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A year ago today I was in Missouri and Kansas at the beginning of my western road trip; 2 months ago, I was in Pennsylvania in the middle of my eastern road trip. Both trips seem like they happened just yesterday ... and a lifetime ago. I learned quite a bit in those trips ... enjoying the company of new and old friends along the way. A "snapshot" of some of the things that I discovered during those trips....

Missouri & Kansas are not _that_ boring to drive through....

Colorado is absolutely gorgeous.

Wyoming has beautiful formations.

Utah has breathtaking views...even in rain with a rainbow for good measure.

New Mexico does have rust-free cars.

The guy who does the "voice work" for Rockford's 104.9, "The X" (rock) also does "voice work" for New Mexico's 105.1, "The Range" (Classic Country).

Oklahoma does have character.

Texas drivers take the speed limits as suggested limits.

Hawaii does have license plates (saw one on a Ford Explorer in Texas).

Arkansas does not take that long to drive through....

Sweet tea CAN be made incorrectly (had some bitter sweet tea in Memphis TN).

It really IS "Sweet Home Alabama" (should've bought some souveniers or something).

The Carolinas are hot'n'muggy.

I-81 in VA is not as long as it seems....

Driving the PA Turnpike is less costly these days than actually filling up the car with gas to drive.

Philly PA/NJ area has way too much traffic...even on Sunday.

The Washington DC/Baltimore MD/Philadelphia PA corridor has too many baseball teams.

Driving the "long way" (i.e. avoiding the PA Turnpike) from Alexandria VA to near Canton OH isn't that long of a drive & is quite scenic, especially through MD & the short distance in WV!

I-90 & SR 2 are beautiful right along the lake in Ohio.

The cruises before the official Friday/Saturday Woodward Dream Cruise feature just about as many cool cars!

Watching old reruns of shows (The Dukes of Hazzard, Dallas, etc.) can be fun & relaxing.

I want to own a 1975 Chevrolet Caprice Classic convertible.... I saw a white one for sale in TX; I saw a red one at the Wexford, PA, car show....

You never have enough time to visit with family & friends....

Strangers are friends you have yet to meet....

I'd rather be driving than working....

The longest drive is the one that leads you home.

So...what have YOU learned during your travels?

