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Benihana
06-20-2010, 07:26 PM
My wife and I took a road-trip two years ago from Memphis through Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, to LA and up the coast to SF and Napa Valley. We had such a great time- especially eating all the BBQ- that we're thinking about taking another major road trip. Problem is, we can't decide which trip to do. We have 14 days to make either trip. Any thoughts and recommendations would be appreciated:

THE CANDIDATES

1. Chicago - Seattle (2565 miles)

The Stops

Minneapolis
Mount Rushmore/Grand Rapids, SD
Billings (hopefully to catch a Mustangs game)
Yellowstone/Jackson, WY
Boise
Vancouver and Victoria
Seattle

2. NYC - Atlanta (1300 miles)

The Stops

Washington DC & Annapolis (Nats game)
Richmond/Charlottesville, VA
Durham/Chapel Hill (hoping to catch a Mudcats game)
Either Charlotte or the Outer Banks, NC
Charleston, SC
Savannah
Atlanta (Braves game)

Obviously the first trip is almost twice as much driving, so that's a major consideration. I guess we just don't know much about a lot of those places, so anyone that has any recommendations would be much appreciated.

Thanks.

KittyDuran
06-20-2010, 11:26 PM
Billings (hopefully to catch a Mustangs game)
They just had a tornado go thru their downtown... :(

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hHcrgfHj7ce14kUZTYsvqUIXfInQD9GFBVF80

VR
06-21-2010, 01:05 AM
Beni...the trip to Seattle is a fantastic one. I've done all those multiple times...and it really gives you a great flavor of the 'west'....while getting the big city flavors of Chicago/ Minny/ Seattle and Vancouver.

I will tell you this...from Minneapolis to the Black Hills is as non-descript drive as any in the US....but it's all good after that. (You may want to skip Boise...and take a more northern route for beautiful scenery and things to do, up through Missoula, Coeur D'alene etc.

Looks like either way you're in for a treat...enjoy!

westofyou
06-21-2010, 01:18 AM
My wife and I took a road-trip two years ago from Memphis through Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, to LA and up the coast to SF and Napa Valley. We had such a great time- especially eating all the BBQ- that we're thinking about taking another major road trip. Problem is, we can't decide which trip to do. We have 14 days to make either trip. Any thoughts and recommendations would be appreciated:

THE CANDIDATES

1. Chicago - Seattle (2565 miles)

The Stops

Minneapolis
Mount Rushmore/Grand Rapids, SD
Billings (hopefully to catch a Mustangs game)
Yellowstone/Jackson, WY
Boise
Vancouver and Victoria
Seattle

2. NYC - Atlanta (1300 miles)

The Stops

Washington DC & Annapolis (Nats game)
Richmond/Charlottesville, VA
Durham/Chapel Hill (hoping to catch a Mudcats game)
Either Charlotte or the Outer Banks, NC
Charleston, SC
Savannah
Atlanta (Braves game)

Obviously the first trip is almost twice as much driving, so that's a major consideration. I guess we just don't know much about a lot of those places, so anyone that has any recommendations would be much appreciated.

Thanks.
I've done both, the 1st one is epic, the second one nice.

It's nature vs the city, possibly bad food part of the epic, GREAT food in the second one.

Redhook
06-21-2010, 08:29 AM
If you choose the 2nd trip, it'd be best to wait until September or October. It's stupid hot in all those places right now. Going to Charleston and Savannah in the summer is pointless. You'll be miserable.

I say go West. It'd be more memorable.

15fan
06-21-2010, 03:36 PM
Ditto what folks have already said. Must be a more enjoyable drive going west than down I-95. If you are at all a history buff, though, you could do an epic trip Boston-NY-Philly-DC-Richmond-Charleston-Savannah.

If you are ending in the SE, you want to do that in May - after all of the pollen is done wreaking havoc throughout April but before it gets nasty hot & humid. Mid-September is still very legitimate beach weather if you want to go at the end of the summer, and October is generally gorgeous throughout the SE.

