10,000 miles. 3 weeks. Lets plan my US Trip

JerryPH

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Oct 14, 2007
Messages
6,111
Reaction score
15
Location
Montreal, QC, Canada
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I was kinda watching it from the start. One of the most important aspects in a trip is to have broad goals, but nothing specific. Trips are fun, surprising, dynamic and if you try to map it out too much, all you are going to do is disappoint yourself. Weather, flat tires, meeting an interesting person or place and staying longer (I met a *very* interesting lady in Vienna Austria and stayed 3 days!), or deciding to pass up on something are all part of the process.

Set a starting and ending point, and for best results, leave the middle just a little vague. The spontaneity of the event adds a LOT to the fun of it all.
 
Last edited:

zelseman

TPF Noob!
Joined
May 31, 2008
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
Location
Oklahoma
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
i will take a trip similar to this someday. Packing a tent, sleeping bag, a gun, my camera gear and enough money for gas and food that can be cooked on a fire. Someday...someday.
I would definately bring a gun big enough to protect yourself from crazy people and wild animals(granted you will be camping). I would consider as fuel efficent of a vehicle as you can to cut gas costs. I plan on driving a 90 honda civic hatchback on my trip. Something that has enough room to sleep in and gets 45 MPG.
Good luck.
 
OP
I

iflynething

TPF Noob!
Joined
Oct 26, 2006
Messages
1,346
Reaction score
0
Location
South Carolina USA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I was kinda watching it from the start. One of the most important aspects in a trip is to have broad goals, but nothing specific. Trips are fun, surprising, dynamic and if you try to map it out too much, all you are going to do is disappoint yourself. Weather, flat tires, meeting an interesting person or place and staying longer (I met a *very* interesting lady in Vienna Austria and stayed 3 days!), or deciding to pass up on something are all part of the process.

Set a starting and ending point, and for best results, leave the middle just a little vague. The spontaneity of the event adds a LOT to the fun of it all.

Vienna would have been awesome. Once I'm a little bit older, I would love to travel around Europe. Actually, the other day, my dad told me my cousin is going to be doing that this coming summer. Lots of fun there.

zelseman said:
....efficent of a vehicle as you can to cut gas costs. I plan on driving a 90 honda civic hatchback on my trip. Something that has enough room to sleep in and gets 45 MPG.
Good luck.

Thanks. I just bought a 2002 Honda Accord. I'm consistently getting 25 mpg city and highway combined. I like it too because the back seat folds down and I considered sleeping in that with my head in the back of the car, and legs going to to the trunk. I won't know how that'll work out until I actually try it. Also, you brought up a good point about the fire. I haven't even considered doing that until I just read back over your post. That would save a good bit of money. Sure do with I could keep eggs fresh for a while! Nothing better than eggs, bacon, ham, grits, sausage, and pancakes in the morning for breakfast!

~Michael~
 

Vautrin

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Jun 26, 2008
Messages
927
Reaction score
58
Location
It changes
Website
www.withoutamapphotography.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I've lived all over new york state and new england during past lives so a couple of tips:


  • If you go to Niagara falls go to the candian side. The american side is a dump. (unless you're carrying a gun, in which case don't mess with border patrol -- trust a man who spent 8 hours in a holding cell)
  • While you're up in Niagara falls, drive an hour north to toronto. You won't be dissapointed, it's a beautiful city.
  • There are lots of photo ops in boston.
  • If you pass by Syracuse, check out Ithaca (if you're into photographing nature). There are lots of gorges and parks, it's definitely worth it. While you go through syracuse or rochester, stop for dinosaur bbq, the best damned bbq that far north.
  • The adirondacks & finger lakes in NY, as well as the berkshires in MA are quite scenic.
Let me know if you have any questions on NY & New England, I'd be happy to help...
 
OP
I

iflynething

TPF Noob!
Joined
Oct 26, 2006
Messages
1,346
Reaction score
0
Location
South Carolina USA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I've lived all over new york state and new england during past lives so a couple of tips:


  • If you go to Niagara falls go to the candian side. The american side is a dump. (unless you're carrying a gun, in which case don't mess with border patrol -- trust a man who spent 8 hours in a holding cell)
  • While you're up in Niagara falls, drive an hour north to toronto. You won't be dissapointed, it's a beautiful city.
  • There are lots of photo ops in boston.
  • If you pass by Syracuse, check out Ithaca (if you're into photographing nature). There are lots of gorges and parks, it's definitely worth it. While you go through syracuse or rochester, stop for dinosaur bbq, the best damned bbq that far north.
  • The adirondacks & finger lakes in NY, as well as the berkshires in MA are quite scenic.
Let me know if you have any questions on NY & New England, I'd be happy to help...

