2013 Cross Country Road Trip

Lake Helene HikersLake Helene HikersThis trip had stress written all over it, even before we pulled out of the driveway. Unlike our trips of years past, this one was a one-way journey – well, at least for half of us. The boys, fresh out of college and grad school, were moving West to start their new lives – one to San Francisco and the other to Seattle. Each of their cars – and a good deal of the RV -- was stuffed to the brim with their belongings. Also, Herb had spent a good part of the previous month buying and installing a towing system, so that for the first time in 15 years of travel, we would be pulling a car behind us. All together, our little caravan was over 60 feet long, a modern day version of Conestoga wagons heading west along the Oregon Trail.

Regardless of the logistics, we were all quite excited about this much anticipated journey, and to make it even more exciting, Andrew’s girlfriend Celeste would be accompanying us for what would be her first cross country road trip. I think we all felt somewhat responsible for showing her a good time and letting her see how these trips had been such special times for us as a family.

Unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned, and let’s just say that we all gained a better understanding of what the Donner Party went through – well, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Not to give away the ending, but we hadn’t even gotten through Pennsylvania before Andrew’s car had its first breakdown and had to be towed to a repair shop in Hershey, PA. That was just the beginning of what was to become a $1,300 tour of Midas’s across the U.S.: Hershey PA, New Albany OH, Fort Collins CO, and Santa Rosa CA. All that and his air conditioning still didn’t work properly, and he and Celeste had to drive 400 miles across the Nevada desert, during this summer’s record heat wave, practically delirious with wet towels wrapped around their heads.

Then there was the tow system behind the RV that kept beeping that the Subaru was making its own mind up as to when to brake. Not wanting to be outdone and wanting a little attention of its own, Tommy’s Subaru decided that it would to put a warning light on somewhere in Oregon. Plus, besides the car problems, Andrew had to spend half the trip writing letters and prepping for jobs interviews for when he hit California. The RV made that convenient though, as he could work on his laptop in the motorhome, while I drove his car.

None of this is meant to imply that we didn’t have fun, because we did, and many parts of the trip were truly wonderful. Our plan was pretty ambitious. Drive together to Rocky Mountain National Park, where we would spend 2 days, then continue on to near Salt Lake City, where we would say our farewells and split up. Herb and I would follow Tommy up to Seattle to help him get settled in, while Andrew and Celeste continued on to San Francisco. After leaving Tommy, Herb and I would spend some time exploring Washington, Oregon, and Northern California before meeting up with Andrew and Celeste again in San Francisco to help them settle in.

You can download a detailed pdf Road Trip Travel Itinerary or zipped Microsoft Streets and Trips Travel Road Map file for this trip using the links shown below.

File DownloadsSize
Cross_Country_2013A_Itinerary.pdf47.38 KB
Cross_Country_2013A.zip12.41 KB