In Sep/Oct, you could also work it so that you get in a college football game in a place like Clemson, Columbia, Athens, etc. When you grow up in Big 10/11 (12?) country, you are used to 12pm, 1pm or 3:30 kickoffs. Saturday night games in the south (played mainly due to the heat during the day at that time of year) can be absolutely epic due in large part to the (1) all day tailgating and (2) southern women working either the sundress or tank top / shorts.

If you're serious about Atlanta and/or Charleston, PM me.

BigPoppa
06-21-2010, 04:21 PM
Go West, young man

IslandRed
06-21-2010, 04:31 PM
Something to ponder in the trip planning:


The interstate highway system is a wonderful thing. It makes it possible to go from coast to coast without seeing anything or meeting anybody. If the United States interests you, stay off the interstates. -- Charles Kuralt

I don't take advantage of that advice as often as I should, particularly since our vacations often involve visiting family, and the urge to wander usually loses to the desire to stay an extra day. But a road trip can be much more than just a rush from destination to destination, particularly given 14 days. Choose your routes as carefully as your stops and you won't regret it.

pedro
06-21-2010, 04:37 PM
If I was road tripping and montana was on the itinerary I would consider Glacier National Park a must.

VR
06-22-2010, 12:13 AM
If I was road tripping and montana was on the itinerary I would consider Glacier National Park a must.

indeed

Kingspoint
06-22-2010, 08:16 AM
You obviously saw The Grand Canyon. If you put that into your "top-5" list of things you've seen, then you'll want to add Yellowstone.

Also, when going from Boise to Seattle, make sure you get there or get back from there via the Columbia Gorge (better to do both (to Seattle on the Washington side of the Columbia River and back from Seattle on the Oregon side of the Columbia River) as it's a wasted trip going straight from Boise to Seattle through northern Washington as it's a night and day difference between the two options.

Here is a picture from the Washington side about 27 miles East of Vancouver, Washington. Another 1/2 mile is a road that takes you 4 miles up (to the 1800' level) to where my parents moved to while I was finishing High School. (They lived there 10 years before selling the place to some people who had a full-grown Bengal Tiger for a pet.)

http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/cape-horn/fss_get/photo1_mini

This is an image from the Oregon side about 30 miles East of Portland. That's Mt. Adams in the background. There's a little rock (Beacon Rock) in the upper left of the picture. It's a nice easy climb that takes about 40 minutes up and 20 minutes down. (My girlfriend and I climbed it the 13th for fun and exercise.) That view is from the same spot on the Columbia as the picture taken from the Washington side where I said another half-mile and you take the road up to where my parents lived while I was in College.

http://www.nwcouncil.org/library/2003/2003-20/gorge.jpg

This part of the gorge will look like this in July or August, but you won't get the rainbow, as it won't be raining...the only two months it doesn't rain at this section of the gorge (10 miles East of Portland in Corbett, Or.).:

http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5111/images/CrpCrownPtRainbow-JH.jpg

Drive another 10 miles and you'll come to this (with several other falls in-between if you want to stop for any of them while you take the "Columbia Scenic Highway" through Corbett). You can hike to the top of the falls above the people on the bridge (it's about a 40-minute hike to the top and 20 minutes down):

http://chatterbox.typepad.com/photos/29_vista_house_columbia_g/columbia-gorge-with-chris-95a.jpg

Near those falls is another small one. You can swim in this one if you wish, though it may be only shallow enough to wade in during August. It's about an hour hike up to it through a forest trail. It's called Eagle Creek Punch Bowl.

http://www2.hiren.info/desktopwallpapers/natural/eagle-creek-wilderness-area_columbia-river-gorge-oregon.jpg

Back to the Washington side, a nice place to visit in the Summer is The Maryhill Museum.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3405/3471690259_325d870b18.jpg

I honestly can't think of any reason to spend time in Portland or in Seattle, other than they are on the way to beautiful Vancouver, B.C. and other places. The Olympic Peninsula in NW Washington is a pure paradise of wonder. Driving along the Oregon Coast (all beaches are public, while even in July and August are not very inhabited). Just driving along that Coast you'll come across 100's of scenic stops.

