Today, my latest travel scheme I've cooked up is probably my most ambitious to date. For the past couple of years, I've wanted to travel alone Highway 1 along the west coast, and my cousins and another friend took separate trips from California back to Texas, stopping at Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon along the way. Then Anton is about to go to Glacier National Park in Montana. I don't know if you're realized, but add those three routes together, and you have . . .
The Great Western American Roadtrip!!!
With the help of google maps, I've made an itinerary:
5318 Miles – 3 days, 12 hours of driving
Day 1: Keller to
Day 19: San Fran to
Day 25: Home to Keller, 7 hrs, 43 mins11 States. 9 Cities. 3 State Parks. Are your bags packed yet?
With the exception of Santa Fe, San Francisco, and Colorado, I haven't been to most of these places, and all of them are places that I'd looooove to see.
What's to consider?
Time. I could embark on this adventure as early as July 2009, or I might have to wait until the summer of 2011 or 2012, either right before or right after going on internship. Taking a month off isn't an easy task, but as long as I pick a transitional time, I could manage it.
Money. Gas will be a big cost. Estimating 30 miles per gallon on the highway in my new Camry at $4 a gallon, that comes out to a little over $700. It will probably be more with excursions around the areas we're going, and gas prices will probably continue to rise. But split at least two ways, that comes out to $350-500 per person. Lodging will be the next biggest cost. 25 nights aint cheap, but we'd do it as cheap as possible - couchsurfing, hostels, camping, and cheap, nasty motels. Depending on our options, my estimate is about $500-$1000 per person. Food can be done cheaply, buying groceries most of the time, and occasionally eating out good meals, so for that I estimate up to $300. Then there are entrance fees to parks and museums, laundry money, toll roads, parking costs, gambling in Vegas, who knows. I'd have to do some research to figure out those costs. But on the high end, I'm looking at about $2000 per person, but potentially less. For a trip this ambitious, that sounds pretty reasonable.
Driving. Can be exhausting. 7 days of heavy driving (8+ hours) and 5 days of light driving (<6 hours)
Who? Would be up for taking this trip with me and able to take the time to do it? Time will be the biggest issue. A fellow student, or someone just finishing school, or someone transitioning jobs, or someone who works for a school district. Finding someone to go with will determine when and if I take this trip. Besides the obvious perks of having someone to travel with, I really do need someone share the driving, and to make this safe.
So, it'd be awesome if this could happen. But really, who knows? If I see all of these places eventually in my lifetime (or before 2030 in the case of Glacier National Park in Montana), I'll be happy. If I could go to all of these places in one amazing month, I'll be ecstatic!