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Thread: The Ultimate Road Trip Thread (AIB Crazy Weekend Rdtrps.) edited.

  1. #1
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    The Ultimate Road Trip Thread (AIB Crazy Weekend Rdtrps.) edited.

    We've already touched upon the subject of the Crazy Weekend Roadtrip, but I was kind of wondering about roadtrips in general.
    I (and the Better Half) are planning on taking one for sure from Northern Colorado to Hayden Lake, ID to visit (my) inlaws for Christmas.

    But, since air travel has become a little cumbersome, as well as expensive, I am thinking of doing a road trip up to other parts of the Pacific NW on my own.

    (extraneous stuff and budgetary concenrs have been taken out, as I have figured my budget will be "have money, go with flow, sleep in sorority houses along the way). Well, maybe not the sorority house part.

    Anyways, this trip will be to tour potential grad schools. Plus I kind of wanted to take a solo road trip and being as the marriage will occur next June, I am looking at this as a self-given bachelor "trip".
    The only hotels I will stay in will be prior to visiting schools (for showers, clothes iron, good breakfast, etc.) and I may camp on the way out, and maybe a night of camping on the coast, who knows.
    Food will be what is in my cooler (good bread, cheese, vegtables, meats; sodas and beer).
    Gas for 2900 miles (total, there and back) will run the same as a flight from Denver to the northwest.
    October is my favoirte month and I believe a good traveling month for the Western United States.

    What steps have you taken in order to begin a road trip? What about any tips you may be able to give out?
    Any good stories?
    Last edited by zman; 17 Aug 2006 at 2:41 PM.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Let me know when you are in SLC. I'll buy you a beer or four (it is UT afterall). That will make your trip a tiny bit less expensive.

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by cololi
    Let me know when you are in SLC. I'll buy you a beer or four (it is UT afterall). That will make your trip a tiny bit less expensive.
    You bet, at least for lunch. I may be trying to make it all the way to Boise or Ontario, Oregon for the first day.

    But I was considering a round or two with prominent Cyburbians along the way.
    Take note: If you see a Green Toyota Truck with Colorado Plates coming through, wave to me! And direct me to the bar!
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  4. #4
          Downtown's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN
    What steps have you taken in order to begin a road trip? What about any tips you may be able to give out?
    Good music is essential.

    How much time are you giving yourself to make the trip?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    I've taken some cool solo road trips before. Can be quite fun and relaxing. I have utilized rv parks among otehr campgrounds for camping and sometimes just pulled into a hotel parking lot to sleep the night in a car.

    October is a good month- but november and you could likely get some decent skiing in.

    If you end up in the Puget Sound area I will buy you a round- or pour you a round in my bar

    Of course I will be in Hawaii for part of October

  6. #6
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Our family vacations are road trips, so we do this alot. We own a VW Vanagon (84, with a transplanted 1994 Jett 2 liter engine), which, being very square, offers great packing fun (I love crates!). I can be a bit obsessive about packing for the trip, so...

    Most of our trips are camping-centered, so my organization scheme is geared toward making it easy to set up camp and make food without pulling every sock and toothbrush out looking for the soup pot.

    The most important thing for me is being able to get to what I need easily. For a solo trip, food and cooler needs to be accessible WHILE DRIVING (ie. not in your truck bed or directly behind you lest you end up in the median digging for a granola bar)

    And water. Lots of water. We take two 5 galllon containers and lots of smaller bottles.

    Chart out your meals ahead of time (ie. I need 3 dinners, 2 breakfasts, and 17 camping beers) and bring food that won't spoil. Our cooler generally blows, so we try not to rely too much on refrigerated products. Plus you need to save that room for beer (for the end of day enjoyment only, of course).

    Of course, music. And new music at that - its a great time to get to know something novel. Also, your stash of CDs, tapes, whatever needs to be easy to reach while driving, or you might end up eating the player instead of enjoying tunes.

    I love to travel with my dogs. When going solo, its especially good for company.

    Chart out the route only vaguely so you can take advantage of weird and interesting things on the way. Give yourself more days than just to get from point A to point B.

    Bring a camera! I also like to record the sound of different environments, so I sometimes bring my recorder as well.

    Bring a day pack or similar thing so you can wake up and go for a hike before jumping in the car again. Many days in the car makes me walk like a 95 year old. I often forget to bring such a bag and end up cursing myself as I stuff my pockets with trail mix...

    Other random, important things:

    extra toilet paper
    Advil or some such pain reliever
    Something to write with/on
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  7. #7
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Very concise and helpful, Wahday. I will take your points into consideration. I also have a basic route planned, and I will be running it by my coworker/friend who lived all over the west and he took a hiatus from Planning as a truck driver, so he knows some sweet routes that have decent camping.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    Myself and a couple of uni mates went on a road trip around the north Island of New Zealand two years ago- It was an awesome trip- although we didnt camp, we had our who schedule planned out, and had hotel rooms booked at each stop we made.

