First Roadtrip/Tell me your tales!

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First Roadtrip/Tell me your tales!

Post by InkAndComb on Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:48 pm

I know I've posted a lot of advice requests or other items, but I thought I'd put this out there: I'm taking my first road trip, and I'm super excited about it! Does anyone want to share stories of their 'first's? First time travelling ,first time going to a specific spot, first time roadtrips, etc.


I'd love to hear people's travel tales in general as well!
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Re: First Roadtrip/Tell me your tales!

Post by Guest on Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:10 pm

In the order of places I've been...

I live in Southern California, so trips to Tijuana are almost mandatory, considering my mother is from there especially I've been there plenty of times.

Then I've gone further south to Guadalajara, where my dad is from, also in Mehico. It's a city that is much different enough from Tijuana, I gotta say.

Then I've been Las Vegas, I went when I was 11 and I hated it. I know, I know, "Go back, it's so much fun as an adult!" Yeah, well, I don't want to. I have zero desire to go back to Vegas. Ever. I feel like I'll have more fun in the desert outside of Vegas shooting guns at cans and glass bottles.

Anyway, after that I've been to San Francisco, THAT was cool. I loved San Fran, it was super cool.

The latest travels I've been to Miami (only stayed in the air port for a few hours, still counts Razz) and Haiti which was also super cool. I went to Haiti as a documentarian for my church's mission trip.

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Re: First Roadtrip/Tell me your tales!

Post by Wondering on Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:12 am

Oh, lord. Did you start a road trip thread and ask for people to share their stories? I will never stop.

Road trips as a kid: To Omaha. All around Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, England, and Scotland. All around the Pacific Northwest. To Mount Rushmore and Badlands National Park. To the Redwoods via Crater Lake.

Road trips as an adult:
To Reno.
To Salt Lake City.
To North Dakota.
To 47 state and provincial capitals over the course of a month, to Halifax via Phoenix, I like to call it.
To most of the remaining capitals over two weeks, to Banff via Chicago and Ottawa.
To Glacier National Park.
To 15 eastern national parks. We drove to Key West from Seattle.
To Alaska. (This is the crown jewel in my road trip crown.)
To Yosemite.

That's not counting all the day or overnight trips we've taken around Washington, Oregon, Idaho, or British Columbia, both as a kid and an adult.

Non-road trip travel as an adult: Twice to England. To New Orleans. To New York City. To central California deserty areas. To Connecticut. To Hawaii (big island, Oahu, Maui on one trip). To Las Vegas. To Boston.

Almost all of these trips are first times to these places. There are so many places in the world to see, I usually don't revisit because there's something new I'd rather drive/travel to instead.

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Re: First Roadtrip/Tell me your tales!

Post by readertorider on Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:16 pm

My family drove 14-22 hours (each way) to visit grandparents every year as a kid. My two favorite car games are the ABC game (see a sign with a word that starts with 'A' then 'B'...) and the 24 game (try to make 24 by multiplying, dividing, adding, or subtracting the numbers on a license plate). I'm also rather proficient at punch buggy Smile

The first trip of any real distance that I drove was to bring back a friend for my highschool graduation party. 3+ hours in the car each way. I remember assigning my brother/copilot to watch for airplanes since "speed enforced by aircraft" signs were all over and I may not have been strictly following the posted speed limit...

My first airplane trip alone was as a freshman in highschool. I had packed so many water bottles that my suitcase was overweight and I had to unpack them all while dad laughed at me. I could lift the bag though!

I really want to drive to the redwood forest again. My family went there once and it was magical. Also Alaska. My car's fuel efficient, it might be possible in the next few years if I can find a friend to con into going with me.
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Re: First Roadtrip/Tell me your tales!

Post by Wondering on Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:39 pm

If you do drive to Alaska, get The Milepost travel book. It tells you where all the gas stations, hotels, and restaurants are along the way, as well as history of the places and points of interest and such. I had an Alaskan friend tell me to get it, and I'd go so far as to say it would be foolish not to have it. You can't always count on gas being available when you need it along the Alcan.

