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    Thread: USA Roadtrip of 2011

    1. Member LG6R's Avatar
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      07-29-2011 04:21 PM #1
      I know what you're thinking. The answer is yes, I'm at it again. My previous road trips of 2009 stirred something inside me and helped find me find myself. I found out that I have a real passion for this sort of thing and it helped define who I was. Not to be so high-strung and to enjoy the beauty in life. I found happiness, a high that I haven't been able to duplicate since. With the high gas prices last year, I only took a little roadtrip to Washington DC to see if that would satisfy my urge to drive. Nope. That's only a handful of hours away and hardly an accomplishment. Plus I lost all my pictures when my hard-drive failed. What I needed was to go someplace a handful of days away. To just drive all day long for a few weeks.

      I wanted to go across the US again last year, even created a thread asking if anyone wanted to go. No takers. Well gas prices are still high this year. Figuring the prices won't be going back down to $2 per gallon anymore and I'm not getting any younger, I said screw it and started planning. Then packing. I knew what to bring, where to go, and what to do every day. This wasn't my first rodeo. I've got some money saved up and don't spend it. This seemed like a good opportunity to spend some of it doing what I love to do. Was I really going to do it again? You bet.

      The same car was used, my trusty 1995 Jetta 2.0. I've gone through a couple of clusters in the time I've had the car, and this odometer shows 60,000 miles less than actual. It had over 195,000 miles on it when I left home. Surprisingly, it hasn't needed anything in the past few years. Is that a good sign, or would I just be driving a ticking time bomb?

      For this thread I'll be taking a slightly different approach. I'd like to put you, the viewer, in the passenger seat for this ride. I want to make you feel like you're there. I want to explore your imagination. With a new camera, the pictures will be bigger and in higher resolution. We've advanced so much with the average computer and internet speed that I don't think anyone should have problems getting the pictures to show up in a timely manner. Also Photobucket sucks now, they reduce the resolution so much that the picture comes out looking like poop. No one wants to look at grainy pictures. So I'm giving flickr a try but of course they have limitations as to how many pictures you can upload per month so I'm not sure how long this thread will take to finish. Plus I haven't tested their bandwidth capacity yet. I'll see how it goes and react accordingly.

      Also I'd like to make this thread more of a daily account with a lot more writing. I know that everyone on here is illiterate and can't read more than 6 words at a time, but give it a try. You don't have to look and read everything right away, save it for the weekend or an evening when you have some time off. Don't scroll quickly past the pictures- this isn't a race. They're not going anywhere. Look at each picture for a few seconds and imagine yourself there. This thread will be taking me a lot of time and effort to create, so I hope you can take some time to sit back, grab a couple beers, and enjoy the ride.

      Day .5
      Wed June 15

      Had last-minute errands to run, then drove from NYC to PA and stayed with someone there. This way I have a chance to organize the car and get a head start in the morning. I'm not counting this as a day because 3hrs is not a far drive.

      FDR Drive: Bye New York!



      PA Turnpike:




    2. Member LG6R's Avatar
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      07-29-2011 04:22 PM #2
      Day 1
      Thurs June 16

      Woke up at 4am and was driving by 4:30.

      Drove straight through Pennsylvania. Rain was off and on all day.



      Leftover pizza for lunch



      More rain through Ohio



      1 of 32 trips to the gas station



      Faster than a speeding bullet



      Here's Indiana. Central America is so boring with nothing to see



      Got into Chicago at around 2pm CST. Already skipped a time zone. I would be stuck in traffic for the next hour and a half. Hate it! Especially when you've been going non-stop for so long, it sucks to just have to sit there.



      The big black building is the Sears Tower



      Got out of there and again, nothing to see in Wisconsin. The sunset was nice though.



      The best thing about driving west is that you'll be driving off into the sunset. Driving off into the sunset- I love saying that.



      Settled into a rest area for the night in western Wisconsin, knocking on Minnesota's door. 1,200 miles driven so far.


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      07-29-2011 04:28 PM #3
      This looks like so much fun!

