planning a roadtrip - suggestions sought.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike Huay, Jan 31, 2002.

  1. Mike Huay

    Mike Huay Stunt Coordinator

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    When I get back to the states, (hopefully in 2 or 3 weeks max.) I am going to try to see some of the states I haven't which includes everything between Wisconson and Washington State. (AK and HI another time) and / or some provinces, any west of ontario.

    Fuel/distance is no concern, because I have a VW Golf TDI which gets 50mpg+ easy on the road, and I have time. But I have to keep the hotel/motel costs down.

    I don't ski, so I just want to sightsee. What are the best places? Yellowstone and Mt. Rushmore worth it? How about the provinces, worth crossing over for anything?

    I plan to buy snow chains, so I don't mind the weather now. Ill start in California where my car is and end in New york. Ive made the trip many times on the usual shortest routes . This will be different.

    Thanks for any suggestions or advice...
     
  2. Jon_B

    Jon_B Screenwriter

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    If you have time, stop off in Yellowstone National Park and rent a snowmobile. The future of snowmobiling looks to be in jeopardy. In the next year or so there will be laws passed to ban snowmobiling. So....take advantage of it while it's still here. Supposedly it's the best way to see the park.
    Good Luck
    http://www.yellowstonenationalpark.com/
    Jon
     
  3. Jeffrey_Jones

    Jeffrey_Jones Second Unit

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    My suggestions:
    Glacier National Park (Perhaps the most beautiful national park there is). It might not be open now so you will have to check with the park service.
    Yellowstone - A must see. I have never been there in the winter seasons but I hear it is just as beautiful...and not nearly as crowded.
    You have to see Mt. Rushmore and the Crazy Horse monuments at some point in your life...why not now. I liked Crazy Horse better simply because of its size and the artist's reasons for starting the project.
    Drive I-90 through some of the most boring country side in existence...just to say you did it. It is boring but parts are beautiful. Check out Wall Drug and the Corn Palace. Don't ask me why, but people will ask you if you stopped in these places. Stop there and you get to share in the joy of discussing how strange it was [​IMG]
    That's just for starters. If you really have the time...take it and see as much as you can. I spent three weeks going from Newport to Seattle when my fiancé moved out here and now I wish I could head back, just for the road trip.
    Enjoy,
    Jeff
     
  4. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Buy yourself an Eagle Parks pass (free admission to all National Parks so if you're gonna do more than one, it's worth the $50 or so I think it is, the last time I checked)... Other parks to consider, depending on your desires and route:

    Bryce Canyon and Zion (not far from each other). Zion is bigger and has the narrows but IMO, Bryce is more colorful and may be more scenic. Either way, they're so close to each other, if you have the eagle's pass then both are free.

    If you're by Yellowstone, also check out the Grand Tetons, another cool park.

    If you want to see wildlife, go north to Glacier National Park in Montana, supposedly the most bears you'll ever see in the continental US of A...

    Snowmobiles or snowshoes or x-c skis are the only way to see Yellowstone and the likes now (who wants to stay in a car even if the roads were plowed.. get off the main road!)...

    Another cool national park is Acadia in Maine or the White Mountains, or the Green mountains in VT, or even the Adirondacks in NY.. the list goes on and on...

    Jay
     
  5. Hugh M

    Hugh M Second Unit

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    well, if you want to really know what I think....(oops the keyboard slipped, and typed a bunch of jibberish again)

    Rocky Mtn National Park (estes park, CO) you can stay in a real nice cabin lodge like "Aspen Lodge" for cheap during this time of year. The higher part of the park might (will) be closed, but the canyon on the way in, and the area surrounding it is amazing. There you can see why the Big Thomposon Flood was so devastating, when you see how deep and steep the thing is, and then imagine a 40,000 foot storm hanging over it for a few days. Elk all over the place, eating the lawns and acting like cattle.

    Ft. Collins, CO -- cool party town and then Poudre River Canyon (cheap) and geologically amazing.

    Provo Canyon UT (may be a bit too busy around there with the olymiad though) and Bridal Veil Falls (unbelievable)

    You must see Moab, UT and Canyonlands National Park, as well as Arches National Park. All within 30 miles or so. and warmer than the others. I think.

    Zion National Park. Then try to mosey on down through the northwest corner of Arizona and hit the Native American Monunents along 85 (I think) or something. Road goes from Canyonlands to Flagstaff (sort of)...These huge Buttes and strange rock formations are cool, and it is an experience to be in the middle of another "nation" of sorts. (navajo)

    The northwest is also great, but in the winter this trip could be treacherous. When traveling during these months I really have to consider which way I'm gonna go, because there are certain routes, like I-80 through Wyoming (on the continental divide for 100 some miles, wind barracades like the ones they have at the airports), I-70 in CO (both the flat lands and the mountains) and I-80 in California, that you are going to see some serious snow, and wind. If there is a storm you won't even be allowed to go anywhere. These are either western slope of the rockies, or plains, or just in the sierras which gets the most snow in the country. Be careful. I-25 to I-40 is sometimes the only option.

