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  1. #1

    Default Driving around Western United States.

    Hello all,

    I am planning a long road trip this summer, lasting anywhere from a month to ... around the Western United States.

    I have no time limits, engagements, or anything else holding me back. I want to hit the open road, live free and adventure. I want to break free of normal life with its comforts, and explore. As best said in 'Harold and Maude' I want to L.I.V.E!

    To keep expense's low I plan on eating out only once a week, and camping for free wherever I can (hotels are taboo for me)

    I am in the process of saving up some cash now and plan on having 3 - $4000 by the time I leave in June or July. For gas I don't think I will need more then $1000 (Thats at 6000 miles, $4.00 a gallon (hope not) and 30 mpg (got 40 on highway last time I checked). Little to no fees for lodging, and as little as possible on food. I plan on spending as little as I can so I can stay out as long as I want.

    The plan is to take off from Colorado and head north hitting the national parks such as Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Glacier, spending as long as I want backpacking around them, and stopping wherever else looks interesting. From there I am heading across to Washington, then down into Oregon where I want to backpack the Oregon coast for at least a week (also considering a though-hike of the whole coast)

    From there it's down into California visiting more parks, places I remember from my childhood, and the major cities. After that my direction turns east back towards Colorado, hitting all the parks and wherever the road takes me.

    My previous main road tripping experience has been driving with family to California every summer, and one weekend last year I took off solo to Utah to Arches and Natural Bridges (Natural Bridges at night is by far one of the most amazing things I have seen in my life, I highly urge you to check it out if you can). I also take off about two weeks a month to various locations in Colorado (usually no more than 4 hours one way) to backpack trails, or climb the mountains.

    I was wondering if anyone had experience with this sort of open ended trip, and if you had any advice for me?

    This has been something I have wanted to try for a while now, and see if it works. I plan on staying on the road and backpacking new places until I get bored which could happen in a month or never.

    Any advice you have is welcome, and thanks for the forum, reading various topics has given me quite a bit of information.

    --No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn.
    Last edited by AZBuck; 03-08-2008 at 07:35 AM. Reason: Removed whitespace

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Wander Away

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Yes, I've done that kind of open-ended trip, although not for as long as you plan, and not as "roughing it". Such endeavors can be very rewarding, particularly if you leave yourself open to exploring some of the smaller, lesser-known venues you may run into. The big national parks are nice and well-done, but they do tend to get crowded, and you already know their stories anyway. Try some of the small town historical societies to get a feel for what the people who first saw and settled the area went through. Hike in some national forests and wildlife refuges to get some solitude and a sense of the land.

    The US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management both have programs of free distributed camping on their lands and are an excellent resource. Be sure to get in touch with them before you go to find out which of their units offer this. Speaking of knowing before you go, winging it does not mean having no plan or idea of what's available. Time spent checking into possibilities before you go just means that you don't have to waste time on the trip doing research, just on deciding among the many great options.

    Whatever your final trip looks like, be sure to hold the time and money in reserve to get back home. Salt away a couple of hundred bucks and a few days that are untouchable except for that purpose. Otherwise, just enjoy.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Of course it can be done!

    And we all envy your ability to get away to do this!

    You sound like you might enjoy reading Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck or Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon for some inspiration of folks who did trips kinda like you're planning. There should be some good inspiration there for ya!

    Is there any specific information we can help you with?

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