I'll start off by saying that I love to drive. Many of our vacations over the recent years have been long distance driving trips between 4000 and 8000 miles, normally lasting just over a week. Our trips have "must see" POIs, optional ones depending on time and of course ones we find when we talk to locals. As an example, our last year's summer road trip was literal, we went in search of some of the best driving roads (read: twisty) which covered the south-western USA and was loads of fun. Other than the driving, taking in some scenery, finding great food places and talking to the locals or others on long distance trips (usually motorcyclists) rounds out our activities nicely.
This got me to wondering, are there any others out there that enjoy these kinds of trips?
We travel south each fall and although we are down there 3 - 4 weeks, it usually involves getting somewhere quick, spending a few days there and then another long haul to somewhere else.
We normally head down to Pocatello (1100 kilometers) and spend a day or three around there, then 700 kilometers to St. George and then another 3 - 4 day layover. Then on to Vegas and Laughlin for a week each, and then back home in three days. We've been doing that for the past 10 years or so, and still find amazing sites, great eats and lovely people in all our stays.
The trip back is somewhat sad - simply because we know we're heading back to the oncoming winter!
My wife and I have traveled by car all over the USA and Canada since I retired.Have no idea how many miles but it is a lot.We have been to every state in the US except two ND and WI.Alaska and Hawaii we did take a cruise ship to those locations.We mostly go through the National Parks,National Monuments and the top attractions for the area.We have seen some of the most beautiful country God has to offered.Our next trip is back to Utah to catch some National Parks we missed ,down the Million Dollar hwy,Colorado Black Canyon of Gunnison and maybe back to Las Vegas.
I'll take about 3-4 weeks to ride across the country on my Harley each year, usually about 4K-7K mi., 350-500 mi. per day with a layover day every 3-4 days. I want to see sites, more than just pass them. I'll take a couple more rides each year, 1K-2K each.
Each ride is fully planned, including all the POIs I want to visit. I'll research each to make sure the coords are as exact as I can make them. I want to enjoy the ride and not worry about the destinations. I ride alone as I don't want to be staring at someone else's tail light the whole ride. I want to ride at my pace. This has a lot of benefits. When I travel with others I find myself less likely to meet and talk with other people. Alone, talking with others along the road is like sharing the world with everyone. I've met some facinating people. Everyone has a story they want to tell. It takes concentration to listen and not always want to tell my stories. It sure is worth listening to other people. I learn so much.
Wife & I have been doing summer LD road trips off & on for 30+ years. We are in an 'off' phase for long trips since 2005, but this post made me go back to look at the pics and I'm starting to feel itchy.
Her clutch hand is starting to get achy or something, but she hasn't ridden on my scooter for 28 years so I'm going to have to shame her into something real soon, I think. Together we've done 49 states at least once. Was thinking of doing a fly & ride in Hawaii in a couple of years to bag #50.
Didn't have the gps on our last big one (MD to AK) and we usually just ball-park a route to our destination and wander on our way there and back.
I'll start off by saying that I love to drive. Many of our vacations over the recent years have been long distance driving trips between 4000 and 8000 miles, normally lasting just over a week.
The mileage driven versus the time frame in which it's done is AMAZING
It's good to see that some people still enjoy the drive, whether it be on two or four wheels.
DanielT: Is that Pocatello ID? If so we drove through there on the last summer trip I mentioned, coming from the Moon Rock area that morning. As I remember we drove in a National forest a bit north of there and found an swesome restaurant the day before.
charlesd45: Not missing much in ND but there is some nice areas in WI. The Utah area is awesome, very beautiful landscape and so is Colorado from the million dollar hwy all the way to Estes Park and the surroundings. I'll be making more trips to these areas in the future as there is just too much to see in just one trip.
dave817 & JD4x4,
Great, now you got me thinking of a bike trip!
The mileage driven versus the time frame in which it's done is AMAZING
Those miles can add up fast but you've always got to know when to pull over and before you reach your limit. Even a couple of hours at a "rest stop inn" (as I like to call them) can do wonders.
i like a long drive
I've made a Garmin gdb file of all 107 Rustic Roads. WI used to offer a patch if you had your bike or you photographed at a Rusic Road signpost for 10 of them.
That gdb is posted on zumoforums.com in the downloads section or PM me and I'll set up a link if anyone wants it.
East of Gunderson almost to Canon City, CO is the Royal Gorge Bridge off CO-9 & US-50 over the Arkansas River. 1,000 feet up and cogwheel cars down the gorge.
I have not ridden Beartooth pass in a few years. It's like the Million Dollar Highway and very scenic. Going to the Sun Road in Glacier NP is beautiful off peak season. One of these years I want to get back to Maine, NH and VT. Lobster at the Lobster Shack on Two lights RD, South Portland, Cape Elizabeth, ME overlooking the Atlantic is such a place!