Oh thank you very much for that information. I just saw on a Atlas I got for Christmas the Adirondacks and thought that would be interesting. I do shoot nature. It can be really great opportunities.

I do need to get my passport renewed just for that reason. My dad mentioned that to me as well a couple of days ago, just in case I wanted to cross the border. I have heard some great viewpoints from Niagra Falls and they agree that the Candadian side is better.

~Michael~
 

Tinstafl

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
Messages
286
Reaction score
120
Location
Valley of Virginia and RVA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I left Virginia and went to Spokane Washington via Glacier and then down to Yellowstone and Jackson Hole. It took me three weeks. I saw the badlands and wall drug the corn palace and mount rushmore too. I would say you are from NC so skip the East Coast and go to the west and see what you can see. It is very different. Maybe swing down to AZ. on the way home. But one thing to remember is that they have snow on the ground out west till almost june before some of the roads like going to the sun are opened. I think it is an adventure but it is a huge amount of driving. I love Montana but it took two days to cross and not much to see for most of it. On the way back through Texas (west texas) is barren. You can see some stuff but it is a long long day driving.

It will be fun but it is a long long way and you wan to see things and take pictures. It will take longer.... Have fun what ever you decide. I have driven about 250,000 miles across this country doing what you are saying over the last 6or 7 years when I get a few weeks off. It is a blast.
 
OP
I

iflynething

TPF Noob!
Joined
Oct 26, 2006
Messages
1,346
Reaction score
0
Location
South Carolina USA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
bump

I'm kinda bummed out. I shot dance competiton photos and they have competion through July. Normally, competitions end at the end of June with Nationals. This year we have two. One at the end of June and another at the end of July.

At the moment, I'm in a pickle

~Michael~
 

LuckySo-n-So

TPF Noob!
Joined
Feb 2, 2009
Messages
448
Reaction score
0
Location
Baton Rouge, LA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Here are some tips for Louisiana:

DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT go through North Louisiana. It is the same as East Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia (not coastal GA), etc. You MUST go through South Louisiana. Take LA 1 or U.S. 190 and you will see the true Cajun culture of our banana republic. You will also be here for the main festival season: Louisiana has a festival for just about anything(shrimp, petroleum, crawfish, strawberries...). Antebellum Plantations, little Cajun villages, Live Oaks draped with Spanish Moss, bayous, alligators.

Don't miss New Orleans either. The architecture is outstanding--like nowhere else in the U.S. However, I would not suggest going into the areas of N.O. that are still devastated by Hurricane Katrina. I've heard the locals aren't to happy with "looky-lou's." But I've seen that there is also someone who responded that is from New Orleans, so I'll leave that up to them.

Good luck!!!
 
OP
I

iflynething

TPF Noob!
Joined
Oct 26, 2006
Messages
1,346
Reaction score
0
Location
South Carolina USA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Here is an update, I'm not going around the US...I just wouldn't be able to afford the gas.

Realistically, I believe I can go around New England (Maine, Mass, New York, Penn) and be alright financially.

I thought I would be able to swing going around the entire US, but it's just not feasable.

What I'm going to do I take about 2 weeks off from work and go up there.

