Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Summer Road Trip help

Hello Road Tripper --

I'm lost at what to do, so I'm emailing you for road-tripping advice, considering you seem to be a road connoisseur of all sorts.

I'm going to graduate in early May and really want to drive out west and loopdy-loop around and come back to the east... I will be driving with my friend (maybe 2) and my dog Boomer (golden retriever). Regardless we are looking for a real good time. We're young, adventurous and will have been recently thrown into the real world. I'm willing to camp out more or less the whole way, with an occasional stop for showering etc. Here is the tricky part, I'm starting in New Hampshire (or maybe Vermont...) and want to go to these places:

The Badlands
Denver, co
Painted deserts
maybe drive through some "real" south eastern cities too (not on the top of my list though)

And anything else that is truly something I should see
I also kind of want to see Carhenge...
(this list is an awful lot to ask)

I don't know how exact you can get but I can only hope for the best. I'm hoping to get a route and begin to fill in all the details of lodging, etc.

Can you tell me of any necessary diners/lodging we should stop in along the way too?
I should mention I am hoping to capture the trip with my camera, making a photojournal of sorts...this may be useful information or me just rambling but its out there now.

Thank you greatly.


Hello Sarah,

Thank you for writing in to Road Trip USA. Sounds like you're planning a great trip -- I just hope the weather has improved by May, so you can get out into these wild places without having to shiver in the snow.

Camping out is a great way to really get a feel for the land, especially out west -- you'll get to soak up sunsets and sunrises and star gaze (and take the occasional shower...).

Judgingby your inclusion of Carhenge as a must-see sight, you seem to be in the right state of mind to enjoy for the adventurous aspects ahead, but I have a couple of "practical" things I'll suggest that may ease your way: one would be to join the AAA auto club, which is a great source of free maps, local info from offices all over the country, and reliable help if you break down on the road. The other would be to pick up as detailed a road atlas as you can find -- I cover some 40,000 miles worth of great roads in my books, but there are some 3 million miles of roads in the USA, and having a good atlas will help you find the best ones, wherever you are. Rand McNally is pretty good (I usually buy last year's editions, saving 75% or more...)

And as far as lodging / dining options, I list tons of them in my book , and there are plenty more to explore and discover for yourself -- just try to stay off the big roads (like I-80) and everything will be fine.

The places you list are all great -- if you like landscapes, heading to the Four Corners region (where most of these "painted deserts" are found) is your best bet. And there are plenty of camping spots out there among all the national and state parks.

And Carhenge is definitely worth a look -- it's a cool piece of roadside kitsch, and can be seen as an indictment of our car-obsessed fossil-fuel dependent culture (about which I am guilty as they come...). Plus it's very near Mt Rushmore in SD, which should also be on your list.

Definitely take a camera, and lots of notes along the way -- you've got the experiences of a lifetime coming down the road!

Happy Trails,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA


Post a Comment

<< Home