Not sure when I’m going to get around to it, but I’m planning on taking a three- or four-month cross-country road trip. I’d be interested to hear what anyone has to say about where I should or shouldn’t go.
Here are my priorities:
- States I’ve never set foot or tire in (from left to right: North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Aarkansas (it should be spelled that way), Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine).
- National Parks and places to hike.
- “Checklist” stuff I haven’t seen before (e.g., Mt. Rushmore).
- Historical sites, monuments, and museums.
Here’s what I have so far as must-see locations (ordered clockwise starting in SoCal):
- Big Sur and Monterey
- Lassen Volcanic National Park
- Crater Lake National Park
- Glacier National Park
- Mt. Rushmore
- That whole claw part of Michigan
- Wright-Patterson National Museum of the US Air Force
- Niagara Falls
- The Adirondacks
- The far northeastern corner of the country (probably Acadia National Park will suffice)
- New York City (I’ve been there, I’d just like to go again)
- Ft. McHenry
- National Museum of the Marine Corps
- Shenandoah National Park and the Appalachian Trail (I’m not walking the whole thing)
- The Outer Banks
- New Orleans (so at least I know why it is I don’t like the place — or can be convinced otherwise)
- The Alamo
- Carlsbad Caverns
Otherwise I’m wide open… If I were to leave in the summer from Southern California, I’d head clockwise (up north through California then into Oregon, across the top of the country, then back down the eastern seaboard and across the southern US). If I were to leave in spring, I’d go counter-clockwise (start out heading east into Arizona).
What else? Rules of the road:
- Stay in a hotel no more (or less than) once a week — just to get cleaned up.
- Camp or stay with someone otherwise.
- Cell phone and laptop: yes.
- Stick to the state highways (and avoid interstates) as much as possible.
- Stop to help anyone I see on the side of the road.
I’d need to get a different car for the trip — 17 mpg isn’t going to cut it over 10,000 miles. If I had to choose today, I’d probably go with the Honda Fit (better gas mileage) or the Subaru WRX Wagon (better driving). Both seem pretty versatile (read: I could sleep in either one).
We’ll have to wait and see when it happens.