Big Road Trip 2014 (The Plan)

OK, This sort of adventure certainly needs some sort of explicit and detailed plan that we will immediately and defiantly deviate from.

Oh yeah, goals for the trip…

We don’t really have any. Some good pictures of some dramatic scenery. Some new friends. A couple stories.

We’re going to see some states neither my wife and I have seen before…a couple we’ve poked in and out of, but always working or on the way to somewhere else. There are a few places I’ve seen and a few places Meri Jane has seen.

I refer to these as “Driving Days” because our plan has 2-3 days of slack in it, we are subject to stop for an extra night and/or stay 2 nights at the end of any of these. It’s not a race, and film for the digital camera is really, really cheap.

Driving Day 1. The adventure begins.

We have friends in Manhattan so that’s going to be a great first stop.  Meri Jane grew up in Topeka, just East of there – so there’s no real need to spend a lot of time in Kansas.  But it counts, so that’s state #1.

We could roll due West into Colorado, but we want to spend a couple days there without doubling back, so dropping in from Nebraska (State #2) also allows us to hit Wyoming on the way out – but that’s Day 2.  I know absolutely nothing about Grand Island…but somewhere around there I’d guess we’ll call it a day and crash for the night.

Driving Day 2.  A Three-state Day (barely).

We’re either going to make it to Cheyenne (woot, WY, State #3) or Fort Collins (CO, State #4), I’d guess. If Wyoming’s good enough for Dick Cheney, I’m sure we can hang there for a night. I’m reasonably certain we want to spend a night in Denver, so pushing it to get into Colorado may seem nonsensical. We don’t have any connection to either locale, they’re just both nice enough to be “on the way”. Unless Dick’s free for a beer and a steak. Then we’re all about Wyoming.

Driving Day 3. Things to do in Denver when we’re not exactly Dead.

Every couple of days it’s nice to only drive a couple hours. I’m thinking this is one of those days. And let’s face it – it’s the last time we’re going to be able to say “wow, there’s a lot to do here” for a while. And it’s not snowing yet (or hopefully still won’t be), so there’s certainly a lot to do and see in the Mile High City. Many pictures will be taken. Much blogging will be done. This will be a “good shower” day.

Driving Day 4. Wow, what a beautiful drive.

At one point a few years back, I drove from St. Louis to Vegas in my 2003 Civic.

Nonstop*.

I remember this part was very pretty and I couldn’t really stop to take pictures. I’m all but positive we won’t be staying on I-70 all day, so this will undoubtedly be a lot more than 3-4 hours of driving. Someone remind us to grab some provisions here, because the next stop is probably in Utah. We’re in State #4 again for the night…Grand Junction sounds kinda neat in a “lot of things coming together” kinda way.

*I made it to the Nellis AFB exit, just NE of Las Vegas itself (I could see “The Strip”). I was 1590 miles into a 1600 mile non-stop drive, and as luck would have it had a flat tire. AAA came to the rescue, because I wasn’t unpacking the car to try to find my spare tire. Yes. It was a very long drive.

Driving Day 5. It’s all Ball Bearings…

Any drive through Provo (UT, State #5) has to bring up Fletch memories. If you’re a dork like I am, I guess. I’d like to grab a buffalo burger somewhere. Who knows what shiny object will distract us when – we could easily wind up anywhere from Provo to Salt Lake City to Ogden. By this point, I predict we will have shipped something MJ has found that won’t fit in the vehicle homewards. At least once.

Driving Day 6. Welcome, I guess, to Idaho.

We’d like to see Yellowstone. We may have already spent a night in Wyoming (Hey, if Cody is more convenient, Mr. Cheney, let us know…), so after Idaho Falls I’m not sure about options short of the Park. We’re not campers. A lot of Five Guys fries come from Idaho, so I know it’s a great place. We don’t need to head towards Boise to penetrate Montana, it looks like we’re heading towards Billings. If we’ve already met up with you-know-who down you-know-where, then we’re probably heading due North out of Idaho Falls towards Butte. Just because, well, Butte.

But as of now, we’re crashing in Idaho Falls. Idaho (State #6).

Driving Day 7. Call….Derrr….Uhhhhhh…

Let’s be honest, that’s Yellowstone in the middle of these two. We’re going to stop a couple times or more… We’re back in Wyoming, and probably for the night. I’m sure we’ll have some stuff to chat blog and talk about that evening.

And now, a word from the 1980s.

Montana
Vasily Borodin: I would like to have seen Montana.

Driving Day 8. Big…Sky…Country.

We’ve made it to Montana (State #7). I’m definitely bringing the wide angle lens. I know nothing about any of these fine cities along I-90, except that one will host us for the night. Day 9 we head East before turning South before…

Driving Day 9. Sturgis. And Rushmore.

It’s time for a gratuitous poke-in to another state. This won’t be the last…lol We’re going to spend some serious time in North Dakota (State #8) – maybe an hour or two. I’m sure I’ll need a Diet Mountain Dew or a Coffee somewhere in there. Today’s real prize is of course, South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore (State #9). And some black hills (aka, “The Black Hills”).

Driving Day 10. We’re hitting double digits on the tenth driving day, woot.

No trip would be complete without briefly spending time in Minnesota (State #10). I don’t know why I feel that way. Well, I don’t. But it’s the tenth state, and there’s no need to rush to Iowa. I think Slipknot might be touring.

Driving Day Number Last (Eleventy!!!11!!!11~1)

Spend the night in Iowa, go through Illinois, or race home. Spend the night in Iowa, go through Illinois, or race home. Spend the night in Iowa, go through Illinois, or race home. I’m pretty sure all options will be on the table. For the sake of discussion, let’s say we’re craving some Barbecue and our house…That will push us through Iowa (State #11) and bring us into Missouri (State #12). I can safely say that the vehicle will be overloaded with shi stuff by this point, but we should be able to limp home.

Who knows. This is the plan that won’t survive first contact…as of today.

When are we leaving? “September”…:)

See you on the road.

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