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irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
9/10/18 10:21 p.m.

I've gone cross-country twice in a car. Once in 1975 when I was one year old, riding in the back of an Audi 80 from Newport RI to Seattle. Then back the other way in 1979 when I was four, riding shotgun in a 1970 Triumph GT6 with my mom driving (and my dad and little brother in the same Audi 80, towing a sailboat). I ended up owning that GT6 and always wanted to go cross-country in it, but never felt that the car would be that fun (or safe) to do it in, in this day of fast traffic and big SUVs everywhere.

So I sold the GT6 and bought a 1987 Porsche 924S for $1k on craigslist. Well, more accurately I bought two for $1k each. One with a good body and interior but a blown engine, and the other with a good engine and crap everything else. Put them together and now I have an '87-bodied car with the desirable 160hp '88 engine. Over the past year-plus I've been refurbishing it, and making it better (while keeping it mostly stock), and it has turned into my favorite road-trip car. So far I've put up to about 500 miles on it in a day with basically no issues other than a few miinor things. I consider ever-increasing "local" road trips here on the east coast as shakedowns, to find the problems and build trust. My ultimate goal is to do a cross-country-and-back trip to visit places and friends, someday when money and time (and family) allows.

So anyhow, this is a thread I'm starting now and will maybe finish in a few years, in which I'll occasionally talk about the car (otherwise detailed in my e30/924 build thread in that section), talk about plans, solicit ideas, and stuff like that. More importantly, I need it to keep myself motivated to actually DO this someday. I'm by nature both adventurous and cautious at once (I carry way too many tools and spares on road trips already), and do have real-life limitations ($400k+ left on my mortgage, wife, and two kids) that make this all a tall order for me to actually pull off. Plus the thing about how much time I can take, and who or if anyone would come with me (my wife is not that kind of adventurer, plus not sure we could survive each other for that much time together haha). 

The "general" goal, since I've been up and down the east coast many, many times, is to start at my house in the Washington DC area, and end up somewhere in the Pacific NW, drive down the west coast via PCH, and then drive back across the country by a different route. I'm notoriously a "goal-driven" road tripper: "most efficient" way from point A to point B and not good at making impromptu stops to see cool things. So I'm going to try to change all that.....take my time, see the sights, and not be in a rush to get anyplace. I've knocked some things off the bucket list (road racing, stage rally - which I continue to do), but this is the one thing that always stays in the back of my mind -especially as I see my friend Chris Nonack and other friends taking epic trips. 

The idea of fly-and-drive is certainly more time-efficient, but I love the build as much as the driving and really want to do this in MY car, this car that I bought specifically for long-distance touring. So, bear with me as this thread starts SLLLOOOOOOOWWWLY and maybe someday gets interesting. 

The car took its first road trip looking like this:

And now looks like this: 

So that's it for now. I'm going to use this thread for planning, mapping, car and personal prep, loading, and other related things. And perhaps some more "local" road trips

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
9/10/18 10:43 p.m.

As this thread proceeds, I'm going to be hitting a few key categories:

1. Time. Time isn't *really* an issue. I don't take long vacations, so I have a lot of (paid) work leave on tap to take whenever. Taking 3-4 weeks off is doable with some light planning. My wife and kids go to the beach with her parents for 3 weeks each year (I rarely go), so that would be a good time to make the trip without disturbing family life too much. 

2. Money. Money is what I don't have a lot of to spare, especially if I want to keep doing stage rallies here and there (which are not at all cheap). First order of business is to quit a few bad/expensive habits (no,nothing illegal) that probably would free up the budget for a trip like this. 

3. Car prep. As it sits, most of the big reliability items are good. Since I built the car last year, it has a new clutch, new engine bearings, new timing/balance shaft belts, water pump, and hoses. Most of the things that are trouble points on these cars. I also now have working A/C, which is a huge plus. Almost everything works on this car. I'm tracking down the last few rain leaks (mostly sunroof-related) and a few minor electrical gremlins, but generally consider the car reliable at this point. One major outstanding issue (and my next project) is to replace the original fuel lines into the engine bay, which are dated 1984!!! I also want to get better seats. The stock 924 seats just don't fit me well and I dislike them after a few hours. Looking into options (boxster seats, perhaps). Gotta be comfy.  I know from the internet that a ton of people have done this trip in old 944s, and this is the same car mechanically so I'm confident the car can do it as long as I prepare it well. 

