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Old 08-01-2007, 11:26 PM
 
Location: Way on the outskirts of LA LA land.
3,040 posts, read 10,616,276 times
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Here are just a few of the pictures from some of my road trips. I'll include locations for those that I know.

For these three, they are:
Coeur D' Alene, ID
Kimball State Park, OR
Crater Lake, OR.
Attached Thumbnails
US Road Trip-camera-420.jpg   US Road Trip-camera-702.jpg   US Road Trip-camera-517.jpg  
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Old 08-01-2007, 11:36 PM
 
Location: Way on the outskirts of LA LA land.
3,040 posts, read 10,616,276 times
Reputation: 1932
Here are a few more:
These three were all taken recently from my property in Wyoming. The middle one is a sunrise from about two weeks ago (7-22-07 I believe). I posted these because this is one of my frequent destinations on my many road trips.
Attached Thumbnails
US Road Trip-p7230068.jpg   US Road Trip-july-sunrise-2007-d.jpg   US Road Trip-p7230070.jpg  
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Old 08-02-2007, 01:54 PM
 
Location: South Florida
65 posts, read 324,224 times
Reputation: 38
After doing some research, I couldnt find a single tour bus that goes from coast to coast, or even from state to state. You'd think there would be at least one. All they seem to have are private shuttles that are designed for groups.

Last edited by bunnywabbit!; 08-02-2007 at 02:07 PM..
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Old 08-02-2007, 11:53 PM
 
Location: Way on the outskirts of LA LA land.
3,040 posts, read 10,616,276 times
Reputation: 1932
Quote:
Originally Posted by bunnywabbit! View Post
After doing some research, I couldnt find a single tour bus that goes from coast to coast, or even from state to state. You'd think there would be at least one. All they seem to have are private shuttles that are designed for groups.
I don't really know of anything like that where the bus will embark on an excursion and move about the country, too. Perhaps it's time to start a business like that. I would imagine that foreign tourists would like something like this to visit numerous points of interest.

Something you could consider, though, is taking a Greyhound bus or Amtrak train between major metropolitan areas, then taking a tour bus excursion in each area. For instance, you could visit L.A., Phoenix, Dallas, and Orlando in the south part of the country, taking a local excursion in each, then head up to Washington DC, New York, Chicago, and Seattle along the north part of the country, taking tours in each of those, too. This could be divided into two or more trips if time was a concern. Other stops could be added to accommodate other areas of the country (Memphis, Denver, or Salt Lake City, for instance).

I know that there are bus tours out of L.A. that go to places like Yosemite, Death Valley, and Grand Canyon National Parks, Las Vegas, and other places closer to L.A. as well. This is likely the case in each of the other large cities across the country.

You might be able to book a trip with a travel agent to set up each of the tours that you are interested in. The biggest drawback that I see with a trip like that is that you are restricted to the travel company's schedule, and you don't have much flexibility. Good luck in your quest.
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Old 08-03-2007, 06:38 AM
 
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
397 posts, read 1,178,048 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
Looks like the backpackers and vagabonds are underrepresented here, so I'll chime in.


Yup.
Last time: Did about half. Went over the top: Indiana - California by way of Seattle.
Next time: Planning to do the coasts (Mexico - Vancouver & Florida - Maine) next year. Plus some in the middle.


Last time: Saved my pennies, checked the tires, sparkplugs, changed the oil/filter, flushed the coolant, topped off the tank and went. Didn't budget beyond saving up some cash and planning to go until it ran out. Quit before it ran out, actually.
This time: Saved my pennies, tuning up the car, quitting my job, then going.

Bot times: Own car.

As much as you need. If you wanna keep your job, get the maximum they'll allow and keep going until your satisfied. If your time runs out before you're done, just keep on rolling. You'll regret it if you let your job stop you.

Last time: With a friend. Helps with the long boring stretches.
This time: With my wife. Numerous benefits.


Nope. Stop at a diner, ask what there is to do around these parts. If it sounds fun, go do it, if not, keep going. If there's something you really want to see, head in that general direction when you've run out of things to do in the area you're in.

