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USA road trips
Old 11-05-2012, 05:03 PM   #1
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USA road trips

Anybody for long road trips, like seeing the whole USA and taking pictures?

I was looking at Road trip USA and saw hundreds of possible trips.
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:30 PM   #2
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My husband and I both took 12 week unpaid sabbaticals from our jobs when we first got married. We spent 6 of those weeks driving from Philly to SF, up to Victoria BC, and back to Philly.

It was awesome.

But I'm not sure I need to drive across the midwest again. It was cool to see the Arch in St. Louis, eat BBQ in Kansas City, MO, and see the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD... but there's a lot of flat nothingness too. And Chicago was way cool.
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:37 PM   #3
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Long road trips? How long until one would think of an RV? And hundreds of trips? Oh yes, that was why I got a motor home.

I have been reading blogs of some full-time RV'ers. Most have enough of travel after about 10 years, and settle down to a permanent or semi-permanent home again.

So, if I think in terms of treks of 6 weeks or up to two months in duration, then I can talk about dozens of trips, not hundreds, before both the RV and myself would be worn out.

PS. My wife likes RV treks now, I think. Just the other day, I said that our next RV should be a smaller one, like a Roadtrek, so that she could drive it, and so that we would not need to tow a car. She said that would be a good idea. There's a lot of travel for us to do yet with the one we have, and what I was telling my wife was something 5-10 years in the future.
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road trips
Old 11-05-2012, 07:23 PM   #4
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road trips

Maybe I should have qualified it with the word "budget" and limited to one to three weeks.
The plan is:
1. To eventually see all the states & canada in about 5 years before we get too old..
2. Use our existing vehicles.( Honda and Ford F150 truck)
3. Stay nightly in a cheap motel or hotel.
4. Take as much photos as possible from the road.
5. Take time and enjoy and adjust to weather condition.
6. Keep the expenses to about $100-150/ day while on the road.
7. Keep a pace that my wife will tolerate.,
8. At least 3-4 days travel, back, to home base(Colorado).
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:41 PM   #5
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We arrived home today from our final RV road trip for 2012. We spent 70 nights in the RV in six states this year, visiting both "old favorite" locations and exploring some new places.

While I would love to see the entire US and Canada, our problem is we have too many places we enjoy going back to for a second, third, or umpteenth visit. That limits our ability to venture as far as we (OK, maybe I should say "I") would like. But we're enjoying ourselves, and that's the real goal...
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birchwood View Post
Maybe I should have qualified it with the word "budget" and limited to one to three weeks.
The plan is:
1. To eventually see all the states & canada in about 5 years before we get too old..
2. Use our existing vehicles.( Honda and Ford F150 truck)
3. Stay nightly in a cheap motel or hotel.
4. Take as much photos as possible from the road.
5. Take time and enjoy and adjust to weather condition.
6. Keep the expenses to about $100-150/ day while on the road.
7. Keep a pace that my wife will tolerate.,
8. At least 3-4 days travel, back, to home base(Colorado).
We used to do road trips like that when we were younger, and have found that there was just too much driving and not enough sightseeing and resting. To reduce driving, we would fly up to the area, then rent a car for sightseeing. Now that we are retired and have more time, an RV seems to work well for us. Of course, YMMV.

PS. Some people do not like RV'ing, and I can understand that. But regarding budget, used RVs are not that expensive, and many usable ones with a lot of life left in them cost what some people pay for a new mid-range car, meaning $20K to $30K.
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:56 PM   #7
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DW (then girlfriend) and I took a month off from work when we were 25 in May 1980 and did a cross country trip.

Roughly VT>NJ>Chicago>Omaha>Denver>Salt Lake City>Eureka, CA>LA>Yosemite>CA desert>San Diego>Grand Canyon>Charlotte, NC>NJ>VT.

We stayed with friends and family along the way, camped out some (in a two-person pup tent) and sprang for hotel rooms a couple times. It was one of the best trips we have ever taken and I would love to do it again (less spartanly of course) but am not so keen on long drives as I was back then.

I recall on the long haul from the Grand Canyon to Charlotte we had been driving about 24 hours and were in Oklahoma in the wee hours of the morning - it was raining cats and dogs and there were tornados 10 miles ahead of us and 10 miles behind us. We checked into a hotel at 8am in the morning, slept all day and then hit the road that night for Charlotte.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:03 PM   #8
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My own druthers influence this list, but possibilities would include The Smokies, Florida Keys, New England, Pacific Coast Highway, etc.

I enjoy the Rockies, as well, but since you live in Colorado...

Probably old US highways and state highways in many states where you see better scenery and more local color/flavor.

On a recent visit to the Portland, OR area, I drove to the coast on Hwy 6, through Tillamook State Forest, then up the PCH to Astoria, then looped back to Portland. Another day I drove the Old Columbia Gorge Hwy and Mt Hood loop. Lots of opportunities for scenic photography.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:30 PM   #9
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We have driven but our favorite trips have been by bicycle. You can go with a tour company or DIY. We DIY and use guidance from Adventure Cycling and searching blogs. AC maps are great. If you enjoy bicycling consider bicycle touring. A great way to go anywhere in the world.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:37 PM   #10
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Here are some trips we've done that would fit in your 3 week window. We tend to drive for a day, then stay at least for 2 nights before driving again.

Denver, Salt Lake City, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Yosemite, Las Vegas, Zion, (Arches) Denver.

