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  1. #1

    Default May 2010 Western States road trip

    I guess I'm done lurking around the forum and I'm ready to actually post about my trip!
    My sister and I are in the early stages of planning our 14-day road trip next May. I’ll be graduating university and she’ll be finishing up her first year. We are renting an RV and leaving from (and returning to) Vancouver. We were thinking of either:
    1. Going south about as far as San Francisco and then looping back around, going as far east as Salt Lake City and then back to Vancouver.
    2. Not going as far south, but doing a roughly oval loop with Vancouver at one end and Mount Rushmore at the other, taking a northern route one way and a southern one coming back.

    Keep in mind we have no concept of driving times/distances as of right now, these are just possible routes that came to us when looking at a map.
    -We are not big on visiting major cities and will probably avoid them mostly.
    -The trip originated when my sister and I agreed we wanted to see as many “World’s Largest X” type roadside attractions as possible. Those and scenic routes/parks are our main draws. We are not thinking of lingering much anywhere, but if we end up going down the West Coast we definitely want a couple of beach days. Our childhood beach holidays were in York Beach, Maine (say it with me kids: brrr), so we are looking for at least a small taste of California beaches.
    -We will probably zip through Washington quite quickly either on the way out or back, since we have to pass through it both times (I thought about going back into Alberta to get back to Vancouver but driving through the Rockies is a humongous time suck)

    One major question I had is, is there a preferred way to split up days between the following?
    1. Drive in the morning, sight-see wherever we are in the afternoon, maybe drive a bit more in the late afternoon, camp
    2. Have long-haul driving days and full sight-seeing days?

    We’re also open to any suggestions concerning routes, sights, etc. Thanks!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Much the Same

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Either of your proposed loops is perfectly feasible over 14 days since both are roughly around 3,000 miles and would require an average of only about 200 miles per day. But only the San Francisco/Salt Lake City loop would let you include swimable California coast. Remember that as cold as York Beach was (and I lived in York for 12 years) it was still warmed by the Gulf Current whereas the California coast is subject to the cold California Current coming down from British Columbia. If 'all' you're looking for are wacky roadside attractions, then I'd suggest that you have a look at RoadsideAmerica which specializes in such oddities. My own RoadTrip style tends to consist of alternating between driving a few hours and spending an hour or two at a site. But of course, you'd want to spend far more time at Yellowstone then viewing another instance of the 'World's Largest Ball of String'. As I noted earlier, your schedule will allow plenty of both types of stops. Generally, I think you'd do just fine by continuing to study maps and state tourism websites to see what's along each of your possible routes and see which appeals most to you. Either will work, and both will be fun.


  3. #3


    Thanks for the info AZ! I've been to the beach in Vancouver plenty of times so I imagine California should be similar, if maybe a bit sunnier.
    I think we are leaning more towards the southern loop. It seems from browsing the forums that the more popular route is counterclockwise, going down the coast first and then looping back inland. I was thinking we might do the opposite,
    a. because I think we're liable to do a lot mot zigzagging inland than on the coast, so I'd rather put the more relaxing bits at the end of the trip.
    b. since we're not horribly keen on planning every moment of our trip too strictly, it would give us more leeway to catch up on driving time if we find ourselves further than expected in the last few days of the trip, or if we've decided to linger somewhere.


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