~Michael~
 

Actor

TPF Noob!
Joined
Mar 4, 2007
Messages
421
Reaction score
1
Location
Ohio
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Even though you've announced a severe cutback in the magnitude of your journey I can't resist adding my comments on your original itinerary. Perhaps someone else can make use of it. I'm not familiar with New England so I'll start at Niagara Falls.
I want to ping-pong the US. I live in NC. From there to Maine and New Hampshire, down the border to New York to see Niagra falls. Couple days there, along the Great Lakes in Michigan
Definitely see Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, the roller coaster capital of the world.
Through Chicago (always wanted to go through it)
Go to the top of the Sear's Tower, take a walk around Navy Pier. Plus the Biograph Theater where Dillinger saw his last movie is still in business. You can walk down the alley where he met his fate. And there's a church just north of downtown that still has bullet holes from one of Capone's drive-by shootings.
then to St. Louis (of course for the arch)
Don't forget to tour the brewery. If you like trains there's a little-publicized but magnificent train museum SW of the city.
to Kansas City, Missouri to a place called Ruby's Soul Food my dad suggested. Through Wisconsin
Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee. World's largest mall just south of Minneapolis.
to North Dakota
Theodore Roosevelt National Park
then over to Montana
Glacier National Park has enough scenery for two lifetimes. In fact I recommend you cross the park via Going To The Sun Road then loop down and back via U.S. 2 (Theodore Roosevelt Highway) for some more scenery. While on U.S. 2 stop at the goat lick. With a long lens you can get some great shots of the wild goats. Amtrak uses the pass and if you time it right you can get some shots of the train. While in the park do some hiking. If you're in shape I recommend the hike up to Grinnell Glacier. Don't forget to buy bear spray.
and Washington and British Columbia for some nice photo ops. Come down diagonally through Utah,
The Bonneville Salt Flats, particularly if you can manage to be there during Speed Week when the hot-rodders are trying to set land speed records. On the south shore of the Great Salt Lake is Saltair where the cult movie Carnival of Souls was filmed. It has some interesting architecture.
One negative. Don't bother seeing the Royal Gorge Bridge. It was built as as tourist trap, a bridge to nowhere.
and stuff zig-zagging to Kansas, Oklahoma then over to California
San Francisco is a city not to be missed. I've been there three times and still have not seen it all and hope to return. If you want to see Alcatraz, I recommend it, you'll need reservations in advance.
and down the coast. Come through California and go on the bottom border of the US through Nevada to Las Vegas
Just NW of Vegas is Death Valley National Park, another great fix for the scenery junky. Why visitors to Vegas will take the trouble to visit Boulder Dam and the Grand Canyon, but skip DV is beyond me.
and of course the Grand Canyon for a couple of days because I want to actually go down into the canyon.
If you want to ride the mules down into the canyon you need to make reservations, and you must not weigh more than 200 pounds. If you're going to hike down take plenty of water.

East of the Grand Canyon is Meteor Crater, Arizona. Definitely worth seeing, particularly if you're a science buff like me.

North of Flagstaff, AZ is Wupatki National Monument. If you are there at the right time of the year, we were there in June, you can experience what I believe is one of the wonders of the world. There in the middle of the ruins, with summer heat practically boiling you alive, is a hole in the ground with cold air blowing out of it. The explanation: the area is mostly volcanic rock that is very porous. During the winter air settles into the rock and gets cold. When summer arrives the sun starts to heat the rock and the air. The cold air expands and blasts out the hole. When we arrived at the ruins I decided that the place was static and left my movie camera in the car. I have a still of my wife looking into the hole with her hair blowing upward. I would love to have gotten a movie of it but I was not going to hike back to the car for the movie camera.
Through Texas and Lousiana.....possibly to Florida.....................then back up to home, North Carolina :)

~Michael~
 
OP
I

iflynething

TPF Noob!
Joined
Oct 26, 2006
Messages
1,346
Reaction score
0
Location
South Carolina USA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Awesome, thank you for your comments still....

Maybe some time in the future I will take this trip and just search for this thread!

~Michael~
 

Soocom1

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
3,071
Reaction score
1,351
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
You will probably find a way to get through New Mexico. Arizona has much the same type of topography as NM, which translates to A LOT of open space. That translates to A LOT of landscape pictures that will show a lot of openness. You will probably stay a lot longer than you think in places like that and stopping a lot. (I wrote lot 5 times). I say this because every time I go out, I usually take much longer than I plan because I see sooooo much more. (Not as many trees to block the view.)
Keep in mind one thing that many tourists don’t know about until they get into the SW. Many of the reservations DO NOT allow photographs taken on the reservations unless it’s in designated areas. DO NOT take photos of homes or people without expressed permission.

If you go down I-40, stop not only on the Navajo reservation, but also Acoma and Sky City. Laguna reservation (near where I live) has Casa Blanco (a church), etc. If you go north to Santa Fe, or Taos, you have a lot there also. Such as Santuario de Chimayo, The Santa Fe Plaza, etc. Other areas in NM: Old Town Albuquerque, The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta (if here in Oct.) The Zuni Pueblo (South of Gallup NM), Ft. Sumner (Billy the Kid), Roswell (Alien Crash site), Capitan Peak, The Jemez Mts. , The Gila Wilderness, etc. Back north near Taos is something called the Enchanted Circle. There is a photo op! (Google Enchanted Circle NM), also The Taos Gorge that was recently seen in the movie Terminator-Salvation.
If you decide to try Rt. 66, keep in mind there are large sections of the old route no longer in service, and some that no longer exists. So you cannot actually travel all of it. Be careful.. lol.
There are tremendous numbers of gas stations that will charge 20-40% more for gasoline than in the cities, so plan ahead. And when going through the SW carry ALOT of water. I do not say this lightly. I have learned from and seen the end result of not having enough water. The SW is on average nearly a mile high, and the air is thinner and VERY dry. Even in winter you can become very dehydrated out here. Sun block for fair skinned is mandatory and bring a lot of LIGHT colored shirts. Dark or black shirts though common, are heat sinks. When you are between cities and towns, it can make a huge difference.
 
