Post number one! Long warning.
In an attempt to prove that an old fart doesn't inherently possess any more common sense than the younger generations, I've decided to sow my remaining oats all over the roads of the USA this summer, in a quest to see as much of our treasured scenery over a given route with a semi-flexible time schedule.
From what I've scanned within this site, its contributors are fantastic. Thank you for being here. While the routes I plan to take have no doubt been covered, & recovered, I'll try to limit my questions only to the extent of "What am I missing?"; rather than "Please write an itinerary for me while I go take a nap".
The basics - I'm 67 years old, retired, widowed, & in decent health. I bought a well used, but well maintained '96 Dodge Grand Caravan with a mere 205K on the clock. I recently had a competent mechanic run a fine-tooth comb over all this beast, & pronounce it healthy enough to venture forth. I gutted the interior of all seats except for the front two buckets. The interior will be outfitted as a camper, & I plan to use for gas what I don't spend at the Holiday Inn. Two grand's worth of 4 buck gas ought to get me through the entire circuit. I'm going solo, so I can play the stereo as loud as see fit.
I did a 3,500 mile trip last year throughout mid-southern California last summer in a rented Dodge Caliber (Yup, slept in it) & survived, so figger I'm ready to take on bigger ventures.
The plan - Starting out around August 23rd from the Baltimore, MD area. No real concern about sightseeing 'til I get past Chicago. & get on I 90 in Wisconsin. I'm heading for the Seattle, WA area, allowing about a week to diddle along. I do know most of the attractions in S. Dakota, Montana, & Idaho; & I have a couple of old friends to visit along the way. After a stay in Port Townsend, WA, I'll head south along 101 through Oregon, over to RT 5 in Cali, & down to Sacramento to visit with my daughter. She'll probably throw me out after a couple of days, & I'll continue down RT 5 & link up with RT 40 heading east through Arizona (stop at Grand Canyon & Sedona), New Mexico, & "maybe" pick up RT 285 to go peek at Rozwell to visit my alien ancestors, than head east via RT 380 to Dallas/Ft.Worth. How I get back home from there is "to be determined", but of no consequence to me from a sightseeing point-of-view. I planned to be back home by mid-September, as the goldfish should be real hungry by then.
In general - I'll probably seek camping space along the way. Between Nat'l parks, truck stops, KOA, & whatever else turns up, I should be able to sleep in peace, & shower on occasion. ANY SUGGESTIONS, or "favorites" along my mentioned routes are appreciated. As mentioned, time permitting, I'll try to drop in on the usual favorite park sights (Rushmore, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons etc. etc.). BUT if there's one or two of those "must see" off-beat attractions within a few hours of my routes, please mention your favorites. I don't plan to spend a lot of time sightseeing within major cities, as I have all the congestion I can handle back home. This cruise is kind of an "easyrider" approach just to scan what's out there. If I like what I see, & want more of it I'll probably get on a plane (assuming there's an airline still in business in 2009), rent a car, & spend more time with the "gems".
I apologize if this has been a yawner, & I'll be checking around to see where some of my questions have been addressed. BUT....ya' gotta' start somewhere, & time's getting short. Thanks to all.