Planning a Roadie
To all the experienced fans of wanderlust I come seeking your input. In the initial stages of planning a cross country summer road trip. Left coast to right coast of the lower 48. Interstates are fundamentally banned. What would be your dream photographic roadie route from the pacific to the atlantic? Premium to all homage of Warren Oates, i.e. two lane blacktop. Mixing and matching different highways allowed as long as it more or less goes west to east not north to south. Any and all suggestions welcome of can't miss spots. Photographically no limitations. I enjoy any and all possibilities on a trip like this. Lets give the trip a ten day time limit. Bonus points for a good diner pie suggestions. If I've left anything out put it in for me.
I always thought a north-south trip would be fun. Follow the Mississippi from the gulf to Minnesota, then take a lap around Lake Superior while you're up there.
I'll rent you my 1971 VW hippy van. Gotta go in style ya know!
You've got to use a little bit of interstate to put you quickly out of the suburban hell that is the area between Oakland and Livermore. Once you're out that way, get on 88 and take it up through the Gold Rush Country to Sutter Creek. Wander back down on 49 until you get to 108, take it through Sonora, and up around the north side of Yosemite, through the Sonora Pass. If you time it right, you can be ascending the 9980 feet mark at the top of the Sonora Pass at sunset, which is an absolutely spectacular view. Follow 108 down the other side of the Sierra to 395 and Bridgeport. Crash for the night there, or if you have time, drive on a little farther and stay at the Tioga Lodge (wonderfully nice folks who run the place...). Follow 395 down the East side of the Sierra, and explore to your heart's content. Definitely take a swing through the Manzanar internment camp for a view of one of this country's darker hours. Grab 190 down around Lone Pine and head through Death Valley on into Nevada. After that, you're on your own until you get to back East here. For nostalgia/history/photo opportunity's sake, try and follow the OLD Route 66 across the south as much as you can.
Another alternative, just hop on the old Route 30, Lincoln Highway. Have to get yourself up to Portland, Oregon, and then hop on. It will take you through all kinds of little towns and wide open spaces, and drop you off near Philadelphia. I'm not sure if it runs parallel to or was subsumed by I-80 in spots through Wyoming, but that road is so amazing by itself that I wouldn't object to being on the interstate for that part.
When should I start packing the camper?
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I cannot believe this place still exists, but if you go through mississippi, then you got see this place just so you can shake your head in disbelief:
Originally Posted by Zebra
A cross country road trip in 10 days? I think not, not if you plan on spending any time looking around and taking pictures.
Look at US2, it's that little black line that goes from Washington to Wisconsin. I always wanted to take the trip once. Maybe, someday . . .
My wife and I have driven across the USA (CA to East Coast, or back) about 8 times between 1987 and last February. A few pieces of advice:
ALWAYS inspect the room before you take it.
Ask for 'commercial rate'. It may save you 10 per cent.
Avoid m/hotels labelled AMERICAN OWNED AND RUN, as this is shorthand for 'rundown dump owned by xenophobic redneck'. M/Hotels where you can smell curry from the owner's quarters may still be run down but you'll always get a better welcome (unless you're a xenophobic redneck...)
Carry the basics for lots of (canned) picnics, including wine. There are places where you can't get decent food at any price; places that are 'dry'; and places where the restaurants close unbelievably early (especially Pennsylvania for some reason).
In fact, you've given me an idea for a new module in The Photo School at www.rogerandfrances.com...
I am sure you mean well and are trying to be helpful but I would venture to say that Zebra spends maybe 75 or more nights in hotels a year for his day job. Travel is an intregal part of his daily life.