Denver to Minneapolis (at least 2 days), then to Duluth, Thunder Bay, Across the northern side of Lake Superior, Toronto & back. You could complete the circle around the lake by going through Sault-Ste-Marie and then west along the south shore & up to the Keweenaw peninsula & head back via the north woods of Wisconsin, Madison & then through boring IA & NE to Denver

We did this one before we lived in Denver. Albuquerque to Santa Fe to Taos, To Durango to Winslow to Sedona to Phoenix. You could modify it to start & end in Denver.

A colorado trip : Denver to Great Sand Dunes, Pagossa Springs, Durango, Telluride, Crested Butte & back

We use hotwire & priceline to get the best hotel deals. There is a great site called betterbidding.com to help you.

Have fun!
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birchwood View Post
Anybody for long road trips, like seeing the whole USA and taking pictures?

I was looking at Road trip USA and saw hundreds of possible trips.
Yup - life long dream. Have my bucket list of places ready and plan on hitting the road by 4/2013. I'll have to check out the website.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:44 PM   #12
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DW and I usually take three or four two or three week road trips per year. We rent a car with unlimited free mileage and strive to drive as many miles as possible. IMHO this is the cheapest way to go. We rent a current year full-size model and in recent years the gas milaeage has usually averaged over 30 MPG. When we pick the rental car up, it is clean. When we turn it in, it is very dirty. If it breaks down, we tell the rental company to pick it up and give us another one. (This is theoretical. We've never had a rental car break down.)

We have our favorite places, like the Big Bend country (Texas) and Gulf of Mexico coast in winter and Colorado high country in summer. We also try new routes. We usually stay off the interstates and away from the big cities. Since I am retired I have time to plan the trips in advance and I make reservations for every night in advance at economy motels. We like the motels where you can park in front of your room on the ground floor.

We have been to all 48 contiguous states and Canada. Will probably drive to Alaska at some point.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:14 PM   #13
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We spend about half of each year on two/three weeks trips in our RV -- about 35,000 miles per year.

Recently, we took our 14 year old granddaughter and her friend with us on a four week excursion. This is how I summed it up on my Facebook page:

Quote:
This is for those folks who wonder if this type of trip is affordable:

Total Cost - $5,456.25 ($341 per person per week)

30 days/12 States – Wyoming, South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah.

6,766 miles

This breaks down as:

Meals - $1,679.41 (1/2 of this amount was for five meals – Bourbon House-New Orleans ($288.74); Irene’s- New Orleans ($211.79); Lunch at Antoine’s-New Orleans ($113.75); Marlowe’s-Memphis ($110.64); and, Fiesta Mexicana-Moab ($103.11).)

Gasoline - $1,676.14 (500.4 gallons - $3.35 per gallon average – 13.3 mpg.)

Campgrounds - $1,096.35 (Ranging from $69.94 per night (Moran, Wyoming) to $17.50 (Kerrville, Texas) -- $35.36 average (31 nights).)

Admissions - $990.54 (Ranging from $191.63 (Six Flags) and $129.60 (Graceland) to $12.00 (Long House Tour-Mesa Verde).

Toll Roads & Bridges - $14.00

Addendum: I forgot to mention that we ran the generator for about four hours total. It runs off the gas tank. At 105 degrees we quite often needed Air Conditioning while stopped. This would have had an effect on the MPG -- probably 1 whole MPG.
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:51 AM   #14
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We've done several trips from Chicago to Phoenix and return, all with different routes. Took a road trip through the Smoky Mountains, and sveral mini-trips to Wi,Mi,Ia. We want to expand to the coasts. I want to get s small rv like a Roadtrek, but DW has nixed the idea so far.
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:08 AM   #15
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I want to get s small rv like a Roadtrek, but DW has nixed the idea so far.
We have a 2008 210 Versatile. For the type of travel that is the subject of this thread, a Class B RV is the perfect solution for a couple... and, certainly, for a single traveler.

Most importantly, they can go anywhere a car can go (well, except for heighth).

They are perfect for the "motel" traveler since it is in reality just a room. It is your room, however, with your own pillow and mattress... and no bedbugs. And, as far as that goes, your own food. In other words, no matter where you are... you are home.

I am unsure how valuable this type of RV is for "campers," however. They are a bit confining to live in for extended periods... unless the couple are very, very tolerant of each other. Without the "newness" of exploring to break up the day, that could present a problem.
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:29 AM   #16
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This is what the trip with the grandaughter and friend looks like on a map:

trip.JPG

In case you are wondering, we had a small trailer/tent for the girl's "room."

Trip-2.JPG

Trip-3.JPG

The "hits" of the trip were Graceland, three nights in the French Quarter (New Orleans), and Canyonlands. Well, their first time to an ocean -- camped on the beach on Padre Island -- ranks pretty high, also. Oh, yeah, the UFO Museum in Roswell... okay, it all was fun.
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:45 AM   #17
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What a wonderful way to bond with grandkids.
You rock!
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:42 AM   #18
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Dh and I plan to continue to work our way thru the national parks as part of our bucket list in retirement. (he is only semi-retired for now) If we have 9 days or less we fly, if longer, we drive. We are currently planning an 8 day trip to Bryce/Zion or the Grand Canyon in late spring. We are very fortunate that our youngest son who lives in CA (we're in the midwest) is able to join us for 3-4 days on most of our vacations.
Once DH is fully retired (next few yrs) we will be taking extended roadtrips throughout the USA. I don't think we will buy an RV but I could see renting one to see how it works out for us.
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:47 AM   #19
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Dh and I plan to continue to work our way thru the national parks as part of our bucket list in retirement.
Good for you. This should be on everyone's Bucket List... well, U.S. Citizens for sure. Just make sure you include the National Monuments for some of them are as, if not more, impressive as the Parks.
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:11 PM   #20
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Summer of 1974 in a 53 Hp VW split-window Bus.

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