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  1. Default Chesapeake, Va to Southwest and back...

    Hello everyone! I have been trying to pin dow plans for a roadtrip out west and I need help! :)

    The travel time frame is May 15, 2009 - June 2, 2009. (18 days)

    We want to drive there and back. Our travel vehicle options are either an 04 Malibu (about 28-30mpg hwy) or an RV (10 mpg hwy). We havent decided which one yet.

    Places we want to go: Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Four Corners, Vegas, LA, San Francisco, Glacier NP.

    Not all these are must see's. Does any one reccommend any particular places that we should go to?

    All types of advise welcome and needed!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Run Some Numbers, Draw on a Map

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    First let's deal with your vehicle choice and what each would cost you to drive. Assuming $4/gal gas and 6500 miles of driving, the RV would run you $2,600 just for gas, the Malibu around $875. That's about $100/day difference! $120/day if you throw in the cost of a cheap campsite. You can stay in some mighty fine places for that kind of money, so this decision seams obvious to me.

    As for your route, Just mark the places you already have on a map and see where they take you. I will say this looking at your list: Coast to Coast and back would be a bit much to accomplish in a little over two weeks, especially if you really want to see and enjoy stuff. Trying to also go from north to south would almost certainly overload this trip. So, I'd strongly suggest that you forget trying to get up to Glacier National Park. I'd also suggest, less strongly, that you forget San Francisco. Instead concentrate on ocean to ocean on two different routes, a southern one that included the Great Smokies, Ozarks, Albuquerque and Santa Fe, Petrified Forest, Grand Canyon and Los Angeles. And a northern one that included Las Vegas, Zion and Bryce Canyon and Arches National Parks, across the Rockies to Denver, the old Oregon Trail, St Louis, Mammoth Cave and home


  3. #3

    Default Hi "Neighbor"

    Foy from Raleigh, NC here. I just spent 2 glorious weeks in your neck of the woods, on the Bay close to Lynnhaven Inlet, where my family keeps a vacation home.

    You've got quite the trip in mind. I agree wholeheartedly with AZBuck as to the vehicle of choice. Plus, aside from the fuel cost and the types of accomodations that can support, my experience with driving 15 passenger vans, conversion vans, and large pickup trucks and Suburbans tells me it's a lot easier to maneuver the Malibu in traffic, at fuel and rest stops, and certainly at heavily-attended scenic spots, than an RV. Over the length of a coast-to-coast-to-coast run, that difference would likely be material. You do give up some relative convenience in "having your own place", but that would not personally worry me one bit. I suppose there's also the issue of "how many Road Trippers are we talking about here", but if it's a couple, or a small group which would fit comfortably in the car AND in a single motel room, I'd take the Chevy.

    I also agree with the notion of eliminating Glacier. I love Glacier and Montana a great deal, but it seems to be "A Bridge Too Far" for your timeframe. After all, there is no more "Southwestern" destination than the Grand Canyon, and hardly a more "Northwestern" destination than Glacier. It strikes me as a little like a West Coaster saying he would visit Miami, then Maine, since he was on the East Coast already. Long haul between the two, of course.

    I think AZ Buck's general routing is a great plan, and one you'd enjoy a great deal. The trip back through Colorado on I-70 is about as much like traversing the Alps as you'll see in this country.

    Enjoy the planning!


  4. Default

    There will be 2 people (husband and I) and possibly 2 dogs.

  5. Default


    I like the route you mentioned. I have heard of many of these places. What do you reccommend for things to do/see in the: Ozarks, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, St Louis?

  6. Default

    Alright here are the stops. What do you think?

    Knoxville, TN (sleep)
    Memphis, TN (Graceland)
    Oklahoma City, OK (sleep)
    Albuquerque, NM (what should I do here?)
    Petrified Forest, AZ
    Grand Canyon, AZ
    Las Vegas, NV
    Bryce Canyon, UT
    Zion Canyon, UT
    Arches, UT
    Monument Valley, AZ
    Rocky Mtn NP, CO
    Salina, KS (sleep)
    St. Louis, MO (what should I do here?)
    Charleston, WV (what should I do here?)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Generalities and Specifics

    Quote Originally Posted by redstargazer
    ...things to do/see in the: Ozarks, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, St Louis?
    Now that all depends on your interests, of course, but what those areas are known for are woods, lakes and entertainment (Ozarks), history, art and native culture (Albuquerque and Santa Fe), and museums and river boat gambling(St Louis). Specifically, I'd be looking at taking a hike at a state park in the Ozarks, visiting the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe and Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque, and the Arch and underground Museum of Westward Expansion in St Louis.


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