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Traveling 'n such

  1. Aug 10, 2005 #1
    So, quick update on my life to anyone remotely interested:

    camp has been excellent, never been so comfortable or happy with myself in all my life. i think i've made some really good friends, and i've even one camper who's kept in touch, (she was an excellent girl, btw, i was so glad she wrote, i miss her very much.) i look and feel better than i ever have really. and i'm just in a really decent place right now. i'm learning spanish from 3 of the girls from spain who i've become very good friends with, and i'll be traveling with them across the US for two weeks, starting next week. I'll be visiting them in Spain as well in January. My family life is rough, but my parents are trying really hard to be supportive, i'm just emotional when it comes to talking about things with them. i've realized i have a lot of hard feelings and resentment, ect. I'm still straight, and still single, though either could change at any moment. I'm not ready to go back to Uni on sept 6th.

    so then, the other stuff i've created a thread for:

    as mentioned, i'll be traveling the US for two weeks in one week. we have 15 days to go and be back. we leave the 14th, (maybe 15th) and back the 31st. I really really want to see the grand canyon, and the girls i'm traveling with want to go to kansas to visit a friend. other than that, i think the trip is pretty loosely planned. we'll be renting a 12 passenger van i think, because there will be 5 of us traveling, and we'll be possibly meeting 2 or 3 on the way. and the 12 passenger vans are cheaper then 7 passenger mini vans. so, one girl is from the US and can drive, but has back problems, 2 are from spain, and have spanish drivers lisences but not US ones. I have my US lisence, but the rental company won't let me drive cause i'm under 18. so, its a rough situation. i think i'll probably drive most of the way anyway, even though i'm not s'posed to... though i'm interested to hear any advice...

    i'm also interested in any suggestions for places to see. we've only got a short period of time, and a lot of distance to travel. i'm a fan of the "flip a coin at every cross roads" philosophy, but we should probably plan at least a little bit.

    oh, and also, for anyone who doesn't know me, i'm a bit of an emotional sort. so i'm a little worried about living with nearly strangers, (well, i've known them about a month and lived with them on camp i guess...) and being on the road away from home, (not that i like being home, but the being in a strange place thing..) so, i'm curious for any advice about how to get along, or what to do if we don't get along so well. i'm really nervous that because they're all spanish that i'll be a bit left out, and if that happens, i dunno what i'd do. i get very sad when i feel lonely. so... eh.

    anyways, i'm mostly very excited and er.. WOOT! ya, just want to share the excitement. heh.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 10, 2005 #2


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    sounds like you're going to have alot of fun... :smile:

    if you don't know these people very well, talk to them and make yourself more comfortable with them. You should feel better with them soon.
  4. Aug 10, 2005 #3
    If you are in lincoln Nebraska you can stop by my house and we'll get you some partying.

    Afterwards we can chill at my place maybe smoke a little and talk philosophy with my roommate and friends.

    Just PM me if your interested.
  5. Aug 10, 2005 #4
    GALE!!! Nice to see you around again. Hope you have fun on your trip. I've not been many places myself so I wouldn't know what to suggest. Personally I love Oregon. I myself would also want to go to New Orleans. Other than that I have no clue. Have you been to Yosemite?
  6. Aug 10, 2005 #5
    Mattius: i'd be interested in any cheap place to stay overnight, though, i'm not sure how the ladies i'd be traveling with would feel.... we're all pretty outgoing though. but there's 5 of us, so if you invite one, you're inviting us all! at any rate, being 17, i'm not allowed to smoke or party, eh?

    at any rate, yes, the plan is to have as much fun as possible. i think i'll really enjoy myself, but i'm still a little worried. i've been going through a lot of emotional-ness and self discovery, i just... eh, i dunno. i worry, and probably about nothing.

    i was thinking New Orleans as well, though i hear its quite the party, and i'd be a little worried for my safety maybe? where's Yosemite at? i traveled out west when i was little, but i don't remember much. i'm really excited to be going now. only 17, and i'm off on a big time road trip, its gonna be great.
  7. Aug 10, 2005 #6
    Hah, im only 19 so im not alloud either :tongue2: ,but I think that once your in college it is okay to have a little fun. Anyways, yall would have to sleep on the floor but yea im sure everything would work out and we would have a ridiculous amount of fun for a night.
  8. Aug 10, 2005 #7
    Central California.....make sure you don't die before you vist Yosemite National park. Trust me on that...
  9. Aug 10, 2005 #8


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    Save New Orleans for when you're over 21. It's also not a very safe or clean city, rather expensive, and this would probably be a miserable time of year to head so far south.

