Thursday, June 4, 2009

Miscellaneous Durango Roadtripping

Doing this Durango Roadtripping Blog has had me going through old photos, trying to remember details that aren't at the forefront of my memory, having memories jarred fresh that had been forgotten and trying to figure out where to go with this Roadtripping Blog.

Where to go brings up an interesting aspect of Roadtripping. The Trip Plan. I have experienced 3 types of Roadtrip Plans.

There's the Family Plan, when you are a kid and you sort of get to have input, as in we want to go to Disneyland, we want to go to Yellowstone. But all the details, planning and work are up to mom and dad.

Then you get older and it becomes My Plan. I've gone on Roadtrips where there is a definite destination in mind, where I have it all mapped out, where I know where I'm going to be each day.

Then there's the Spontaneous Roadtrip Plan. I like those the best. The longest of those was over 10,000 miles. That Roadtrip ran from Washington to Utah to Colorado to the top of Pikes Peak to Texas to New Mexico to Arizona and a hike down to the Colorado in the Grand Canyon to Las Vegas to Los Angeles and Disneyland to Yosemite and the coast highway back north.

When I was younger staying in a motel was rarely done. I had a van that could be slept in and a tent, if needed. At some point in time sleeping in a sleeping bag on the ground lost all its appeal after a bad incident at Lake Alta State Park in Eastern Washington.

As I got older I found I like to know ahead of time where I am staying each night, while the idea of spontaneously Roadtripping has some sort of nostaligic appeal, these days I need more predictability. I've found you can still be plenty spontaneous, while knowing where you are going to be sleeping that night.

Nowadays, when I go on a Group Roadtrip with friends, I only agree to go if I get to plot the itinerary. The most complicated of those was a Roadtrip that involved Houseboating on Lake Powell, Mexican Hat, Monument Valley, log cabins at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, the Zion National Park Lodge, 4 nights at Excalibur in Las Vegas, overnight in Death Valley at Stovepipe Wells and then winging the rest of the way home.

That trip involved making a lot of reservations. I made it clear to my Co-Roadtrippers that once they agreed to my Trip Plan there would be No Pointless Endless Itinerary Discussions. One of the members of that Roadtripping party had to have the no No Pointless Endless Itinerary Discussions rule pointed out to him a few times. The others, by then, had seen the wisdom in following my itinerary without further discussion.

The reason I won't go on a group trip unless I do the planning and set the times and agenda, was due to a Roadtrip in a rented Cadillac that included 2 of the persons who were also on the Lake Powell Trip.

The final destination, in the Cadillac, was Curry Village in Yosemite National Park. First night Ontario, Oregon, second night Reno, a couple days in Reno, then south to Yosemite via Lake Tahoe. I wanted to take an isolated road that connected to Highway 49. Highway 49 is so named after the California Gold Rush of 1849.

I wanted to get to Yosemite before dark. We had a big breakfast buffet in Reno. By the time we got to Lake Tahoe, two of the overeaters needed another feeding. This put us a bit behind schedule. At some point on Highway 49, going through one of the many picturesque towns along the way, the overeaters indicated they needed more food. I suggested waiting til Yosemite. No, they needed food, now. They got their food. We got to Yosemite after dark. It was difficult finding our tent cabin in the dark.

I vowed to never go on a Group Roadtrip, ever again, unless I'm given Dictatorial Powers prior to departure. So far, this has worked out well for me. I just point the way, like in the picture at the top, and everything works out fine and a good time is had by all. For the most part.

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