5,000 Mile Road Trip Planned - 10 Days
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Oct 27, 2012 4:37 PM Last Post By: willysnoutredux
Oct 24, 2012 10:44 PM
5,000 Mile Road Trip Planned - 10 DaysOn Monday I decided to do this. It is Thursday and I am leaving on Saturday. I'm somewhat impulsive because I have a terminal disease and my window is closing. I always wanted to drive cross country (so this became a bucket list thing) but I think this trip is a better bet. I have done a lot of endurance driving and I'm currently driving a fairly new Toyota 4Runner.
I live in New Jersey and my goal for the trip is to take pictures and come home and make a book for my kids. My primary destination is Monument Valley. I realize I will not have much time to explore....I want to cover as much ground as possible. I have my trip laid out in more detail but here is gist.
1) NJ to Mount Rushmore
2) Denver (try to take routes south through the rockies weather depending)
3) Monument Valley
4) Jackson, Miss (I want to photograph "rural deep south" as a contrast to Monument Valley)
This trip is between 5,000-5,300 Miles.
In terms of travel days I think the following
NJ to Mt Rushmore (2 days)
Mt Rushmore to Denver (1 day)
Denver To Monument Valley (3 Days)
Monument Valley to Jackson, Miss (2 Days)
Jackson to NJ (2 Days)
I have some doubts on my ability to do this but I can shorten on the fly or just stop and come home. Weather might be a factor in the first three days at which point I will just head Southwest to Monument Valley.
I have been all over the west and just came back from Yellowstone with my kids 3 months ago. The one place I had to cut from this trip that I wanted to see is Zion.
I read the forums for a while before I posted and I know there are some strong opinions here, which I think is great.....I'd rather not hear that I'm crazy or stupid because I know that already...If I can pul this off it will be beyond memorable and I'll have a great story to tell and a hell of a book.
So I'm posting to see if there are any thoughts or suggestions which I am very open to..I have only had 3 days to think about this and I'm leaving in 2 days...I'll have internet access (except for dead spots) and I'll probably check in during the trip as well.....thanks in advance.
Oct 25, 2012 4:03 AM
The one place I had to cut from this trip that I wanted to see is Zion.
Go to xNatchez instead (still not actually "rural," but a much better location anyway). Then drive the Natchez Trace.
Oct 25, 2012 5:36 AM
Oct 25, 2012 7:01 AM
3We are expecting our first deep freeze of this season tonight in Santa Fe. There will probably be snow and ice when you drive through the Colorado Rockies. I recommend geo_nerd's plan to fly to Vegas and rent a car to drive to Zion, etc.
Otherwise, the route to drive through the Rockies from Denver is take Highway #285 southwest from Interstate-25 to Salida/Poncha Springs on Highway #50. Then turn west over steep Monarch Pass, about 12,000 ft elevation, and onward to Gunnison. Take a side trip 30 miles north through "Paradise Valley" to see Crested Butte at 9,000 ft elevation, surrounded by 14,000 ft peaks and the Maroon Bells. This is real cowboy country with beautiful ranches. Many Texans have purchased vacation ranches in the valley when they escape the Texas summer heat and humidity. Then drive 60 more miles west of Gunnison to Montrose, along Highway #550. Depending on snow/ice conditions, drive south on Highway #550 through Ouray and up the steep cliff and over the Million Dollar Highway past Silverton to Durango, then to junction with Highway #64 and turn west. If it is too icy, take the route south past Telluride Ski Resort along the Dolores River Valley to Cortez and Farmington, on Highway #64. Turn west on Highway #64 through Four Corners and onward to Monument Valley, Utah. You may drop south afterwards to Interstate-40, then turn east to Memphis, then south to Jackson or Natchez. Either Interstates-40 or -10 from New Orleans will take you back east to Florida or Georgia.
Oct 25, 2012 7:40 AM
4This is great info everyone....thanks. Based on feedback I want to add
- My health situation sucks but I hopefully have another year or two...my window is closing for a drive like this...that is what I meant. My health is the reason for the trip but not the reason for this thread....
- Part of the allure here is the actual drive...I love to drive...I love my music...If the majority of my photos are taken from the side of the road that is ok....I want to do this because I can do this....
- I'm thinking of cutting out Rushmore and just setting GPS for Monument Valley...it's 38 hours (2,200 miles)...I'm thinking just get there as quickly as I possibly can and then make my decisions about rest of the trip
- Flying is not an option for me because I want to take all of my camera equipment....I want to outfit my 4Runner and have that convenience vs. having to pack and deal with flying...folding down the back seats and and running this trip from my car is is a plus I'm not willing to forego here.
Thanks again for the input...truly valuable...
Oct 25, 2012 2:25 PM
Oct 26, 2012 10:39 PM
Oct 27, 2012 3:24 AM
Oct 27, 2012 12:47 PM
8I hope you have a great trip. If you do head to South Dakota, definitely keep a close eye on the weather, as they have been getting snow the past several days.
Oct 27, 2012 4:37 PM
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