Warning - this post is an example of freewriting... so please forgive the awkwardness of it's flow.
I'm going on my first ever road trip. In fact, it's a solo one, too. On top of that, I'm going all out. I've been on many solo trips to FL, Savannah GA, and TN... but I don't really count those.
I'm doing this for a few reasons. The first is that I will be 25 when I do this... and I really need to do some soul searching. I can't really do it around here when I have family and the daily grind dulling my sense of self. The second reason is that I really want to see something different. I'm tired of all the trees and the same old predictable way of life. One of the happiest times of my life is when I went to Myrtle Beach.. it was all so different. I'd wake up every morning at 7 am excited like an 8 year old on Christmas morning.
Ok, I'm getting off track.
The dates I have to do all of this is October 1st to the 25th. On the 23rd I need to be in TN for my second cousin's wedding.. so ideally I'd like to be there the night of the 21st so I can get the clothing I need on the 22nd.
This gives me exactly 3 weeks. Based on experimental trip plans I created, I estimate this will be 6000 miles total.
The basic plan is very simple: drive from Atlanta GA west to the Pacific Ocean, see some things along the way (including the ocean!), and on my way to TN to see some more things. While I'd like to think I have unlimited funds and can drive all I like... I can't. This restricts some of my north and south driving. This trip was in the works over a year ago and it included driving to Alaska... but I can't, now.
I have a list of the things I want to see but I can't find it.. but off the top of my head, here are some:
Yosemite National Park
White Sands National Monument
Sand Dunes in CO
I'm also curious as to just how BORING the Kansas is... so I'll probably run through there. Houston TX may be on my list of stops because I have family that live there... you know, free lodging and food. Maybe New Orleans.
I'd like to see "The Thing," a famous tourist trap. Please, don't spoil it for me ;)
Oh YEA!!! Area 51, too. Doubt I can get anywhere close to it (security), but at least I can say I been there.
And aren't there radio telescope arrays out west? I'd like to see those, too.
I've never done any tent camping but I'm going to do it, anyway. It's cheap or even free lodging and once every few days I'll check into a hotel to take a shower. Where can I camp with little to no notice that I am coming? How much does it generally cost?
This trip is pretty much going to be me "just winging" it. While I can make a long LONG list of everything I want to see... I doubt I will see even half of it. For one, 3 weeks averaging close to 300 miles a day makes it impossible to squeeze everything in. Second, if I seen the Grand Canyon I may not care to see Glen Canyon, for example.
So -- What other things do you recommend that I see or do? Any cool bars I should go to? I'm very inhibited and I want to try to "let loose" while I am out. My hope is to come back having better learned about myself and to come out of my shell by a large degree.
While it's on my mind... is it at all possible, reasonable, or even safe to park my vehicle in the white sands, salt flats, or anything like that and camp out for the night? A few things I fear are wild animals, trespassing private property, extreme cold at night, or being robbed or assaulted. If I could, I'd really like to buy a 12 pack of beer, camp out in the middle of nowhere with my truck (again, in something like the white sands), and get wasted for that night.
Geez... I could go on and on.