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OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 04:19 AM
Original message
Driving across the country....your thoughts
This summer I would like to drive across the country from southern California to see family in Michigan.

We have a great truck with a camper and we'd be going through cool places like Arches National Park and the Rocky Mountains. I've never been through the Plains and although I hear they're boring to drive through, I'd still like to see them. The family we'd visit has an old farm in rural Mich. where we'll be staying. We could take a different route home and stop in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Well, you get the picture....

My husband wants to fly. Ug. I see his point, it's a very long drive and we have just two weeks but could possibly stretch it to about 18 days. I couldn't care less how long it takes. I love road trips and positively hate to fly. It's a phobia I aquired gradually over the years and I can't explain it. It's not related to 911 but maybe more to distrust of corporate America and their habits of cutting corners to pad their profits. Husband says they have Xanax for that sort of thing. :)

I say they have portable DVD players and audio books for road-trip sort of things. ;) So I'm up late googling Utah, etc. and reading DU and wondering if any of you have any thoughts on road trips or recommendations of places to stop. Or if you think it's crazy, why? Is it too far? And is it possible to get over the fear of flying? Don't you miss a lot when you fly all the time instead of actually seeing the land you're passing through?

Oh, and we'd be taking our small child along as well. He says "bad idea"....I say "memories of a lifetime."
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ScreamingMeemie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 04:58 AM
Response to Original message
1. I'm in your "memories of a lifetime" camp. So much family time is lost
now that we fly everywhere. Like you, I also don't care to fly. It never bothered me until I had kids...I always think about not being able to tell them that everything would be alright, and am therefore uncomfortable. My dream for a long time, has been to rent an RV and drive across country (reverse from you MI to CA) to visit my brothers in Southern CA. MrG likes the idea but it is rare that he gets that kind of time.

Count my vote for driving. Small children have an ability to really enjoy themselves on these trips. It's quiet time with Mommy and Daddy ALL to themself...My daughter did really well at two and a half on a road trip from Michigan to Florida. I say, "GO For it!"...and let us MI DUers know when you get here. :hug:

~Laura
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OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:22 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Come to think of it
My fear of flying began right around when I had my daughter! I think you're right about it having to do with having kids and not being in control of their safety. I'd rather have our fate in my own hands, even if the statistics say that flying is safer.

I always wanted to do a road trip like this too and that was part of the reason, I thought, that we bought our camper. My husband finally got to the point where he gets three weeks vacation from work. I'm not sure he wants to spend the whole thing on the road, though. Our daughter is five and she does great on road trips and camping. She wants to go. If we take a DVD player, for sure she'll be ok.

I've never been to Michigan. Some of the family moved there recently. I guess it's somewhere around what they call the "middle of the mitten." I'll check into DU for sure when I get there. I might need you guys to help me argue with my right-leaning brother-in-law. But then again, when the whole family converges, the poor guy is going to be severely outnumbered. :)
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ScreamingMeemie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:15 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. I will be envious if you get to go...
...but glad for you. eeek! There's freepers in Michigan? ;)

We used to have property in Mid Michigan...The Claire/Gladwin area. Well, not we..but he. MrG.
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OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:35 AM
Response to Reply #3
9. Nah, he's no freeper
He just leans to the right sometimes. Sort of libertarian.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #2
18. interesting, i think your phobia is treatable by medicine then
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 02:30 PM by pitohui
i think it's interesting you say your phobia of flying began when you had your daughter, you know, some women do experience more or less severe changes in personality as a result of giving birth and the upset in hormones, maybe in your case not full-on post-natal depression but an irrational phobia can certainly be treated, i'd mention it to the doctor, sometimes a new phobia is very quickly and easy overcome by prescription medicines that only have to be taken a few times

i had a more severe phobia, treated and completely removed by nonconventional means but i had no medical insurance at the time

phobias should not be tolerated, you don't have to live w. a phobia limited your choices

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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:15 AM
Response to Original message
4. Audio books. Check your library.
Free.
Ours will let us check them out for longer than the standard 2 weeks.
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progmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:27 AM
Response to Original message
5. how small is the child?
I made the drive from SoCal to Michigan with Misunderestimator in January, and we had a great drive. We did it in 3 1/2 days, but I would love to do it again and take the time to sight-see.