There was a REDSZONE member many years ago that took a group of high school kids on a bus tour doing the route of the Columbia Gorge West to Portland, down the Willamette Valley as far south as the Wildlife Safari before heading West to the Beach before turning North and driving along the Pacific Ocean. You could take that route (stopping at the Astoria Column) https://portal.sos.state.or.us/division/archives/county/images/scenic/clatsop/DSC0160.jpg
http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/01/04/7d/7e/view-from-column.jpg
and continue North across a 4.5 mile floating bridge that spans the mouth of the Columbia River into Washington. From there you could make your way along the Washington Coast up into the Olympic Peninsula.

http://img4.sunset.com/i/2009/08/national-parks/olympic-hurricane-ridge-m.jpg

Also, this photo is of the South end of the Hood River Valley (70 miles east of Portland). You can see this by just going about 4 miles off of the main Highway (I-84) on the east end of Hood River. (if you want to know exactly where pm me). Those are spring flowers, so you won't see those, but the rest should still be green as those are farms below that stay irrigated and the evergreens stay, of course, ever green. We went here the weekend before (so we could get out of the rain in Portland, as it was dry and sunnier here only 70 miles away).

http://www.pacificcreststock.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/east-hills.jpg

Another trip worthy of hiking for a couple of hours is Silver Falls State Park. The drive along old Hwy 99 South to Silver Falls is about 100 minutes in length from Corbett while being as beautiful as any Valley I've ever seen as it's almost all farms with rolling hills and the tree-lined Cascade Range to your left. The Falls have a route you can take where you can see 6 of them or all 10 of them. There are a few that are 130+ feet in height. The Columbia River used to run through there 15 million years ago. Here's one of the falls (you can stand behind it):

http://gallery.egyptsons.com/data/media/23/South%20Falls,%20Silver%20Falls%20State%20Park,%20 Oregon.jpg We did that June 6th.

There's a zillion more things I could tell you about which are nearly or perhaps just as much as inviting as these places. I'm sure others have some that are more so.

Redhook
06-22-2010, 08:36 AM
Great pics Kingspoint. It's awesome out there. I've only been to the Gorge once, but it was great and I can't wait to go back.

bucksfan2
06-22-2010, 09:52 AM
Never done it but I wanted to do a version of your road trip #1. Instead of flying into Chicago I would move that out to Denver. Take a trip through the Rockies, do some hiking, hit up Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, SD, up into Canada, down through Vancouver to Seattle. Minneapolis may be neat, but I don't think it holds a candle scenery wise to the rockies.

oneupper
06-22-2010, 10:11 AM
Never done it but I wanted to do a version of your road trip #1. Instead of flying into Chicago I would move that out to Denver. Take a trip through the Rockies, do some hiking, hit up Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, SD, up into Canada, down through Vancouver to Seattle. Minneapolis may be neat, but I don't think it holds a candle scenery wise to the rockies.

I'd second this suggestion. Basically you're flying into Chicago to hit Minneapolis. If you start further out west, you can see more and drive quite a bit less. I haven't been to Yellowstone, but from what I've heard it can get busy during the summer, as in bumper to bumper through the park, so plan accordingly. (maybe others can corroborate).

Benihana
06-22-2010, 12:52 PM
Great info, thanks everybody.

We're going to wait on the SE trip per everyone's advice. Now we're thinking we might start in Seattle/Vancouver and drive east through Idaho/Montana/Wyoming down through Yellowstone and finish in Aspen. Will keep everyone posted as plans develop.

OldRightHander
06-22-2010, 01:13 PM
If I was road tripping and montana was on the itinerary I would consider Glacier National Park a must.

Amen to that. Do the western trip.

westofyou
06-22-2010, 01:24 PM
Some shrink those images they are whacking the thread out.

I did this RT about 6 years ago, Portland to Moab to Durango up to Yellowstone, back through Montana, Idaho into Oregon.

Nice loop

OldRightHander
06-22-2010, 04:50 PM
48 states in 9 months and paid for it.

Kingspoint
06-23-2010, 01:06 AM
Some shrink those images they are whacking the thread out.



If I knew how I would. But, it's a small thread, and it's hard to appreciate the beauty of the pics if they are too small, like the first two pics.