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  1. Default Pre Wedding X-crountry Trip

    Hello All, I'm new and I've been surfing the forums for the past few weeks and this site/forum is an amazing wealth of information. I just want to thank all previous posters that helped in planning my trip.

    My fiance and I were recently engaged and we are planning a wedding for the summer to 2011. Before we get hitched we want to take a 5 week cross country road trip with just the two us to really test things out and we figured if we can take 24 hrs a day with each other for 5 weeks in close quarters we can last a lifetime!

    We have done road trips before but nothing of this magnitude, so I have been doing our research and I just wanted to throw my itinerary out there for all you veterans of the drive and see how feasible this plan is. We will be leaving Boston on June 11 2011 and returning to Boston on July 17. The following is our ambitious itinerary.

    6/11 4am leave Boston MA arrive Shenandoah NP VA 2pm - Camp
    6/12 9am leave Shen NP VA arrive Smokey Mtns NP TN 3pm - Camp
    6/13 Spend the day in Great Smokey Mtns - Camp
    6/14 9am leave Great smokey NP arrive Memphis TN 4pm - Hotel
    6/15 Spend the day in Memphis - Hotel
    6/16 9am leave Memphis arrive Fayetteville AR 4pm - Father in law lives here
    6/17 11am leave Fay AR arrive Amarillo TX 7pm - overnight stop, hotel
    6/18 6am leave Amarillo TX arrive Roswell NM 11am 3 hr stopover ( had to pay homage, I'm a huge X-files fan)
    6/18 2pm leave Roswell arrive Carlsbad NP 5pm - Camp
    6/19 Spend the day in Carlsbad NP - Camp
    6/20 5am leave Carlsbad NP arrive White Sands NP 10am - explore few hours
    6/20 2pm leave White NP 2pm arrive Gallup NM 9pm - overnight stop, hotel
    6/21 6am leave Gallup arrive Petrified Forest AZ 7am - explore few hours
    6/21 12pm leave Petrified Forest arrive in Grand Canyon 4pm - Camp
    6/22 10am leave Grand Canyon arrive hoover dam 3pm - Tour
    6/22 5pm leave hoover arrive Vegas 6pm - Hotel
    6/23 11am leave Vegas arrive Mojave 1:30pm - drive the loop
    6/23 3pm leave Mojave and arrive Death Valley 7pm - Camp
    6/24 12pm leave Death Val arrive Lake Isabella CA 4:30pm - camp
    6/25 5am leave Lake Isabella scenic drive through Sequioa NP on generals highway and arrive Yosemite 5pm - Camp
    6/26 & 6/27 Explore Yosemite
    6/28 5am leave Yosemite arrive in San Fran 2pm - Hotel
    6/29 6am leave san fran arrive Humboldt Redwoods State Park 8pm. Will stop in wine country for tour and tasting - Camp in Redwoods
    6/30 5am leave Redwoods State Park arrive Crater Lake OR 11am - explore
    6/30 3pm leave Crater and arrive Mt Hood NP OR 9:30pm - camp
    7/1 5am leave Ht Hood arrive Olympic NP Hoh Rainforest WA 12pm - camp
    7/2 5am leave Olympic arrive in Seattle 10am - hotel
    7/3 7am leave seattle arrive in Flathead Lake state park MT 3pm - camp
    7/4 9am leave flathead arrive in Lewis & Clark NP MT 7pm - Camp this drive includes the Going to the the Sun Hwy and Glacier Route 1 Rd
    7/5 6am leave L&C NP arrive Yellowstone NP WY 1pm - explore & Camp
    7/6 & 7/7 Explore Yellowstone
    7/8 8am leave Yellowstone NP arrive in Casper WY 8pm - drive includes the Grand Tetons scenic drive through Jenny Lake - Hotel in Casper
    7/9 5am leave Casper arrive Mt Rushmore 10am - explore
    7/9 2pm leave Mt Rushmore arrive in badlands NP SD 6pm - camp
    7/10 8am leave Badlands NP arrive Minneapolis MN 4:30pm - Hotel
    7/11 8am leave Minneapolis arrive Milwaukee WI 1pm - lunch
    7/11 4pm leave Milwaukee arrive Chicago IL 6pm - stay at friend
    7/12 explore Chicago - stay at friend
    7/13 7am leave Chicago arrive Buffalo NY 3pm - Stay at friend
    7/14 12pm leave Buffalo arrive in toronto CAN at 2pm - Stay at friend
    7/15 7am leave toronto arrive in Montreal 1pm - hotel
    7/16 montreal international jazz festival - explore city
    7/17 10am leave montreal and arrive home sweet home Boston

    Phew... take a deep breath... And Done. I know it is a huge post but if anyone has any comments suggestions criticism or anything all is Welcome.

    Thank you again everyone!!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default do you want to make it to the wedding?

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    While I'm certainly not going to go through this trip stop by stop, I will say you've made the common mistake of assuming that you can trust a computer mapping program time estimates and you've got a many days where you are planning to do far more than is realistically possible.

    I will also say that anyone who schedules a trip of this magnitude down to the hour is asking for trouble in the best of circumstances.

    When you combine those factors, with the fact that you've given yourself almost no downtime, and are going to be rushing through almost every place you are stopping to "see,' you're looking at an extremely stressful trip that would push the boundaries of even the best of friends.

    I know a lot of "soulmates" who have been together for years who would not do well on this kind of trip - in fact they'd know each other enough not to do this sort of trip. How this stress of a trip will affect your relationship depends a whole lot on your personalities, but in my opinion, trying to cram life into a frantic 5 weeks, doesn't make for a very good test of a relationship - unless you are looking for a reason for it to fail.

  3. Default overly ambitious

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for the post and the advice. I guess it was a death wish from the beginning huh to try and do this much in such a short time period!

    Back in college a group of us drove from Boston to Miami in an RV and stopping in national parks and campgrounds and planned it out this way but it was over a 7 day period and other people to help lower the stress levels.

    I know it was a bit of overkill to go down to the hour but it was more a guideline than an actual tight schedule. We were also thinking that as we went along and things took alot longer than we anticipated we were going to eliminate stops and improvise as we went along.

    I guess it back to the drawing board then. I'll have to cut out a bunch of stops to give us more time to get in between places.

    I appreciate the comments.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    A rule of thumb you need to follow whenever using a mapping program - add 20% to the predicted drive times. Software does not have to stop for anything and is unaffected by any delays. I would also recommend that you avoid driving into the night, and if you are camping, arrive at the campgrounds at least an hour before sunset to get set up. You should also build in planned downtime to rest, and fudge factors to allow for spontaneous sightseeing. A day here and there just sitting around doing nothing will be invaluable to preserve your sanity and rest your bodies.

    I've done "whistle stop" trips like that - and after a week or so, it becomes drudgery instead of fun. At the end of last winter, I spent 8 days driving from San Diego to Joplin, via Laughlin, Oatman, Flagstaff, Page, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Moab, Arches, Canyonlands, Monument Valley, Durango, Dodge City, and Wichita - and when I got home I was burned out.

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