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OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:37 AM
Response to Reply #5
10. She's five
We've been on some long road trips before and she does great. She wants to go. I figure we can drive for a day or so and stop for a day or so. She can watch dvds on the really boring stretches.

Where are some of the places you would have liked to stop?
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Ravenseye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:28 AM
Response to Original message
6. You're safer flying
Those corporate cuts you mentioned happen to cars as well. Driving across country like that, you're in far more danger than if you were to fly. As far as getting over the fear of flying, I dont' know. I'm sure it is possible, but I always found it best to just look at the actual odds and realize that you're in far more danger driving to the airport than you are flying from one airport to another. You realize that you'll either be able to fly or you won't be able to leave your house.

Still sounds like fun and I'd be totally up for it if I had the time. I've done some long ass road trips in my day and they're always great, especially if you have 2-3 drivers.

I'll add in a recomendation to do your return trip on the southern route and go on Route 66 from Chicago to LA...there are a number of guide books out there. YOu know...the route everyone used to take to go west before the interestates spread...lots of interesting things still there, and it's history. If you're going a long way try and stay off the interstates as much as possible. The state highways will only take you slightly longer and are usualy far more scenic andyou'll see more of america than trees lining the highway.

How small is the child?
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catmandu57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:33 AM
Response to Original message
7. If you do drive
Then I recommend taking blue hyways as much as possible, stay off the interstates they're nothing but a slice of corporate amerika. If you're going to go to Arches, Zion is a must do, then if you take Utah 9 east out of the park it will take you to Mt. Carmel junction and hyway 89, now if you turn north you will go to arches, turning south will take you to Kanab Utah a lovely town and on to the north rim of the Grand Canyon.
If you stay on hyway 64 it will take you through northern Arizona and New mexico, across the Rio Grande gorge to Taos which is a must see, then on across Oklahoma and points beyond.
One big drawback to driving is it will be very expensive, way more than flying and to do it right you'll have to take your time. There is so much to see, especially in the Southwest, it will give you the sense of just how big this country is, and will give memories of a lifetime, have fun.
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OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. Thanks for all the tips, I'll keep them in mind
I definitely want to see Arches.

But I don't see how it will be more expensive to drive. The cheapest flights I can find add up to at least $1000 for all three of us. I calculated that we'll need to spend about $500 on gasoline for the whole trip. We have a camper, so there won't be any motel/hotel expenses. Maybe $15 or so a night for camping.

We have seen a lot of the southwest already, I mean the Grand Canyon, etc. But never have been to Utah. And weirdly enough, I'm looking forward to seeing the prairies.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:21 PM
Response to Reply #11
32. I vote for the road trip - maybe hubby can fly home? but had to chime in
here - your road expenses will be more than this - you will want to buy a few souvineers, no doubt and the occasional resaurant when sick of camping. Just budget for it - also the random flat or even more serious breakdowns - which MUST be b part of the adventure (I recommend breaking something on purpose if you are so unlucky as to have a perfect trip - breakdowns in funky little towns are THE BEST!)
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graywarrior Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:35 AM
Response to Original message
8. An ADVENTURE!!!I'm driving from Florida to Lubec Main in August.
Can't wait. We're taking several weeks to do it.
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OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. That will be a fun trip
especially seeing how you have so much time.

I made the drive from Florida to Ohio many times. Georgia about puts me to sleep. The trees are so close to the road you can't see beyond them most of the time and the road looks the same for miles and miles. But if you have all that time you can take some backroads.
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graywarrior Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Route 95 sucks. We'll find a different route this time.
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Whoa_Nelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:55 PM
Response to Original message
14. Flying: hazardous to your physical health (Something learned recently)
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 01:57 PM by Whoa_Nelly
The airlines spray the interiors of the cabin with pesticides, such as permethrin, permethrin derivatives, and/or malathion...and NO ONE HOLDS THEM FUCKING ACCOUNTABLE!