4. Car "trip" prep. How to pack stuff I need. Shouldn't be an issue. These cars have an amazing amount of cargo and storage space. Two deep wells in the back for gallon jugs of coolant/oil. Full-size spare (replacing the mini collapsable one), huge hatchback area. And I'm going to remove the useless rear seats and build a form-fit storage area in their place, to hold tools and other "on the road" gear, spare parts, etc. Do I get a roof rack and a little cargo box? probably not needed, but do I want to carry a tent to camp, or are cheap hotels the way to go? I do like a real bed and a shower. I like adventure, but not a huge camping type. Again, we'll see. 

5. Planning. I have  a general start and route in mind, but will want to find the best drives and places that I've always wanted to see. 

6. Co-driver. Do it alone? Take a friend one way or both ways? We'll see if anyone wants to do it, or can, once the time gets closer. 

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
9/11/18 10:21 p.m.

Playing around with routes. There are two things I know: I will start at my house outside DC, and I will get to the West Coast in the vicinity of Humboldt Bay, California (where I have a friend to visit), before heading back the other way via another route.

So let's assume this is the way out west, things I want to do along the way...

- take the ferry from Muskegon, Michigan to Milwaukee across Lake Michigan

- Hit some of the big parks along the way (Yellowstone, Mt.Rushmore, etc)

- Avoid the central midwest as much as humanly possible

- Find someplace in Montana with no speed limit lol...

- see Redwood national forest not far from Humboldt

- Drive the PCH down to Moro Bay. I'm not sure why yet, just seems like someplace I want to go.

- See San Francisco, where I haven't been since I was a kid

- See Sequoia National Forest. Drive through some trees, because touristy stuff.

The route back east I'm not sure what I want to do. Toward the end would like to stop through Nashville. I want to see some of the awesome natural stuff in the southwest but not sure what, yet. 

Man, this is gonna be a lot of driving....lol

sleepyhead
sleepyhead Dork
9/12/18 6:53 a.m.
irish44j said:

4. Car "trip" prep. How to pack stuff I need. Shouldn't be an issue. These cars have an amazing amount of cargo and storage space. Two deep wells in the back for gallon jugs of coolant/oil. Full-size spare (replacing the mini collapsable one), huge hatchback area. And I'm going to remove the useless rear seats and build a form-fit storage area in their place, to hold tools and other "on the road" gear, spare parts, etc. Do I get a roof rack and a little cargo box? probably not needed, but do I want to carry a tent to camp, or are cheap hotels the way to go? I do like a real bed and a shower. I like adventure, but not a huge camping type. Again, we'll see. 

Most camp grounds are like $15-$20 a night with no hook-ups.  Although, they're not really accustomed to "blitz the miles" drivers... most of them don't have policies on "late check-in".  I've thought about using some camping instead of hotels on OneLap... but haven't found a co-driver hearty enough to attempt that yet.  Most of those camp grounds have some kind of "communal" shower setup... although, if you want to skip that... then just plan on a hotel every other day.

So, you could save ~$40-70 / night camping... which adds up... but less so if you've got a second along to split costs.

Also, you should be able to pack, clothes-wise, for this in a single ~40L backpack... and just do laundry as you go in the hotel.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
9/12/18 7:13 a.m.

Seats- I have some decent stock Merkur heated leather seats, as well as some 80s-tastic FloFit seats, if either of those appeals to you let me know.

Other car prep- skip the roof rack, if it's just you or +1 you've got plenty of space as long as you're not sleeping in the car.  Make sure you've got good lights if you plan to drive at night at all.  Alternatively, do a beefy roof rack with a rooftop tent.

Camping- I'd combine campgrounds/free sites/hotels as you see fit.  There is a LOT of free camping as you go further west, get a tent that's easy and quick to set up and have at it.

Codriver- This depends entirely on what you want, but the best blend is probably to be had by having "short term" codrivers throughout rather than trying to spend 3-4weeks on the road with one person.  I bet there are people who would want to go along for a few hundred or thousand miles at a time- one of them might be me, let me know your plans as it gets closer.

Return route- The western section of Route 66 from California to central Arizona is awesome and you should do it.  From there, maybe Grand Canyon, then a bunch of parks in Utah, then Moab, Western Colorado, and back down through New Mexico.  What kind of stuff do you want to see?

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
9/12/18 4:29 p.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

Seats- I have some decent stock Merkur heated leather seats, as well as some 80s-tastic FloFit seats, if either of those appeals to you let me know.

Other car prep- skip the roof rack, if it's just you or +1 you've got plenty of space as long as you're not sleeping in the car.  Make sure you've got good lights if you plan to drive at night at all.  Alternatively, do a beefy roof rack with a rooftop tent.

Camping- I'd combine campgrounds/free sites/hotels as you see fit.  There is a LOT of free camping as you go further west, get a tent that's easy and quick to set up and have at it.

