Road Trip USA

Old Mar 20th, 2007, 10:32 AM
  #21  
 
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I think the 2-base plan is very sound, but a couple of comments...

First, I'd suggest including Utah, (parts of) Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona in the "southwest" portion of the trip. Anti-clockwise (in this country "counter-clockwise") route - LV to Grand Canyon to Monument Valley to Canyon de Chelly (the whole 4 Corners area is Navajo country, biggest res in the US) to Santa Fe (New Mexico) to Taos to Durango (Colorado) to Mesa Verde, then back past Monument Valley and into Utah, seeing Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks before returning to LV. If this is too much, then you can cut out the New Mexico and Colorado portions if you choose.

One big note about the area you'd be visiting is that it's at very high altitude for the most part; 1500m/5000 ft up to 2500+m/8000+ ft in places. If your parents have any respiration or cardio issues, they'd best check with their doctors before traveling - might be awkward to arrange if it's a surprise, so advance planning... you get it.

For the northeastern part of the trip, I'd really recommend that if time permits you include a drive from Montreal (via wonderful Quebec City) down the St Lawrence to the mouth and the Gaspe Peninsula. Beautiful country, interesting towns, and very much the heart of French Canada. From there, the drive south through New Brunswick into Maine, and zig-zagging through Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine itself into Boston, is very enjoyable. My special recommendation goes to Portsmouth NH - a lovely old town, walkable and scenic as well as very historic. Great time of year for that part of the continent as well.

Happy planning!
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Old Mar 20th, 2007, 10:52 AM
  #22  
 
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If you use the suggested route that Gardyloo posted, consider adding Moab, Utah to your route and stop at Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park, then on to Bryce Canyon by way of Capitol Reef.
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Old Mar 20th, 2007, 11:44 AM
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Big plus to plan B is no huge one way drop off fee on the rental car!
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Old Mar 20th, 2007, 11:59 AM
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“Ta very much... i dont think im all that organised to do that!!!”

“Sorry for being a pain... just a big trip and i dont wanna get it wrong!”

Sounds to me like you are fixing to have one heck of an expensive and frustrating\eye opening road trip.
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Old Mar 20th, 2007, 12:55 PM
  #25  
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wow...big thanks for all that help and advice!! No wonder this site was recommended!!!

Although it wasnt recommended for putting a dampner on anything... so as far as expensive goes... not an issue either way.... money comes and money goes - why die rich. AS for frustrating.... life is so why not do it while seeing something beautiful.

Ta very much to everyone
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Old Mar 21st, 2007, 03:42 PM
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I'm going to disagree with Plan B. By doing plan be, it will be nothing resembling Road Trip USA. It will simply be a trip to two different spots.

Between Vegas and Montreal, there is a beautiful northly route you could take, through Montana (Yellowstone is great), the Dakotas (the Badlands), MInnesota and Wisconsin (Lake Country), the great city of Chicago, and on over to the northeast.

There is also a southerly route, which I shall call the BBQ route, through Texas, New Orleans, up through Applachia, and into the Northeast.

There is alot more to the US than the southwest and northeast. With a month, why not see the country?
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Old Mar 22nd, 2007, 02:26 PM
  #27  
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very good point... i just wondered if it was all too much... didnt want to sit and just see the view from the car windows.... only i know the US is big.. so didnt wanna push too much into the time frame.

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Old Mar 24th, 2007, 09:37 PM
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I wouldn't worry about the time factor. Last year we took a sort-of-circular drive of NW USA and W Canada starting and finishing in San Francisco which added up to almost 9,000 km (I'm assuming you're English and won't have a problem with my use of kilometres) in 5 weeks. That included side trips, drives to the supermarket and whatnot.

We stayed between 1 and 3 nights at each stopping-off point and aimed to drive no more than 500 km in any one day. Overall it was pretty easy and relaxed driving.

And despite being Australian and therefore used to long-distance driving there were a few days that dragged, mainly towards the end. I think we just started to suffer from the cumulative effect of spending a lot of time in the car and living out of a suitcase.

Having said all that, it's easily the best way to see the real America, particularly if you stay off the interstates and wend your way along some of those secondary roads. At no time did we feel any less safe than we do at home. Trust me, the natives really are friendly.
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Old Mar 25th, 2007, 04:50 AM
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We are, aren't we?
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Old Mar 25th, 2007, 07:35 AM
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haha i hope they are...

as for using km... not a chance in hell... miles makes much more sense!
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Old Mar 25th, 2007, 08:24 AM
  #31  
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1. You do know that most rental car agenies will tack on a "one-way" fee of several hundred dollars if you do not return the car to the original rental city?

2. A two year old is not going to tolerate as long a drives as you may want to do. Plan much shorter days.

3. If I understand, you will have 3 adults and one child, plus luggage. You will need a larger vehicle than an economy car, so there will be additional cost. And a proper child carseat is MANDATORY to drive in the USA. The rental car place may have one, but you need to factor the cost into your rental.
 
Old Mar 26th, 2007, 02:38 AM
  #32  
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ta very much... i already took into accounts those factors.... last road trip we did we just bought a car seat then dumped it (cheaper than hiring one)... estimate of costs for one way drop off is $500... so not a problem with that also....

ts for advice though!
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Old Mar 26th, 2007, 06:13 AM
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As for the drive-all-the-way option (v. two nodes) I think a reality check is needed. To drive from, say, central New Mexico to, say, Montreal, is probably around five days on the road, depending on your pace. Freeway/motorway all the way, plentiful roadside accommodations, etc. - so if you want to take the time to experience the continental scale of things, there's no reason whatsoever not to do so.

People will argue over the relative merits of one route over another, or where to stop or sightsee or detour... fine. Get some guidebooks and plan away.

In March/April, some places will be either relatively inaccessible or relatively unattractive - high country still in snow (or worse, "breakup") or spring floods in some areas... you'll need to be aware of local conditions, just as you would anywhere else.

But the full drive can be great fun. See, for instance, http://www.roadsideamerica.com/index.html. Now how can one really pass up the world's largest ball of twine (Cawker City, Kansas) or the Mitchell (SD) Corn Palace?

In 10 days' time my brother in law and I are driving coast-to-coast (retreiving some un-flyable personal effects from a late relative) and while we'll be pushing the pedal to some extent, we'll still have time to get some good diner food in Ohio ("No, no, honey - we just had salads...") and visit Wild Bill's and Calamity Jane's graves in Deadwood... how can one not carpe the diem?

Happy planning!
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