    4. Member fatboyvw's Avatar
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      07-29-2011 04:31 PM #4
      AWESOME!!! Will be watching this one
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      07-29-2011 04:35 PM #5
      o damn at it again
      OG suede

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      07-29-2011 04:36 PM #6
      Watching this one as well

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      07-29-2011 04:37 PM #7
      this is awesome. good luck and be careful. i love your car btw

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      07-29-2011 04:45 PM #8
      What's your plan for minnesota? You should drive up duluth then hit the north shore of lake superior. The drive to grand marias is amazing and there's tons of state parks to stop at.

    9. Member autotragik b3attlewagen's Avatar
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      07-29-2011 04:49 PM #9
      in.

      I wish there were more epic threads like this on here.
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      07-29-2011 04:53 PM #10
      considering this started June 15th, i'm pretty sure he's passed through minnesota already.

      did you take the toll road through indiana? that's about 40 minutes north of where i live in indiana. and yeah, it's an awful state to both live in and drive through.

      look forward to the rest man.
      welcome to the layer cake

    11. Moderator root beer's Avatar
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      07-29-2011 05:02 PM #11
      In for this one

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      07-29-2011 05:04 PM #12
      Looks like alot of fun

    13. Member pacNW's Avatar
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      07-29-2011 05:20 PM #13
      After reading the 14k mile trip thread and thoroughly enjoying it, I've got a couple things to say.

      1. Your writing style, correct grammar and punctuation, and ability to keep the story flowing is very refreshing. Most might just skim through the paragraphs, but there are some of us that do take the time to read what you write. Thank you sir

      2. After a couple years since your last trip and with many rest area nights under your belt, how do you feel about safety with each sleep stop? I'd imagine feeling comfortable and safe before you go to sleep makes the nights easier, did the car arrangements not work out any of the nights? Your sleeping setup in the first thread was so impressive that I went out and laid my Golfs rear seats down and checked to see how I fit with my dog too. Not bad!

      3. Do you have CC in your Jetta? If so, are you pretty much using it all the time while on the freeway? I noticed 80mph, about your average cruising speed?

      4. Good concept with putting the photos from the passenger perspective. Any chance we can see a map with the route planned?

      Hopefully this gives some inspiration to go on a road trip of their own, I know your 09 trip sparked my interest. Anticipating the rest

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      07-29-2011 05:37 PM #14
      in for this.

      if for some odd reason you venture around my neck of the woods - holler.
      Last edited by nap83; 07-29-2011 at 05:45 PM.
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      07-29-2011 05:42 PM #15
      In.

      If I had the money for gas, I'd totally tag along for one of these epic journeys.
      We need a series like this state-side. I'm in if there is one, or will be one. VW Cup 2014/5, anyone?

      Odometer: 157221mi | 246 full tanks | 77,150.0mi | 2,688.512gal | 28.69617mpg | US$0.10280/mi

    16. Member LG6R's Avatar
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      07-29-2011 05:47 PM #16
      Day 2
      Fri June 17

      Woke up at 5am and was on the road by 5:30. That Wisconsin rest area was beautiful- nicely landscaped, new, and spotlessly clean. Wish all rest areas were like this.

      Heavy fog in Minnesota



      Got into Bloomington, MN at around 6:30 to see the Mall of America. The stores weren't open until 10am but I wasn't there to go shopping.



      I was there to see this



      They have a freakin' amusement park inside the mall!

      Especially surprised to see a water ride. Imagine getting soaked and then still going shopping.



      Look at the size of this thing. It swung back and forth



      And this thing. It had 12 seats and swung back and forth on what looked to be a huge skateboard





      A ferris wheel inside of a mall!



      A roller coaster inside a mall! They had 3 in there, I believe.



      This looked like a lot of fun. After being secured by a safety line, you would be walking on ropes and planks of wood where the higher you went, the more and more challenging it got. See on top how there's nothing to hold on to? Every level was more and more difficult to go across without falling.



      Unfortunately, none of the rides were open yet since the stores weren't open. I did get to see them being tested by the staff though. And on the bright side, I had the place to myself!

      The mall was 4 stories tall. I believe it has over 500 stores, much more than any other mall in the US. All the stores surrounded the amusement park. Here you can see the 4 floors:



      Leaving the Minneapolis area, the graffiti on this truck had me LMAO





      My impressions of Minnesota: uneventful, but looks to be a nice place and the roads were smooth. Wouldn't want to visit in the winter though.