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Re: First Roadtrip/Tell me your tales!

Post by readertorider on Sun Mar 15, 2015 6:08 pm

Thank you! I've never heard of it before. So far the Sun Road in Montana is probably my favorite stretch of road-the waterfalls, the mountains, and Alaska seems like it would be similar but with bonus glaciers and larger wildlife, but I really do need to find out more information to make things a reality and The Milepost looks like it'll be really helpful.
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Re: First Roadtrip/Tell me your tales!

Post by The Wisp on Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:35 pm

The best road trips I've had are the ones through rural Utah. The scenery is so beautiful!
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Re: First Roadtrip/Tell me your tales!

Post by Werel on Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:29 am

ROAD TRIP! Gosh I miss these! Living in Hawaii is great and all, but you can't drive very far unless you've got an amphibious vehicle. Razz

My proudest road trip achievement so far is driving from Boston to Oakland in under 3 days. Granted, my boyfriend took driving shifts, and granted, we felt like living death when we got there, but damn if that doesn't still feel like an accomplishment. We used to take long road trips (2-3 weeks) just kinda moseying towards various cities we wanted to see, staying off interstates, eating sandwiches out of a cooler and sleeping in a tent with our dog. I miss those trips. Lovestruck

Favorites stops I've made while roadtripping in the continental U.S., in no order:

1) Herby-K's, Shreveport, LA. Best crawfish etouffee I've ever eaten in my life. If you go, look for the 500 CFA note taped behind the bar. I put it there. Laughing
2) Dinosaur Land, White Post, VA. Best friend and I got there while it was closed for the winter, so we hopped the fence and left $20 taped to the admission booth. This place features life-size dioramas of dinosaurs fighting Civil War soldiers. You heard me.
3) PIGEON FORGE, TENNESSEE. Southeastern Vegas. Dollywood!! Kitsch out the nostrils! Truly magical memories here.
4) Fern Canyon, CA. Breathtakingly gorgeous. And there are elk!
5) The Grand Canyon. Nothing I can say that hasn't been said better.
6) Vegas! I walked out of Caesar's Palace up $7!
7) California redwoods. Oh my gosh. Primordial.
8 ) Niagara Falls: Fun! Goofy (the colored lights at night)! Full of Chinese tourists! Also magnificent!
9) Arches National Park, Utah: We stole some really, really, really amazing land, you guys. Neutral
10) All of Montana, really. I'd never driven for hours without seeing a building before. It shakes all kinda things loose inside you. Glacier National Park is also incredible.
11) California Route 1! TOO SCENIC!
12) Devil's Tower, Wyoming. Get all those Close Encounters shivers. (No really you can tell it's an extremely sacred place, f'real) Grin
13) If you're ever on Oahu for some reason, drive the Pali Highway. Very beautiful short trip. Just don't bring any pork in your car.

2 week road trip across southern Ireland was my college graduation present (yeah, yeah) and was also indescribably magical. The Ring of Kerry is the best driving I've ever done. I know it's touristy, but there's a reason: it's heart-stopping, religious-experience beautiful. The greens are supernaturally green and everything is so gentle and old.

Dang, readertorider, I am vicariously very excited for your road trip. Bring back stories for us. Grin
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Re: First Roadtrip/Tell me your tales!

Post by waxingjaney on Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:07 am

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Re: First Roadtrip/Tell me your tales!

Post by Wondering on Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:13 pm

The Hanford Site is what they pick from Washington? Not Mount Rainier National Park or Mt. St. Helens National Monument? Hanford? A nuclear hazard?

Mt. St. Helens is just a tad north of Portland, which their route goes through. I object to Hanford. Suspect

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Re: First Roadtrip/Tell me your tales!

