Saturday, March 27, 2010

Philly to California, via Virginia and Mississippi and ?

Dear Jamie,

First of all let me congratulate you for such a nice and organized site. The blog is an excellent source of ideas and information.

I am originally from Brazil and have lived near Davis (Go Aggies!!!) in northern California, but at the end of last year I made a wrong turn in my life and ended up in Philadelphia. Nothing personal, but I miss California and am dying to go back.

My husband and I are now planning to drive back to California sometime between May and August 2010. Believe it or not, I know more of US territory than he does, as I travelled several times to US in my ‘past life’. I would like to see as much as possible during this trip. I was thinking on going down through the Appalachian Trail, to Southern Pacific and up on PCH 1. Alternatively we could get the Loneliest Rd to Rt 66.

Just a little bit of our background, when we first met we travelled together through Arizona and Utah, hiking Grand Canyon, Sedona, Zion… Wonderful!!! We are planning to take a two week trip. What would be your advice? Also are there any GPS maps available with your routes? If not yet, may I leave here the suggestion?

Thanks in advance !



Hello Maria --

Olá! -- and thank you for writing in to Road Trip USA.

Brazil to California, to Philly, and back again -- quite a trip!

I am very glad to hear you are planning to show off America to your husband (it upsets me that Americans wiill travel to Italy but don''t explore their own land, which is full of such fantastic places...)

In the East, the Appalachian Trail route will take you thru some fascinating and historic places (I really like the Shenandoah Valley, and Thos. Jefferson's Charlottesville VA)

And before you set off cross-country, maybe you can take some practice trips out from Philly to the Pennsylvania "Dutch Country," or down to Gettysburg?...

A two-week trip should be enough time to see some great places -- have you been to the "Deep South"? You might enjoy New Orleans, and the character of old Mississippi towns like Natchez and Oxford, all of which are in my Great River Road trip (which I cover in a new book -- but not yet on any GPS / smartphone apps, though I am working on it...).

Across the Midwest, I really like the Route 66 trip across Oklahoma -- then maybe you could hop onto US50 across the Rocky Mountains (and don't miss Arches and Canyonlands and Capitol Reef national parks -- which look like Sedona on steroids!), and then head west on the Loneliest Road across Nevada to Lake Tahoe.

That US50 drive makes a great welcome to California, for sure (as does the detour to Yosemite National Park, just south of Tahoe).

I think maybe you can save the PCH tour for when you are back in CA for good -- you definitely don't want to be in a hurry along Big Sur!

Thanks again for writing.

Happy Trails,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA




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