Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Travel Map Across the US, Boston-San Francisco, 6 Weeks and Rolling. What Have I Learned So Far

Travel Map Across the US, Boston-San Francisco, 6 Weeks and Rolling. What Have I Learned So Far

I was talking with a friend of mine yesterday about the trip and he was asking about the path. I have a map on the Trip Map page which shows the route as we go. I have been using RoadTrippers.com, site and phone app. It has been pretty good for tracking our journey. Below is a screen shot from our journey on RoadTrippers.


Road Tripper plotting of our journey across the US this summer.

The trip, so far, has gone very well. We have seen a lot and haven't had any real issues other than the heat. We thought we would camp a lot more than we have but because it has been so hot we have been mostly staying in hotels and inns. It wasn't until we arrived on the west coast that we have been able to camp. Hopefully we will get a few more opportunities.

Closer view of our journey


Most Scenic Places:
• Ryan Island in the Missouri River below Great Falls in Montana.
• Both Glacier and Mt. Rainier National Parks, all over. The trees are amazing, lots of waterfalls and beautiful mountain views.
• I was really impressed by the wheat fields in Western Montana, they are huge and stunning.

Lessons We Have Learned So Far:
• Our country is huge, I have driven across the US before, but not at this pace. We have gone slow and spent time looking. Everyone should get out and see the country, it is amazing.
• A small 6 pack size cooler is just perfect, you can get the ice at the hotels and it holds just enough. Place it behind and between the driver and passenger seats. Stock with a couple of apples, some string cheese, yogurt, a couple of juices, Half and Half creamer for coffee, half stick of butter. Maybe a little bit more, that is it. Apples make a great snack
• We stay in a lot of hotels, select the rooms with the Kings size beds. The beds usually have better mattresses than the rooms with the Queen size mattresses. Some place on the mattress there is a decent place to sleep.
• Find a spot and then put your stuff in the same spot every time. Same pockets on your pants, same place in your back pack, and same location in your car. Same spot everytime. Otherwise your stuff just disappears.

Everything goes back in the same spot every time

• A small pair of scissors is very helpful.
• Carry a box of small zip lock bags and some extra rubber bands.
• Be fine with changing your mind at the last minute. To much traffic, go another way or place.
• Switch drivers every hour or so. We don't really follow this but we try.
• Have a rough idea where you are going but be sure to wing it and drive down odd roads. Some of the best places we have seen have been because we went down an odd road. "Lets see what is down here?"
• The less planned visits the better. It is amazing how a scheduled visit will ripple back and effect your trip, even weeks out you will find yourself having to adjust to fit a date three weeks in the future. Remember it is your trip not your friends and family's trip. Resist as many as you can.
• Take two or three day breaks in the journey to recharge, changing hotels every night can be really tiring.
• WiFi is in every hotel and with the mid price hotels it is almost always included. Not real fast but it is everywhere and easy to connect to with a newer computer. We are using a MacBook Air and have had no issues.
• I asked my wife what she would suggest for a better trip next time, "Don't let your spouse bring a computer"