Codriver- This depends entirely on what you want, but the best blend is probably to be had by having "short term" codrivers throughout rather than trying to spend 3-4weeks on the road with one person.  I bet there are people who would want to go along for a few hundred or thousand miles at a time- one of them might be me, let me know your plans as it gets closer.

Return route- The western section of Route 66 from California to central Arizona is awesome and you should do it.  From there, maybe Grand Canyon, then a bunch of parks in Utah, then Moab, Western Colorado, and back down through New Mexico.  What kind of stuff do you want to see?

I figured I'd rack your brain for ideas and thoughts when next I see you lol.
 

Seats - fitament is an issue since they have to be really low to the floor to fit this car. The easy button is Boxster S seats - which are practically bolt-in, fit well, and are available for pretty cheap. I actually have a local friend who has a set (in tan, so they wouldn't get as hot!) sitting in his basement, so I just need to go over one of these days and see how they fit. I love my WRX seats for long-distance but there's zero chance I could make them fit height-wise without major irreversible mofidication.

Lights - this car has pretty good stock lights (though anything looks good compared to WRX lights), but would almost certainly upgrade them and add some auxiliaries (perhaps some "illegal" hidden LED stuff for those dark middle-of-nowhere areas, and a rear LED for backing and stuff. Not sure how much of this I'd do at night. All really depends on timelines. The plan isn't to blitzkreig the country as fast as possible, because that's the kind of thing that I normally do - I have a destination and I press until I get to it. The idea is to be a bit more laid-back, if I can make myself do so lol. 

Camping/Lodging - yeah, I would be down for a bit of camping, but on the sleep/shower side I'm a bit of a priss. When the time comes for this, I'll definitely make sure the budget can accommodate cheap hotels for most/all nights, and then may decide as I go - but will bring camping gear to a basic degree at least. I'm not much of a camper, so will certainly hit you up for ideas/advice. I hope to make stops to see a few friends along the way, so hopefully would have beds for those nights. TBD.

Codriver - agree. I doubt anyone I know can take that amount of time off work/family for the whole trip. That'll be a play-it-by-ear thing, depending on who is available and wants to go (and can afford to get home from wherever they disembark my car lol). I'll definitely hit you up - I was actually thinking "E36 M3, maybe Chris wants to co-drive partway to pick up his 4th arrive-and drive adventure car" lol. Or hell, coordinate to do a 2-car return trip if you fly out for one of your trips or something (hell, get another old 944.....see if we can get a pair of them cross-country haha). Will definitely keep you in the loop though. This is a medium-term, moving target, so plenty of time to consider plans. 

Good point on return route. I don't have any particular things I *have* to see, I just want to see cool things i haven't seen before, which is plenty of things in this huge country. But natural scenery is high on my list for sure. The thought crossed my mind to put a roof rack on to take a mountain bike with me, but not sure if the fuel economy penalty would be too brutal. This car gets good mileage (~30 highway) "clean" and with long distances like this, 5mpg down is pretty substantial extra expense!

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
9/12/18 4:32 p.m.
sleepyhead said:
irish44j said:

4. Car "trip" prep. How to pack stuff I need. Shouldn't be an issue. These cars have an amazing amount of cargo and storage space. Two deep wells in the back for gallon jugs of coolant/oil. Full-size spare (replacing the mini collapsable one), huge hatchback area. And I'm going to remove the useless rear seats and build a form-fit storage area in their place, to hold tools and other "on the road" gear, spare parts, etc. Do I get a roof rack and a little cargo box? probably not needed, but do I want to carry a tent to camp, or are cheap hotels the way to go? I do like a real bed and a shower. I like adventure, but not a huge camping type. Again, we'll see. 

Most camp grounds are like $15-$20 a night with no hook-ups.  Although, they're not really accustomed to "blitz the miles" drivers... most of them don't have policies on "late check-in".  I've thought about using some camping instead of hotels on OneLap... but haven't found a co-driver hearty enough to attempt that yet.  Most of those camp grounds have some kind of "communal" shower setup... although, if you want to skip that... then just plan on a hotel every other day.

So, you could save ~$40-70 / night camping... which adds up... but less so if you've got a second along to split costs.

Also, you should be able to pack, clothes-wise, for this in a single ~40L backpack... and just do laundry as you go in the hotel.

Yeah, I think camping would be ad-hoc at best, maybe on occasion. If I'm gonna save for the trip, I'll make sure to mark down $100 a night for hotels. Chris's idea of a roof tent is interesting, but spending that much would obligate me to use it a lot, lol.....plus a roof tent on this car is hardly high enough off the ground to serve its purpose of keeping me from getting eaten by a bear haha....

