Author Topic: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020  (Read 5584 times)

Offline shmelive

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NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020
« on: August 19, 2020, 08:42:15 PM »
Yes, you heard that right. A solo 4-week road trip from NYC to California and back, hitting as many National Parks as I can along the way.

I'm spending a few days in the Poconos (8/18-8/23), and then heading out for real.

Some preliminary details: I'm allowing for some flexibility in my planning; that said, here's the basic plan:
NYC -> PA. Stay with siblings for a few days in a great Airbnb in the Poconos.
Cedar Point Amusement Park. Yes, it's open.
Chicago. See some friends (with appropriate distancing) and eat some Chicago kosher food.
South Dakota (Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Devil's Tower Monument)
Wyoming - Yellowstone, Grand Teton
Utah - Bonneville Salt Flats
(I've already been to Arches and Canyonlands. Zion and Bryce will have to wait for another trip.)
Yosemite (Yo Semite!)
Sequoia National Park
Los Angeles
Death Valley
Joshua Tree
Las Vegas
Hoover Dam
Grand Canyon
After that, who knows?
Possibly: Great Salt Plains in OK, New Orleans, Great Smoky Mountains.

I'm happy to take suggestions, especially westward bound between PA -> Chicago -> South Dakota -> Yellowstone, and eastward bound between Grand Canyon and NYC (yes, I know that's a long way).

I'm deliberately skipping some parks that are too out of the way, like Rocky Mountain, Glacier, Crater Lake; and some cities that I plan to visit at some later date for a baseball game (Houston, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Denver).

I'm using my own car, mostly for comfort and nostalgia reasons. It's a 2012 Camry, 97k miles, and a workhorse.

I eat dairy out, so I won't be obsessing around where to get food. Sorry to disappoint. I'll post food pics if there's demand, or when eating at a hechshered establishment.

Let the trip commence!

Offline yitzgar

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Re: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2020, 09:23:08 PM »
Badands np in SD

Offline shmelive

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Offline aarony

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Re: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2020, 11:10:40 PM »
I think Hoover dam viewpoints may be closed.  Check first.

Offline JuryDuty

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Re: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2020, 10:12:21 AM »
Sounds great!
Jury Duty: A time with nothing to do but chill and write a TR. Kinda like the beach without a view and an ocean breeze.

Offline crownsbroyal

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Re: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2020, 12:04:11 PM »
Between PA and CHI, you can knock off Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  I would recommend the Ledges trail, the rest is pretty standard.  It is right next to Cleveland off the highway.

Online Something Fishy

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Re: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2020, 02:22:02 PM »
Badands np in SD

Cannot stress this enough. Drove through SD a few weeks ago and planned on spending 2 hours in Badlands just to be yotza, ended up spending half a day and regret not having had a couple of days there.
Check out my site for epic kosher adventures: Kosher Horizons

Online Something Fishy

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Re: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2020, 02:22:29 PM »
Between PA and CHI, you can knock off Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  I would recommend the Ledges trail, the rest is pretty standard.  It is right next to Cleveland off the highway.

Good idea, just to grab another national park. Same goes for Indiana Dunes.
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Offline jose34

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Re: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2020, 04:23:20 PM »
Yes, you heard that right. A solo 4-week road trip from NYC to California and back, hitting as many National Parks as I can along the way.
.....

I eat dairy out, so I won't be obsessing around where to get food. Sorry to disappoint. I'll post food pics if there's demand, or when eating at a hechshered establishment.

Let the trip commence!
Cool good for you. Looking forward to seeing how it goes and telling other people how you were brave enough to do it solo.   

Offline BCL

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Re: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2020, 06:42:56 PM »
FYI, Yosemite requires some kind of reservation https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/covid19.htm

Offline shmelive

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Re: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2020, 08:28:07 PM »
FYI, Yosemite requires some kind of reservation https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/covid19.htm

+1

Anyone know more about this? There's conflicting info on the website. One place says it's too late to buy for August/September, and one place seems to say they release tickets 2 days in advance.

Offline shmelive

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Re: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2020, 08:30:45 PM »
I think Hoover dam viewpoints may be closed.  Check first.

Looks like you're right. https://www.usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/service/index.html

Thank you!

Offline shmelive

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Re: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2020, 08:35:19 PM »
Between PA and CHI, you can knock off Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  I would recommend the Ledges trail, the rest is pretty standard.  It is right next to Cleveland off the highway.

+1

Offline shmelive

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Re: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2020, 10:27:09 PM »
Enjoying Tobyhanna State Park with @JuryDuty and fam.
Pictured: @JuryDuty
Not Pictured: Fam


Offline shmelive

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Re: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2020, 10:33:28 PM »
Small detail I left out:

I'll be working some of the time (almost all weekday mornings) to support myself during this trip. I'm a psychotherapist and have been seeing clients from home since March, so I thought this was a good opportunity to work and play at the same time.

When else will I get to leave everything behind for four weeks?

As I say all the time, it's a once in a lifetime experience!