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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At the end of this coming summer, I should be in the process of finishing my doctoral dissertation and should be at the point that I'm in need of (and quite deserving of) a break. My plan is to take a 3-week cross-USA Element-powered adventure trip. I have outfitted "Ellie" to be totally self-sufficient for one or two man camping for two or three days at a time (see my thread in Campers, Teardrops, etc...) and should therefore be able to stay/sleep/eat/shower/potty for free wherever I am. Main expense should be gasoline, and hopefully prices will stay reasonable through the summer. I have a list of activities (surfing, hiking, kayaking, rafting, biking) in mind as well as a list of possible places to visit:

-Orlando, FL (Start)
-Savannah, GA (Friends)
-Ocean City, MD (my Hometown)
-NY / East PA (Friends)
-Mountains of West Virginia
-Iowa (visit ex-fiancee [if she'll have me!])
-Black Hills
-Devil's Tower
-Mountains of Colorado
-Black Rock Desert (possibly in coordination with Burning Man?)
-Las Vegas
-Mojave, CA
-Lake Havasu, AZ
-White Sands, NM
-Roswell, NM
-Houston, TX
-New Orleans, LA
-Destin, FL
-Orlando, FL (Home for start of Fall Semester at UCF)

I'm posting all this information because I'm thinking that perhaps along certain legs of the journey and for certain activities I might be joined by fellow Element adventurers. Also, I'm hoping that the people on the boards here will give me some good information on different things to do in those places as well as along the way...

I'll have my trusty EEE PC and Verizon access card with me, and plan on buying a decent digital camera and tripod in order to photo-blog the whole thing...

So, what should I plan to do? And who's with me!?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Sponsor/supporter stuff

While I'm thinking about it, I figure maybe there are companies and individuals out there that may be looking to advertise or trip-torture-test certain goods and services...

So, since I'm pretty sure I'm the only loony-tune that's going to do this, I'd like to offer logo/decal space on my Element and myself (tshirts, not tattoos!) in exchange for whatever support or equipment you may want to help me with. Big items on the wishlist would be:

-Standalone GPS
-The NEW 2009 Honda Element Tent
-Bikes / Surfboards / Kayaks / Rafts when I'm on location (I don't plan on carrying all of that stuff)
-Extra Solar Panels
-Roof Rack
-Camping Supplies
-Photography Equipment

Yeah, I realize that I probably won't get much interest in having things GIVEN to me, but it's worth a try! Maybe a discount for a spot on the big trip and a myriad of shots on the trip website....?
 

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That is going to be a freaking sweet trip! I'll let you know if I dig up anything you might want and that I need to get rid of (not likely, but possible. Will keep you in mind).
 

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I am changing colors...

Yeah that's the color...green...with envy. I would love to be able to do something of that epic. I have taken a few motorcycle trips like that, 2 weeks and ten states it was great. Good luck on your advertising quest and have a safe and WHOO _ HOO TRIP!!!!
 

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I'd skip West Virginia, the Mojave Lake Havasu and go further west from Devils Tower so you can see Yellowstone and Teton National Parks on the way down to the Colorado Rockies via Steamboat Springs, Rocky Mt. National Park, Estes Park (just outside of Rocky Mt. National Park) and Boulder.


Either way, a spectacular trip and a very busy three weeks!

:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Reply to Hiker Chick

Yeah, I realize it's a LOT of driving, but if I can drive for 6 hours a day, hike/bike/have fun for 6, then pass out, I'm happy. I'm a jet skiing freak so I'm definitely going to have to ski Havasu... Also, I'm a serious Aerospace Engineering geek, so I can't skip the Mojave... A night in Vegas isnt imperative, and the Black Rock desert may be redundant if I see Wyoming and Mojave...?

What do you think?
 

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Sounds like a great trip! I'd like to see all those places in the US. But first I need to travel East and then West in my own country. Looking forward to reading about this adventure.

Check out this forum for great advice on long expeditions. http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/index.php
Most of the rigs here are a little more offroad oriented, but I'm sure it would still be helpful.
 

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Awesome trip! I met my wife while doing a 6 month backpacking across Australia trip. Taking life breaks like that are totally useful!

I grew up partially in New Mexico and went to NMMI (it's the castle/prison looking set of buildings) in Roswell, depending on how you're planning on getting to Roswell, you may want to check out Carlsbad Caverns. Ruidoso is pretty as you make your way to White Sands, but man, one of my favorite camping trip memories is camping in whitesands! Bring a cardboard box or something, then you can surf down the dunes!

