Wednesday, 27 August 2008


Some progression on one of my travel plans! I'll be visiting the US next summer - in fact I'll be crossing the whole country!

Last week my friend Dave and I were sat in the pub bemoaning the fact that neither of us had had a holiday this summer and that next summer we should do something. Very quickly, and I forget which one of us came up with the idea, we snowballed on to the idea of a road trip across America. A few hours speculation - supported by me going home and getting my Lonely Planet guides - lead us to the rough outline of a plan that we have now. We'll start in New York in early July, rent a car (Dave is insisting on a convertible) then head west-ish, passing through a fair few states - much more than the five I had as my goal - and end up in San Francisco about five weeks later.

We sat down last night for a few hours with GoogleMaps and a hastily cobbled together chart and came up with a rough outline of an itinerary. Dave works in the United Arab Emirates and is headed back there on Friday, and won't be coming back to the UK until next summer, so although we have ten months to sort out what we're doing exactly we just had to get a few details down now while we're both here.

Destinations along the way include Washington, Denver and Las Vegas, but nothing is set in stone yet regarding our itinerary - so if anyone has suggestions of cool places to visit (on a roughly east to west journey across the US) we'll be glad to hear them! Also, if you have any advice about good/cheap motel chains that are worth staying in that would be helpful too. We're planning on motelling on the big drives (Chicago to Denver, Denver to Las Vegas), and saving our nickels to stay in the Bellagio or the Wynn when we arrive in Las Vegas!!!

To get some ideas I read "Drive Thru America" by Sean Condon, which is published as a Lonely Planet Journey. It's interesting and very enjoyable, but at the same time the author's frequent flights of fantasy and digressions - which reminded me of some of the writing of Woody Allen - mean that it's a narrative inspired by a road trip rather than a straight account of the trip that he and his friend took. It's well worth a read if you like travel books (and I've not read that many before, so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about), but I think I need to read quite a few more books for inspiration.

Ten months to go...


mattiecore said...

Well, if you start in NYC and go west, I feel like you'll miss the American South...

This may or may not be a big deal; you've got to make concessions somewhere. I just mention it because I was born and raised in the south, and it's a totally different from anywhere else in the states.

Either way, you'll end up seeing more of the states than I have; the furthest west I've been is Arkansas, and the furthest north I've been is Pennsylvania

Karen Freeman said...

mattiecore has got a point re: the southern states. Not that I've been to any of them yet, but have heard great things.

What is the attraction of Denver? ...just curious...

obviously from Vegas to San Fran you will want to pass through Yosemite.

Difficult choices to be made, bro!