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Old 08-03-2013, 07:59 AM
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Cross Country Trip (East to West)

Hi everyone, first post here. I have a 2013 Overland V8.

My wife and I will be moving from Boston, MA to Santa Monica, CA for job relocation in mid October. We have two cars so we will be shipping mine (2012 VW GLI) and driving the Jeep. We will be shipping our belongings so there is no towing involved. We will also have our 1.5 year old Boxer with us.

I'm looking for any advice from you guys on routes, small detours for cool sites, what to bring, etc. as this will be our first trip of this magnitude and first time driving not along the east coast.

I've been stalking these forums for a while and have seen that there are a lot of very helpful people here so I'm hoping for some good tips.
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Old 08-04-2013, 12:54 AM
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Re: Cross Country Trip (East to West)

Don't skip colorado!
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:31 AM
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Re: Cross Country Trip (East to West)

Start early to avoid any rush hours. That way you can stop early in the afternoon
and rest for the next day. If you don't like mountains use I80 north or I40
south, otherwise definitely go through Colorado (very scenic). Enjoy the trip.
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:44 AM
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Re: Cross Country Trip (East to West)

Well from Boston to Colorado - there is basically nothing (besides the mountains you will pass in NY over there). So plan to rip through that shit as fast as possible, unless you like looking at corn and/or nothing.

If I were you, I would get into Colorado and try to hit as many of the National Parks as possible (Start with Rocky Mountain NP, then head over to Gunnison NP). Now from there you could either head south and go through towards Ouray / Telluride and down into southern Colorado to hit up Mesa Verde NP, or...

From Gunnison NP, head northwest up to Moab, UT and spend a day or 2 there exploring Arches NP and/or Canyonlands NP. Then head over to Bryce Canyon NP and finally down to Zion NP. Spend at least a day at each.

After Zion NP, go south east so you can hit up Grand Canyon NP from the east side and then head west to Las Vegas. Hit up Vegas, then either head north to Death Valley NP or south to Joshua Tree NP.

If you do any of this - take a ton of pics and post them here.
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:50 AM
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Re: Cross Country Trip (East to West)

Route 66 from Kingman AZ into California is a nice drive through historic Oatman.

And of course Yosemite if you haven't been to that national park. There won't be many waterfalls still flowing, but the rest of the granduer will be there for you.
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:50 PM
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Re: Cross Country Trip (East to West)

Thanks for the tips so far. I'm going to look into all of them, not sure how many we'll actually be able to squeeze in though due to time constraints. Definitely going to head through Colorado and Utah, might have to just drive through some sites instead of spending a day at each.
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:16 PM
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Re: Cross Country Trip (East to West)

My first thought was that you'd end up going thru the middle of nowhere.. but when I did the route in StreetAtlas, it takes you along the Erie shore and along the bottom of Lake Michigan.. I don't know much of this route past Chicago, but between Boston and there you have
- Rochester NY, the Eastman House
- Niagara Falls
- Cleveland, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
- Chicago

So, depending on how focused you are on making a beeline across the country, there are certainly things to stop and experience.. I'm sure there are many more west of Chicago that I don't know about (though doing pieces of Rt 66 is on my bucket list..)

...tom
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Old 08-05-2013, 06:18 PM
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Re: Cross Country Trip (East to West)

I was in Boston just last week on work. Beautiful city!!

For you cross-country drive, if you really want to speed, use state highway #6 and #375 (ET highway) in Nevada. The road is straight as an arrow for 15 miles... and I heard the jeep is very stable at 95 mph. Just watch out for cows (open range). Oh, don't miss Death Valley.

Spend most of your days in Colorado and Utah. Stay off the major highway I-70. Drive the million dollar highway from Ouray to Silverton. Drive on some 4x4 trails. Camp at the national parks. Drive up our 14ers Mt. Evans and Pikes Peak. Also, the drive from Canon City to Salida is a must if you like twisty roads. It is incredible and I used to ride my motorcycle there. The road will connect you to CO-50 that goes to Montrose. Which then connects to Ouray. Check out Black Canyon of the Gunnison Park. It is one of the least visited parks I think and it is very nice! We saw few bears there.

Or drive on CO-160 towards Pagosa Springs from Alamosa. Check out the Great Sand Dunes National Park and hike to the summit. Once you have had your hearts content with CO, drive to Utah... and visit Moab (Arches, Canyonlands), Bryce Canyon, Zion, Grand Canyon (north rim), etc.

You could easily spend a month and still see only a fraction of these two states.

Drive safe and post pics...

Cheers,
-A
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:10 PM
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Re: Cross Country Trip (East to West)

You don't mention how much time you have for traveling.

Colorado is nice and all, but, really, it's just a day's drive (12 hrs to Durango). A long day, but only a day, from Santa Monica, so I'd spend my tourist hours farther east where you'll likely never get back too. Head south and hit some Civil War sites. Drive through the Blue ridge mountains. Drive through New Mexico.

The Great Plains are a whole lot of "not much".

Colorado, Arizona (Grand Canyon), and Utah are quite accessible to a quick couple day vacation so, if you're so inclined, you're more likely to be able to see those once you get to Calif than not. Mind, there's lots of California to explore. You can drive 12 hours north and not get out of the state.

So, just me, but I'd spend the time on places you're likely to not get back to.
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Old 08-05-2013, 08:12 PM
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Re: Cross Country Trip (East to West)

If you head through Denver and take 70 into Utah, be sure to stop in Green River, UT. It's not that there is much to see there, it's just the last place to pee or get gas for 110 miles. :-)
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Old 08-05-2013, 08:31 PM
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Re: Cross Country Trip (East to West)

Keep in mind the national parks do not allow pets on the trail so, unless you want to keep your pet in the car while you hike, you may want to just drive through. If you do stop at Rocky Mountain National Park, you can drive in on the Estes Park side and drive out on the Grand Lake side. This is a very scenic drive. Make sure to remember water and treats for the dog! The area around Ouray, Colorado is very beautiful as well. If you're on I-70 in Utah, get off in Cisco and take Highway 128 into Moab. This is a beautiful drive (after the first 20 miles) and you can drop down to Monument Valley, Arizona if you choose, into Flagstaff or drive by the Grand Canyon. Whichever way you go, have a safe trip and a fun time!
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