(Am under a doctor's care for toxic exposure to pesticides that caused many severe attacks of hives (urticaria) that were covering as much as 60% of my body for hours at a time, often recurring every 3-4 hours. And, this all started after flying about a year and a half ago and sitting in a coach seat for almost three hours It has been a fucking nightmare up until I found a really great allergist. I now have to be very aware of staying away from permethrin, its derivatives and especially malathion as in having close proximity and/or prolonged exposure.)
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. whatever
i've flown hundreds of hours and never had an allergic reaction and i was born allergic
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Whoa_Nelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. How kind of you to reply "whatever"
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 04:07 PM by Whoa_Nelly
I have never suffered allergies. Mine is NOT an allergy, but it took an allergist to help determine my hypersensitivity to certain pesticides. What has happened to me is a toxicity occurred in my system that began with prolonged and direct exposure to a pesticide used on a plane. This toxicity that began on a plane has made me hypersensitive to close/direct proximity to certain pesticides. This sensitivity has now been going on for a year and a half. It threatened my life, and now I have to leave the area of California I moved to about a year ago to be near my son and grandchildren due to the amounts of residual pesticides in the water table and the drift from the fields; Am living in the heart of the San Joaquin agricultural district with more fields than towns in this area. This has changed my life so dramatically, I can't even begin to explain it all. What I do know is that I will have to limit the times and length that I can visit my son and his family from now on...and this makes me extremely sad.

Your remark was careless. I never stated I have an allergy. I said I have suffered toxicity. Thank goodness I went to a very good allergist who first was able to stop the hives, using corticosteroids and antihistamines--hives that were covering as much as 60% of my body for hours at a time with only a few hours in between each attack. Then, through blood testing, (which thankfully showed no immune, blood, or organ problems), and then through carefully correlating the hives and each onset, it has been determined that pesticides, particularly permethrin and its derivatives, and malathion were the antecedents to the hives attacks.

Thanks for your concern.... :eyes:
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:05 PM
Response to Reply #21
28. i am sorry you are ill
my reply was too abrupt, i meant only to say fine allergist or not i don't believe you acquired this whatever it is on an airplane in only 3 hours

some people fly hundreds of thousands of miles...in a year!
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Whoa_Nelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #28
35. Toxicity is not an acquired trait
Toxicity is being poisoned. For me, that poisoning resulted in a hypersensitivity to pesticides.

Whether you believe it or not, you really have no idea what you're talking about here. There are, of course, other factors such as my age, as well as the fact that I am very fair-skinned, redheaded, and have shown sensitivity to certain products more and more as I have aged, even more so since I underwent a hysterectomy in '91.

However, it was that particular flight on which I was exposed to prolonged contact to a recently applied pesticide that put me over the tipping point. In researching this with my doctor, (and there is a lot of documented journal information about pesticide toxicity and hives), I now know that being here in the agri-district of CA only exacerbates my sensitivity. Prior to living here, I did not have this type of prolonged exposure to pesticides.

Some people can deal with exposure to pesticides. Then, there are people in the same group as me who become poisoned by exposure and/or prolonged exposure to pesticides that results in severe urticaria and hypersensitivity.

I have flown thousands of miles over the last 40+ years of my life. Unfortunately for me, I sat in a seat that had enough pesticide on it to start the chain of events that has brought me to this point in my life.

It's easy to be an armchair expert and make generalized statements. I, for one, won't do that.

I appreciate your response that you were abrupt. Thank you.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:17 PM
Response to Reply #35
38. i'm sorry i just don't believe it
i understand that toxicity is being poisoned, and i understand you believe you were poisoned

if you were poisoned on an airline, you would have cause for action against that airline

how many other people were poisoned on that flight? any? ever?

sorry, the course of treatment you describe would work for any rash whether the cause has been correctly diagnosed or not, sadly, i do have reason to know rashes

i don't believe your allergist is correct in what he said and in fact i think he was irresponsible to say it and i suspect if you called in a lawyer to get compensation for being poisoned he would suddenly un-say it real fast

if something has never, ever, on the face of the planet ever happened to anybody else it probably didn't happen to you either

extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof

a claim like this demands to be challenged, people have enough fears and phobias placed in their minds every day
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Whoa_Nelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #38
43. Apparently, you didn't read my post carefully
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 07:58 PM by Whoa_Nelly
No where did I state my sensitivity and having been poisoned to being a rare occurrance. In fact, there are many documented cases.

