Some of you already know that weâ€™ll be doing a roadtrip through the US this summer. Starting this July weâ€™ll be traveling in our â€™95 Roadtrek between many national parks, cities and other more or less random points of interest which we have selected over the last year. We have planned to travel for â€œabout four monthsâ€ with some fixed points and a lot of flexibility in our plans, but we do expect the trip to be about 13,000 miles / 21.000 km (or maybe 1000 gallons or 3800 liter of gas â€“ you can pick your fuel price, but currently the US average price for a gallon of regular is $4.07).
We selected the point of interest by taking out a map of the US and started to make red crosses where we wanted to see things. This was interesting, and while we sure can see a lot in four months, it was still a too much to just go and see!! Most notable [for Martin] we dropped Alaska and Glaciers National Park as that would have been a lot more driving and even in four months you cannot see it all.
Â We narrowed down the list to:
Supai Â· Grand Canyon Â· Zion Â· Bryce Â· Capitol Reef Â· Mesa Verde Â· Black Canyon Â· Great Sand Dunes Â· Pikeâ€™s Peek Â· Denver Â· Rocky Mountain Â· Grand Teaton Â· Yellowstone Â· Mt. Rushmore Â· Des Moins Â· Chicago Â· Cleveland Â· Niagara Falls Â· Boston Â·Cape Cod Â· New York Â· Washington DC Â· Blue Ridge Parkway Â· Charleston Â· Savannah Â· Miami Â· Key West Â· Biscayne Â· Everglades Â· Disney World Â· Panama City Â· New Orleans Â· Austin Â· Big Bend Â· White Sands Â· Saguaro
Throughout our trip planning we have had just two rules. Firstly a driving day is just that – Â no sightseeing planned. Secondly a rest day is just that – no sightseeing planned. We have some exceptions from these rules, but we have mostly stuck to them. Driving days with 100 miles / 160 km are naturally not that big a deal as 626 miles / 1000 km is, but we tried to stick to it anyway. Rest days are, well besides for resting, also meant to be for shopping, washing, running and what else you could think of on such a trip â€“ oil changes and car repair probably also need to happen!
We expect to be camping 95% of the time in our van. The few times we might not do that is when we stay with others and in New York â€“ in New York we splurge on a hotel named the Gershwin. Cities are notoriously difficult to camp in as there are no campgrounds and even if there are they are placed at places where you (well, at least us) do not really want to stay â€“ like just next to a freeway exit!
Our Roadtrek, or camper van, is a 1995 Dodge Roadtrek 190P (with three seats). This van is pretty well equipped with kitchen, bath (yes bath! .. a toilet and a shower), a double bed in the rear and for Felix we made a new bed over the two front seats. Yes, the 190P does have a bed for a third person at the front right, but we found it very impractical as it covered for the side door (which we mainly use) and it was difficult to ensure that he would not fall out of it when he was smaller. Iâ€™ll try and get a picture of Felixâ€™ bed as I do not have one for now.
It also has both warm, and cold!, water, heating, a generator and it had an aircon. We have taken that one out as we never used it anyway (hope that was not a mistake) and could use the extra storage space. We did think about getting a roof storage box for it, but decided that we could live without. However we did get a bike rack so we could take our bikes with us (Iâ€™ll try getting a picture of that as well as I do not have one either).
On the trip weâ€™ll be making an effort to get to read our email about once a week, and hopefully also update the blog as well. We have opted for using hot spots (wlan) for our connectivity. Many campgrounds offer this. Starbucks is having an almost free offering and there are many other ways to get this as well â€“ except while driving or in many national parks. Weâ€™ll have to see how it goes. As for phone, we did actually get a cell phone for the trip so we can call AAA (US version of ADAC or FDM), if needed,Â or just to keep in touch with.
If you would want to send us snail mail we have found a few addresses for you:Â
If you expect your mail to arrive by August 10th:
1 Grand Loop Road
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
Attn â€œSabine Djernaes arriving August 10thâ€
If you expect your mail to arrive by August 30th:
The Gershwin Hotel
7 East 27th Street
New York, NY 10016
Attn â€œMartin Djernaes #390427â€
If you expect your mail to arrive by September 28th:
Fort Wilderness Resort
4510 Fort Wilderness Trail
PO Box 10,000
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-1000
Attn â€œMartin Djernaes 9/28/2008â€
There are still two things which we have not completed yet â€“ the start and the end. When we leave from San Ramon and when weâ€™ll arrive back is not clear to us yet. It will depend on how we manage the details, but we know that we are going to be in Supai (Grand Canyon) July 7th.