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Kicking California To The Curb

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I think I'm done with California. Other than the weather this state holds nothing for me.

I've recently been planning a cross country jaunt all the way back to Rochester, New York from here in Sacramento, California, not a small undertaking, but one that has been exciting me. I'll probably be moving sometime near the middle to the end of June after the kids are out of school.

I'll probably be selling the majority of our stuff here -- including our second car which has served us well since 1993 -- just taking the Honda Civic on a sight seeing tour of America as we drive across its vastness. We don't have all of our plans together and me and the wife are still in negotiations. I'll probably be posting our driving plans and maybe some of you have some suggestions on things we should stop and see.

Most of the map sites just give us a lame travel plan like the one below.


A straight shot over the Sierra's, through the Great Plains and to the East coast. I'm more ambitious though and currently plan to drive down California to stop once more at our family vacation spot of Redondo Beach for a day. Then, heading via the old Route 66, into Arizona. My plans are currently to stop near Flagstaff where we'll spend a day taking in the Meteor Crater, Petrified Forest and the Grand Canyon as the map below shows.

Then I don't know where we'll go. I'm thinking of heading up to Colorado Springs, Colorado where they have this waterfall called Seven Falls, but I'm not sure. I could continue on East from Arizona and through New Mexico, but I don't think there's much in New Mexico. If I take that route I'm pretty much commiting to going through the long drive through Texas.

I want to head towards Virginia along the way as that's where my mom lives and It'd be nice to stop there. Hell, I could even hit Washington DC on the way up to New York.

This is all preliminary of course. I'll post more later as I figure it out.

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Posted by Digger on April 14, 2005 10:53 AM (Permalink)

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I could suggest some areas in Colorado if you aren't in any hurry. Colorado Springs is nice, but there are better areas. If you go through Colorado Springs though, make sure to stop at the Air Force Academy and make sure you visit the church. It's amazing.

Posted by: Chad Evans on April 14, 2005 07:29 PM

Hmm, I'm not sure how excited the kids would be with going there. I'll look into it.

Any suggestions of course are welcome.

Posted by: Digger on April 14, 2005 09:11 PM

Do they fish? If so, there is a huge trout farm about an hour West of Colorado Springs that has (or had) seven different ponds. It's not your normal fish farm where there aren't any big fish. There are huge fish there and of course small ones. I went there as a youngster and had fun.

Then there is a bobsled run South of Colorado Springs that is fun. Pikes Peak is a waste of time so don't bother.

Call the Colorado Bureau of Tourism to get the exact locations/phone numbers of the above places. They should know what both of these places are.

If you drive through the Panhandle of Texas, you should see the play called 'Texas' at Palo Duro Canyon. It's been going on for years and years and is quite entertaining. Your kids would like it.

Posted by: Chad Evans on April 14, 2005 09:20 PM

Seems leaving Mexifornia is really catching on...When Villaraigosa is elected Mayor of LA it is only going to get worse....Just today at my son's school I told them we were officially leaving for Hawaii on june 6 and I learned one family is headed to Vegas and another to Phx...w while I think both those places are the same or worse... at least they are affordable and you get a great deal more for your money...Most everyone I know wants to get out of here... Anyway if you decide to ever check out Oahu...let's have coffee!

Posted by: Crystal Clear on April 15, 2005 05:13 PM

Jeeeze Digger, that's some news. Are you sure?

We have taken no fewer than 28 cross country trips. East/west coast, north/south borders, from Imperial Valley to Ft. Kent Maine. (the diagonal) We've seen it all, (48 states) and yet each time we travel, we see something new.

You are in for a treat.

Our recommendation? Drive north to Washington State, turn right, and drive through some of the most beautiful country imaginable.

In High Summer no less: Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Datkota, Minnesota (wade the Mississippi) Wisconsin, Michigan's Upper Peninsula then the Lower, then cross into Canada where you've indicated. You can splash your feet in all 5 great lakes.(You'll never forget seeing the sand dunes.)