Cort, "Mr MC" / "Mr Road Trip", 32swm/pig valve/pacemaker
MC:family.IL.guide.future = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort/
"I wonder if it's too late" ... Nickelback ... 'Photograph'
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About "sweet tea" That is all we have in Canada. I remember going down to South Carolina at a Bojangles and ordering iced tea and getting a jug of cold tea (as we would call it). It's certainly different. I was the only one in my family who didn't think it was nasty, so I ended up slowly drinking that jug over the vacation. Wish we had it here, it's better for you than "sweet" tea.
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Cool thread Knightfan. :) Let's see, I'm going to list some off the top of my head. - Massachusetts is pretty damn small, it takes less than two hours to get from Boston all the way to the New York border. But get of the highway and you can drive for 3 hours on back roads and never really get anywhere... thought it's more fun then the highway. - Massachusetts' Appalachian Trail is a must see in the fall. - New Hampshire has hundreds of awsome destinations year round. - In the summer it seems my destination in New Hampshire always turns out to be New England Dragway or Star Speedway. - Every single town in New England has at least one "abandoned" classic car in a backyard that I'd love to own. '65 Impala, '53 Olds, '79 Trans Am, '57 Mercury, '67 Electra... they're around if you look hard enough. - Maine is freeking HUGE! A map does not do it justice. It's an enormeous state. - Maine is a "misplaced Southern State" - Bar Harbour Maine is one of the coolest & most overlooked destinations in New England. - Every gas station in Maine has home made Beef Jerky for sale. - Fresh Beef Jerky is to die for. - Vermont has some gorgeous scenery. - Some Vermont State Troopers Drive LS1 Camaros. Sneeky Bastards. - Connecticut may be small but there's a lot to see. - In Conn. you're more likely to get pulled over if you're going 85 in your ex-girlfriend's forrest green 1997 Toyota Camry than if you fly at 120mph in your own forrest green 1997 Cadillac STS. Go figure. - Rhode Island is beautiful, Newport is a MUST see. - Rhode Island is so small you could drive from one end of the state to the other on five gallons of gas... in a Big Block Chevelle. - New York State has a lot to see but it's spread out. - Niagara Falls definatelly looks better from the Canadian side. - NYC looks depressing without the Twin Towers. Like a big empty crater where a old friendly 200 year old oak tree used to be. - New York State Troopers also have a few LS1 Camaros. - The opening credits to Sopranos are truly what northeast NJ looks like. Concrete Jungle, cement, overpasses and industry. - New Jersey is not all gross and concrete slabs. Drive through the state and you see green everywhere. Garden State is right, IF you're at least 30 miles away from New York. - Maryland seems like one big suburb to me. NIce state but just filled to the brim with wealthy politicians & government workers. - Delaware: it's bigger than R.I., by about 2 sq. miles. - Washington D.C. Traffic nightmare but it's worth seeing. I wish the Enola Gay was still on exhibit in the Smithsonian but some P.C. Nazi decided it's not apropriate. - Pennsylvania is wicked cool. Lots of Slovakian-Americans living there and it seems like everywhere you look there's a classic car. - Philedelphia is a really nice city, wish I could have spent more than just one afternoon there. - I'd love to go to Pennsylvania to see the sights; Carlisle, Hershey and the historical tourist attractions. - Virginia is really nice, so clean and so many churces. Love the history and all the different sceenery. huge bridges, all kinds of Civil War Battlefields and historical sights. Another state I have to retrun to. - Norht Carolina is a lot like Southern New Jersey. Lots of green Everywhere. Big, huge foliage everywhere. - Midland Norht Carolina is nowhere near MID-state. It's about 80% fo the way to Tenn.
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- Arizona is awsome to visit in the winter. - Despite the preconceived notion that you can speed in the middle of the desert and no one is there to give you a ticket, I got a big speeding ticket. - If you're driving a Dodge Stratus 4-banger in the desert at 110 MPH wiht the A/C cranking and you go over a gentle hill and see a lightbar on a Caprice Classic lay on the brakes so that he only radars you at 95. It makes the ticket less expensive. - Do not say to the officer: "There's not a house, guardrail, tree, telephone pole or anything else for that matter for miles around. What the heck am I going to hit out here? A cactus?!?!" - Do not speed when traveling to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon... not because you'll get pulled over again but because there's ALWAYS animals all over the road. - Arizona is a cool place to see old military equiptment, planes, helicpoters, not to mentinon tons of classic cas just off the road. If you know where to look. - New Mexico is pretty neat too... but it's just like Arizona for the most part. Love those stretches of desert road taht go perfectly straight for like 20 miles. - Utah is another fun drive, never been to Salt Lake City though. - There's the coolest little log cabin Motel in Utah, I just don't remember what part of the state. - Colorado is neat. Quite different from Southpark but still tosn to see. Didn't get to see enough of it. - Nevada. What can I say, simply awsome. One minute you're in a Store24 in Vegas buying a Cherry Coke, it's brighter than high noon outside from all the Casino lights and there's three dozen cars stopped at a red light. A few minutes later you're in your car doing 75 down a two lane patch of asphalt in pitch black, looking up at the milky way. - There's snow less than an hour's drive from Vegas. Year round. - California really is just like in the movies. Superficial and in your face. - Malibu, Hollywood, the Beaches & L.A. are all neat to see but once you've seen them you can't help but feel like it's all so over rated. NOthing can live up to that kind of hype. - Love the red/yellow blinking lights on the two lane on ramps in Calif. It's like a legal drag race everytime you go on the highway. - Have to make it out to PCH, I think that will be the one part of California I wil really love. - Still have not sen the Golden Gate Bridge. Another must before I die.
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Observations from trips over the last couple of years.. Colorado is big..and empty. I've lived here (Colorado Springs, Denver) since '97 and there are still parts I haven't seen. Telluride, Silverton, Durango are beautiful..great driving roads. The road to Lake City is beautiful...lots of twisties. The Four Corners area is pretty desolate. The temp. can change very quickly at altitude. The drive to Aspen over Independence Pass is beautiful in September. The traffic along I-70 when returning to Denver from the mountains can be painfully slow on Sunday afternoons anytime of the year--a less-than 2 hr drive from Breckenridge can easilys stretch to 4-5 hrs at the wrong time. East of the Denver airport is really boring prairie. New Mexico has lousy rest area bathrooms, wide open spaces, and a lot of junk cars near the sides of the roads (I-40, Gallup area). Santa Fe is pretty cool. Shiprock is interesting. NW NM around Farmington looks very economically depressed. I love the drive up to Los Alamos. Wyoming is big and empty. The drive from the Nevada state line to Salt Lake City along I-80 over the salt flats is very unique. I-80 across Nevada (Reno, Elko) is very long and very dull. Ugly terrain. I-80 in California goes through some beautiful areas near Lake Tahoe. Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach are probably my favorite So Cal beach towns. I like Santa Monica also, but too crowded. The drive around Palos Verdes is neat..the bridges over the harbour near Long Beach are cool.. Lots of bling-bling visible when driving through Beverly Hills. The canyon roads north of there are fun (Coldwater Canyon, Laurel Canyon, Mullholland Drive). Sunset Boulevard from Hollywood to the beach is interesting...Bel Air is very green. I truly hate left turns without arrows. LA has a lot of these. Driving across the Golden Gate Bridge in a convertible is a great experience...even on a 55-degree day with the top down and heater cranked up. Parking in San Francisco can be a pain. There is some great scenery in Marin County. There are some great twisty back roads in the forests between Santa Cruz and San Jose, west of Palo Alto. Redwood City is a neat area.. It's easy to get lost trying to get out of the San Jose Airport (getting stuck in an infinite loop on the frontage road). Driving a Thunderbird convertible with the top up in traffic can be a really pain (poor visibility). Traffic in the San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara area doesn't seem to be as bad now as it was 5 years ago. Traffic on the 880 near Berkley and Oakland can be truly awful, even on a Sunday in January. The drive from Monterey to San Francisco on Hwy 1 is very memorable. December after a blizzard is not the best time to be driving in eastern Ohio... Phoenix's freeway system is much better than Denver's. I love the drive from Prescott to Sedona through Jerome (hwy 89). Phoenix has a lot of red-light runners. The roads are great and scenic around Lake Como and Lake Maggiore in Northern Italy...almost as much fun as I had driving the roads along the Amalfi coast between Naples, Sorrento and Salerno in Southern Italy..
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I've loved reading what everybody has had to say so far....

