Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Loneliest Road - Cleveland to SF & back!

Hi Jamie,

This upcoming summer I plan on embarking on a ambitious road trip in which I would start in Cleveland and end up in San Francisco. My plan is to take I-80 West until I get into Nevada at which point I will hope on route 50 and get a taste of the "Loneliest Road in America". After that I will proceed to take I-80 West until San Francisco. I was wondering if you would be so kind as to give a first time cross country road tripper some helpful tips and tricks for surviving and getting there in back without falling behind schedule. Thanks much and keep up the good work!



Hello Jonah --

Many thanks for writing in to Road Trip USA -- heading west is a great way get to know the USA. I-80 is a pretty good route -- especially if you let yourself off the freeway every once in a while, to explore some of the back roads, small towns and scenic highways. US-50 across Nevada is definitely a road to drive -- I also like the stretch of old US20 across Nebraska, which can take you to such road-trip icons and must-sees as Mt Rushmore, Yellowstone and Grand Tetons.

On your way back home (or is this a one-way trip!?), I'd recommend you explore a little of the "Four Corners" region, which has a wide range of natural scenery and amazing history and cultural variety.

My main "practical" advice would be to recommend that you do as much reading and research as you can bear, before you go -- hanging out in libraries or bookstores, checking out the Road Trip USA website, and the book version, too.

And once you are out there "on the road", don't be shy about asking questions and talking to people. Another good habit for staying sane on the road would be to find a place to sleep each night before the sun goes down, then get up as early as you can and eat a big (usually good value) breakfast at as local a diner / cafe you can find -- this will help prevent exhaustion, and will also put you in touch with local people along the way, who are every bit as important to the "road trip experience" as the sights you will see.

Hope you have a great trip,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA

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