Starting around June 2011, I'm planning to take six to eight months and road trip around the continent. The goal is to visit all 49 continental US states and all 10 Canadian provinces, plus a couple of territories (Yukon and DC). Along the way, I'd like to do some backpacking (most likely in Denali NP, Yellowstone NP, Banff NP, and maybe somewhere on the East Coast). I'm also -- and this is the eccentric part -- planning to play hockey in every state and province. The wonders of modern refrigeration make that possible year-round, but as for the outdoor parts of the trip, I wonder:
What is the best time of year to visit each region of the country? My current plan is to start in Minnesota, head to Alaska through the provinces, then down the Pacific coast, then northeast to Wyoming, then east to Newfoundland, then down the Atlantic coast, then up through the Midwest back to Minnesota. I'm wondering if there's a better order in which to visit these places, constrained by my desires to hike in Alaska and avoid the worst of the heat/humidity in the Deep South.
Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated. Thanks!