    A trip up the California coast from Monterey and up, would be sweet as well. There is nothing like getting to the ocean when you are on a road trip.

    (geesh I am a geography geek)

    my advice is to stay as south as you can during this part of the year, just pick the right roads. I-15 is not too bad at all, but 80 is probably the worst road to travel, maybe yielding to some of the northern states like I-90 in Montana or something perhaps could be bad as well.

    or you could just get a plane to Jamaica, and chill out there. Maybe a better time of the year for that. If you want to see alot of snow in some of these places, you can still go in July and you'll find it. No hurry there.

    Oh, if you want to see some rather amazing mountains, check out Palm Springs, CA as well. Wind Farms, sun, canyons, rich chicks, and yes, mountains. Palm Springs is about 70F right now, and there is a 10,000 foot mountain which shoots straight up from downtown (200 feet). Lots of snow up there, and a Tramway which goes from 3000-9000 feet, in about 2 miles (almost straight up). pretty amazing to say the least. you get in yur car in palm springs and you drive up the road and park, then you get in the tram, and by the time you're done you're freezin your butt off in winterland, and wondering where the lizards went. At the top you have a clear view of the valley which is 10,0000 feet and more below. More? yes, you can see a body of water which is only about 50 miles away -- the Salton Sea which is HUGE, and is also 235 feet BELOW sea level. You can basically take a tram up to the top of one of the TALLEST mountains in the lower 48 states. not too many other mountains shoot up from sea level to almost 11,000 feet in no time. McKinley is the only topper I believe.

    Not to mention the Tahquitz Falls just outside of Palm Springs which are an Indian treasure, and may be open this time of year. Very rare, just recovered from the homeless, cleaned up, and now guarded pretty heavily.

    I think Joshua Tree National Park near Twenty-nine palms can be a pretty sweet sight to see. Like the moon. That area would be cheaper than Palm Springs during peak season for a stay before you launch up the coast.

    stay south. stay warm. if you have never seen some or all of the Southwest it is something totally different from anything east of the Mississipi. The landscape is just weird compared to anything I grew up looking at. And the mountains just shoot up out of nowhere. Palms to Pines in about 20 minutes.

    (should have seen what I cut out of this post, blah blah blah)

    oh, if you go to Death Valley which is the lowest part of North America, (50 feet lower than the Salton sea) you can see from there the highest point in the lower 48 of the US. (Mt. Whitney) that is something a little strange for sure.
     
  6. Andrej Dolenc

    Andrej Dolenc Stunt Coordinator

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    Nothing like a road trip to see the US, done it twice already and can't wait to do it again. There's tons of great suggestions in the thread already, I won't rehash those and add some other neat points that I saw 2 years ago.

    Crater Lake up in Oregon was really neat, amazing how clear that water is.

    If you're staying down south, Arizona is chock full of things to do. Sedona is really cool, lots of neat hiking / biking. Just south of Flagstaff, add it in if you're seeing the grand canyon.

    North of the canyon is Page, right on the border of Arizona & Utah. Camp on the sandy beach of Lake Powell for ultra cheap just north of town. Very neat.

    In the Navajo reservation there's a Canyon de Chelly which is really worth seeing. You have to take a tour with the tourgroups there, and they take you on these monstrous 6 wheeled, 6 wheel drive offroad buggies and you drive thru the bottom of the canyon. Ruins, petroglyphs on the walls. I liked that tour quite a bit.

    Santa Fe, New Mexico is a very nice, artsy little town. Good food too.

    In the vicinity of Mt.Rushmore / Crazy Horse are Badlands National park and Custer State park, both worth checking out. Badlands the rocks are colored in different layers. Custer State park has these enormous, granite needles that stick up straight out of the ground. Good hiking in both places. If it's too freaking cold, there's a few caves there with a constant temperature that should feel nicely comfortable. They felt great when we were there and it was in the 90's!

    Further eastwards, we saw some really neat things on the Michigan upper peninsula (the UP), Painted Rocks National Lakeshore was really cool but it's liable to be pretty damn cold there now - it's right on the shore of Lake Superior. We hiked to this beach where when you step on the sand, the sand made this humming sound. No shit, one of the coolest things I've seen.

    Or you could just stay south, pass thru New Orleans (always a party!), and then chase down good BBQ joints. Plenty of good eatin' down there!

    Best bet, pick up a guide book or two and just browse. We went cross country to see nature. But that may not be your thing, all the books are pretty good at pointing out both city and nature things that are worth seeing. AAA books were pretty good at pointing out really interesting things. Or you can get something like a Let's Go or Lonely Planet guide for the whole US. We had a boxfull of various books which we used.

    You'll have a great time, enjoy yourself!

    Andrej
     
  7. Bill Cowmeadow

    Bill Cowmeadow Second Unit

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    There is a big ball of twine some where in Kansas and a very large steam shovel. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. Mike Huay

    Mike Huay Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for all of these. I think I will head for the far North!
     