If you're traveling in October (sounds like you'll be earlier than that) the Trinity site is open twice a year, april/october (first Atomic Bomb) it's located in White Sands Missile Range.

I spent a summer as a baker at Mt. Rushmore (doing the black hills... you HAVE to hit Mt. Rushmore. Since they redid everything a few years back, it's an orgy of historical info!) If you're doing your trip in July, look up when the Sturgis Motorcycle rally is in town, if its during your time in the Black Hills/devil's tower area, it's going to be PACKED! (but it's fun, you see a bunch of suits on bikes show up, the walk inside and change, bamn, leather clad business men!)

Anyway, any questions on the New Mexico, Black Hills legs, let me know (or if you're coming through Austin, TX)

I do have to second Hiker Chick's Recommendation on Yellowstone/grand tetons. Those parks are impressive (When we moved from San Fran, to Austin, we went via the grand tetons, black hills, then down).

Chris
 

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I am so jealous! That sounds amazing. :)

I don't have any tips or advice, but want to wish you luck and say that I can't wait to see pictures and read updates!

I only know of one good bike shop here in CT (I'm just getting into it), but a friend who is heavy into biking recommends them. Granby Bicycle. They are sponsoring his entry in the Angel Ride, so they may be open to some dealing!
 

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skip houston - do austin.
 

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Sounds amazing... you have me wanting to do the same thing!! But I agree with the post above me... skip Houston and do Austin... one of the best places in America. And is Tucson Arizona a possibility for you? Bike riding there is amazing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions!

I'm keeping tabs on all the suggestions and will no doubt edit my route several times... I'll probably do the black hills / rushmore / devil's tower leg and then shoot over to see yellowstone and the grand tetons... maybe after jet skiing havasu I'll try some biking in the tucson area... Jeez, I'm gonna need a map and a lot of pushpins! I'll see if I can photoshop something up....
 

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I'm keeping tabs on all the suggestions and will no doubt edit my route several times... I'll probably do the black hills / rushmore / devil's tower leg and then shoot over to see yellowstone and the grand tetons... maybe after jet skiing havasu I'll try some biking in the tucson area... Jeez, I'm gonna need a map and a lot of pushpins! I'll see if I can photoshop something up....
Rushmore to Devil's to Yellowstone is a full day drive. Yellowstone/Tetons to Havasu/Tucson is a long 2 day drive.

If you hit Utah and want some ideas of recreation here, contact me, I'd be glad to point you to some hotspots!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
All suggestions welcome!

I'm definitely happy that people are making suggestions on what to see and where to go! I'm going to be in all necks of the woods as I drive around the country, so please just let me know what the must-see hotspots are! Also, I hope to be putting up a website soon with my live-in element setup for now, and pics of the trip later...

Also considering pushing the trip for June instead of August! I'm excited and don't know if I can wait all summer...
 

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Sounds like a great adventure, I am in the middle of Vegas and Havasu and I drive to both regular so hit me up with you come by!
 

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I, too, am envious of your adventure. Your route is pretty blank between PA and IA. So in case you take I-80 west here are some possible stops: Pokagon State Park in the middle of Indiana and Starved Rock State Park in the middle of Illinois, both close to I-80. Be sure to stop on the Mississippi. There are two good camp grounds just south of I-80 on the Illinois side of the river. The second one is better for tenting, the first better for trailers. Then take in the Locks information Center futher south of that.
 

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Hi from Northeast Pa! Lots of things for you to do here from camping, biking to kayaking. Kayaking is finally catching on around here. Have a great trip!
 

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Did you leave yet?

I couldn't help but notice the glaring lack of the midwest represented. particularly the great lakes.

You are missing out if you don't visit the northern great lakes. Many large state parks and tons of water to be had. Door County, WI. and Washington island, Isle Royal (wild place located in Lake Superior, entire island is a state park) Ashland WI. and the Apostle Islands, Mackinac Island, MI. (located in the straights of mackinac between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron). I could go on and on.

I'll be on Mackinac Island with my wife and son over Labor day weekend. Mackinac Island does not allow motor vehicles. So park the E and grab your bike and a round trip ticket on the ferry. Nothing but bicycles, horses, and carriges on this island. EXTREMELY peaceful.

http://www.photosonmackinac.com/

anyway just my 2 cents
 

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Awesome trip! I should done that when I finished my degree. I plan on taking a ferry from Bellingham, WA to AK and driving back with my wife and dogs after my postdoc. I still need to get the E!:rolleyes:
 
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