As for the airline...I stated I had flown much in my life. I also stated that I apparently hit a tipping point in regard to my body being able to handle things. Also, I originally stated this all started over a year and a half ago. What I don't think I siad that needed to be known is that it has only been in the last two weeks that I learned the reasons I was having hives the size of dinnerplates. So, to go back to that particular flight is not a case to follow. I am surrounded by pesticides here in the world's largest agriculture district. Guess I should sue the valley as well... What happened in regard to the plane was only the start of what has finally been solved very recently.

Discount and play airmchair expert all you want.

By the way, I didn't have a "rash". I had hives. My mast cells were so out of control, my body was literally attacking itself.
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OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #14
33. Yikes, I didn't realize that, but I'm not surprised
that they treat their stuff with chemicals. I know the smell of those pillows curls is disgusting.

Sorry to hear about your reaction. I hope you're able to get back to normal soon.
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Whoa_Nelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #33
44. Thanks, OnionPatch :-)
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 08:33 PM by Whoa_Nelly
Have to take the meds for six more months, then will see if I am past this for now :hi:

And re: having kids and not wanting to fly

Totally understand. Even now I worry about my son, and he's 27. Having a kid changes the perspective in so many ways :hug:

And DRIVE!!! YeeHaw!!
You'll have such a memorable time, especially in connection with making it a real trip and stopping for a day in different places. best trip I ever took with my son was when he was 6 and we drove back from Alaska and camped all the way back to Nevada. Took two wekks and to this date is is still the most memorably loved trip my son and I have ever shared. We made it a point to stop at places of interest and history...an almost very magical type of family trip.(I had taken a summer job in AK and bought a car while I was there...)
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Coyote_Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
15. A word about JOklahoma
Avoid it unless you are just dying to spend money on turnpike fares - or unless you choose to drive old Route 66, the mother road west durng the dust bowl days. It is positively the best way to drive through here.
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LSK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
16. YOU HAVE TO DRIVE!!!
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 02:12 PM by LSK
You must see the country. I-70 thru Colorado is spectacular!!

My parents had a motorhome and took me on lots of road trips. Its good to see the country.

Get XM radio and just tune into AAR for the whole trip.
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. I also recommend I-70 in Colorado as spectacular
This highway takes you over mountains, through canyons, through high desert plateaus and along the Colorado River. Most beautiful Interstate drive I know of. The section between Denver and Grand Junction is amazing. Check out Glenwood Springs, and the huge Victorian spa there, with the world's largest outdoor pool, right next to the river.

I've driven cross-country four times or so.

Hit the big parks, like the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Zion, Mesa Verde, even Bryce, where 70% of the visitors are French, 15% German, and the rest American. What a country!
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OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #20
34. Yes, that's the plan!
Just looking at the map, you can tell it's going to be an awesome drive.

The French at Bryce? That sounds like fun.

You guys are firming up my determination to drive. Poor hubby's odds of getting his way (us flying) are getting lower as the moments pass and this thread continues. :) Thanks!
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
17. how small is the small child?
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 02:34 PM by pitohui
if the child is under say age 5 or so it won't be memories of a lifetime, the child won't even remember it and will resent being told for the rest of his life abt a wonderful bonding experience he is supposed to remember he can't remember

i have an ex who has a whole rant abt how he never saw a mountain until he was almost 30 and his mom always piped up and said but we took you to gatlinburg when you were 18 mos. old and the steam starts coming out of his ears

make sure the child is old enough to actually get something out of this experience or leave the child with some trusted sitter

i like to road trip just fine, however, i also like to fly, it is just as safe as interstate driving and safer than driving on non-interstate roads

if your fear of flying is due to fear of corporations i think you may not realize just how many BIG trucks are on the highways these days, the dangers of corporations are everywhere not just in the air so that's pretty much a wash

driving long distance with a camper and spending two weeks to take the trip will likely cost more than just flying to your destination, doing your business, and coming home, since there are so many airfare sales these days, these days budget is a consideration so i do more air travel and fewer road trips but w. three people along the math might change, hmmm, it's pretty borderline w/out more information, for instance, if child is under age 2, he can fly for free in your lap

ok, reading the whole thread, the child is 5 so you do have to buy 3 tickets, but you also need to look for the sales, of course you post this the day after northwest airlines just finished up a huge, huge sale, their hub is DTW, sigh, oh well, there will be other sales, in your shoes i would be monitoring sidestep or another free service that searches for the cheapest flights, hell i flew to paris for $300 and i don't mean paris texas
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:37 PM
Response to Reply #17
25. Five is NOT too young
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 05:37 PM by Lydia Leftcoast
I remember lots of details from a trip that my family took when I wasn't quite four.

