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  1. Default A late summer road trip...

    Hi to all,
    this is my first post here at this forum. I discovered it just last night and I think its great. I've been planning for a couple of months now on a solo late summer road trip in September. Most likely the weekend after Labor Day, as the roads won't be as crazy then. So far this is my route:

    I live in NYC, and my 1st stop would be Glen Rose, TX to see the Fossil Rim Wildlife Park. I'll spend a day there and head towards the Grand Canyon. Spend a day at the South Rim, and head out to Las Vegas. I won't spend the day, just want to drive through the famous Strip. From there I'll head to Hollywood, preferabley for an afternoon, then head North to San Francisco to see the sights for a day (I estimate this is also where I'll change my oil again), then off to Hyrum, UT to visit a friend for a day, and finally to Mt. Rushmore in SD before making a mad dash back home. Unfortunately my workplace only gives me 3 weeks (and even then I had to fight for those weeks!) off work in a row. I wanted to ask the knowledgable folks here on this forum if it's possible for me to do all this in 3 weeks? Any advice or info would be very appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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

    Default Doable, yes

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think you'll be able to do this in 3 weeks. You won't have time to linger, but you'll have enough time to take some quick tours of these places.

    The only thing I'd be concerned with is your description of the time you plan to spend. For example, I hope you don't mean that you plan to drive straight through from NY to Texas. That's not feasable or safe as a solo traveler, but even at a reasonable pace, you should be able to make this trip happen.

  3. Default

    Oh no, my first stop is Texas yes, but I estimate it will take me about 2 days to get there if not 3 so I'd be making some lodging stops along the way. I'm glad to hear that I should be able to make this trip at a reasonable pace though. One of my worries is having to rush like a maniac at the parks etc. Thanks for the info!

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

    Default 5 days

    You'll have about 11 days to play as it generally takes about 5 days to cross the country. Your trip is about 7000 miles. Allowing short stops for fuel, food, etc you will probably be actually on the road itself for about 123 hours, averaging about 6 hours/day over 20 days. I suggest planning at least 1 day each week where you don't drive at all and just linger somewhere enjoyable. You will definitely need the break from being in the car. In fact, if you could squeeze out 2 days per week, even better. Three days off the road would up your daily average to about 7 hours driving.

    If you're up to a 3 week marathon of driving like this, and are fine with just quick look-sees at the things you want to so, it's very feasible.

    When someone is planning a marathon like this, I always like to throw out the idea of being flexible. Don't get so attached to your itinerary that you don't take time to see and do things you would really enjoy. For example, if you don't see Hollywood/San Francisco this trip, do a fly-drive trip another time.


  5. Default Good idea

    I was thinking of driving about 8-10 hours a day when going from NY to TX, and SD to NY, the longest stretches where I have nothing planned to see in particular. I hadn't thought about taking a day off totally to just lounge aside from the places I'm seeing, but after reading your suggestion it makes good sense. Thanks all for the good tips.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Everybody needs a break

    I love to drive and I love being on the road. But one a longer trip like you're planning, there will come a day or two along the way where getting in the car will feel like torture. You just need a break from it. So just plan for that so you're not rushed.

    On those stretches where you figure on making up time and have nothing planned to see, don't be surprised if a plethora of interesting things entice you to leave the road and check 'em out. Plan for that and enjoy it when it happens.

  7. Default most monotonous roads/states?

    I'll try my best to brace for those times for sure, thanks for the heads up. Do you know which roads along my "beginning and end stretches" are the most monotonous by any chance? (Sorry if thats a different topic for a different thread)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default States of Mind

    In reading through the posts in this thread, I'm struck by phrases like "having to rush like a maniac at the parks", "getting in the car will feel like torture", "which roads...are the most monotonous". All of these are really attitudes, not facts. I once did a trip much like the one you're contemplating. Maine to Knoxville to San Francisco to Eugene and then home in three weeks. I had a blast, except for the fever I developed in Montana and the, ahem, incident at the border - but they eventually became fond memories as well. My point is that what you get out of this trip will largely depend on what you expect to get out of it. If you expect it to be a mad dash, then that's the way you'll treat it, and that's the kind of trip you'll have. Slow down. Relax. Enjoy. As both Michael and Judy have pointed out, you have the time to make this trip. Think of it this way. You can cross the country in 5 days of non-stop driving. Do that twice and you've still got 13 days of free time! And nobody says you have to be in San Francisco 5 days after leaving New York, or that you have to cover some set amount of miles per day. One thing I recommend to people is, as Judy said, get out of the car every 2-3 hours for a short hike, a breath of fresh air, a sit down meal. There are state parks, national and state wildlife refuges, and great small towns all along your route. I have never had a problem finding one whenever I needed one and I tend to stop for 'mental health breaks' every couple of hours, and I still (or even therefore) manage to cover around 600 miles on a good driving day. So chop up a few of your 13 free days and sprinkle them liberally along your drive, and enjoy the view. We have a saying here that is practically a truism. Believe it: There are no boring roads.


  9. Default

    My original and main reason for going on this road trip and going at it solo was because I wanted to escape the severe overcrowdedness of NYC, the crushingly overcrowded trains and busses, the severe traffic, and the rushing too and from work. Sometimes I can almost swear we New Yorkers don't walk, we casually sprint everywhere we go. Everything is a race to get somewhere and after reading through these forums and this thread in particular, I've come to realize that I'm incorperating my "city mentality" into my trip and that is a big mistake. In a way it defeats my reason for wanting this trip in the first place. I'm glad I found this forum to help me slow down!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Wow....good insight!

    I appreciate AZBuck pointing this out to you so well, and your insight in realizing what you're doing and why.

    Let me suggest that you totally rethink this trip. Have a list of places you'd like to see and a good atlas and just go. Just drive. If you don't make it to one single place on your list because you meandered a different direction and found wonderful places that grabbed your interest, that's cool. In other words, get out of the rat race for awhile!! If you have a day where driving 10 hours feel right and good and is fun, do it. If you have another day where you just want to hang out in a park and people watch, do it. If you have another day where sleeping in a lounge-chair by the side of a pool or on a blanket by the side of the lake seems right, do it.

    I'm just wondering if you need to do a complete paradigm shift on this roadtrip so that when you return to the rat race you are truly rested, refreshed, and reinvigorated in a way that trying to recreate the rat race on your roadtrip won't give you.

    Some folks literally just get in the car and at each intersection go right/left/straight on a whim without a destination in mind. The few times I've allowed myself the luxury to do this, I've really enjoyed it and found some wonderful things I never would have discovered if I'd kept to my itinerary.

    Who knows what wonderful things you'll find. Enjoy the journey and don't worry about the destinations. San Francisco will be there for another trip at another time.

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