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
9/12/18 4:45 p.m.

Since I'm in here, just going to fill a few post boxes that I can update as I go along, so I have some information I will want right up front.

COSTS:

Here's where I'll tally up "what things will cost"

Fuel: total miles / lets say 25mpg average x fuel price. I may think about getting a regular unleaded chip for the car so I can run cheaper gas for this. We'll see. It is nice that this car has a 17 gallon tank (big for a small car like this) , so that gives me 400+ mile range before fill-ups. Of course will have to figure out how to calibrate the fuel gauge better than it currently is. 

Lodging: Let's say $100/night * 3 weeks of travel time....so roughly $2k if I'm going it alone. 

Food: This is tough one. I'm not a fancy eater, but of course will want to have a nice meal here and there, especially if visiting friends. Plus beers and stuff. Maybe I'll say $50/day for that, to be generous. So roughly $1k for that. 

Cash (or credit) on-hand for contingencies, park entry fees, or whatever. 

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
9/12/18 4:53 p.m.

 

TOOLS AND PARTS

The plan will be to build a self-enclosed compartment replacing the rear seat area in this car that will hold tools and a selection of spare parts. I have a good idea of what tools to bring to do most anything on this car other than major repairs, and that'll all fit in a smallish tool bag. Obviously will want to keep the total weight down, so nothing too beefy.  The car has a lot of hidden storage space and a lot of hatchback space, so can probably take a good bit of stuff as long as it isn't heavy stuff. 

Tools:

Basically, the kit we carry in the stage rally car, except with a couple different socket sizes for Porsche vs. e30

 

 

Spare parts:

- A few light bulbs

- Good full-size spare that I can run for long-distance

- If there's one heavy-ish thing that might be worth bringing, perhaps a spare alternator. I have a newer one on the car, but not sure how difficult it would be to source one in rural America. Will have to see how much crossover there is with basic VW parts here.  At very least, perhaps some alternator repair parts (new brush, etc). 

- An extra of all belts. 

- Any coolant hoses that would be hard to find at a random auto parts store - though the hoses on this car are all fairly basic designs, so that may not be an issue. At least, a big roll of hose repair tape for emergency use. 

- perhaps a front and a rear wheel bearing

 

Fluids: 

- Gallon of coolant/water

- Gallon of oil (this car does burn a quart every couple thousand of miles). Buy a filter when I reach the west coast and do an oil change!

- Small bottles of other fluids that may be needed.

 

Supplies:

- Small box of various tape (electrical, aluminum, duct, hose repair)

- JB weld, epoxy, silicone

- wiring and wiring connectors/soldering stuff

- A big tarp

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
9/12/18 5:31 p.m.

Just for fun, some other stories of 924/944s going long-distance cross-country. One constant in these is that they all seem to have been done with the bare minimum of problems....usually little stuff like broken visor clips or AC compressor going bad. The more I read, the more confidence it gives me that these cars, when maintained, can do plenty of long-haul driving.

Porsche Panorama editor fly-and-drive $2000 1979 924 Seattle to Michigan (2000 miles) http://www.thedrive.com/flat-six-society/11332/of-course-a-35-year-old-porsche-can-road-trip-across-the-country

3100 miles in an '86 944 (averaged 30mpg to boot!), with other people talking about even longer trips: https://rennlist.com/forums/924-931-944-951-968-forum/650977-3-000-mile-trip-cross-country-in-a-944-a.html

 

 

 

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
9/12/18 7:07 p.m.

CAR "TO DO" List before this trip happens:

1. Engine bay fuel lines (replace). Because I don't trust 30-year old fuel lines running 40+psi.

2. Regrease CV axles (inner and outer)

3. Build cargo/gear enclosure to replace back seat

4. Figure out a way to add a couple of cupholders up front. Because Germans....

5. Possibly add oil cooler

6. Track down a single D90 wheel and buy a good matching tire to put on it

7. Fix crack in washer reservoir

8. Think about re-installing cruise control and see if it actually works (will need a switch to control it)

9. Get some nice plush floormats for up front

10. Install 1" steering wheel spacer for better wheel position

11. Calibrate fuel gauge

12. Replace fuel filler hose to get rid of fuel smell with full tank

13. Rebuild window switches so they're more reliable, if that's even possible

14. Get windows tinted (35%)

15. Think about indexing rear suspension higher to compensate for cargo weight and/or upgrade torsion bar to slightly stiffer

16. Add a lower front valence spoiler to reduce front-end lift at high speeds

17. ????

