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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default I don't see it

    Well, a few things, first any online map assumes you'll never have to stop or slow down for food, fuel, or any other breaks, so they are always going to be very optimistic.

    Second, even if that was accurate, 7 hours in a car is draining. To expect that after you've woken up early to get out on the road, that you're going to be up for a lot of siteseeing is just not that realistic. You're also not factoring in that you'll need time to get your campsite, set up and tear down. If you're going to be on the road at 7, you're going to have to be up at dawn to clean up, tear down, and pack up.

    And Finally, ignoring all of that, I just don't see where you got that 7 hour figure in the first place. Many of the legs you've listed would be well over 7 hours, even by the very optimistic Google estimate. For example, Redwoods to Santa Cruz is 8 hours via google, El Paso to San Antonio via Carlsbad google's out at 12 hours. And others, like Anaheim to Vegas or Vegas to Grand Canyon, while fine in a vaccum, become impossible when you're planning to See Disney, Vegas, and GC over the course of 3 days.

    As far as what to cut, the obvious would be Texas. Simply removing Austin and San Ant. saves you 1000 miles of driving, if you just went from El Paso north to Texas (dropping El Paso and exploring Colorado directly from Grand Canyon would also save a lot of miles). I'd also cut out Canon City, but that's simply because I strongly dislike Royal Gorge and think its one of the worst, most expensive, and poorly done tourist traps I've ever been too.

  2. Default

    I have to agree with the others.

    My husband and I share the same philosophy about traveling: We can sleep at home for free, so let's make the most of every minute. A 7-hour drive is nothing to us. But your plan is overly ambitious even by our standards. You're going to have to cut something out.

    Moving every single night gets old, especially if you're planning to camp. Do not underestimate the time requried to set up camp and break camp every night/morning. If you're staying in hotels, I'd suggest that every 3rd hotel you plan to stay at least two nights . . . if you're camping, make it every other night you stay at least two nights. And remember, I'm always pretty ambitious in what I say we can do in a given amount of time.

  3. Default

    Ok. I have a lot to take into consideration. One thing I wanted to mention to Midwest Michael is that we weren't going to be driving straight through from Redwoods to Santa Cruz, we were stopping in San Fran first so the drive was split up. But I understand it's still the same amount of driving time in the day, I just thought it wouldn't be so bad because it was split up. I was hoping not to cut out Texas completely because, well, that's one of the major states I wanted to see that I have never been to. But I suppose we could save it for another trip. I am going to come up with a new itinerary and post that once I get it figured out, thanks again for all your help!

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I'm afraid that with such an ambitious itinerary, your sightseeing is going to be confined to through the windshield of your car. You just aren't going to have time to stop anywhere to do anything.

  5. Default

    Yea, I have realized that now, and in my previous post I said I am going to re-think our itinerary and come up with a new one, which I will post within the next few days. Thanks!

  6. Default

    Okay! I think I have come up with something that will work, but there are a few days that I am not sure what to do with yet so I would love some suggestions. I decided to cut out Texas and New Mexico completely and to save that area for another trip, which I think helped a lot. Here is the new plan:

    Day 1: Eugene, OR to Bandon, OR. Stay in hotel.
    Day 2: Bandon to Redwood N.P. Camp.
    Day 3: Redwoods to San Fran. Stay in hotel.
    Day 4: San Fran all day. Stay in hotel.
    Day 5: San Fran to Santa Cruz for am/afternoon. Drive to LA in late afternoon. Stay w/ friend.
    Day 6: LA All day, stay w/ friend.
    Day 7: LA to Anaheim, Disneyland all day. Hotel.
    Day 8: Anaheim to Vegas. Hotel.
    Day 9: Vegas to Grand Canyon. Camp.
    Day 10: Grand Canyon to Moab, Utah (this could change)
    Day 11: Moab to Glenwood Springs, CO.
    Day 12: Glenwood Springs to Rocky Mountain N.P. Camp.
    Day 13: Not sure what to do with the next two days in between Rocky Mountain & Yellowstone... Ideas?
    Day 14: ^^
    Day 15: Drive to Yellowstone. Camp.
    Day 16: Yellowstone. Camp.
    Day 17: Yellowstone in am/afternoon, then drive to ...? Also not sure what to do inbetween Yellowstone and Lynnwood, WA.
    Day 18: ^^
    Day 19: Drive to Lynnwood, WA. stay w/ fam.
    Day 20: Drive to Orting, WA. stay w/ fam.
    Day 21: Orting to Eugene.

    This seems much more doable to me. I would love any feedback that you guys have, especially concerning those 3 days where I'm not sure where to go inbetween locations. Thanks so much!


  7. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Day 5: San Fran to Santa Cruz for am/afternoon. Drive to LA in late afternoon. Stay w/ friend.
    That's the only thing that still stands out to me as being an overextension. Even going over to I-5, you are looking at 7 hours from Santa Cruz to LA. If you have 3 days to burn, add one in there somewhere if you can. I'd spend the night around Monterey and then head down CA-1 the next day. It will be a pretty full day, but you could make it from Monterey to LA in 1 day with an early start. If you don't care about seeing the coast between Carmel and San Luis Obispo, you can take 101.

  8. Default Got it. More questions though...

    Thanks GLC, I took that into account and split that drive up into two days.

    I am getting super excited about our trip and I feel like I have come a long way in the planning process since I first began!

    A couple of questions-- I'm thinking about getting reservations for a few places (i.e. Disneyland, Vegas) but I am nervous about making reservations and then somehow being set back a day on the trip or something, and having wasted that money. I guess this is a normal issue for any trip but is it better to just not worry about reservations and find what's available when we're there? Also, reservations for national parks like Grand Canyon & Yellowstone... is this necessary?

    I am also still looking for some ideas for what to do for the days in between Rocky Mountain N.P & Yellowstone and in between Yellowstone & Lynnwood, Wa. Any ideas would be great, thanks!

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Could be too late.

    I guess this is a normal issue for any trip but is it better to just not worry about reservations and find what's available when we're there?
    Yes it is, some do and some don't, each choice has it's ups and downs.

    I think you might already be to late to find lodgings in popular places like Yellowstone and GC and the surrounding areas start to book up so it is something I would look into if you want to stay somewhere close. Some people like to "wing it" and others the security of a place to stay for the night, those that do "wing it" always seem to find somewhere but when I am on a tight schedule with things that I really want to see I like to know where I am staying for the night, as I don't have the time to waste looking for places to stay, but that's me !

    One day I hope to do that trip where I have the time to roam freely and see where I end up, but for now.......

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you do make reservations, make sure you know what the cancellation policies are. Some may allow a no penalty cancellation up till 3 pm or so on the same day, others may require up to 72 hours notice.

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