    With only 15 days round-trip, I don't know if you'll make it all the way out to the Grand Canyon if you also need to stop in Kansas on the way, especially if only one or two of you can do the driving.

    You might want to plan a somewhat circular route, head one way out and a different way back. Maybe head southwest near the coast heading through the Shenandoah mountains (there are a lot of tourist stops along there...things like caverns and nice scenic overlooks...bring along a cooler and some sandwich fixings and picnic along the way...that will cut down on food costs if you don't have to eat at restaurants all the time, and will give you flexibility to just stop in any pretty location to eat).

    Maybe cut across westward through Tennessee and Arkansas, then turn northward toward Kansas in Oklahoma. Stop by to see Evo in Kansas :tongue2:. If you're still making good time and want to continue west, you can (Denver is a nice city; go to their art museum if you end up there), then head back through a more northerly route. If you have time on the way back, get Zz to recommend a place to stop for dinner in Chicago (I wouldn't spend the night there if you're on a tight budget, but grab a nice dinner and then head east and stay at a cheaper place once you hit Indiana). Maybe cut back southward toward Indianapolis before heading back for home. All along this route, there will be random places you could stop. If you just plan the general route first and figure out how many days of driving and how many stops you can make along the way, then check out tourism guides for each state along your route and pick stuff you might want to stop at. Sometimes you come across some historical site that only takes an hour to visit and makes a nice afternoon break from driving, and sometimes you hit an area that has a lot to do and you'd like to spend a full day there. Then you can be somewhat flexible in whether you decide you have enough time to see it once there or if it looks as exciting as it did when you read about it or if you want or need to just keep driving through.

    At least that's how I like to plan road trips. I loosely plan the direction and have an idea of what's along the way, and then play it by ear what I really stop for and don't. Though, with a larger group, you might need to be more organized, otherwise if you're trying to get opinions whether to stop or not as you're seeing the signs, you may never stop for anything.

    As for traveling with a group of people you don't know well, that might actually work in your favor. It'll be a good chance to get to know them very well, and there's a lot to learn about each other, so you won't get bored telling the same old stories you all already know about each other. Take turns choosing music so it's not all one person's taste in music, and set a rule that when it's someone's turn to choose music, it doesn't matter how much everyone else dislikes it, it's their choice (fighting over the radio is always a big problem with the people I know on road trips...if everyone can drive, then I do it as driver's choice, but since you don't have many drivers, that won't work for your group).

    If people seem to be getting on each other's nerves from being stuck in the same vehicle too long, stop at the nearest lame roadside attraction and give everyone a chance to get out and walk around and have a laugh over whatever you stopped at.

    You'll probably be sharing close quarters, either camping out or sharing inexpensive hotel/motel rooms along the way. If that's the case, then sort out who the early morning and late night people are and have them sharing rooms or beds, whichever way that works out, so you're not waking each other up going to bed or getting up at different times. If you're sitting up when someone else is already sleeping, go sit out in a lobby or by a pool or wherever you're not going to keep each other awake.

