/ Your best road trip?
Idle Tuesday afternoon musing - what's the best road trip you've ever done? Where did you go, and what made it special?
I did a brilliant South West climbing road trip a few years back taking in all the great crags in Devon and Cornwall. 10 days of glorious sunshine and good laugh. It is almost always the people that make a great road trip in my experience.
Either, but climbing/hill-related makes more sense, I reckon.
>It is almost always the people that make a great road trip in my experience.
And the weather, at least in this country.
4,000 miles round the west of the USA and Canada starting and finishing in St Louis.
Just so many amazing places, although I have to admit we were a bit canyoned out when we actually got as far as the Grand Canyon. Part of the fun was that we were travelling in a very old Suburu (christened Richie) with a few hundred thousand miles on the clock which made things interesting.
Flew to El Paso, my first step on US soil.
Spent a month at Hueco Tanks where we bought a Chevvy Impala from an old guy who was a Marine in England during the war.
Spent time crossing the border to party in Juarez - my claim to fame is crossing back into the US pissed without any documents!
Did day trips to Truth or Consequences to sleep in a Teepee and dip into hot springs. (yes that is the town which was named after a radio quiz show!)
Drove up to Joshua Tree were I had another 4 weeks - best climbing ever. Figures on a Landscape as good as it gets.
Did the climber's trail through the Mohave Desert to Red Rocks where we spent another month. Bagged one of the best routes I've ever done - Levitation 29.
Drove through Death Valley to spend a month in Bishop which was amazing.
Drove up to Tahoe (with a gorgeous hitcher called Amy - who stayed with us for a few more weeks ;-)
Down to Yosemite where I climbed for a month almost reaching the dizzy heights of solid granite 5:11 - saved El Cap for another day.
Flew out of LA to a fantastic summer in the UK, fit as a fiddle bagging a few E5's in Goredale.
Those were the days!!
Set off at 11.30pm, roof down, Floyd, Beatles, Hendrix, Cure, Stones & Stevie Ray Vaughn on the stereo, perfect deserted fast roads once past Glasgow, a clear sky and a bright moon, and watched a perfect sunrise over the Summer Isles as I approached Achiltibuie at 5.24am, accompanied by Hendrix and Little Wing.
Don't think the speedo dropped below 70 on the A835 - just me, 360 rampaging Stuttgart ponies, wind in my hair, and the magnificent scenery of the Scottish Highlands - I was still grinning like a kid 2 hours later over a scrumptious breakfast at The Summer Isle Hotel :-))))))
Am planning a completely non-climbing-related road trip in the next couple of years across the US - probably NY to San Francisco. But I won't be able to have a lot of time and, frankly, I don't want to drive all that way, so planning most of it to be by Amtrak and Greyhound bus :-).
I trust you took advantage of the early start?
I have done a few, but the best one dedicated purely to climbing was a week that took in the Old Man of Hoy, the Old Man of Stor (not sure if the spelling, the one that requires a swim, Reiff, Applecross then a few days on Skye. About 1300 miles, all during the fuel blockade of 2000.
Great climbing and great company.
I did over 4000 miles on public transport in Argentina in two blocks of 48 hours, wonderful place, but I will be flying next time.
Santiago de chile - Ushaiua - Santiago de chile. 2 months in a 4wd subaru with low profile tyres doing a tonne down the gravel roads of Patagonia Argentina with three of the most annoying french dicks who wanted to sit around and talk shit in french all day band play cards, fighting and arguments, bad spanish, plenty of guanacos, steaks for breakfast, a cave of hands, lots of wine. Weird dreams.
The french I would of happily set on fire and buried in the desert.
I love the pampa baby.
watching the space station pass every night while camped on the lake near barriloche was pretty cool
What are guanacos?
these lovely fellas
Summer just gone: after years of waiting for a mid-life crisis I finally bought a van, put a mattress in the back and set of on the open road - Did 5 days in font, two weeks via feratta and walking in Switzerland, climbing the Rostock on a perfect day, for my 30th. Broke down on the Furka Pass and waking up to dawn over the Berner Alps was spectacular. Nipped off down to Italy to pick up a climbing buddy in Italy before heading down to Ailefroide for two weeks. Then, back home via 4 days in font, to Birmingham, where a massive come-down was waiting for me!
2 weeks camping in August in Scotland. Sure, there were some midges and we did get bitten a bit but not a massive amount.
Quiet crags (often empty) in amazing settings. More people should go really!
Age 14 me and 3 friends cycled from St Malo to Montpelier. Took us 3 weeks (14 days cycling 7 rest..) and having not really trained I blubbed a bit (read:alot) on the first night. By the end though we were demons!
Amazing scenery, first time away (properly) from my folks, long long roads into nowhere and great generosity from so many people (possibly due to our age) made it quite a wonderful thing all in all.
The world has never seemed quite as large since that trip. I must try and repeat it some day... Time to get a bike again maybe...
Not really sure what constitutes a 'road trip' Clare but:
A great summer started in Bregaglia, went to Mello for some cragging, back to Bregaglia, over to Handegg, finished on the summit of the Eiger - a perfect summer 3 weeks (with road involved!). Special because of so many differing places, people (meeting random mates at random places with no planning)and just loads and loads done with a person very special to me,
Left Keighley, hitched to Braemar in half a day, walked into the Garbh Choire and bivvied. Did Squareface, Mitre Ridge and Cumming-Crofton next morning. Walked over to Hutchinson Hut. Next day Talisman and walked out to Aviemore. Started thumbing and back home by ten at night. All on my tod. Special because of the night sky and the stars, the isolation, the feelings of commitment, the personal buzz. And the nice people who gave me lifts!
Not a driving road trip, but here goes.
Pakistan border to Chinese border by bus.
100 mile walk through desert to nearest town (name escapes me), start hitch hiking to Kashgar, get arrested, put on bus.
Three day bus journey, one night train journey, another three day bus journey to Golmud.
Another three day high altitude bus journey to Llahsa (Tibet).
1000 km cycle/hitching on trucks to Katmandu via Everest North face base camp.
Down through Saskatchewan and across the US border into N.Dakota. First night in the badlands then on through S.Dakota and into the Black hills. 3 nights there then south again through Nebraska and Easter Colorado (to avoid the forest fires)to Colorado Springs. West now into Durango and 3 nights there then north west to Utah and Moab. Awesome place. Up to SLC for a night then north east to Jackson, Wyoming. A night in the grand tetons then up to Yellowstone. 2 nights there then over east to the big horn mountains (best kept secret in the US). Up into Montana and a visit to the site of the battle of the little bighorn then on up and back into Saskatchewan.
15 days and 4000 miles towing a caravan with one wife and two kids.
4 month trip to the US in 1993 with my wife Elaine. We bought an old Chevrolet in Portland (Or) for 600 dollars. Travelled 10 000 miles and sold the car for the same price back at the same car dealers. Great memories climbing at Smith Rock, AF, Yosemite, Jailhouse Rock, Red Rocks, Cave Rock, VRG and many other places.
Memorable because we made so many friends and were put up by so many kind people, for example we looked after Marla's house opposite Smith Rock for 3 weeks (the deal was to feed the horses, cats, fish and water the garden) and stayed with TM Herbert for a couple of weeks near Gardnerville, Nv.
Brilliant fun and great memories.
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