That's my occupation, I drive thousands of miles every year. Coast to coast Canada to Mexico. Also across Canada.
Where are you out of? I drive out of Montgomery AL.
We both work, so we only get to do one longish road trip each year, plus a couple of short ones. My wife is the master planner and she starts researching the big drive in January. She will pore over travel guides and the internet to build a list of interesting places and we'll spend many an hour looking at possibilities. She specializes in digging up unusual and out of the way things to see. We prefer the national parks and natural wonders of our land but have been known to make occasional short stops to pay homage to more commercial tourist traps, too.
Once we finalize our plans, then it's my turn to put that all into routes and waypoints into the GPS. In years past, I used Delorme Street Atlas with GPS on a laptop and for the last 3 or 4 years it's been with a Nuvi and a laptop in the trunk for more research and adjustments when we hit our hotel for the night.
With us, the journey, not the destination is the actual goal.
This year we're traveling to & through the Outer Banks in NC.
Very cool. I haven't done any of the WI rustic roads yet or dl'ed the zumoforums stuff yet so now's the time I guess. Thanks.
Stop it! Memories of all of those places are now dancing through my head.
I guess I'll plan the next one, and put a bunch of pois & routes on the gps for it. It's been fun just winging it, but it makes for stuff like sitting in a hotel in Calgary while the wife's bike is being worked on, and realizing that Calgary is only about half way from MD to Fairbanks, AK. We knew we had a way to go, but ..
There are a ton of M/C and Scenic poi's & threads on this site as well, and a great thread about favorite scenic roads here http://www.poi-factory.com/node/23713
By the way Dave817.. if you liked Maine, check out the loop road around the Gaspe peninsula. 98% along the coast and stunning over-water sunrises on the south & east, and sunsets on the north sides. Each little farming/fishing village usually has an old picturesque central church too. (Knowing some French is a good idea on the north & west sides, btw.)
wish I could do what you describe, even in my car.
reading your post, reminded me of the opening of a short-lived American TV series, vintage late 60's early 70's if memory serves, called "Then Came Bronson", starring Michael Parks.
The opening of the pilot showed Parks on his bike in traffic, next to a harried guy in a suit, loosened tie, in his 4 door sedan. In the midst of the slow moving bumper to bumper traffic, a short conversation ensues, and the sedan driver eventually says "boy I sure wish I was you"
I enjoy long road trips, but haven't been on a really long one in a number of years. Mine are usually under 1,000 miles. I do have an item on my bucket list to drive the entire old route 66. I don't want to try it with my current automobiles though. Will have to buy a newer one first.
Beartooth pass (Cody to Red Lodge) and Going to the Sun are very cool roads. We couldn't complete Going to the Sun due to an avalanche (in June!) but the parts we did were really nice. Also, if you're around Lewiston, ID take a run on the Old Spiral Highway, it's an awesome road! There is also a section of 14, going towards Cody from the east that takes you on 14A (I believe) that you'll want to hit.
Everthing you've said is so familiar, even down to the laptop w/ GPS. This will be our first year with the Nuvi though last winter (Texas run) we used my GF's TomTom, which BTW lead us on a few unplanned *excursions*.
We haven't travelled the East/South East parts of the US yet, for some reason I'm always drawn to the West and the mountains. I have been thinking about the Ozark area and then heading over to the Smoky mountains to run 129 "tail of the dragon" to see if it lives up to all the hype.
I'd be interested in hearing how your Outer Banks, NC trip goes and I totally agree, it's about the journey.
A couple of yrs ago i decided to try that in a car, wow. had a good time but a lot of work, there are two roads that are both really a lot of fun to drive but BE CAREFUL of them, check this out if your interested
I met Barbara about 8 years ago. We love traveling the back roads of America. From Illinois I plan theme trips. One year it is lighthouses, another is Historic Rt 66. In 06 we rode the mules into Grand Canyon & visited Arches, Bryce, Canyonlands parks and Monument Valley. Then visited all the ancient Anasazi pueblos including Mesa Verde, Chaco Canyon & Canyon de Chelly. In 08 we rafted several rivers in the West and rode all the steam trains in Colorado & NM & AZ. We travel by car & stay in budget motels most of the time to stretch our dollars. Our trips are usually 3 or 4 weeks. In my working years I could only take my kids on shorter trips. The kids seemed to like camping better than sight seeing.
One spring we just traveled around the deep south just to meet people and enjoy the southern hospitality. That was a very enjoyable trip. Barbara enjoyed shopping.
Used to drive a lot with friends right after college. A 4-hour day trip was doable back then, and fuel hovered around $1/gal. Even saw 0.89 in the summer of '01.
