Going on a solo road trip

Discussion in 'Free Thoughts' started by Absane, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. Absane Rocket Surgeon Valued Senior Member

    I don't feel like going into the details, but from Sept 26th to October 21st-22nd I am going on a 6,000 mile solo road trip from Atlanta to many places out west... furthest west I am going is Death Valley.

    I'm doing it to get away from this life for a while, see some things I only saw on TV and in books, and do to some soul searching.

    I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas for audiobooks to listen to.... or videos to put on my MP3 player. I've got more than enough music. Preferably, I want audiobooks that really put me into a loop of deep thought but aren't dry in both content and the reader's voice.

    The first movie I am loading up is Into the Wild. The first time I watched that, it really hit something deep within me that may make a ton more sense when I am out alone for a month. Hence, I am going to watch it again while I am camping (not driving... duh).
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  3. Mickmeister Registered Senior Member

    Awesome! I have done such trips too, but on a touring bicycle for 400 miles.
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  5. clusteringflux Version 1. OH! Valued Senior Member

    I'm so fucking jealous. I feel like I'll never see the west, but I dream about a trip like that all the time.:bawl:
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  7. original sine Registered Senior Member

    As a driver it is harder to enjoy the scenery, so I would recommend planning for a lot of scenic stops and just generally getting lost down roads you feel compelled to take. Driving along the interstate can be quick but it lacks character. As far as audiobooks go, I would try to find a lot of short stories, just to keep things interesting.
  8. takethewarhome midnatt klarhet Registered Senior Member


    This is such an enjoyable thing to do.

    Recently I went on a three month camping trip with a group of about twenty five other people. Granted, I wasn't doing this on my own, the only two of those people that I knew at the beginning of this trip were my mother and one of her friends.
    I went up the Pacific Crest Trail mostly, going down to the coast once, and then a few days in Seattle.

    Details aside, I too needed a good 'break' from this life and all it's hullabaloo. I can honestly say that travel like that is good for the mind... I came home renewed and with a new demeanor.

    As emotionally charged and how fucked up I was feeling at the time I left resonated throughout that first month, but ultimately I worked through what mattered and the things that, ultimately, are just meaningless.:m:
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2009
  9. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    don't go to Death Valley! Go to Thermopolis and the Tetons. Much better than Death Valley
  10. Absane Rocket Surgeon Valued Senior Member

    Whoa. How many miles a day did you bike? And how do you carry all the gear you need to camp, eat, ect? I assume like this: http://www.downtheroad.org/Publishing/1TheRoadnoEnd/Images_Filesbb/a11Nicaragua/cartroad.JPG

    The easier way would be to overnight FedEx everything to your next destination

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    Why can't you do it? I started planning this over a year ago and got a month off of work just for it. It will probably cost me $1500, which isn't hard to save up.

    Well, this trip is mostly about scenery, except for the drive out west. I'm driving 800 miles on the first day to Houston Texas where I can visit my aunt, uncle and cousins. After two nights there I am driving to Fort Stockton and then to White Sands. It is about 3 days to get out west to start my trip. From there, I start enjoying the mountains, canyons, etc. The pace will be fairly slow.

    How do you manage 3 months of camping? Ever stay at hotels? How did you get that much time off from work?

    Man, that's awesome, dude. One of my dreams is to backpack the world. If I can quickly pay off my student loans and find ways to make money on the road, I'm going to do it. I'm looking into freelance work that allows me to telecommute. Maybe a GIS technician or freelance some computer programming code. I haven't done any programming in years but I could easily pick up on C++ again.

    I go on a lot of solo joyriding trips just to burn off steam and think things through. Usually after an hour of driving my mind starts to workout problems and I get solutions that make total sense. The bad part is when I come back from joyriding with a new mindset, the daily rut gets me back into my old way of thinking very quickly.

    For example, I could drive for 4 hours in the country and come to the realization that no one's thoughts of me make any difference to how I should be and that I shouldn't fear fully expressing myself. I feel relieved, all anxiety is gone, and I feel "myself" for once. Then I come home and immediately my mindset returns to the old.

    I'm really hoping that this trip, being a month long, will give me a chance to finally internalize that feeling of being free to express myself fully. After all, they say it takes 21 days to change a habit.. my trip is a month long.

    Do you think it's possible? Does this resonate with your experience coming back with a new demeanor? How do you internalize a new thought pattern?

    In Wyoming? I can't go that far North. Perhaps that will be for my next road trip. Thank you for the suggestions though.