    Just some suggestions. You'll end up having a blast! You'll see, once you're out on the road, everything will be fine.
  10. Aug 10, 2005 #9
    I think you can get from coast to coast pretty easy I just drove from Corpus Christi TX all the way to Omaha NE last week, it just took a few red bulls. I went 1200 miles and it took 16 hours. Best advice would be to take a few chances, it'll pay off. I stopped in Ft/worth on my drive and went clubbing with some girls I met at the hotel I and it turned out to be a blast. It feels so great to be out on your own on the open road with absolutely no one looking at what your doing and judging you for it. The greatest times I have are with people that are disconnected from my social circle because we do the most spontaneous things and dont care what other people will think of them. Last night I went bridge jumping it was a thrill.
  11. Aug 10, 2005 #10


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    The Oregon and Central California coasts are must see. Perfect time of year, too. One cool thing you could do just for the novelty value (something I've always to do) is drive the length of the I-80, just because it begins with the George Washington Bridge out of New York and ends with the Bay Bridge into San Francisco. I always thought that was cool.

    Oh, and you can definitely make it to the Grand Canyon in the time you have. Heck, I made it from Charlotte to Los Angeles in under two days (of course, we didn't stop at all, but it's not like there's anything to see in between - except the Grand Canyon, but I had already seen it and wasn't sight-seeing). I'd recommend not going to Kansas. Your time is limited enough that it's not worth going somewhere with nothing to see just to visit people. Visit people if they're already on your route or another time. If you do stop, don't do so for any more than a day.
  12. Aug 10, 2005 #11


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    Ah man, the last time I drove cross-country with a friend I was telling everybody we met that I was a photojournalist documenting my friend's journey, and that he was a writer. Everyone believed us, too. Aside from the people, though, I think the best part may have been getting lost on some snow-covered clay road on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico, encountering a wild albino pony (which looked absolutely magical in the snow), and being helped back to the main road by some Natives. Getting snowed-in in West Virginia and discovering a civil war battlefield on the other side of the trees was pretty cool, too.
  13. Aug 10, 2005 #12


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    Well, if you come to Kansas, you'll find the beginnings of the old Oregon and Santa Fe Trails. YEEHAH! (trust me, they're not worth finding, just little plaques on the side of the road) but they're near my house) :rolleyes:

    The jaws of death did dig up something unusual on my property though, can't tell if they're human bones, they're sawed in half. :bugeye: That dog can dig pretty deep. :surprised
  14. Aug 10, 2005 #13
    omg Evo! hope that wasen't the remains of the last group that came close to your home! lol
    Gale, you will have a great time. I'm with Moonbear, but also talk about it with the other girls, everyone going needs some imput.
  15. Aug 10, 2005 #14


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    It'll help if you decide what everyone, as a group, really wants out of this trip. Are there people who prefer to see cities and the sort of cultural things in cities (like museums), or to see the less populated outdoors (mountains, caves, national parks, camping), or to learn something about US history (visiting Civil War battlefields, or landmarks along the Underground Railroad, or Amish Country), or to be silly and goofy and stop at every cheesy roadside attraction (world's biggest ball of string or block of cheese)? Or do you want to include a little variety of each of those?

    If there's one BIG thing you'd like to see, then it might be worth just driving past other places to get to the big thing and stay there a few days (like the Grand Canyon), but if your goal is more to get a sampling of the US, you might want to make short stops at a lot of places with the idea you will someday go back to the ones you like and want to spend more time at.

    If I wasn't in the middle of preparing to move, I'd have invited you all to stay at my place. Cincinnati is about an hour or two from a lot of different things, so it's a good place to stop and choose a direction to head out from.

    I wouldn't recommend just driving I-80 across the US though. As much as it sounds like an interesting idea, it gets boring REALLY quickly. I've driven it from NJ to OH, and by then it is already becoming monotonous.
  16. Aug 11, 2005 #15


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    That's because you didn't take the cool side trips like Jenny Jump Cliff and Shades of Death Rd. (both in New Jersey).
  17. Aug 11, 2005 #16


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    if you pass through Arizona Gale, try and see Sunset Crater near the Grand Canyon. It's amazing how deep and wide it is.

    Avoid Los Angeles if you can, you might get stuck on the wrong freeway and get carjacked. Crater Lake Oregon is a real sight to see as well, just be prepared to wear a jacket in August up there. Cal/Or coast is spectacular, enough so that I got married there.
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