    Ok my suggestions- this is on the basis of havimg multiple people (we had 5)

    Bring a pack of cards
    Be tolerant of others music tastes
    Buy fruit, cause you get real sick and tired of service station (aka truck stop) food.
    Bring a video camera, cause you never know what you see from the car (we had so many things to keep us amused)
    Hope to god that you trust your driver- most of us feared our lives at stages during the trip
    Dont annoy the driver- he will driver 20km/h under the speed limit on purpose (ok maybe it was just my mate)
    Keep the car clean as much as possible- as it will start to stink after awhile.
    Have some sort of arrangement with your mates about petrol (gas) money- i think at the start of the trip we all threw in money and it became the kitty!

    Thats all i can offer, from my limited career of road tripping
    "Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?" Zoolander

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    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Twin Falls ID is a nice place, especially Shoshone Falls and the Thousand Springs (which is the outlet of Lost River). If you are passing through the Boise area, you might check out Tamarack, that is a brand-new ski resort, golf course and destination community. If you had the time and a sturdy 4WD vehicle you might see where in Hell's Canyon you can access. Don't go through Boise too fast, It is a nice place to visit (having just come back). Nice river trail system. Lively downtown, etc. The Stanley-Challis area is awesome if you have the time for a side trip.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  10. #10
    I'm just about to drive home from my internship in Alberta, back to Toronto, so I have a good 5 day haul in front of me...my supplies:

    Bread
    Cold Meat
    Mustard
    Fruit
    Nuts/Trail Mix
    Water - about 4 litres a day
    Comfy Shoes
    About 2000 songs on my Ipod.
    Advil
    Books on Tape
    A plastic container for my change that fits in a drink holder...for those coffees, without having to break bills.

    I have stops planned in Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Duluth, Mackinaw City, and my destination, Toronto.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Refining this trip last night, I will try to make it to a camping spot (on the first night) somewhere between Boise and Ontario, OR. This will also be a spot to camp on my last night out, on the way back to Colorado.
    But after Otterpop's information, I may take my sure-footed 4WD truck around the area, maybe camp a little off the beaten path.
    Hotel stops will probably be in Seattle and Eugene, OR. I may stay with a friend of the Fiance's in Portland, and I will camp one night on the Oregon coast.

    My Fiance is going to be a tad worried about me travelling alone, but it is something I have always wanted to do.

    Sort of a psychotic drifter sort of thing.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Just did a five day round trip from SC to NJ and back with my daughter who is 12. We sort of had a plan of a particular distance goal each day but didn't put it on a time schedule.

    When crossing over the state lines we always stop at the Welcome Center because they are a wealth of information and full of suggestions of things to see or do. Free maps and travel info is a plus too.

    We pack a cooler full of bottled water, sandwhiches, munchies, etc. This saves on time and money. Many rest stops have nice picnic areas that are often pretty scenic. State parks and national forests abutting the interstates are good places to picnic as well. (Side note: an overheated car was on the side of the road as we passed from PA to MD, the folks were looking for water which we gladly parted with to help them out.)

    If you are planning on stopping at a hotel, do a bit of advance work in the potential places you might stop. Having a few hotels with their webrates will help you snag a room at a great price. Last night we stopped in Roanoke and the quoted price at the hotel was $69.99 for the night, I asked the clerk about the webrate being $53.99 and he gave me the room at that rate.

    If you travel with a laptop as we frequently do, use your wi-fi in the parking lots of hotels if you can't find a traditional hotspot or don't want to pay for access. We also noticed this time that some of the welcome centers broadcast a public wi-fi signal.

    Take a camera! There is always something interesting to photograph.

    Keep some small bills and change handy for tolls if you are travelling in a place that has them like the NE.

    Most importantly have fun and be safe!
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

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    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    like a river that don't know where's it's flowin'

    Zman - I think this is a good trip for you to take - I sent my now hubby on a trip about 9 months before we got married and I did a little one too - alone time is very important and you won't forget this trip ever

    so, to me, a dictaphone or a journal would be essential - you can always get cheap food at diners and they usually let you drink their water too

    I like my own music to bring too, but listening to local radio and talk radio can also be fun

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    If you come to the central Oregon coast you will have a place to stay (a couple of hours drive to Portland and about that to Eugene). And lots of advice; for example, the rainy season often starts in October, so bring rain gear.

    Just find me a good job in a front range community. Even if you don't do that you still will have a place and the advice.

