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Old 01-19-2016, 09:07 PM
 
Location: Saginaw, MI
77 posts, read 55,120 times
Reputation: 60

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I am planning on moving cross country soon-ish (from Michigan to Vancouver, BC), and have decided to use the moving process as an excuse to cross off an item on my bucket list and take a road trip across the US. (I am a semi-professional photographer, so a lot of the stops are based around adding to a portfolio of nature shots). Here is a current list of my route (I hope links work):

https://roadtrippers.com/map?a2=t%21...ource=copy&z=5

If not, here's a general description:

Starts in Michigan,
Travel through Chicago,
Down along rt66 to St. Louis,
Across Kansas to Colorado Springs (for Pikes Peak drive and Valley of the Gods)
Pass though Denver (pass though the Rockies and hike up/climb a "real" mountain)
Continue to Moab and Arches National Park (mountain bike in canyons while there)
Go south through Monument Valley (solely for the iconic photo shot)
Head west past Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell
Drive through Zion National Park
Stop in Las Vegas to gamble (not for any other reason than to say I did)
Through Death Valley
Explore Yosemite National Park (full day stop)
Enjoy San Francisco
Up through Wine country (pick a random vineyard, but am open to actual suggestions)
Go to Crater Lake National Park
Pass through Bend, OR
Drive past Mt. Hood
Re-visit my favorite city of Portland, OR
Pass through Seattle (visit friends that live there)
And finally arrive in Vancouver, BC


I have "budgeted" about $1,500 for gas, food and lodging (I'd mostly camp at the parks) and have allowed about two weeks to complete the trip (since I'll likely be moving without a job, time is pretty flexible)

Have I missed anything noteworthy? Where should I stop at/skip? I've tried to be realistic with my numbers, and will drive about 6-8 hours per day. Have I overextended myself by doing that?
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Old 01-19-2016, 11:05 PM
 
2,542 posts, read 5,995,865 times
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I think two weeks is pushing it. I would also suggest at least one break of two nights/one day of down time--a hotel room with no plans but to clean, organize, and veg out. I find myself rushing toward the end of a big trip if I don't. I'm not sure if you gain much from going to Crater Lake and Bend, I would choose going the quick route up I5 or the slow route up 101. (Not to mention, the road to Crater Lake won't be open until the end of May.) What about the Redwoods? Mt. St. Helens?

And in case you find yourself in the area, Torrey, Utah has a couple of amazing cafes and stores. I don't know why, but it's the most gourmet one-horse towns I've ever been to. Probably not worth a side trip, but definitely note if you will be passing through.

Grand Canyon? Again, the north side will be closed until summer.

If you are planning a summer trip, reserve your California, Oregon, and Washington campsites now.
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Old 01-19-2016, 11:10 PM
 
Location: USA
32 posts, read 21,201 times
Reputation: 24
Michigan to Vancouver would be a great journey for you. I suggest you should buy road map on your trip. It will guide you to all the famous places and give you details about the highways, streets and every nook and corner of the cities.
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Old 01-20-2016, 05:59 AM
 
Location: Canada
9,077 posts, read 8,355,728 times
Reputation: 19466
I think you have overestimated how much you can do. Driving 6-8 hours each day will be tiring enough, let alone having the time and energy to hike a mountain in the Denver area, for example. It doesn't sound like you're giving yourself enough time to explore areas with your camera. What about Yellowstone, something a little more along your route?

You have to also coordinate your le driving times with the daylight needed to take the photos you want.

Honestly. This sounds frantic and exhausting. A few years ago we did a 10 day road trip through Northern AZ, NM, Southern Utah, and Las Vegas, and that was a lot of driving. We're amateur photographers, so I understand your desire for great photo ops, but I think there is simply too much to do. Once you get to a destination, you'll likely discover a lot more that you want to see and photograph than the time you've allotted for it.
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Old 01-20-2016, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
21,342 posts, read 21,917,974 times
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many more photo ops available tyo you if you head across South Dakota and visit the Badlands/Black Hills/Devils Tower and then head south into Colorado through any number of the Nat'l Grasslands in Western Nebraska or Eastern Wyoming. Also affords a visit to Scotts Bluff and Chimney Rock in Western Nebraska.
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Old 01-20-2016, 09:48 AM
 
2,542 posts, read 5,995,865 times
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When is your time frame? That may dictate more of your trip than anything.
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Old 01-20-2016, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
8,602 posts, read 11,093,754 times
Reputation: 10316
If you really want to do it right...

1. Stay off the Interstate unless absolutely necessary.

2. Take your time. We did a two week loop from Houston to Vancouver Island and Calgary back down hitting pretty much your route. It's a lot of driving, but totally worth it.

If I was doing your trip;

Ditch Rt. 66. It's boring, and there's nothing really there anymore. After Pikes Peak, head down through Durango, hit Mesa Verde National Park, and then if you're going to hit Zion, you'd be nuts to not go to Bryce Canyon, and depending on the time of year, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

After Vegas, Death Valley, Yosemite and the Bay Area, I'd go north through Napa/Sonoma, take your pick of a gazillion wineries, but I found Mondavi to be really simple to get in and out of. After that, hit 101/1 and do the Pacific Coast, Redwoods, Crater Lake, Portland etc.

For one person, I think your budget is a bit tight, unless you're sleeping in the car/camping in National Forest.


CHI-LV - https://goo.gl/maps/sNPjQgTnewA2

LV-VAN - https://goo.gl/maps/YHX5xSivhYz
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Old 01-20-2016, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Saginaw, MI
77 posts, read 55,120 times
Reputation: 60
Thanks for the tips! And as for timeline, it's whenever I can manage to find an apartment/temp stay from long distance. Earliest maybe March-ish, but I'd like to go as soon as possible (because rental prices rise when moving season hits)
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Old 01-20-2016, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Seattle
1,533 posts, read 1,317,458 times
Reputation: 3600
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrumPockets View Post
Thanks for the tips! And as for timeline, it's whenever I can manage to find an apartment/temp stay from long distance. Earliest maybe March-ish, but I'd like to go as soon as possible (because rental prices rise when moving season hits)
In which case a good many of your targets may be snowbound or simply inaccessible. For example Crater Lake's rim road doesn't open until July; hiking in the Rockies will be very challenging in ten feet of snow.
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Old 01-20-2016, 07:17 PM
 
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
3,187 posts, read 7,073,730 times
Reputation: 6576
No camping in the mountains at this time of the year, weather is going to dictate where and when you can go.
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