So I don't know whether I'll be able to do this next year, the year after, or some other future year. However, after doing my first long haul road trip last year (Salt Lake and Mormon Temple Grounds -> Wyoming -> Mt. Rushmore / Wall Drug / Badlands -> Minneapolis and Mall of America -- thanks RTA for advice on it!), I'm thinking ahead to what I'd like to do next.
My goal would be to cover:
1) Las Vegas (at least 2 nights)
2) Extraterrestrial Highway, overnight Reno
3) I-80 in Nevada and the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah (As much 80 MPH territory as possible now that Nevada's upped their speed limit), overnight Salt Lake
4) Scenic Rockies drive, spend 2 nights in Denver
5) Kansas Prairies drive, finish in Kansas City
I'm envisioning a one way car rental, shopping around and being flexible with dates to minimize the one way rental fee (this worked great last year).
1) Is summer the best time of year for this? I was envisioning May or September (to balance the extreme summer heat of Vegas with the winter weather of the Rockies).
2) If May is a good month to do this, should I consider starting my trip in Phoenix or Flagstaff to take advantage of minimal one-way rental rates during the spring out of Arizona?
3) Much has been written about the ET highway and what's along it; I figure I-80 Reno to Salt Lake is fast (80 MPH speed limits), home of barren scenery (which I love while driving as I'm from the Northeast and don't get to see for miles), and truck traffic. However, are there any particularly good routings people know of for Salt Lake-Denver and Denver-Kansas City? I'd like to mix my time on both of those stretches between I-70 and some US or state highways. Any particular roadside attractions or diners for meal stops to keep in mind?
Any other thoughts in general people have about this? I like noodling ideas around in my head for a long time before finalizing a plan.