    What are your interests? Geology? There's lots of good geology in Oregon on some of the non-interstate highways (and even on I-84 in the Columbia River Gorge, where you also get some of the best waterfalls in the world).

    As for stories, when I was in college I would drive from LA to DC and back every summer by myself. Usually I would do it in five days, but the last year I did it in three days (LA to Denver, Denver to St. Louis, St. Louis to DC). I was so wired when I arrived it took me a couple of days to be able to really rest (and this was with caffeine and sugar, i.e. Coca-Cola, as the only stimulants. Here's the voice of experience describinbg a lesson learned: don't try to sleep at an interstate highway rest stop near a large city. If you do you will have many fabulous opportunities to make new acquaintances.

    I have slept in my car in motel parking lots and through that learned that late at night sometimes (okay, once) a good looking naked woman will come out of the room you are parked in front of and start rummaging through the car you are parked next to. This will cause your windows to fog up.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Interesting stories, Otis. It reminds me of a story my good friend told me once. My buddy used to do marathon trips from Greeley, CO to Connecticut a couple times a year. He told me that when rest or napping at a rest stop, always move to the passenger's side seat in the front. He had a couple times where he slept in the drivers seat (while stopped and parked) only to wake up freaking out that he was still driving.

    Also, I thought that the Fabulous Rest Areas was just a rumor, but if you speak from experience....
    Last edited by zman; 18 Aug 2006 at 3:49 PM.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  16. #16
    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN
    My buddy used to do marathon trips from Greeley, CO to Connecticut a couple times a year. He told me that when rest or napping at a rest stop, always move to the passenger's side seat in the front. He had a couple times where he slept in the drivers seat (while stopped and parked) only to wake up freaking out that he was still driving.
    I had this happen when I was an over-the-road trucker. I awoke in the driver's seat after a catnap as a trailer in front of me was backing toward me.His air brakes released making a loud "swish" sound that awoke me. It was a moment (or six) of sheer panic and pressing on my brakes with all my might.

    Also, I thought that the Fabulous Rest Areas was just a rumor, but if you speak from experience....
    You want to really have some fun, pull around back at a truckstop and wait 5 mins....

  17. #17
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Ok...

    1. Check tire pressure....on the spare too....
    2. make sure gas rag is securely shoved into tank opening...
    3. Take stock of Barry Manilow 8 tracks
    4. Make sure at least one headlight works
    5. Forget to tell your current boss that your going on the trip....who's going to review that PUD?
    6. Since there is no hood, make sure there are no "loose" engine parts.
    7. Purchase those cool hanging testicles and place on the back bumper....if you have one...
    8. purchase those cool fake feet and hang them out of the trunk as though some one is stuffed in there...
    9. Put Bumper sticker on car....."Guns Don't Kill People, I DO"
    10. Remove all emissions equipment, including the muffler for that part of your trip through California....I hear it drives them nuts
    Skilled Adoxographer

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Don't forget the maps! (has anybody mentioned maps yet???)
    A good book to read in the evenings
    The first aid kit
    Your AAA card; oh, and if you're not a AAA member, have someone who is, pick up their guides for the states you'll be passing thru, so you can read up on the sights you might see, places to stop, etc. They have a camping guide, too.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by The One
    1. Check tire pressure....on the spare too....
    2. make sure gas rag is securely shoved into tank opening...
    3. Take stock of Barry Manilow 8 tracks
    4. Make sure at least one headlight works
    5. Forget to tell your current boss that your going on the trip....who's going to review that PUD?
    6. Since there is no hood, make sure there are no "loose" engine parts.
    7. Purchase those cool hanging testicles and place on the back bumper....if you have one...
    8. purchase those cool fake feet and hang them out of the trunk as though some one is stuffed in there...
    9. Put Bumper sticker on car....."Guns Don't Kill People, I DO"
    10. Remove all emissions equipment, including the muffler for that part of your trip through California....I hear it drives them nuts
    You forgot the hose to syphon gas out of other people's cars

  20. #20
    Cyburbian the north omaha star's avatar
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    I don't know if I mentioned this before. The best road trip I ever had was actually a 2 hour long NJ Transit train ride from the Jersey Shore into NY for the Puerto Rican Day Parade in 2000. In the infamous words of Tron (Chappelle's Show), I plead the 1, 2, 3, 4, FIF!!!!
    I am recognizing that the voice inside my head
    is urging me to be myself but never follow someone else
    Because opinions are like voices we all have a different kind". --Q-Tip

  21. #21
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    It begins...

    The road trip is semi-official today. I have got the time off approved from the boss man. I am no longer doing this solo, as a buddy of mine wants to take his brand new car on a trip.
    Utah, Idaho (southern), Washington and Oregon planners look to meet me up when we blow through town.

    Details to follow....
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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