Canada during Summer is simply Spectacular. The WifeWonk prefers Quebec City, but Toronto has its charms, as you'll see.

The northern route offers cooler temperatures too.

We've drive the southern route at least 4 times per year, and it's not nearly as pretty (in summer) as the northerly one.

Posted by: EdWonk on April 16, 2005 02:26 AM

You're missing the greatest state in the country??????????
HELLO!!!!! TEXAS!!!!!!!!

P.S. Since your my poolboy and all you might want to drop by and do that as well.

P.S.S. Since you hold this title I am giving you some info on my site. I have been asked by some commenters to post my old acting shots. I did today and through tomorrow and then they are gone. So, if you want to drop by and see me in my much younger days (and some from now actually, cuz I am playing with imageview) drop on by.

Posted by: Rightwingsparkle on April 16, 2005 07:02 PM

I did the same -- drove across the country -- in September 2001, except I did it East to West, more specifically from Washington DC to San Jose CA.

I stuck pretty much to my plan (I definitely think you should have one), and these are the places I visited: Washington DC (also Mt Vernon VI), Gettysburg PA, Lincoln's Tomb in Springfield IL, Chicago (Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Sears Tower), Mitchell SD (to see The Corn Palace, which I heard about on NPR), Mount Rushmore (also the in-progress Crazy Horse memorial), Little Bighorn National Monument, Yellowstone National Park (I was just north of Yellowstone, in Livingston MT, the morning of 9/11), and Crater Lake in Oregon was the last real sightseeing stop on my plan, after which I drove straight down to San Jose.

In total I was on the road for 12 days; I guess the longest stretch was from Chicago to Rapid City SD (I only stopped for a couple of hours in Mitchell).

I also stopped in Cincinnati, Ohio, but only because it's where I was born, and I had not been back since leaving with my parents in 1968.

It's a lot of driving. On the next occasion I will take more time.

Have fun.

Posted by: x on April 18, 2005 04:55 AM

Oops -- Virginia is abbreviated VA, not VI.

Posted by: x on April 18, 2005 05:01 AM

Right on X. I've been thinking of taking it from Colorado up through South Dakota to Mt. Rushmore as well. Still planning things out.

Posted by: Digger on April 18, 2005 10:35 AM

Definitely please do not follow what you call the "lame game plan" shown in the top-most map. :) That looks like just taking Interstate 80 across the U.S., which I (unfortunately) have done before. There is absolutely nothing to see off of that highway except between, say, Sacramento and Reno through the Sierras. Then it is just miles of nothingness and truck stops.

Your idea of going through Flagstaff is much better. A former Californian myself, I was in a somewhat similar position as you a year ago. After taking several months to visit several prospective cities on my list, I settled on Fort Collins, Colorado. Seems like many other Californians have done so as well. I invite you to check out my recap of my American road trip and impressions of all the different towns. My criteria was likely quite different than yours but you may get some good ideas of places to check out. Good luck! -felix of felixwong.com

Posted by: Felix on February 22, 2006 01:46 AM

Hey Felix,

Thanks for the comments. This is an old post though and we already made the trip. We took the route you mentioned. You can even see the whole 12 day, 16 state, 4,850 mile trek as I documented it at Our Family Adventure. There's pictures and everything.

It's amazing looking back on my thought processes in this old post when I was initially planning the trip nearly a year ago.

Your posts above at your website are well done too! I see you also made it to Kitty Hawk! We actually took the ferry in North Carolina and drove the whole of the Outer Banks (the island chain off the coast of NC) from south to north. It was incredible and I recommend everyone do it.

Posted by: Digger on February 22, 2006 02:21 AM

Wow! You did a great job documenting your x-country adventure. I loved some of your photos too. Since you took the southern route you got to see many sites that I did not, so I really loved your report. Thanks for posting it!

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