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Driving cross country

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Old 04-04-12, 01:26 PM   #1
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Default Driving cross country

It's on my bucketlist.

How many of you have done it? Yay or nay? How long and how many people did you travel with? Favorite places?

Share comments/pics please!

Edit: Was it a round-trip drive or half drive/half plane?
Edit: Choice of vehicle important?

Last edited by don; 04-04-12 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 04-04-12, 01:43 PM   #2
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i havent but i would love to. my buddy did last year when he moved from Philly to Hollywood. It was him, his wife, another friend and their dog all in 1 car. They went down south through St. Louis then across and hit up the Grand Canyon on the way. Took him 5 days i believe and he said it was fun but something he wouldnt do again.
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Old 04-04-12, 01:54 PM   #3
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My parents did it with me when I was very little from Michigan to Los Angeles. I did the trip again with my family a couple of years ago, again from Michigan to LA. We took a month off for the trip and it was definitely a worthwhile experience.

We did a northern/central US loop on the route to Cali, and did a southern loop on the way home and passed through the major US monuments and national parks such as Mt. Rushmore, Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, Four Corners, South Dakota Black Hills, and so much more. I definitely recommend it to everybody. There's so much beauty right here at home.
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Old 04-04-12, 02:18 PM   #4
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I drove from SoCal to Virginia with a friend back in '96. He flew to Germany from Virginia for an internship and I stayed in VA and worked for the summer. He flew back and we drove from Virginia to Monterey. On the way out, we mostly drove I-70 and took I-10 on the way back because we wanted to stop in New Orleans. I did the drive again on I-40 with my brother in '97 when I finished grad school and moved to DC. After a couple years in DC, I wanted to move back to CA, so my Dad and I packed up a U-Haul, put my car on a trailer, and did the drive again. Since there were some time deadlines for each trip, I didn't see as many places as I wanted to, but the road trips were all adventures.
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Old 04-04-12, 03:30 PM   #5
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My family officially did a National Lampoon like vacation across the country when I was around 15 years old. There were 8 of us; my parents, my 3 sisters (at that time 17, 5, and 3) and my grand parents. My dad rented a Suburban and we drove from NYC, to Chicago (an unplanned detour cause I read the map wrong!) to Yellowstone, then Colorado and Rocky Mountain Nat Park, the Grand Canyons, St. Louis, DC, and back home to NYC. We stopped at numerous places along the way, too. So much natural and man made beauty in our great nation. We were on the road for a month and returned the truck with over 4k miles on it. We were all so happy to be home... couldn't really begin to explain the relief. LOL!

It's a memory I will never forget. It was really fun for 1 week. The middle two were tiresome but still enjoyable. The last week, we were about to kill each other and thus the relief to be home. I will never do it again though, even if I could. but I don't think I could ever get a month off from work.

Last edited by T0ked; 04-04-12 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 04-04-12, 03:36 PM   #6
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Drove to San Francisco, don't think I could do it again. So boring and exhausting.
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Old 04-04-12, 03:36 PM   #7
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Went on a SoCal to St. Louis trip when I was younger. All I remember is going to a "ghost town," getting car sick, and my dad almost getting into a fight with an old white guy in Texas since he was being racist to us lol
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Old 04-04-12, 04:38 PM   #8
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The wife and I did a 40 day circuit of the US with our 3 kids when they were all in grade school in a 1985 Camry. Though it sounds like a recipe for disaster, it went very smoothly. We stopped at relatives or at motels every night. Our stipulation was that each motel had to have a pool. If someone misbehaved, no swimming that night. We had only one night with one kid that lost their pool privs for being a brat.

Lots of planning ahead so we knew where to stop for kid-friendly museums and places like Carlsbad caverns, Zion national park, places in DC, etc. Kids had snacks and games.

It was a blast. We saw relatives we hadn't seen in years and swam in both oceans. Nipped up to Canada too for a day at Upper Canada Village in Ontario where we all milked cows.

If there wasn't a stop that was interesting we'd drive from breakfast to dinner. Otherwise, it was just a leisurely pace in a big circle around the states.
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Old 04-04-12, 06:53 PM   #9
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When I was a teen, we took a few cross-country trips. From here in Utah, I've driven with my family to Illinois and Ohio 2 times, and then one time my dad and I flew out to Atlanta to pick up a 34' Motorhome that we bought on Ebay, and he and I rotated driving duty coming home. All 3 of those trips were great experiences, I've gotten to see the Rockies(but limited to I-70 through Denver), the plains of Kansas(boring, lol), a lot of LDS history sites in Missouri and Illinois(a personal thing for me, my ancestors experienced all of that from the beginning), and of course St. Louis. Coming home from Atlanta, got to stop in Memphis and visit Graceland. I've driven to Little Rock, AR two times. One was a two day trip in our truck with no A/C in June. Left the truck there and flew home. The second time I went, we drove out in our 99 Saturn in August(great A/C though . Coming back we made the trip in 24 hours.