      Onto North Dakota. This was near Fargo, and I entered the wonderful 75mph speed limit part of the country. I have no idea why anyone would want to live here. But I saw on the History channel that it's a great place to work with lots of lucrative jobs.



      So boring you need energy shots to stay awake



      Road flooded



      Energy shot kicking in. Time to fly!



      More gas. I'm filling up 3 times a day in this part of the trip.



      Made friends with a couple in a red Dodge headed to South Dakota. By friends, I mean we cruised together for hours. They stopped to get gas and I kept going. After I got gas, who else would be chugging along the highway but the red Dodge. We both laughed and gave each other a thumbs up.



      Luxury 5-star accommodations in North Dakota. Oh you fancy huh?



      Soldiering on. What surprised me the most was how desolate it was. This was I-94, a major interstate and there's no cars! No houses, no farms, and some of the interstate's exits were dirt roads leading over the hill to nowhere. There were times when I could see for miles ahead and behind me, and could see no other vehicles. Not even in the oncoming direction- pretty eerie.



      Entering Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota











      It reminded me of the Badlands in South Dakota, just not as grand. I'm still glad I went and saw it. The 37-mile loop took 2 hours. Lots of horses, hundreds of prairie dogs, and some buffalo. I had one prairie dog barking at me and every time he barked, his tail flickered. Very cute.



      Crossing the Yellowstone River



      Already in Montana at this point



      These kids had me cracking up. They were both wearing 10-gallon hats, flying through Montana without a care in the world, and were messing with each other the whole time.



      Montana sunset. Sorry about the bugs, I had just cleaned the windshield at the gas station 10 minutes ago.

      One of the greatest things about these roadtrips is being able to see magnificent sunsets in many different places with memorable landscapes. That's one of the biggest drawbacks to living in a big city. You never get to see beautiful sunrises or sunsets unless you're high up in a skyscraper or on a high bridge. How can you wake up happy in the mornings? How can you go to sleep at peace with the world? I suppose every person's key to happiness differs but my key is to witness a nice sunset every once in a while.



      Big sky country!



      So far I've driven 2,000 miles and skipped two time zones.

      That's all I have for now. I can't upload more onto flickr until the first of the next month, which is Monday. Lots of good stuff to come!

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      07-29-2011 06:17 PM #17
      very cool, proof of the reliability of a mk3 jetta

      subscribed!
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    18. Member LG6R's Avatar
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      07-29-2011 06:18 PM #18
      Thanks for the comments so far.

      How are the pictures coming up? Are they clear for everyone? Are they bigger than the screen, or does everyone have auto-adjusting screens? I'm putting everything up at 1024 x 768, I hope that's not too big but it's coming up just fine for my widescreen monitor. Are they loading quickly?

      Quote Originally Posted by pacNWtye View Post
      After reading the 14k mile trip thread and thoroughly enjoying it, I've got a couple things to say.

      1. Your writing style, correct grammar and punctuation, and ability to keep the story flowing is very refreshing. Most might just skim through the paragraphs, but there are some of us that do take the time to read what you write. Thank you sir

      2. After a couple years since your last trip and with many rest area nights under your belt, how do you feel about safety with each sleep stop? I'd imagine feeling comfortable and safe before you go to sleep makes the nights easier, did the car arrangements not work out any of the nights? Your sleeping setup in the first thread was so impressive that I went out and laid my Golfs rear seats down and checked to see how I fit with my dog too. Not bad!

      3. Do you have CC in your Jetta? If so, are you pretty much using it all the time while on the freeway? I noticed 80mph, about your average cruising speed?

      4. Good concept with putting the photos from the passenger perspective. Any chance we can see a map with the route planned?

      Hopefully this gives some inspiration to go on a road trip of their own, I know your 09 trip sparked my interest. Anticipating the rest
      1. Thank you! In this day of the text message and seeing how we're on an internet forum, people simply forget everything they've learned in English class and type the quickest way possible to get the point across. The trouble with that is sometimes no one wants to read it.

      2. Didn't really care for the rest areas down south. They have police officers parked there at night and at first I thought that was a good thing until I started wondering why they needed them at all. But you go over and say hi to the officer, offer him a soda, tell him you'll be sleeping there for the night, and he keeps an eye out for you. For the most part, the rest areas are just fine and I didn't have any problems with them. If you don't like a certain area then move onto the next one. Sometimes it's a shthole and the next one is new and air-conditioned. I think it's because the state has only enough funding to modernize a handful of areas so they do every other one to spread it across the state's highways.

