Time flew and it was already March and we have not made much progress on our trip planning. We had some ideas where we would like to go but it was hard to plan such a long trip. In the past, when we went on a trip, we just wrote our itinerary down on a piece of paper. However, paper method was not working out this time as it was hard to figure out the duration of the trip and was difficult to make changes. We needed to figure out when to leave and approximately how long the trip may take. Finally we decided to use Microsoft Streets and Trip 2006.

We used the software to plan our itinerary. The software was pretty easy to use: we used it mainly to figure out how much time and distance would be for our trip. It definitely made the planning possible as changes can be made easily. The most frustrating thing was not being able to assign a date to the beginning of the trip so we wouldn’t know approximately where we would be on a given date. We needed that because we needed to tell some friends and relatives when we would be visiting them.

We tweaked our route constantly for a few weeks, trying to minimize the total driving distance but maximize places we wanted to see. We ended up with the itinerary of ~13,500 miles and 112 days. The distance was point to point so we figured that we needed to add 25% to it to be more realistic, therefore, ~17,000 miles. Our goal was to limit driving to an average of 2 to 3 hours a day. Our plan was not to make any reservation therefore allowing the flexibility to deviate from our plan. In retrospect, it was the best decision made at that time as we did not become slaves to our plan instead we let the trip take us to many unknown places. Also, it kept us out of trouble as we didn’t drive in the dark or in bad weather in order to keep our reservations.

Our trip route

Planned Places to Be by day:

1 Lake Tahoe
2 Great Basin NP
3 Great Basin NP
4 Ceder Break NM/Bryce Canyon NP
5 Bryce Canyon NP
6 Capitol Reef NP
7 Capitol Reef NP
8 Arches NP
9 Arches NP
10 Canyonlands NP
11 Canyonlands NP
12 Canyonlands NP
13 Great Sand Dunes NP
14 Great Sand Dunes NP
15 Denver
16 Omaha
17 Galena, Illinois
18 Chicago
19 Chicago
20 Chicago
21 Mommoth Cave NP
22 Mommoth Cave NP
23 Great Smokey Mountain NP
24 Great Smokey Mountain NP
25 Great Smokey Mountain NP
26 Great Smokey Mountain NP
27 Cary, NC
28 Cary, NC
29 Cary, NC
30 Shenandoah NP
31 Shenandoah NP
32 Shenandoah NP
33 Washington DC
34 Washington DC
35 Washington DC
36 Philadelphia
37 Edison, NJ
38 Edison, NJ
39 Edison, NJ
40 Boston
41 Saint John, Canada
42 Fundy NP
43 Fundy NP
44 Cape Breton Highlands NP
45 Cape Breton Highlands NP
46 Cape Breton Highlands NP
47 Prince William
48 Quebec City
49 Quebec City
50 Quebec City
51 Montreal
52 Montreal
53 Montreal
54 Killington, Vermont
55 Killington, Vermont
56 Killington, Vermont
57 Killington, Vermont
58 Killington, Vermont
59 Killington, Vermont
60 Killington, Vermont
61 Thousand Islands, NY
62 Thousand Islands, NY
63 Toronto
64 Toronto
65 Toronto
66 Niagara Falls
67 Niagara Falls
68 Sudbury
69 Sudbury
70 Tahquamenon Falls, Michigan
71 Pukaskwa NP
72 Pukaskwa NP
73 Sleeping Giant NP
74 Sleeping Giant NP
75 Voyageurs NP
76 Voyageurs NP
77 Fargo, ND
78 Theodore Roosevelt NP
79 Theodore Roosevelt NP
80 Badlands NP
81 Badlands NP
82 Wind Cave NP
83 Devil Tower NM
84 Helena, Montana
85 Glacier NP
86 Glacier NP
87 Glacier NP
88 Glacier NP
89 Waterton NP
90 Waterton NP
91 Dinosaur Provicinal Park
92 Dinosaur Provicinal Park
93 Calgary
94 Calgary
95 Banff
96 Banff
97 Yoho
98 Glacier NP, Canada
99 Whistler
100 Vancouver
101 Vancouver
102 Victoria
103 Victoria
104 Victoria
105 Olympics NP
106 Olympics NP
107 Multnomah Falls, Oregon
108 Newport, Oregon
109 Oregon Dunes NRA
110 Redwood National Park
111 Redwood National Park
112 Home