One thing about touring the US; a LOT of it looks the same. Especially in the middle. Stay out of the suburbs, stay away from the franchises, strip malls, and the familiar. Keep to the back roads when it suits you, but don't be afraid of pulling an all-nighter on the freeway when you're sick of Kansas or wherever. You'll never see EVERYTHING, even if you spend your whole life trying. If you like it somewhere, stop, stay there until you get tired of it, you won't miss the stuff you don't see, if you know what I mean.

I've never done a guided tour or travelcoach or any of that. Just tend to pick up and go. Usually just for a few days, occasionally for months.

Rest stops are good places to sleep. Campgrounds will let you use their showers for a couple of bucks, just ask at the check-in area (or you can just sneak in/out if you're really strapped for cash). An air-mattress doesn't take up much space and can make the back of your SUV or hatchback much comfier. Every few days you'll probably break down and stay in a cheap motel for the bed and shower. Do this on a Sun-Wed night to get the best rates. Chose a non-franchise and bargain hard with them. This also works well if you want to stay in an exclusive or fancy place but don't really have the budget for it. Off-season mid-week rates can be really excellent. Hostels can be cheaper than motels, but not always. Don't take a computer. Leave your cell phone off (if you even take one) unless it's an emergency. Internet cafe's are everywhere if you want to correspond with people at home or get really stumped on things to do/places to stay, but word-of-mouth is usually much more effective and written letters/postcards are more fun. Don't take a navigation system. Do take a road atlas.

Pizza keeps for a day or so without refridgeration. Most other foods don't. Eat light so you don't have leftovers with nowhere to store them. DON'T KEEP FOOD IN YOUR CAR IF YOU DRIVE IN BEAR COUNTRY!
I agree with everything you said, with two exceptions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42
Don't take a computer.
I would DIE without a computer, personally. However, I think I could restrict its use to only when I'm sitting alone in a hotel room at night. I would need a laptop for my sanity; absolutely essential. Mainly to keep up-to-date on news and cure my late-night boredom in a hotel with some forum-surfing. This is just me though, I guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42
Stay out of the suburbs, stay away from the franchises, strip malls, and the familiar.
Sorry, I'm going to have to disagree with this. At least for me, it would be nice to just go out and experience the real world again. Like, maybe take a couple of hours out of a day to find a mall or a shopping center. Maybe it's just me, but if I were on a super-long trip, I would need this for my sanity every once in a while (just a few hours while you're in a big city, especially if I'm on a trip that's 3+ weeks).

I need some semblance of normality to remain.

Otherwise I agree with everything you said, especially this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42
Don't take a navigation system. Do take a road atlas.
I totally agree! Navigation systems ruin the adventure of it.

And I think I'd get bored to death without someone to talk to. But at the same time I might get sick of them real fast. I'd also probably not have the flexibility that I wanted to have. But really, I'd DIE of boredom without someone there, but then I'd get frustrated at my lack of flexibility...you really can't win.

I haven't had the pleasure of taking a huge trip yet, but I plan to eventually.
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Old 08-06-2007, 06:57 AM
 
Location: Sheffield, England
2,639 posts, read 6,115,178 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooseketeer View Post
I think you mean per litre !
Lol, oops. Nevertheless it's sooooo expensive.

Last edited by happynoodleboycey; 08-06-2007 at 06:57 AM.. Reason: rewording
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Old 08-17-2007, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Boston
142 posts, read 610,961 times
Reputation: 72
Default We did it this summer

I have a few teenage girls, so we don't have a lot of true family vacations left in the queue. After I suggested California as a destination this summer, my wife liked the idea, but decided to drive from our home in Boston. It was a four week trip - one-way. She has the summer off, but I took two weeks of and met them in Denver.

We did most of the planning online, using Expedia, AAA, TripAdvisor, and Mapquest. We wanted to spend the time we had crossing the country once, so we rented a vehicle from Hertz. I got the best price online, then negotiated with a few outfits. Hertz threw in a vehicle upgrade and their NeverLost GPS. I did not rent from an airport to save a few hundred on airport charges (~$300 for Boston's Logan).

We decided not to rent a camper or RV. With the cost of gas, a smaller fuel-efficient crossover SUV was the choice. And, we did not want to be limited to the places that would accomodate an SUV. We started with a Ford Freestyle, then switched part of the way to a Chrylser Pacifica.