      I'm not the only one doing it. Lots of people sleep in their cars when they get too tired to make it all the way home. Others are moving across the country with cars full of their belongings. I always parked the furthest away from the bathrooms and slept with a pocketknife visible and within reach. A good point that someone mentioned to me was this- I was a dude sleeping in my car on the side of the highway. Anyone who's shady enough to do that, people stay away from. That's what nyc subways taught me: be crazier than the next guy and you get your way. Even if you're a little scared, the trick is to look mad or crazy and no one messes with you.

      3. Cruise control doesn't work. Didn't really miss it, I'm not a huge fan of it. Average cruising speed was around 80. I was trying to go as far as I could in a day without wasting too much gas. Throw in the occasional high-speed run in the middle of nowhere to get an adrenaline boost.

      4. Not posting the route until the thread is finished. You're along for the ride, remember?

    19. Member AFromCT's Avatar
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      07-29-2011 06:25 PM #19
      It's cool that you take your time and see stuff.
      I've done CT-Cali-CT, CT-Ottawa/Toronto (tons for school), and just recently CT-Colorado (-Utah-Colorado for a mini vacation). Same deal with people not committing to come along. Their loss!
      You should see the mechanics who work on my car when I tell them what I'm about to do, haha. 'Til the wheels fall off.

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      07-29-2011 06:27 PM #20
      Great stuff as always with your roadtrip threads. I will be following this one as well.
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      07-29-2011 06:41 PM #21
      You are doing what most cannot do or are to affraid to do. (myself included) You are living the Dream. As you said others have a different key to happiness, I think you are turning your key to open that door.

      Way to go and I am glad you can share your journey!

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    22. Member fatboyvw's Avatar
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      07-29-2011 07:44 PM #22
      Pictures are great and loading fast. Not to big not to small
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      07-29-2011 08:18 PM #23
      I'm jealous!

      These pictures remind me of my roadtrips. I did 2 big roadtrips and several small ones.

      - First trip in 2000 from Socal to Boston, MA: socal->san fran.->lake tahoe->reno->saltlake city-->indiana->nebraska->ohio->wyoming->long island ny->pa->boston.

      - Second trip in 2005 from Boston to Miami to Socal: boston ->nyc->dc->nc->atlanta->daytona beach->west palm beach->south beach->mobile, al->ms->ar->ok->nm->so cal.

      Since I have kid, we still do small trips (less than 10 hours driving each direction), but not long long trip. One of my favorite of roadtrip is eating local food.

      Can't wait for my kid to grow up so we can do long roadtrips.

      Keep posting your pics and your writing is very interesting and descriptive. Thx
      Last edited by trisgolf; 07-29-2011 at 08:28 PM.

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      07-29-2011 09:09 PM #24
      Awesome thread. Thanks for documenting your trip. Subscribed and along for the ride.

    25. Member ziggy88's Avatar
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      07-29-2011 09:15 PM #25
      all in all about how much did this trip run you? gas?lodging?
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      07-29-2011 10:07 PM #26
      wow i love your road trip threads so cool and your writing is very easy and a pleasure to read.

      im just wondering- when you switching to a TD/TDI? go about 1/3 extra milage and up here diesel is often cheaper
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      07-29-2011 10:08 PM #27
      Loving it so far and can't wait for the rest. Wish i had the time/money to do something like this. Hopefully one day it'll happen.
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      07-29-2011 10:20 PM #28
      Driving long distance with out the pressure of "getting there" is a good feeling.
      You can really soak in the scenery. Nice pics Danny.

      What music do you listen to ?

      lou

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      07-29-2011 11:34 PM #29
      Love it Danny. Excellent Thread.

      Glad you're home safe.
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    30. Member wilsfox's Avatar
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      07-29-2011 11:46 PM #30
      dude, you always make the best threads ever. I want to do this someday. I may just do it this fall.