  9. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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    Yes Mike come to Alberta! Many beautiful Canadian National Parks like Waterton( which is joined to Glacier National Park in Montana, the worlds first and I believe only International Peace Park ). Theres also Banff ( if u like crowds ) Jasper to the north( much quieter ) and others like Kooteney, Elk Island and Wood Buffalo. At this time of year though crowds won't be a problem. Wood Buffalo is to the far north and it is flat, swampy and has nothing but buffalo's roaming around. But it is the largest National Park in North America, if not the world. Uninteresting place though.

    Anyway, Calgary and Edmonton are 2 world class cities known for that great Canadian hospitality. Want to check out the largest shopping mall in the world(yes even bigger than the one in Minneapolis)? Then come to Edmonton...It has a indoor waterpark, a replica of one of Columbus's boats and when it opened in the mid 1980s "the best rollercoaster in the world". The best part about all this is your american dollar will go a long, long way here in the great white north. I think it would be worth the swing into Canada just on that fact alone.

    Just be careful and load your car full of emergency supplies in case of a break down. Old man winter isn't quite done with us yet however by the beginning of March its usually not so cold.
     
  10. Darren Davis

    Darren Davis Stunt Coordinator

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    I'll also recommend Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons National Park. Both are great. Yellowstone is just jaw-dropping beautiful.
     
  11. Mike Huay

    Mike Huay Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks everyone for these great suggestions.

    I ended up taking a far Northern trip through the US and parts of Canada with my wife.

    The highlights were:

    The Great Basin Highway in Nevada.

    Snowmobiling in Yellowstone, rented one from Old Faithful Rentals in West yellowstone. There was incredible wildlife and the geysers/ snowscape was spectacular. Thanks for that idea JohnB.

    Friendly town of Bozeman Montana

    Snowy roads in Saskatchewan.

    The upper part of Michigan, something I always wanted to see.

    The winter fest, the Ice Hotel, and experience in and near Quebec city. Great fun and great food.

    Cant wait to get back to 2 of these sometime inthe summer if I ever have the chance: Quebec and Yelowstone.
     
  12. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    I don't know if you've been to California or what, but that's all I really know, so here goes:

    San Francisco: Make a few days for this great city. So much to see and do, it's just amazing. Great food from all cultures, and one of the most geographically exciting cities in the world, so many hills!! Don't forget to ride the trolleys.

    Monterey: If you like Steinbeck, you have to go see Cannery Row. Stop by Pebble Beach too if you've got a chance.

    Big Sur: This is more of a driving thing, but the most beautiful drive you'll ever take. I highly reccomend picknicking down on the rocks with the Pacific Ocean roaring out in front of you.
     
  13. Mike Huay

    Mike Huay Stunt Coordinator

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    Andrew,

    Thanks for those. I will have to save them for next time. I am just about broke. (see the post above yours)

    But I will eventually be living in CA so I will get to them someday.
     
  14. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    How did you manage taking a DIESEL going through various cold places. IIRC doesn't their fuel "gel" below certain temperatures? That's why you don't see them "up north". (In Alaska, truckers keep the engine always running and the exhaust heats the fuel tanks.)
     
  15. Mike Huay

    Mike Huay Stunt Coordinator

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    I drive the only passenger car you can still buy new in a diesel. A VW with the TDI engine. (MB stoppped selling the E300 sedan a few years ago in the US, but you can find it or other older diesel cars used ) You can get the VW TDI engine in the Golf, Jetta, or Bug new now. Mine is the Golf.
    These cars are by far more popular in the Northern US and Canada. There are several factors which make winter dieseling in a VW almost a non-issue. I found a VW dealership in Ontario that told me over 75% of their car sales are TDI's. In Quebec I saw more VW's with TDI's than I have ever seen anywhere.
    The auto diesel fuel is usually sold winterized, helping resisting gelling. Truck diesel is naturally more resistant to gelling also. The fuel pump is heated in this car. Block heaters are available, but I have not known many owners who use them.
    I can reccomend this car without reservation in any weather. I had owned another one (a Jetta) myself through a New Hampshire winter and never had a single problem. The car was parked outside always. And on my recent trip I saw temps in the single digits and low teens and had no problems. This one started and ran like a dream.
    The engine is very powerful and still gets great mileage. It depends on the speed but on one section of my trip where I kept it under 70, I did over 650 miles on tank and got about 52mpg. I usually get in the mid 40s driving faster than 80. And mine is an automatic!
    Power, economy, comfort, Its the only way to go for me! Otherwise the 5000 mile road trip would have been hell!
    www.tdiclub.com
    www.vw.com
     
  16. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    Hey, I guess I didn't notice that little post, whoops! Anyway, if you're going to be living in CA, I would reccomend Pismo Beach if you're looking for a nice vacation spot anyway from all the glitz and commercialism. A nice quiet little beach town with an old-timey bowling alley and a really great bakery. San Luis A Bispo (sp?), up the road about 20 minutes, is great for shopping and walking too.
    Damn, all this talk about CA is making me want to go again. I've only been there once,and that was about five years ago.[​IMG]
     

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