Planning a four week road trip is something you must dig into early in the winter. I didn’t have to work hard at convincing my friend Mary to join me. Each of us planned to pull our own trailers on the four week trip. Because both of our husbands still work full time, the plan was that we would drive to the big destination and they would fly out and join us once we were there. In any big adventure you need a starting point and we started with determining our ultimate National Park and for this trip, Yellowstone was the winner!! Once there we would also visit the Tetons and Glacier National Parks. We would work our trip backwards to our starting point of New Jersey and figure out how long it would take us to get there and what we wanted to do along the way.
As we planned we were developing a formula for the way we wanted to travel. We wanted to have a “journey” rather than a “get there” mindset but we also didn’t want to spend too much time in our own neck of the woods. When planning a trip with a friend it’s a good idea to make sure you are on the same page about what you want out of the trip. Mary and I frequently travel together and I know that if I see a point of interest along the way that we didn’t see in our research that she will be on board for stopping and vice versa. A ‘go with the flow’ travel partner makes any trip better.
Our trip planning started with determining the number of miles for the trip and then dividing that by the number of hours we were willing to drive each day. From there we determined that we needed at least four weeks for this epic adventure. We both agreed that keeping it to a maximum of six hours of driving a day would make the trip less physically taxing but also allow room for stopping and smelling the roses along the way. Our first travel day was a six hour drive to our first stop at Beaver Creek State Park in East Liverpool, Ohio. We often camp there with many Ohio Girl Campers and we planned to stay there for three days and visit our friend Gail Bable* who is the Camp Host there. When we arrived we were thrilled to discover that Gail had planned a surprise camp out with a dozen of our Ohio Girl Camping buddies to give us a good send off on our grand adventure. We had a great few days catching up with old friends, sharing stories around the fire and getting tips from friends who had already traveled our route. One of the best things about having camping friends around the country is the knowledge we gain from their experiences. We left there with a few new stops on our list including the famous Wall Drug in Wall, South Dakota, a tourist “must see” that did not disappoint.