My observations are not all that great since I had very limited experience with the different states I've been to, I've really only spent a good amount of time in Cal, Indiana, Illinois, and Las Vegas...anyway

I live on one of the roads Moltar mentioned!, Coldwater Canyon, and it is very fun, especially in fun to drive cars....

I agree with Moltar's assessment about LA, and sixty's statement that it can't possibly live up to the hype is right on! I had very vague thoughts about LA before getting here, but I thought it was a lot more city, a lot less sprawling, a lot more beautiful, and Hollywood a lot more magnificent, than it really is, it's really pretty rundown. Having lived in Chicago, I would say the grandeur their is a lot more magnifincent and awe-inspiring and upscale than LA, NY is I'm sure even more than that. The cool thing about LA is the different communities everywhere, and all the beach towns. They all have different feels. CA is also so full of places to venture to, San Diego is a great ciy as is Santa Barbra, both beautiful, and I've yet to discover the North, or Lake Tahoe, would love to go there.

Anyways....my crass and unexperienced observations...

CO is beautiful, and incredible to drive through. But what's really there??......

Nevada is just desert, it starts off nice enough at the North end, but then gets extrutiatingly hot [in September] and unpleasing. Las Vegas....again what is really there???? IDK....

Utah has gorgeous scenery, very unexpected, and very Old West. Incredibly picturesque and full of stories....

They don't call 'em the fly-over states for nothing ;).....My opinion was a lot more [please forgive me] hillbillies than I had ever seen in those states. It was like the undiscovered region......[I'm sorry]

Why would anybody live in those states :lol: http://www.cheersandgears.com/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/AH-HA_wink.gif [I apologize]

Mississippi River has a lot history, but is very underwhelming crossing over it. The bridge I crossed over lent nothing of the history of this great river....

CA is crazy.....

