Need tips on drive from US east to west coast.
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Apr 22, 2013 4:06 PM Last Post By: itzawonnder
Apr 21, 2013 5:28 AM
Need tips on drive from US east to west coast.Hi everyone,
I'm from India and im planning a road trip from the east to west coast of the US. The trip will be for 3 months - Sep-Oct-Nov. I cannot change these dates. The tentative itinerary is NYC, Philly, across the coast of Delaware, MD, NC, come out at Charlotte, to Atlanta, New Orleans, Dallas, Kansas City, Colorado, Grand Canyon, Vegas, LA and then along the coast to San Francisco. The route is chosen as a mix of places i want to see and people i would like to visit along the way.
My specific question:
I love the mountains and the outdoors and plan to spend 2 weeks in Colorado. However I will get there only in early October. Is it too cold to be in Colorado in Oct? I do not plan on any winter sports, but would like to do some trekking, camping, rafting etc.
Would you suggest I do Colorado first, fly back to NYC and start a road trip later? Or skip Colorado all together.
Any other suggestions for the road trip would really help. The big one is whether i should cover colorado in this trip or not however.
Apr 21, 2013 5:59 AM
1Whether a place is "too cold" is dependent on your tolerance for cold.
You also don't say where in Colorado you plan to go. Micro-climates abound.
But just for exemplary purposes, Estes Park, near Rocky Mountain National Park, averages 58 F (14 C) for the high and 35 F (2 C) for the low in October. Is that too cold for you?
What are your interests? History? Art? Music? Food? Shopping? Hikes? Bikes? Night clubs? Strip clubs? Remember, we don't know you and what we like may be what you hate. Until you indicate your interests, we're just guessing.
To clarify, are you renting a car for this trip? We have had posters talk about "road trips," which mean car, only to say they are using transit.
Apr 21, 2013 7:04 AM
Apr 21, 2013 7:04 AM
3Generally, I'd try doing the western part first (in September/October). By mid-October and into November winter storms and snow will start in the western mountains and the Pacific coast will be gettng rainy and foggy, but, the western desert areas will be nice.
As bjookaj says, coldness is a personal thing. Freezing at night with warm sunny days is perfect weather for me, but maybe not for you. Define what is cold for you please.
Apr 21, 2013 7:11 AM
Fall is, in generally the best time to travel the US.
I've been to Colorado twice, ever in fall, so I cannot answer your specific question with an authority, but my general impression is that it should be fine. The fall leaves are in full color here (near NYC) around mid October. I'm guessing given Colorado's higher altitudes, it happens there a little earlier, so if you go there a little before mid October you will have a special treat of great fall colors.
Here in the NYC-Philadelphia-Delaware area, September is the best season to go saltwater fishing. Even if it's not something you normally do, it might be a nice activity for a vacation. You can still fish later in the year, but that's something for people who enjoy fishing, not really for casual tourists looking for a fun activity.
September is also the beginning of an absolutely outstanding hawk and butter fly migration at a New Jersey town called Cape May Point (near, but not the same as the town of Cape May).
If you are not staying with friends, NYC can be quite costly. It's not a deal-killer, but you have to account for it. When you are in NYC the easiest nature side trips to take are to the Hudson Valley or the Catskills (next door to the HV).
When you drive from NYC to Philly, as soon as you cross into PA, you will probably see some signs for fireworks stores. Those fireworks are sold for export (form PA) only. Since you will have a non-Pennsylvania ID, you can buy the really good ones. You should probably stop and buy some (I'm thinking $100 worth is a good minimum. I have spent as much as $300, but I don't know your budget), and present them to your Philadelphia friends. DO NOT TRY TAKE FIREWORKS ON THE FERRY! (I'm about to mention a ferry).
When going from Philly to the Delaware coast the cheapest and quickest option is simply to drive. The most fun option would be to drive from Philly to the Cape May Point area, do some hawk watching, butterfly watching, fishing, and (if weather permits) ocean swimming, then take the ferry to Lewes, Delaware. If the weather is right, the ferry ride can be a beautiful trip.
The Delaware-Maryland-Virginia (DelMarVa) peninsula is known for its seafood, mostly its oysters and crabs, but it has a wide variety.
At the southern tip of the DelMarVa peninsula is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, a massive combination of bridges and tunnels. I am not usually impressed by works of civil engineering, but that thing is impressive and may be worth a few photographs, so have a camera ready.
Apr 21, 2013 12:23 PM
5If hiking/trekking in Colorado is a major priority as you stated, and you have the option to change itineraries, I would without at least consider doing Colorado first. October is getting very late in the year for normal, non-winter-style, backcountry hiking. The first snows will almost certainly have fallen at the higher elevations, and conditions will be quite different than just a month earlier. The information given above, weather conditions at Estes Park, are similar to what you'd encounter at most trailheads - up higher, where most trails will go, you can expect much colder and more unpredictable weather. Although most of the time in october you'll have cool-to-cold and mostly clear conditions, you must be prepared for early winter storms, which is much less of a consideration in September.
On the other hand, since it appears that you'll pass that way on your road trip anyway, you can perhaps plan to have something of a flexible itinerary, planning to spend some time in Colorado and just deal with whatever conditions you encounter - if you have clear weather and decent trail conditions, great... if not, dial back your hiking ambitions in the mountains and save it for to the National Parks and Monuments of Utah, and the Grand Canyon, where October is without question the most ideal month for backcountry hiking.
Edited by: FlagStuff
Apr 21, 2013 6:33 PM
Apr 21, 2013 10:54 PM
Apr 22, 2013 4:06 PM
8Buying fireworks is one of the stupidest suggestions ever made on this forum. Not only can anybody lose a hand or eye, or their life messing around with these dangerous bombs that he has never handled before, but what do you propose he actually do with them? Light them up in a hotel room? That law in PA just shows how hypocritical politicians are...sure buy your explosives here and let us earn your tax dollars, but set them off someplace else so we don't have to sent ENTs out to sew your hands back on. geesh
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