Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Thoughtful Travel - PA to CA

Hello Jamie,

I would appreciate your advice on my upcoming road trip.

This trip is serving a few purposes: moving some of my previously stored possession from the east to west coast, where I plan to live for the next year and a half; serving as a kind of "fieldwork" for my dissertation on meaningful travel experiences; while also allowing me a little fun and adventure during the transition into a new life phase.

My time is shorter than would like (7-8 days or so)---so it seems doubtful that I will be able to take secondary roads for the entire trip. I am starting in Emmaus, PA and stopping in Ames, IA, Denver, Glenwood Springs, CO, and possibly Las Vegas before arriving at my new home on the southern CA coast. Other than that, I plan on trying to camp in a tent most other nights. Thanks in advance for any suggestions that you are able to give.

Kind regards,



Hi Darla --

Thanks for writing n to Road Trip USA, and I hope I can help you with your big adventure. SoCal is a nice destination for some contemplative fieldwork -- I drive thru there ever Thanksgiving, on my way down Pacific Coast Highway from SF , and often wish I could linger longer on the beaches...

BUT - As I started writing I realized I didn't notice when you are taking this trip -- so I'll make it quick and hope you can get back to me if you want more ideas.

Since your time is fairly tight for the 2800-mile trek; you're looking at 400 miles a day, so I think you are right to count on freeways for a lot of your driving. Taking your more northerly route (via Iowa and Colorado) has one big advantage: you'll pass through the gorgeous red-rock country of central Utah, via Arches and Canyonlands and all sorts of amazingly beautiful scenery. I'd say save what "free time" you have to explore this area -- waking up in the clear high-desert air after a night under the stars will certainly clear your head before you have to deal with the insanity of Las Vegas !


Vaya con Dios + Happy Trails,

Jamie Jensen


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