Hi folks! My name is Peter, and I'm brand new to the forum. Although I read many of the articles on the website last year, I've never participated in the forums.
I'm going to be taking a month-long solo road trip from Ohio (my home state) to California, and then back again, and I need some help. I'm hoping that a few people here would be willing to give me some advice!
I'm 35, single with no kids, and self-employed, so taking time and money isn't a major issue. I've done solo speed runs between Ohio and Florida (~900 miles) many times, maybe 10 times or so, and just as many shorter (and more casual) drives between Ohio and DC (~450) miles, so I already know how I respond to being on the road by myself, at least for a day or two at a time.
So let me lay out the general idea:
My PRIMARY purpose:
To meet America (the people) and experience the land. I want to interact with people at the places I visit, in common American settings: the roadside diner, coffee shops, churches, etc!
...stopping in little towns along the way to talk with people, take photos and interact with locals as much as possible. (And I plan on playing guitar at some open mike nights at coffee shops too, thanks to openmikes.org)
From Ohio, down through the south and southwest, up along the California coastal highway, up into Oregon, over through Idaho and into Montana, then back down through Wyoming, across the bread basket, then north into Minnesota and Wisconsin, across the Michigan UP, then back into Ohio.
Only state routes and two lane roads if possible, so no interstates. I know this will add a lot of time to the trip, but hopefully it will put me closer to America, if you know what I mean. Part of the area I need help in is knowing if one months is enough time to make a backroad circuit of the US.
I haven't decided on a firm path, and I'm not entirely sure that I want one. Is this just stupid?
I want to visit many National Parks and wildlife areas, especially Frank Church River of No Return wilderness in Idaho, the sequoias, and as much as possible in Utah. Is the Grand Canyon really worth it?
Although I'm not what you'd call an outdoorsman, but I love being in nature and sleeping under the stars whenever I can. I'm not a fan of bugs, but I also don't mind dousing myself in bug spray either. But in all truth, hearing an animal outside my tent at 4:00 AM still creeps me out... city-dweller, you know... so I'm not sure how I would deal with a bear or moose in my campsite, so your thoughts on this are welcome!
Besides the fact that I just really want to? The trip is going to be a fund-raiser for charity (I'm not here to ask for donations... most of the donations will come from my church and other organizations, and none of the donations are going to pay for the trip).
To keep all my friends here apprised of my wanderings, I am planning to have a travel blog that will track where I am on the map, with photos and videos of places and people I've visited.
So that was all the preface... Here are my questions.
1. What should my questions be? :-) I'm not even sure what I should be asking at this point.
2. Is camping along the road really much of an option for maybe half the days I'm on the road? (just me and a sleeping bag, maybe a small fire in some places -- or actually sleeping in the vehicle)... and your thoughts on a city-dweller sleeping under the stars in in the desert or woods or even a truck stop.
3. Best tools for putting together a road trip blog (sharing my current location, uploading pictures & videos, etc).
4. What kind of gear would you take on a trip like this, if it were you going? (I've already got a list put together for safety/survival supplies)
5. I may even buy a new vehicle for this trip (I've got a small two-door Acura now, but might upgrade to a mid-sized SUV if it'll help me over the Going-to-the-sun highway in Glacier NP). Any thoughts on this?
6. any other thoughts?
I'm sure I'll come up with more...
What do you think? I understand that this might be too common a question to take a serious stab at, also.