable, albeit quick.

    again, not set in stone, just an idea. since i'm not currently applying to any schools west of utah, i could cut north from provo to rexburg and then go home, which would either save time or allow more sightseeing along the way.

    i would like to see california and visit my friend in oregon, but that adds quite a few miles and, of course i'll be closer once i'm in school anyway. maybe the west coast could be a spring break trip next time...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default Two comments


    Sounds like a wild and crazy trip.

    1. There are plenty of things to do in the Plains States (such as Harold Warp Pioneer Village in Minden, NE), but if you want to see any of the Rockies and spend a little quality time in San Francisco (quite a wide swing out your way, but worth it) scoot on through and take the backroads from Colorado Springs through Breckenridge and Winter Park to Laramie. Unless you are traveling very late in spring/early summer, you won't be able to cross Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park.

    2. On your way to San Francisco, it would be worth a swing south from Reno to Lake Tahoe, then down Hwy 50 to Sacramento and on to SF.

    All of this is weather-permitting, of course.

    Have fun, and good luck getting into the school of your choice. What is your preferred major?

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

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