Cross country driving is the best, but don't leave out driving north to south. Over the years I've covered every mile of I-15 from Tijuana to just short of the Canadian border. Driving over the Road to the Sun in Glacier National Park is amazing, and the drive through Yellowstone is as well.
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Old 04-04-12, 09:16 PM   #10
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Done it so many times I cant think straight. When I was a trucker I did LA to Miami, Miami to Vancouver BC, Vancouver to Wasington DC, when I was a younger kid we drove from Norfolk VA to Anchorage Alaska and when I was 18 I drove from Anchorage Alaska to Fort Worth Texas.

Since I have been in the military, I have circled or crossed the country at least every other year. Have done it in a Ford Escort ZX-2, Toyota Matrix XR, and a 2006 Honda Civic EX.

When I moved here to Fort Lewis WA from Fort Drum NY, We drove the Ram. Basically from Syracuse to Seattle. Most comfortable road trip ever. Also one of the most thirsty at ~20mpg. I went from being able to do 6500 miles in the civic on roughly $400 in gas, to paying $400 every 5 fill ups. And now its worse.
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Old 04-04-12, 09:30 PM   #11
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Drove 6800 miles solo on an extended vacation/road trip. Three weeks of great adventure in a brand new RX 300 was brave because from Colorado onward to the PNW, hardly anyone had seen a Lexus. I had my dealer in Houston on speed dial, just in case. It was the trip of a lifetime, completed only a year before I got back together with my g/f, now wife. Meanwhile she and her sister completed a similar road trip through Nashville, the Smokies, Outer Banks, and Atlanta. We were both kinda lonely on those trips and made each other a vow when we got back together. Next time we go, we go together.

We did, a couple years later - a long Christmas trip out to Texas' wine country in Fredericksburg and the wilds of West Central Texas. We had a ball. 'Fraid she's stuck with me now.
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Old 04-04-12, 09:53 PM   #12
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Went with my family once when we were still kids, from Chicago to LA and back. It was a good experience to see the USA, but somewhat overrated. I would never do it again. I can handle a state to state trip, but not cross country. If you have loads of time, then go for it.
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Old 04-04-12, 10:25 PM   #13
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Longest i've personally done is NYC to Jax/Orlando. I've done it about 10 times and im quite used to it. Don't know if i could manage an East to West trip though.
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Old 04-04-12, 11:10 PM   #14
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An old post I found regarding my cross-country trip: (and I added small notes to it)

Originally Posted by PhilipMSPT View Post
In the middle of June of '02, with an '89 Camry with no air-conditioning through the South. YEAH!!!

My itinerary:

New York: my last three days in NYC after seven years of school, my best friend flew in from Cali and I showed her all the sights. I miss it a lot. Give it at least three days if you can.

Philadephia: nice place to visit, especially Independence Park. We ended up going to a film festival while we were there. Lots of museums to check out. A full day is fine.

Washington D.C.: one of my favorite places. Museums galore. Unfortunately, we went the summer after 9/11, so there was a LOT of security. We were there for three days and it wasn't enough for us to see half the things we wanted to see.

Nashville: great music and very homely. They had an exact replica of the Parthenon (oddly enough) which was a nice sight to visit. This is when my appreciation for Bluegrass began...

Memphis: one of the most fun places to visit. Graceland was quirky and worth the trip. Best BBQ: Interstate BBQ (Mmmm... Drool... Slober...). Beale Street was awesome. I went to a bar where they sold beer by the bucket. BUCKET!!! As you drank your beer, goats would roam around and drink the beer with you out of the bucket!!! That was great. Imagine the story: "I once went into a bar and started chugging beer with goats..." I've heard that the goat bar is gone.

New Orleans: one of my favorite places to visit. I've been there three times (all before Katrina). I love Creole food and the crazy night scene. Halloween is sooo much better than Mardi Gras... Two days is plenty to check the local scenery.

Dallas: weird place to visit. On our stop, we almost got into an accident, I went the wrong way on the freeway, got lost, our hotel room was a mess upon arrival (someone partied in it before we got there), and then a big rig crashed into the hotel lobby. All in the same city where Kennedy was shot...

Amarillo: we went there for one reason: a five-pound steak challenge at the Big Texan Steakhouse. Eat the 5-lb. steak in an hour and it's free!!! On our drive, there was also a partial eclipse of the sun while setting...

Santa Fe: best place to get Southwestern art and antiques. By this time, my Camry was loaded with artwork and antique furniture and luggage. I even bought an art deco coffee table somewhere from Mississippi.

Cortez, CO: stopover for Mesa Verde. This National Park is one of the best I've been to. I loved climbing all the cliff dwellings. Have plenty of energy; it's all about hiking.

Four Corners and Grand Canyons: If you've been there, you know how wonderful the place is.

Las Vegas: as if we haven't been drinking enough, this was a great stop for being hedonistic.

Los Angeles: I've been living here since. And since you're from San Jose, you can take a two to three days just exploring the different facets of L.A. and The O.C.
Other tidbits of advice: plan your trip, get the most comfortable and quiet car you can rent, book cheaply through Priceline or Hotwire, and use Groupon deals whenever you can.

My trip involved an '89 Camry without AC, in the middle of Summer. I advice you not to do that...
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Old 04-05-12, 02:24 AM   #15
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Ah, all these responses is making me plan to plan out the trip.

I want to hit the major landmarks and capture great pics. Like Grand Canyon, and uh, everything else!
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