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  1. #1

    Default Florida to Oregon

    Hello fellow travelers,

    My name is Aaron. I am a 24-year old mail carrier who lives in Titusville, Florida, and this summer I'm anticipating a solo road trip to relocate to Eugene, Oregon. The whole point of this endeavor is to put "Life" back into life again, to reevaluate how life is truly meant to be lived. It is not meant to obtain job security, build a 30-year pension, and then etire from a timeline of frustration and unhappiness. Needless to say I will be resigning from my career, completely starting from scratch, and entirely free to enjoy the journey.

    With that being said, I would like this trip to be full of trees, rivers, mountains, side roads, historic landmarks, etc. In other words full of places that authentically express this beautiful planet. To start off with the fundamentals, I am quite indifferent as to which route to take; however, the only thing I do prefer is a more Northern itinerary. I have already looked into several different mounments and state parks in the North and Midwest regions, locations such as Mount Rushmore in South Dakota and Multnomah Falls for later in Oregon. Prior to that the route will be taking me through the states of North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, a little piece of Illinois, and Missouri.

    My questions lie more on the "in-betweens", so to speak. Questions such as: where to stop for gas and food in the more rural areas? Are campgrounds or hotels more ideal for lodging? Is the gap in prices really that much of a gorge, and if so is it worth it? What are some of the smaller items one wouldn't necessarily think first to bring? A few that already come to mind are loose pen and paper, a gas can, and no doubt some cold, hard cash at hand. Any other additional information will of course be much appreciated.

    Furthermore, I will be driving my 2012 Ford Focus with minimal luggage. More than likely just clothes, a cooler and thermos for on-the-go snacks, maybe a box of pots and pans, and some other sentimental memorabla. There is also the potential possibility of hauling along basic camping equipment depending on recommended sleeping arrangements.

    Thank you in advance for any and all information you choose to share and I am very excited to be sharing this chapter of my life with all of you.


    - Aaron McNevich

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


    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    It sounds like you've got a fantastic trip ahead of you. How long do you plan on being on the road?

    As far as food and gas in rural areas - I'd guess you'd stop at restaurants and gas stations! Even in rural areas, you've still got people who need to eat and fuel their vehicles! Even in the most remote parts of the country, there are few places where you'd be more than 50 miles from a gas station. Along those lines, rather than bringing a gas can, you'd be better off just making sure you are aware or your surroundings and fill up before you head into a remote area. There's really no reason you should ever run out of gas, if you are paying attention.

    As far as camping vs. hotels, that's really up to what you enjoy. Camping can be a good cost saver - but it's generally not free. Public campgrounds in places like state and national parks typically cost $15-25 - whereas a cheap motel will typically cost at least $50. However, camping can also can provide savings in other areas - such as it's a lot easier to cook your own food, rather than eat at restaurants. Being that it sounds like you want to get out in nature, then camping could also simply add to that enjoyment too. But having said all of that, if you don't like camping or you need a real bed to get a good nights sleep, then the savings wouldn't be worth it.

  3. #3


    Thank you, Michael. I very much appreciate the feedback.

    As for the length of the trip I look to be driving anywhere between 6 to maybe even 10 days. As stated I will have a fresh start going into Oregon so I have no home or career deadlines there, but at the same time I want to watch my expenses out on the road.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Titusville to Eugene via fastest route is over 3000 miles, so that's almost 6 full days right there. If you want to sightsee and get off the beaten track, you will probably need the full 10 days if not more.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Yeah, I would agree that I think you've underestimated the time needed for the sort of grand adventure. Just taking adding the few extra miles to go up through the Dakotas like you've mentioned means you're looking at 6 full days behind the wheel before you even start to visit the places you've already mentioned, much less adding more things or getting off the beaten path. Certainly with 10 days, you'll have some room to explore and see some great things, but if you want to be free to enjoy the journey, then you'll need enough time to do more than just cover the miles.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Central Missouri


    If you are driving along an interstate or US highway, there are always signs that tell you "Next services XX miles", or "Last services for XX miles." My husband and I make it a point to fuel up when the tank is about halfway down, OR when there's a good price. We always carry snacks and drinks in the vehicle, avoiding high-priced convenience stores, but we do plan our restaurant stops somewhat carefully.

    Hubby and I have been tent-campers, tent-trailer campers, trailer campers, and now we're back to motels (due to the high cost of storing a rig in San Diego County). Each one has its advantages and disadvantages. The one thing I miss the most about camping and RV'ing is the ability to put together our own meals, without being dependent on high-sodium, high-fat, high-priced restaurants. For that reason, we carry some basic cooking equipment and small supplies in the pick-up's shell. We'll pick up something at the grocery store that I can cook in one pot, plus a bag of pre-washed, pre-cut lettuce for a garden salad -- much better for you than restaurants!

    Also -- I am in agreement with the above. Driving time is 6 days. If you want to stop and see Mt Rushmore (an hour one-way off of I-90 then allow 2 hours to get parked and see the monument), stop at Multnomah Falls, or any other place, you need more time.


  7. #7


    Time of year for your epic trip will be a factor in which route you might want to drive for visiting sites and camping. Many parks located at the higher latitudes or higher elevations close down for the winter (both are factors for temperatures, ice and snow).

    Camping can be a lot less expensive but may require an up-front investment, especially for cooler/colder weather than you find in the Cape Canaveral area. Goes for wardrobe as well. You'll also want to be sure to have a range of camping equipment including a wash basin, cleaning supplies, etc. And showers may be in short supply at many camp sites during the "winter season" (a term used broadly as it varies widely, e.g., Wind Cave NP campsites turn off regular water in the Fall which also means pit toilets instead of flush toilets).

    National Forest camping sites will usually be less expensive than national park, state park and private campgrounds... usually because there are fewer amenities. For that reason you might want to invest in a 5-gal jug for drinking and washing water.

    Google Maps (and others) will easily plot a route from point A to point B. You can also add in intermediate destinations (often called "waypoints"). Google will also summarize the total distance to travel in miles and time in hours. However, the hours are not "real life driving hours" but are calculated based upon speed limits and don't factor in the time needed to sleep, eat, refuel, and delays due to traffic jams or pull-overs to see sights. For interstate driving you might want to take the total distance to be traveled and divide by 50 or 55 mph to approximate "real life average speed of advance" in total hours. Then factor in average driving days of between 6 to 10 hours (ten hours is really a high end safety threshold).

    If you plan on seeing some national park wonders then I would suggest printing out a USA map with the national parks, pin or highlight the ones you wish to visit and then visit the NP website for the identified parks to find out their operating hours during the year and whether or not all main roads are open (e.g., Yellowstone NP closes many of its roads).

    There are some great road tripping & camping guides, checklists, etc. on this website (and others) so take advantage of shared knowledge. Also check your library for US scenic highway type books and guides plus other travel guidebooks for the regions of interest.

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