    I picked Death Valley because the name is appealing to me. DEATH VALLEY. A valley of death. Seems cool to me.
  11. X-Man2 We're under no illusions. Registered Senior Member

    The best trips I have seen pics of are those done on a bike or motorscooter. Any name brand scooter like Genuine,Suzuki,Yamaha,Kymco,Vespa or Sym are proven brands.

    Or a bike like the Big Dummy or Yuba Mundo,both cargo bikes are great trip takers.

    If your going to do it,may as well do it right.

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    My opinion of course.
  12. Mickmeister Registered Senior Member

    Yep. I have a touring bicycle with paniers in which I carry everything I need with me. I will post some pictures of one of my tours down the Natchez Trace Parkway when I get home this afternoon.
  13. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Plan your route through southern Utah and go to Arches National Monument. It's not as heavily publicized as the other parks like Zion and Cedar Breaks, but it's a fabulous place to go alone, in a car. If you've ever seen a Coyote and Roadrunner cartoon and figured somebody imagined that impossible scenery on an acid trip... no, he took a sketchbook to Arches National Monument. The formations are not very close together so it's a good place to drive and think.

    And I agree with Orly: Death Valley sucks. Even in October it could very well be too hot to get out of the car in the daytime. You'll be so close to Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, most of California's best scenery, and it will be off season and not crowded. Don't skip it for Death Valley!

    Take the advice of all your friends who are desert experts. (Geeze I hope you have some! I lived in Tucson for eight years of agony in the days before air conditioning, and I never forgave my parents for it.) October is still summer in some of those places. Have your air conditioner serviced, in fact have your entire car serviced! Carry several gallons of water and two cell phones in case one doesn't work. I'm assuming you can get reception in those places, I'm almost tempted to recommend a CB radio.
  14. Mickmeister Registered Senior Member

  15. Mickmeister Registered Senior Member

    I usually did about 80 miles a day.
  16. RubiksMaster Real eyes realize real lies Registered Senior Member

    Awesome! I want to do an extended tour someday. I just did my first metric century last month. I'm planning my first full century either this weekend or next weekend. 80 miles with fully loaded panniers is probably pushing my limits right now though. I don't think I would do a tour alone. I would get lonely.

    Same with your situation, Absane. It would be a lot of fun with at least one other person, but I don't think I could do it alone.
  17. Zap Facts > Opinions Registered Senior Member

    Book recommendation: Blue Highways: A Journey through America (1978), by William Least Heat-Moon. Frank Muller does the audio version. A thought-provoking delight.

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    Last edited: Sep 19, 2009
  18. Absane Rocket Surgeon Valued Senior Member

    I'm going to set up a tent in Arches to camp the night. That's on my trip back from the Great Basin to Denver, CO.

    It's not too bad as far as the weather is concerned. Originally I did try to include Yosemite, but I can't. My limitations are money and time. I'm only spending a few days in each location.

    Again, I won't miss out on Death Valley. The name is appealing and it has some cool scenery.

    Air conditioning systems typically only cool by 20 degrees F. So if it's 110 today, even the best A/C unit a can cool it to 90.

    I've thought about getting a CB radio. I remember having one back in 94/95 when I was 10. I used to find groops of people that get on late an night and talk about anything. Its sort of like a makeshift radio show.

    I'm going to buy a 5 or 8 gallon container for emergencies... like running out of drinking water or my radiate crying.

    Or, has that fact changed?
    Not sure why, but I love this picture.

    Well, that's the thing. Most people associate who they are with material goods, their career, their friends, etc. And, people, in general, have a huge problem with being alone. They get scared and their likely feeling like they lost a part of themselves.

    When you get rid of all the crap in your life and you're left alone.. you might go insane for a bit. After all, all the things you have tried to not think about are now surfacing...

    I'm sorry.. I can't focus any more on what I really wanted to say. Too many sleeping pills (Ambian) and some phenibut.
  19. tuberculatious Banned Banned

    why are you taking your iPod with you if you want to get rid of crap in your life?


    Last bike trip i did I could fit everything in two bags. I put the tent on top of that.
  20. Killjoy Propelling The Farce!! Valued Senior Member

    Modern life requires a "personal sound track".
  21. tuberculatious Banned Banned

    can't you hum along the way?
  22. Killjoy Propelling The Farce!! Valued Senior Member

  23. Killjoy Propelling The Farce!! Valued Senior Member

    Actually, I would try to listen to the local radio stations as I mosey'd along if I needed something to keep me from dozing off during longer stretches on the road. (forgot about that happening - it's been a while since I drove long distance)

    My only fear would be discovering that all points had such homogenous tastes that it was like one long slog through the "same old same old".


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