People in CA are on drugs......;) there's too much corruption of the mind here,...too many people who don't beleive in good and a simple lifestyle,.....too many people grappling with inner- demons, trying to fight for more money, more glamour, more attention.....it clearly is all fake and superficial....

Lots of people in CA are wonderful and easy to get along with, but the wackos are everywhere.....

For someone from the midwest with a pretty innocent upbringing, CA will never stop surprising you until you learn to expect the worst from people.........I hate having to say that.....
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I truly hate left turns without arrows.  LA has a lot of these.


So true!

This is a great and beautiful country and someday I hope to travel to all 49 states in some old school classic car (with updated mechanicals). Hawaii I'l fly to. :P

Imagine going coast to coast and everywhere in between in a 1961 Cadillac ragtop powered by a 4.4 SC Northstar. Or a 1969 Camaro wiht an LS6. Or perhaps I'll get the big huge motorhome with a car in tow on a trailer.... a '70 Trans am? or a '59 Electra. Sweet.

That being said the most exciting roads I'ev ever driven were in my home country of Slovakia. Imagine going up a mountain road in a 2001 Opel Astra 5dr in 1st gear at 15mph and you're at 4500RPM. It litterally feels like the road is going up at a 45* angle. Crazy stuff. There's places where the guardrail is 5 feet tall so if your brakes go out you don't go flying off a 300 foot high cliff.

Or (also 100% true) imagine driving 130 kmph in a 100 kmph zome on a two lane road in Austria in your little rental Astra and having a guy in a BMW 5-series wagon (combi) pass you at what seems like 200 kmph (120mph) while giving you the finger for holding him up..... and he's got two kids in the backseat. :blink: Edited by Sixty8panther
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I like your idea about the '61 Caddy, SixtyEight... a '61 Caddy or '61 Lincoln convertible would be a great road trip car, I think... (I don't really care for the '59 Caddy styling, but the '61...). I try and always rent convertibles when I'm in California...Mustangs or Thunderbirds several times in recent years. For road trips closer to home, I'm in my Grand Cherokee, M3 or my girfriend's 330Ci with the top down. I've never really spent anytime in the Northwest...I want to explore up there eventually, and I want to drive to Alaska and drive up to Prudhoe Bay. I need to take time in the next year to visit friends in Portland and Seattle. The south really has no big appeal to me (I lived in the Florida Keys as a kid), but I would like to explore the Appalachia of my ancestors--SE Kentucky, SW Virginia, NE Tennessee-- eventually... I miss the rolling hills (esp. this time of year) of my native Eastern Ohio, and the nearby hills in SW Pennsylvania....there are some absolutely incredible driver's roads there (miles and miles of deserted, twisty two-lanes over rolling hills, green valleys, etc). Though I wouldn't really want to live there again...not much opportunity in my line of work (though Pittsburgh is a neat city, IMHO).. the Midwest in general doesn't hold much attraction to me (haven't lived there since '97), but I do enjoy visiting old friends in Chicago, Ann Arbor, Cleveland and Columbus (all places I lived in my 20s). I've seen bits and pieces of the NE before, but I'd like to see more, esp. upstate NY and New Hampshire and Vermont. There are enough interesting places in Cali that I can go there every year on vacation for years to come.. I want to drive more in Europe--I've never been on the Autobahn in Germany, but I've driven on Italian Autostradas... I want to explore the roads in the Alps, France, and Scotland eventually... some of the most exciting roads I've driven were along the Meditteranean coast of Italy (even in a diesel Merc A-class or diesel Vectra!) and the roads north of Milan in the hills around the lakes... Edited by moltar
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Cool thread Knightfan.


Thank you! I've definitely enjoyed reading your observations, too, Sixty8 ... very, very detailed...he he he.

And...wow...sweet replies all around for sure! I'd love to reply to each, but I'd be here for a few days ... he he he.

In general, though, it is interesting to see how each of us perceive some areas of the country differently ... he he he. I think part of it is where we grew up ... and what surroundings are "home" to us. Seems to me that surroundings that are like our "home" surroundings are more boring to us ... and thus, we each have a slightly different take on an area.

And yet...even in our differences...we seem to have similar observations ... and experiences.

He he he...so very cool ;).
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