I guess those day are gone, not enough time to do those things. But we did drive about 1000 miles over Labor Day 2009 taking 2 extra days off.....
On my first round trip (Chicagoland/Alaska) I was gone 3 months and drove 14,000 or so miles. I dragged along a motorcycle and put 3,000 miles on it on that trip too.
On my last Alaskan trip in 2005, I did the Iron Butt Association's Ultimate Coast to Coast ride and by the time I got home, I loged 21,000 miles on the motorcycle.
Oh for the days of cheaper gas and stronger US dollar!
Gas was cheaper then but I still don't find it too bad, well when it's not at a high point.
johnnatash4: I hear ya, back in the day (I won't say how cheap gas was, that'll show my age too much!) we used to drive 16 hours to the mountains, get out of the car and ski the while day! We slept well that night I'll tell you.
RonJS: That's ALOT of miles on a bike trip! I've never done any IBA events though I have done a few full 12 hour days, its much tougher on a bike than in a car as the elements really wear you out. One of these years I'll do a big bike trip but its just too difficult right now to get any length of time off.
I'm the other way around as I find I can do longer days/nights (and a bunch more miles) on a motorcycle than my car or pickup truck. For me, the additional challenges on the bike keep me invigorated.
I drove back from Vegas to Edmonton a few years back, in one sitting! 24 hours! I left at 4:00 AM in the morning from Vegas and since it was still light out when I got to Great Falls I kept on going. Crossed the boarder at midnight and had a quick nap at Milk River. I was going to stop and over night in the van but the trucks driving by woke me up so it was back onto the road. I got back at about 5:30 AM and the last hour wasn't very good.
It was stupid of me to push it that last hour because I'm sure I wasn't very awake. Problem is that the lure of sleeping in your own bed can be very attractive.
I'm never going to do that again although a 12 hour drive is not out of the question for me. Driving is very ZEN as long as you don't end up in a higher plain of existence permanently.
I usually fly when I go on a trip. But since you asked, I bought a new delivery van at the end of Feb and it just tripped 41,000 miles yesterday. So I guess you could say I do a lot of long distance trips.
My wife and I love going to the East coast in the fall. Nothing like it. We love Vermont and hope we can buy a cottage there some day.
Driving "back east" to southern Ontario in September. It will be our 16th and 17th cross country trip to/from BC. Think I can do it on autopilot now
God, I hate that one. Go through the US, it's shorter, and cheaper gas!
15 times and we've only done the Canadian route once. Your right - US route is shorter, cheaper gas, cheaper hotels, and a lot faster on the Interstates than on the Trans Canada Hwy.
Like folksy, quaint B&B type stuff? Check out Door County (the little peninsula that sticks into Green Bay and Lake Michigan)
National Parks: Apostle Islands are great, especially in the fall (late Sept- Oct) for the colors and the apples.
Waterfalls? Pattison State Park is beautiful.
Found no where else: Try "House on the Rock" or the Circus World Museum.
Touristy: Check out Wisconsin Dells in the summer. (Winter too, but you miss a lot of outdoors stuff)
Festivals: Milwaukee has a festival every weekend (Summerfest, Germanfest, Irishfest, etc...) Lots of good food and music.
Ok, so I'm proud of my state, what can I say...
For the OP, my family just got back from a round trip of WI to ID to Glacier NP to Yellowstone NP to IA and back to WI. About 4000 miles in a camper with 4 kids 4-10 years old. That was enough, thank you very much...
Went from DC to DE and back before the 4th. Garmin 1390T worked great suggested a new route I hadn't used. Saved some time.
Between June 9th & 16th went to Winnipeg via Sarnia/ Port Huron, Chicago/ Grayslake, Hudson WI, then got into Winnipeg on the Saturday. Left Winnipeg on Wednesday @ noon got into Thunder Bay @ 9 pm, then Sault Ste Marie, then home on the 16th @ 8 hrs a day driving. Nuvi 250 got a bit wonkie coming out of Sudbury. Don't know if it was the sun shining through the windshield overheating it or something in the soil, (started doing some off roading on it own, plus loosing sat signal), shut off for awhile and held it in front of the AC vent until she cooled off then was okay. I'm still a little soar in the lower back. What we donated to the Casinos in Sarnia, Battle Creek and Sault Ste Marie probably would have covered the airfare, but we would have missed out on some great scenery. BTW loved the trek north of Superior.
Our trips tend not to be so far from home, generally east coast, especially northeast, New England in particular. We are both from New England, so it's like going home, but there is still much that we have not seen, or only passed through. I like driving, but alot of it is done once we get somewhere. We might only drive 700 miles to get there, but then spend a week or two in a location (might be more than one) as a base from which we will cover an area pretty thoroughly, so there tends to be a lot of local driving.
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