OP
I

iflynething

TPF Noob!
Joined
Oct 26, 2006
Messages
1,346
Reaction score
0
Location
South Carolina USA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
You will probably find a way to get through New Mexico. Arizona has much the same type of topography as NM, which translates to A LOT of open space. That translates to A LOT of landscape pictures that will show a lot of openness. You will probably stay a lot longer than you think in places like that and stopping a lot. (I wrote lot 5 times). I say this because every time I go out, I usually take much longer than I plan because I see sooooo much more. (Not as many trees to block the view.)
Keep in mind one thing that many tourists don’t know about until they get into the SW. Many of the reservations DO NOT allow photographs taken on the reservations unless it’s in designated areas. DO NOT take photos of homes or people without expressed permission.

If you go down I-40, stop not only on the Navajo reservation, but also Acoma and Sky City. Laguna reservation (near where I live) has Casa Blanco (a church), etc. If you go north to Santa Fe, or Taos, you have a lot there also. Such as Santuario de Chimayo, The Santa Fe Plaza, etc. Other areas in NM: Old Town Albuquerque, The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta (if here in Oct.) The Zuni Pueblo (South of Gallup NM), Ft. Sumner (Billy the Kid), Roswell (Alien Crash site), Capitan Peak, The Jemez Mts. , The Gila Wilderness, etc. Back north near Taos is something called the Enchanted Circle. There is a photo op! (Google Enchanted Circle NM), also The Taos Gorge that was recently seen in the movie Terminator-Salvation.
If you decide to try Rt. 66, keep in mind there are large sections of the old route no longer in service, and some that no longer exists. So you cannot actually travel all of it. Be careful.. lol.
There are tremendous numbers of gas stations that will charge 20-40% more for gasoline than in the cities, so plan ahead. And when going through the SW carry ALOT of water. I do not say this lightly. I have learned from and seen the end result of not having enough water. The SW is on average nearly a mile high, and the air is thinner and VERY dry. Even in winter you can become very dehydrated out here. Sun block for fair skinned is mandatory and bring a lot of LIGHT colored shirts. Dark or black shirts though common, are heat sinks. When you are between cities and towns, it can make a huge difference.


Wow! Awesome information. One reason I did decide not to do this around the entire US, other than money, was time. I didn't want to have to take a month off from work then have to take more because I didn't get to see what I wanted to. I went with my dad and stepmom as they chartered a motor coach to California from South Carolina and we saw ALOT in Arizona but couldn't stay long because we had to get to California within the week. I wished I could have stayed longer. I only had a point and shoot then so I wasn't able to get that many good shots. I also went on Rout 66 but don't remember much. We weren't able to stop, again because we were pushed for time.

Thanks for pointing that out about the reservations, I did not know that. Are you able to get permission to photograph from who? They would be a very interesting group of people to photography but if I couldn't, then I couldn't, and that's that.

Thanks again for your information

~Michael~
 

Soocom1

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
3,071
Reaction score
1,351
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
As one example: Acoma has Sky city.. (google that) They sell photographic licenses, but absolutely NO pictures inside the Church. On the Laguna reservation, no pictures are allowed inside the town of Mesita, etc. Same for the Jemez Reservation, etc.
You can obtain permission from the Tribal Council, but have to jump through hoops, and follow restrictions. Keep in mind this is toward the housing and people, as well as some sites. (Sacred). Some of the tribes just don't want their intellectual property to be misused by others is all. They know they cannot stop pictures from the highway, but if you enter the towns, they can.

but also, this is usually toward non members of the tribe. (They have cell phone cameras too...) But they don't want pics taken of ceremonies et al.

Its more a give and take, but just stay aware.

Also stay aware of the weather. As for GPS, be careful with that too. Alot of the "roads" they show are not really roads... lol. (I work in GIS, thats how I know...)

but have fun, and more importantly, try the Green Chile. :D
 

Most reactions

New Topics

Top