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      07-30-2011 12:16 AM #31
      Awesome trip, cant wait to see more

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      07-30-2011 12:36 AM #32
      You must have an awesome, flexible job. Wish I could do something like this. Then again, my mk3 falls apart if you drive it more than 10 miles at a time. Great to see a clean, well maintained mk3 doing what it was meant for.

    33. Member DukeDKT442's Avatar
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      07-30-2011 12:52 AM #33
      Another epic thread! Your threads are the best on Vortex, no argument.

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      07-30-2011 01:18 AM #34
      Subscribed to this one. Interesting idea. Would love to do that myself.
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    35. Member LG6R's Avatar
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      07-30-2011 08:34 PM #35
      By the way, I'm already back. Came back earlier this month. I went where I went and did what I did; there's no changing that now.

      Quote Originally Posted by maxcaven View Post
      What's your plan for minnesota? You should drive up duluth then hit the north shore of lake superior. The drive to grand marias is amazing and there's tons of state parks to stop at.
      You already saw my plan for Minnesota- just the Mall of America. Gotta keep going, lots of good stuff out there to see.

      Quote Originally Posted by autotragik b3attlewagen View Post
      in.

      I wish there were more epic threads like this on here.
      Me too. I like threads that tell a story.

      Quote Originally Posted by n0rdicalex. View Post
      did you take the toll road through indiana? that's about 40 minutes north of where i live in indiana. and yeah, it's an awful state to both live in and drive through.
      Yep, I think so. Took I-80 back and forth. Indiana's not so bad. I liked Indianapolis last time I came through there.

      Quote Originally Posted by nap83 View Post
      in for this.

      if for some odd reason you venture around my neck of the woods - holler.
      Cut across the northern part of Idaho. Where's the pictures you were supposed to take when you moved there from MD?

      Quote Originally Posted by AFromCT View Post
      It's cool that you take your time and see stuff.
      I've done CT-Cali-CT, CT-Ottawa/Toronto (tons for school), and just recently CT-Colorado (-Utah-Colorado for a mini vacation). Same deal with people not committing to come along. Their loss!
      You should see the mechanics who work on my car when I tell them what I'm about to do, haha. 'Til the wheels fall off.
      Damn straight

      Quote Originally Posted by trisgolf View Post
      I'm jealous!

      These pictures remind me of my roadtrips. I did 2 big roadtrips and several small ones.
      I'm guessing you were moving or for school? When you're moving to different parts of the country, it's great to use the trip to sightsee a little bit along the way.

      Quote Originally Posted by ziggy88 View Post
      all in all about how much did this trip run you? gas?lodging?
      Well I took a lot of food with me. Crackers, tuna fish, canned food, granola bars, etc. Plus I didn't eat much. Or stay in too many motels. Grand total of everything including gas, food, lodging, excursions, souveniers, car washes, oil changes, tolls, absolutely everything was about $1650. Gas was a major part of the expenses, probably 75%. Just goes to show it's possible to do this on a very limited budget.

      Quote Originally Posted by canucker View Post
      wow i love your road trip threads so cool and your writing is very easy and a pleasure to read.

      im just wondering- when you switching to a TD/TDI? go about 1/3 extra milage and up here diesel is often cheaper
      Thanks man. Believe it or not, I don't drive much. If I get another car it'll have a VR.

      Quote Originally Posted by louabt View Post
      Driving long distance with out the pressure of "getting there" is a good feeling.
      You can really soak in the scenery. Nice pics Danny.

      What music do you listen to ?

      lou
      Absolutely. A little bit of everything. Hip-hop, rap, alternative, pop, rock, and house. Mostly techno remixes of popular songs when I get tired to wake me up. It's good to have variety.

      Quote Originally Posted by Yeah Right! View Post
      Love it Danny. Excellent Thread.

      Glad you're home safe.
      ^ THIS guy! He helped me out while I was on the road but I'll get to that later.

      Quote Originally Posted by aphythiate View Post
      You must have an awesome, flexible job. Wish I could do something like this. Then again, my mk3 falls apart if you drive it more than 10 miles at a time. Great to see a clean, well maintained mk3 doing what it was meant for.
      I'm working in the family business right now. Good thing about it is that I can say "Well pops, I'll see ya in a few weeks" hahaha. I get time off whenever I want, but then again so can he. I'd like to start doing something else though, and this trip was sort of my last hurrah before I go.

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