Plan Your Road Trip

Plan Your Road Trip

I had to plan a road trip. I thought I had a few weeks of boring work ahead of me. Wrong! As I laid out our itinerary and began to look closer and deeper into the areas we would visit, I began to get excited.

We were going to take a car trip, to the Northwest, starting in early May. We had no set plans and no motel reservations. We hoped to stay off the interstate as much as possible, fish at some trout streams, and try to see a lot of the western U.S..

I started the planning at our local AAA office where I got a roadmap of the US. Using two ‘scenic roads’ books I have as guides, I took a highlighter and marked the scenic routes on the map.

Using the internet, books and articles, I traveled along the route I had highlighted. I ‘checked out’ small towns, ‘toured’ museums, and ‘stayed’ at elegant bed and breakfasts. As I continued my research, I discovered many special places. I began to wonder how many more unique places could I find? As time went on, I began to get worked up with excitement in the planning.

A relaxing trip meant we needed to get a good idea of how much our daily mileage should be. We didn’t want to end up driving while tired. And we also didn’t want to rush through areas. While it’s pretty easy to calculate mileage on an interstate, it can be hard figuring mileage for secondary roads, the kind we hoped to take a lot of. For help with this, I used the Triptik® tool at the AAA website. I was able to get the needed mileage information and also information about roads and mountain passes that could still be closed in the late spring/early summer.

After weeks of planning, we packed the car and got on the road. Did we keep to the plan? Not 100%. We were tempted off our route by the signs for Promontory Point, Craters of the Moon National Park and the Birds of Prey Center to mention just a few. And let’s not forget the trout streams we passed that just about hollered ‘FISH ME!’ And, of course, the time needed to walk that great beach we found.

Our trip took 4 days long than the originally planed, putting over 10,000 miles on the car. It was a great trip and now I’m working on one to take us to the Southwest.

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