Shiny Metal Tiger

Experiences in Baltimore, MD

The Road Trip

with 2 comments

While I did make a similarly entitled post a while back, this here is the real thing.

Along with a friend from Sweden, I’ll be riding coast-to-coast across America, from Baltimore to Los Angeles. ~4500 miles across 12 states, and that’s just the straight route. The trip will start in a couple of weeks, so due to both the season and our preferences we’ve chosen a Southern route, as shown on the map below (blue line). We have four weeks to cover the distance, which we hope will be enough that we don’t have to stick to highways the whole time, and that we’ll have at least the bare minimum of time at each of our destinations.

The blue line shows our approximate route. Everything else is sights and options.

Here’s the rough plan: Set out early in the morning and head down to Washington (passing by Minas Tirith on the way) to spend the day in the National Mall area, then further on the I-95 then I-64 until we reach the Appalachians. Scenic mountain routes further Southwest: Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Road until we hit Great Smoky Mountain, then detour north to Knoxville and take the I-40 to Nashville. See Graceland and revel in the Nashvilleness, then without too much delay Southwest again, along the Natchez-Trace Parkway as far as Tulepo, then detour north again to catch Memphis (mmm BBQ). From there we’ll obviously go down on highway 61; blues country. Along the Mississippi river, with a brief stop in Natchez to see some old South mansions before we reach New Orleans, . Definitely spend a couple of days in Nola, then shoot through the bayou to Houston, Texas, which is home to Rice University, in turn the home of supposedly the best college party in America. Qe need to get there for Halloween and crash said party, meaning that this’ll be the chronological mid-point of the trip.

Mileage-wise we’ll be more like a third through, however, so from then on it’s haul ass through the desert. At this point we’ll really be hitting the highways, and hopefully making better time than on the mountain trails; probably stop briefly in Austin, but otherwise not much until we reach White Sands in New Mexico. Once we get to Arizona we’ll go through the Saguaro National Park to see the archetypal cacti there, then north via Phoenix, through Sedona to Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon. From there it’s straight West over the Hoover Dam to Vegas, baby! A couple of nights there (and another friend joining us), then on to California. The plan is to visit Death Valley on the way to Los Angeles, then spend the rest of our time in LA and doing day trips to e.g. Sequoia National Park or up the pacific coastline. But at that point it really depends on how much time is left.

We’re pretty much ready, and at the same time pretty unorganized. The plan is to mostly camp and/or stay in the car. Youthful budget road trip all the way. Places like Vegas we’ll probably get hotels. Other than that, it’s pretty carefree; I have my new camera, a road atlas with the route marked in, some people who want to buy my car in LA and a lot of enthusiasm, so what else do you need? At the moment my biggest worry is to put together a soundtrack for the trip, or rather several soundtracks themed to different regions (Appalachians, Deep South, California…), plus some generic ‘Road trip’ ones. So feel free to offer suggestions!


Written by Martin

2010/09/15 at 21:59

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. You only need about three songs really:

    Blue Monday by New Order
    Roadtrippin by Red Hot Chili Peppers
    Funkytown by Lipps Inc.


    2010/09/16 at 03:17

  2. I’m looking forward to seeing the photos from this trip, seems like a lot of fun! I’ll let you know if I think of any good songs 🙂


    2010/09/18 at 12:50

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