Itinerary Planning- Road Trip Edition

You may or may not be aware that I’m planning a rather significant road trip for this summer. I had a wish list that was everywhere but the west coast of the U.S. (because I told myself that that was simply “too far”–not because I don’t have some insane love for the Pacific, I really do!).  Just yesterday, I started trying to be realistic about how long it would take to drive from place to place and exactly what I might be interested in doing there.  The answer turns out to be: much enjoying of the pretty nature, much touring of the art museums, and much oogling cute animals at zoos.  Although there are many stops that I’d love to make that I’m going to have to miss, I’m super excited about my tentative itinerary. Days 8-19 are pending my BFF and travel companion’s approval, of course.

LOVESSS
Photo Credit: Aly Reynolds Photography

Tentative Itinerary*

Day 1: From Home to Adirondack State Park [6.5 hours]
Day 2: Adirondack (AM) / Watkins Glen (Afternoon) [4 hours]
Day 3: Corning, NY / Drive to Pittsburg [5 hours]
Days 4/5: Pittsburgh
Day 6: Drive to Hocking Hills State Park, OH / Drive to Indianapolis [7 hours]
Day 7: Indianapolis / Drive to Champaign [2 hours]
Day 8/9: Simone’s
Day 10: St. Louis Arch / Drive to Kansas [8? Hours]
Day 11: Drive to Colorado Springs / See Seven Falls State Park [6? Hours]
Day 12: Garden of the Gods / Devil’s Head Lookout / Mt. Evan’s Road / Black Canyon [8.5 hours]
Day 13: Drive to Arches / Arches National Park [3 hours]
Day 14: Drive to Bryce Canyon / Zion National Park [5.5 hours]
Day 15: The Wave / Coyote Buttes / Horseshoe Bend / Antelope Canyon [4 hours]
Day 16: Rainbow Bridge National Monument / Monument Valley / Four Corners Mesa Verde [5.5 hours]
Day 17: Shiprock / Gila Cliff Dwellings [9 hours]
Day 18: Gila Cliff / White Sands [4 hours]
Day 19: Albuquerque [3.5 hours]
Day 20: Simone Goes Home / Drive towards Arkansas [8 hours?]
Day 21: Drive to Whitaker Rd / Drive to Memphis [7 hours]
Day 22: National Civil Rights Museum / Cathedral Caverns / Drive to Chatanooga [5 hours]
Day 23: Rock City Gardens / Drive through Smoky Mountains/ Lost World Caverns [7 hours]
Day 24: Gettysburg / Drive to Philadelphia [6.5 hours]
Day 25: Philadelphia
Day 26: Philadelphia / Drive to Ringing Rocks County Park [1.5 hours]
Days 27: Drive Home [7.5 hours]

LB Simone
How I feel even typing “Simone goes home”

As I was narrowing down this (originally three-week) itinerary, I had to make some tough choices.  I’m heartbroken that I had to cut Yellowstone and Montana, because I have (for some reason) always been really into the idea of Montana.  One thing that surprised me about planning was how much time I wanted to spend in cities.  I chose to give two days each to Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, a day to Indianapolis, and a day to Albuquerque.  This is partially because of how interested I am in a couple of the attractions (possible city attractions post forthcoming) and partially because I think I just have the travel bug and couldn’t pass up some of these cool cities.  I really like the balance that I’ve struck for this trip (in the planning stages) where there’s four days on the road and a day stationary while I’m alone.  I feel a little upset that I’ve planned so much, but it’s such a big undertaking and coordinating two schedules is such a pain in the ass that it really did need to happen.  Plus, I want to get the most I can out of my very limited time to road trip, so planning is kind of a necessity.

Simone and Lauren
Right before our 2014 adventure!

Cheers to a living, breathing, moving summer!

*Note: If you are wondering how I got my very precise [4 hours??] measurements for driving time each day, I used the incredibly sophisticated method of plugging in my destinations to GoogleMaps and getting driving directions.  I wanted a mere guestimate, so I just took the rough average of each of the times provided.  It’s not super scientific, but it was helpful, especially to average out the time that I will spend driving when its just me and the open road.  Distances can be super deceiving on maps, after all.

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