We used Mapquest to determine estimated drive times between various places, and then built an itinerary to fit our schedule. We used the various travel sites (AAA, Expedia, Travelocity) to locate places to stay. Most times, we'd find a place under $100/night that offered breakfast. During midweek, this wasn't too hard, but a challenge on the weekends. But, if you stayed in a city on the weekends, you'd find hotels that catered to business travelers had inticingly lower rates.

Expedia and other sites charge your card upon making the reservation online, which can make changes & cancellations a challenge. I'd often call the chosen hotel instead. If they had the same rate, I'd make the reservation on the phone.

The trip included many stops:

Soccer Hall of Fame (both girls play in high school)
Six Flags Darien Lake (both love roller coasters & this is a Six Flags with civilized patrons)
Cedar Point (roller coaster capital of the US)
Chicago (Taste of Chicago festival)
Mall of America (over-rated - sorry Minnesotians)
Black Hill & Mount Rushmore (beautiful countryside)
-- Pick up Dad --
Rocky Mountain National Park
Zion National Park
Grand Canyon National Park
Las Vegas
Santa Barbara for a few days of rest & sunshine
Six Flags Magic Mountain (excellent roller coasters, but 2nd to Cedar Point)
Universal Studios
Venice Beach
-- Fly home --

Most of the meals were nothing fancy. That wasn't the intent of the trip. The GPS in the Hertz vehicle (we named her wendy) could search for popular chains and shops, so we got lots of subs, salads or food in that category and ate along the road.

We agreed there was no one outstinding highlight. Outside of Arcadia, the national parks in New England are mostly historical sites, so all of these we visited were a treat. We agreed Zion was probably the best, but I'd go back to the Rocky Mountains - there's so much to explore. The prettiest drives were in South Dakota and parts of upstate New York off I-90 (Adirondacks, Finger Lakes), and the drives around southern Utah near Grand Staircase Escalante was truly spectacular. New York

We'd always assumed Bostonians were the worst drivers in the US until we got to LA. Santa Barbara is very nice town in comparison, and is a short drive to wineries and the beaches.

Someday we'll try other similar trips - Pacific Coast Highway, maybe other national parks out west, but not until we kick the kids out.
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Old 08-18-2007, 05:03 AM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
404 posts, read 568,865 times
Reputation: 51
It's on my list. Not high on the list, but it's there somewhere after the Alaska Highway. That's 85 hours round trip alone from Chicago.

I wouldn't go for the hotel/motel thing, I would be camping. the only planning I would need is to locate all the USDA Forest Service, or State Park campgrounds with showers. A map or driving plan is optional.

The other idea that makes sense is to visit state capitals. I have a Garmin GPS and have many states marked already, but I intend to get an upgraded unit, for more memory.

The basic hand held I have won't even map a complete drive from St. Louis to Chicago without saving and starting a second map. It's great for day hikes, mapping mountain trails and finding you car at a concert.
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Old 08-18-2007, 11:30 PM
 
Location: So. Dak.
13,495 posts, read 34,562,737 times
Reputation: 15110
JDavid, I like your pics.

pjscdn, glad you liked our state. You're welcome to come back any time.

But back on topic~it'd be so nice to see the entire country, but since I get car sick, I really like to just drive to the airport, jump on a plane and explore the country one area at a time. BUT if you're retired and can take your time, you could explore the country in sections. That would be so nice and if you ever do it, please post photos.
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Old 08-21-2007, 04:51 PM
 
Location: Mint Hill, NC
769 posts, read 2,014,877 times
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I would have to agree with those who would split the adventure up a bit. We've taken two 2 week trips - one was Northwest US, the other Southwest US. Each one covered 6-7 states - and even at that we had to bypass a lot of stuff. We took a motorhome, so the driving wasn't nearly so bad - you could spell each other, take a nap, fix meals without stopping.... However, you better like the people your with!! We did stop at hotels once or twice just so we could get that all over clean feeling!!!

We've also done shorter trips - a couple of states over a long weekend. BUT, if I were to do it all at once, I'm with Mooseketeer - I need a year or two!!!
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