The Scooter Diaries: full itinerary and departure date

3.10.2013


Zion National Park (UT), one of many stops on the journey.
National Park Pass: ordered. Overall route: finalized. Departure date: set.

On Saturday, May 4th, I'll be departing DC for a multi-month road trip across the United States (and Canada!), scootering from city to city and town to town and park to park to see all that the North American landmass has to offer. After several months of planning, countless conversations with friends, and relentless solicitation of recommendations, I'm happy to report that I have a nearly-complete list of destinations I'll be visiting during this summer's Scooter Diaries.

28 national parks. 24 cities. 21 states. 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 10 mountains. 4 towns. 2 countries. 2 national memorials, 1 national forest, and 1 state park. A to-be-determined number of All-American Roads, and a growing count of isolated sites and geographic formations along the way. Updated map below.



Specifically, I'll be visiting the following destinations (in rough chronological order):

Virginia: Shenandoah National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway
North Carolina: Asheville, Mount Cammerer
Tennessee: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Knoxville, Nashville
Kentucky: Mammoth Cave National Park
Mississippi: Natchez Trace Parkway
Louisiana: New Orleans
Texas: Austin, Hamilton Pool Nature Reserve, Marfa
New Mexico: Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Santa Fe, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, Taos Pueblo
Colorado: Denver, Boulder, Rocky Mountain National Park, Longs Peak, Mount Elbert, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, DurangoMesa Verde National Park
Arizona: Petrified Forest National Park, Flagstaff, SedonaGrand Canyon National Park, Antelope Canyon, The Wave
Utah: Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Natural Bridges National MonumentBryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park
Nevada: Las Vegas, Hoover Dam
California: Joshua Tree National Park, Slab CitySan Diego, Los Angeles, Channel Islands National Park,  Big Sur, Mount Whitney, Yosemite National Park, Half DomeSan Francisco, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Mount Shasta, Redwood National Park, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park,
Oregon: AshlandMount Thielsen, Crater Lake National ParkEugene, Portland
Washington: Mount Rainier National Park, Mount Rainier, Olympic National Park, Seattle, North Cascades National Park
Canada: Vancouver, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Waterton Lakes National Park, (and much later) Toronto
Montana: Glacier National Park, Beartooth All-American Road
Wyoming: Yellowstone National Park, Mount Washburn, Grand Teton National Park, Bunsen Peak, Buffalo, Devil's Tower National Monument
South Dakota: Mount Rushmore National Monument, Crazy Horse Memorial, Black Hills National ForestBadlands National Park
Minnesota: Minneapolis, Duluth
Michigan: Copper Harbor, Marquette, Grand Marais, Sault Ste. Marie
New York: Buffalo
Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh

Though my overall route has been (more or less) finalized, I'm still willing and eager to add other places worth checking out along the way, particularly more state parks, scenic roads, and salt-of-the-earth towns, so if you think there's something I'm missing within a 50-to-100-mile radius of my travels, definitely let me know. And, of course, if there's something I simply can't miss in one of the cities I'll be passing through—a good vegan restaurant, a cool music venue, a great museum or cafĂ© or market—specific recommendations are greatly appreciated.

Olympic National Park (WA), another planned destination.
I've also had a number of really kind offers to stay with friends, friends' friends, and friends' families at various points along the trip, and while I intend to do a fair amount of camping for most of the journey, I certainly won't turn down a warm bed (and shower) every now and then. So if you (or someone you know) is just itching to host a couch-crasher for a night, do let me know—I will be forever grateful. I also make a mean banana pancake. :)

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"Men come tamely home at night only from the next field or street, where their household echoes haunt, and their life pines because it breathes its own breath over again; their shadows, morning and evening, reach farther than their daily steps. We should come home from far, from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day, with new experience and character." — Henry David Thoreau, Walden; Or, Life in the Woods

6 comments:

  1. Interesting blog. My tip for banana pancakes is to go a bit heavy on the flour (lest you end up with sogginess) and a dash of vanilla/cinnamon. Have a great trip!
    -Fellow coworker from far far away

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  2. I just asked my friend in Flagstaff about your trip. Hoping to get some scoop from her!

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  3. Definitely add Big Bend National Park to the itinerary in Texas. It's pretty awesome, one of the nation's least-visited, fantastic hiking, and en route from Austin to Marfa. I'll send pics.

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  4. Arkansas:

    Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
    http://www.nps.gov/chsc/index.htm

    William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library
    http://www.clintonpresidentialcenter.org/

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  5. Not as cool as the other places you seem to be going to, but still cool thing to do.

    http://www.arkansas.com/things-to-do/diamond-hunting/

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