The key is to keep talking about the memories with the child while they're still fresh.

There's a huge difference in cognitive ability between an 18-month-old and a 5-year-old.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #25
29. there is a huge difference but
really what the child remembers is over-written by the constant talking abt it and what the adult remembers

there isn't anything to be over-written at 18 months of course

it is annoying that i can no longer be sure of what memories are my own at 5 and which are "introduced"

but this is getting a bit more metaphysical than need be

i think the real issue is the person being afraid to fly and making every excuse to avoid it, i did the same thing w. driving, and you can't live like that really, it's too limiting
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OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #17
30. She'll be a few weeks shy of six years old
in August when we take the trip. I'm sure she'll remember it. It won't be the last trip we ever take anyway. If we like it, we'll go back.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:18 PM
Response to Reply #30
39. six of one, half a dozen of the other frankly
she'll remember something, vaguely, but i wouldn't kid myself i was doing it for her
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One_Life_To_Give Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:16 PM
Response to Original message
22. Doesn't look the same (or as magnificent) at 30,000 feet
Having done both. You really should see the entire country from ground level at least once in your life. Nothing you can be told or read will ever completly describe what it is like to see it all first hand.

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politicat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 04:31 PM
Response to Original message
23. Does your family get along? (the three of you) for extended periods?
If you do, road trips are great fun. If you don't, they're hell.

I hated them as a kid (and we did them regularly) because my parents couldn't go 5 minutes without bickering. But DH and I have taken several together now, and I've found that I really like them because I enjoy the time with him.

Alternately, you might consider taking the train (the California Zephyr) to Chicago and renting a car in Chicago. You'll get to see a lot of the same scenery, not have to drive, get there faster than driving, but not have to fly. The Zephyr goes over the Rockies and is quite beautiful. (and ugly parts are done at night.)

I hate flying because if I wanted to be shoved into a cattle car, I would have been born a cow.
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OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #23
31. I hear ya about the cattle car
I hate that too. I'd much rather be in my seat in my own vehicle with the radio, the privacy, etc.

Yes, we get along great. We always have fun on road trips and camping trips. But I suppose if he isn't really into it, he could get grumpy. I'm thinking we just have to stop and let him fish every few days and we'll be fine. ;)
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:33 PM
Response to Original message
24. Memories of a lifetime
When I was 4, I went with my parents and grandparents on a winter vacation to Arkansas. I still remember things from it.

When I was 8, we took a family vacation to Colorado. Having just seen Westward Ho the Wagons, I was thrilled to travel along the Oregon Trail, to make snowballs in the summertime in Rocky Mountain National Park, and to see the Black Hills on the way home.

When I was in my early teens, we made two road trips out West, driving out to Seattle via Glacier Park, down the Oregon coast, down the California coast to San Francisco, across Nevada, up through Utah to the Grand Tetons, and home again across South Dakota.

Flying in a plane can't compare.

There is so much geographic variety in this country (one of the few things the Bushies can't ruin), and you just don't comprehend it when you treat it as "flyover land."
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no name no slogan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:39 PM
Response to Original message
26. Best to do it in a car, or on a motorcycle
driving a bike across the country would probably take more than a couple months.
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skygazer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:40 PM
Response to Original message
27. I love to drive cross-country
And have done so several times (as well as hitchhiked cross-country). I make no plans on my road trips, preferring to simply stop when I see something of interest.

However, I prefer to make all my road trips solo. It's hard to compromise in a small space for that long a period, particularly when you have a kid in the vehicle. Some kids take to it pretty well - others don't. Sometimes you just don't know until you do it. And since hubby already thinks it's a bad idea, it might not be a pleasant trip.

I'm taking one this summer, from California to Minnesota for my daughter's wedding and my SO will be riding with me. However, he's enthusiastic about the trip and we've taken shorter ones together so I know he's a good travelling companion.

