I'm hoping some of you veterans can help me figure how to start the awesome task of planning a cross country loop. Books, web sites that you recommend? Tips and insight from your road trips? Places to go?
Here are some notes
:: Trip will be me (40 year old mom/yoga instructor), and two boys age 16 and 12.
:: We will depart fort myers florida june 1. We need to be back in fort myers florida by august 1.
:: We want to be frugal - bring our own food and stuff like that.
:: Trip will be a combo of camping, hotels and staying at family.
:: We definitely want to stop to see family in San Diego CA for a few days, Portland OR for a week or more and Boise ID for a couple days. however in addition to visiting family we want to do 'cool outdoorsy stuff' while in the general vicinity. We will visit the Sand Dunes in Southern Oregon, as well as the wild life refuge down there.
:: I don't mind long days of driving (14 hours or less) in between destinations.
:: We have access to free places to stay (family and/or hotel for free) in the San Jose Ca, Fresno CA, and just about any major city you can think of.
:: While on the west coast we will want to stop at our family cabin in the Sierra Nevada mountains for a week.
:: We would like to stop in Washington DC for a couple days, update NY to visit our old college town, grand canyon for hiking and/or camping, and maybe niagra falls.
I would like to take the kids on an inexpensive rafting trip, a mountain biking trip, a cool cave adventure, and do some camping.
I prefer nature and low key stuff much more than over-hyped tourist stuff. So suggestions on quieter locales would be much appreciated. In a perfect world we would only do super remote stuff in the wilderness, but I get scared of the whole deliverance thing, so I want to be safe too.
Any ideas on how to tackle the planning - campsites, outdoor adventures, route?