Post by eselle28 on Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:34 pm

Heh, someone taking that trip would end up passing right by me. Fort Union is admittedly fairly interesting. I'd suggest a slight alteration to the route. If you're already driving past Teddy Roosevelt National Park, why not take add an hour or two to your trip and actually drive through it?  The hills are pretty in summer, and there's always the chance you'll see bison (or have one decide to stand in front of your car). The choice of passing through Glacier is a good one - I'm highly biased, but I think it's the national park with the best natural beauty:overcrowding ratio.

The choice for Washington confuses me as well, especially since Mt. St. Helens is pretty cool and taps into that same disaster vibe.

On the New York point, going to the Statue of Liberty takes all goddamn day and is a fairly miserable experience. Plus, it's a huge statue. You can see it from Lower Manhattan for free. I mean, I suspect the trip adviser was just telling people to stop in NYC, but if you can only do one thing there, that would not be my recommendation.
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Re: First Roadtrip/Tell me your tales!

Post by Wondering on Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:39 am

Oh, yeah. I didn't read the spot for ND but assumed it was Theodore Roosevelt NP based on the map. We saw bison there. And wild horses!

It's also silly that they're going straight down I-5 from Portland to California and not detouring to Crater Lake instead of doing the Columbia River Highway.

Actually, I'm annoyed with much of this trip plan. Off to plan my own now. Grin

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Re: First Roadtrip/Tell me your tales!

Post by Wondering on Sat Mar 21, 2015 12:53 am

Okay, since I like to plan road trips recreationally, I took this as a challenge. I used similar criteria to them, except not stopping twice in California. I also picked actual, full-fledged National Parks when a state had one (because I think most states are proud of having a national park?), and then went with national monuments, battlefields, memorials, historic sites, etc. if there wasn't a full-blown park.

I used the NPS official website to pick these places since a lot of the ones listed in the link are not run by the NPS, so I don't know how they're counting them as national parks.

Here's what I picked in order. You could start anywhere on the route since it's circular, but I started with my state.

1. Mount Rainier National Park, WA
2. Crater Lake National Park, OR
3. Yosemite National Park, CA
4. Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
5. Zion National Park, UT
6. Great Basin National Park, NV
7. Craters of the Moon National Monument, ID
8. Yellowstone National Park, WY
9. Badlands National Park, SD (you could also do Mt. Rushmore or Wind Cave; the route is the same)
10. Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, NE
11. Nicodemus National Historic Site, KS
12. Great Sand Dunes National Park, CO
13. Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
14. Guadalupe Mountains National Park, TX
15. Chickasaw National Recreation Area, OK
16. George Washington Carver National Monument, MO
17. Hot Springs National Park, AR
18. Poverty Point National Monument, LA
19. Vicksburg National Military Park, MS
20. Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site, AL
21. Everglades National Park, FL
22. Fort Pulaski National Monument, GA
23. Congaree National Park, SC
24. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC
25. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
26. Shenandoah National Park, VA
27. Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, WV
28. The National Mall, DC
29. Fort McHenry National Monument, MD
30. First State National Monument, DE
31. Independence National Historical Park, PA
32. Morristown National Historical Park, NJ
33. Weir Farm National Historic Site, CT
34. Roger Williams National Memorial, RI
35. Boston National Historical Park, MA
36. Acadia National Park, ME
37. Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, NH
38. Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Site, VT
39. Niagara Falls National Heritage Area, NY
40. Cuyahoga Valley National Park, OH
41. Mammoth Cave National Park, KY
42. Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, IN
43. Lincoln Home National Historic Site, IL
44. Effigy Mounds National Monument, IA
45. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, WI
46. Isle Royale National Park, MI (via boat from Grand Portage MN)
47. Voyageurs National Park, MN
48. Theodore Roosevelt National Park, ND
49. Glacier National Park, MT

It's 13,615 miles to hit all 49 spots, plus an extra 579 to end up back at the start, so 14,194 total. Which is more than theirs, true, but only one extra day to get to much better sites. I estimate it taking 30 days driving, plus a day for the ferry to Isle Royale and back. Plus time to see the parks when you're there. That's on your own estimate. Wink

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