Tough call - for me, it's an easy choice but I don't have to deal with other people when I do it.
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maveric Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:44 PM
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36. I drove from Boston to CA and it was the best adventure of my life.
I got to see so much and experienced many small towns as well as big cities.
If you can make the time, do it! You wont regret it.
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free_spirit82 Donating Member (125 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:02 PM
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37. We drove from Georgia to Alaska
It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. We drove across the southern part of the country and up the Pacific coast to Bellingham, WA. Then we took a ferry to Haines, Alaska, and drove through the corner of Canada up to Fairbanks. Also, instead of getting a hotel room every night, we camped. Saved a lot of money and it was a lot of fun.

We've been stationed up here for three years, and we're PCSing out of here at the beginning of August, and we're planning on driving back down to Keesler AFB, Miss. We've made sure to save up enough leave time so that we can go slowly, and we're hitting everything we wanted to see last time, but missed.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:22 PM
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40. We did this every summer when our kids were growing up
They got to see the country and we have some awesome memories. Go for it!
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Duer 157099 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:25 PM
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41. Can I come?
I would love to make that drive, too. I also have a bunch of relatives in Michigan, scattered all over the state (and I'm in CA).

I drove there once when I was a teen (actually I didn't drive, I was driven) and it was a blast. We took the northern route, and then I flew back.

I would love to do it again with my son. He'd watch DVDs the whole time though, I'm sure.

The last time I was in Michigan was in 2001. We flew home on September 10, 2001. Not so anxious to fly again... :-)
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Bossy Monkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:26 PM
Response to Original message
42. My experience suggests "memories of a lifetime"
When my folks (my dad, really) took us across country when I was 5 (to Expo in Montreal) and 6 (to Hemisfair in San Antonio and on to California), I was endlessly delighted, suffused with fond memories for life, and turned into a confirmed traveler. So on the face of it, I want to say that you should go for it. However...

We were visiting places, not people. Therefore, we could spend only a couple or three days at the destination, then turn around. Family tends not to be so understanding about such things. You would probably have to spend most of your time just driving, rather than sightseeing, and then do the same coming back.

Furthermore, it's uh, more further. That's a hell of a long way to drive. Maybe you ought to do a dry run to Seattle or Vancouver, say.

And the one camping/ outdoorsy type place I wanted to recommend to you turns out not to be on the way. (It's Jay Cooke State Park near Duluth. The swinging bridge over the St Louis River goes over particularly well with the small fry.)

Also, fear of flying is pretty easy to get over. I share yours, for similar reasons. (Gotta LOVE commuter airlines and their turbojets.) Xanax helps, as do deep breathing, relaxation exercises, and keeping reading material or listening material to hand at all times.

Soooo, I'd probably have to recommend against driving this time. If you can get the entire 18 days and if the family members you visit don't mind you staying only 3 or 4 days and if you can design a trip where long interstate drives are broken up by day or so stops at fun or scenic places and if the small child is big enough that s/he will actually remember any or all of this, well then maybe. But it seems like a lot of ifs.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:33 PM
Response to Original message
45. It seems like I am a constant advertiser for this site but I love it
go to the Lonely Planet forum (the Thorntree) sign up and post in the USA thread - there is also a thread for traveling with kids.

You will get some good advice, I guaroooonteeee.



http://thorntree.lonelyplanet.com/
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0007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:45 PM
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46. Fly!
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MidwestMomma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:59 PM
Response to Original message
47. The Plains are as interesting as you make them
There are many quirky sights to see if you do your research.

If you decide to do the drive, you might want post in the different state forums and ask the people there for local sites of interest.

Maybe I'm just easily entertained being from Kansas and all but there are lots of interesting things in every state.

I would do the drive if you have the time and the dime :)

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argyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:01 PM
Response to Original message
48. If you're going through Utah,go to Zion. It's the place I recommend
as the most beautiful and diverse of all the National Parks (there are five) in Southern Utah,which is saying a lot. Arches is something to see as well,and it's just North of Canyonlands. And if you find yourself in Canyonlands and want to see some spectacular Colorado mountain scenery, the San Juans are just to your Southeast.The drive from Durango to Ouray,on the Million Dollar Highway,is breathtaking.At least three highway passes are over 11,000 ft. high.

One poster raved about I 70 through Colorado. It is indeed the most gorgeous interstate you will ever see and whoever engineered it was a genius. Speeds of 80+ are easy,safe and about the norm.

Definitely take the road tour. I love driving through this country and if you have the opportunity you should do it.















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