Last thing will be do change my registration from a permanent "antique" status to a "driver" status just to make sure everything is legal per Virginia antique plate rules

Think about putting full-coverage insurance on the car (currently runs liability-only)

sleepyhead
sleepyhead Dork
9/13/18 5:13 a.m.
irish44j said:
Yeah, I think camping would be ad-hoc at best, maybe on occasion. If I'm gonna save for the trip, I'll make sure to mark down $100 a night for hotels. Chris's idea of a roof tent is interesting, but spending that much would obligate me to use it a lot, lol.....plus a roof tent on this car is hardly high enough off the ground to serve its purpose of keeping me from getting eaten by a bear haha....

Another option to play around with, maybe, is a hammock.  Use a 6 to 8" diameter suction cup on the roof to tie one end off... and then find a tree, or rig up a guy-wired-monopod/tripod.  Probably best for nice nights... and keep in mind that hammocks sleep "cool" on your underside, and usually require an extra layer under you.  (I've wanted to do something like this for OneLap... but the car is "always in use" so to speak).

I've found with my own packing that the big/heavy stuff are an aluminum jack, jack stands, and the tool bag.  You can probably get away with the OEM screw jack and one or two jack stands, depending on if that's part of the "rally kit".  You have the benefit of not having to take it all out all the time... but scaling it out ahead of time is a good idea.  I also recommend getting a couple of "weather proof" clear containers from a "Container Store" of your choice (uneless the rally kit already includes pelican cases) to keep some things that are better off not contaminated by rain/coolant-spills.

Schedule & Lake Michigan Ferry -
In the past my family and I have used that ferry to bypass Chitown to get to/from Oshkosh/Airventure.  Dunno if you've been to it, or have an interest... but if you head off around early August, the ferry will drop you off pretty close to being able to break and spend a day there.  Which isn't as good as spending a week, but better than nothing.

Maybe you should run a shake-down of your packing kit going to spectate Challenge, Amelia Island, Daytona 24, or Sebring?

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
9/13/18 5:25 a.m.

If you can figure out how to comfortably sleep in the car, there are Walmart parking lots. The tricky part would be showering.  Maybe a hotel every-other day?  Planet Fitness membership?

bluej
bluej UberDork
9/13/18 5:39 a.m.

Like Chris said, 3-4 weeks would be tough, but I'd be interested in a week or so, flying out to meet you wherever.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
9/13/18 6:48 a.m.

The appeal of a rooftop tent, to me, is less about bears and more about just flipping it open and having it be ready to go- the floor is the mattress, you don't have to berkeley around with poles or stakes, etc.  For any tent quick setup is the biggest deal to me, so if you're going to camp I'd look for whatever the quickest assembly/disassembly that still fits your needs when it's put together.  We have a cheap Ozark Trail tent which has served us well so far, it unfolds and everything clicks into place without much fuss- and I like that it's cheap, because I don't feel bad about bunching it up in like 30 seconds and cramming it away since the worst I can do is lose like $60 for another one.  Freecampsites is our favorite resource for finding awesome places to camp for nothing, and many out west put you off the beaten path into interesting places.

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
9/13/18 6:14 p.m.
sleepyhead said:
irish44j said:
Yeah, I think camping would be ad-hoc at best, maybe on occasion. If I'm gonna save for the trip, I'll make sure to mark down $100 a night for hotels. Chris's idea of a roof tent is interesting, but spending that much would obligate me to use it a lot, lol.....plus a roof tent on this car is hardly high enough off the ground to serve its purpose of keeping me from getting eaten by a bear haha....

Another option to play around with, maybe, is a hammock.  Use a 6 to 8" diameter suction cup on the roof to tie one end off... and then find a tree, or rig up a guy-wired-monopod/tripod.  Probably best for nice nights... and keep in mind that hammocks sleep "cool" on your underside, and usually require an extra layer under you.  (I've wanted to do something like this for OneLap... but the car is "always in use" so to speak).

I've found with my own packing that the big/heavy stuff are an aluminum jack, jack stands, and the tool bag.  You can probably get away with the OEM screw jack and one or two jack stands, depending on if that's part of the "rally kit".  You have the benefit of not having to take it all out all the time... but scaling it out ahead of time is a good idea.  I also recommend getting a couple of "weather proof" clear containers from a "Container Store" of your choice (uneless the rally kit already includes pelican cases) to keep some things that are better off not contaminated by rain/coolant-spills.

Schedule & Lake Michigan Ferry -
In the past my family and I have used that ferry to bypass Chitown to get to/from Oshkosh/Airventure.  Dunno if you've been to it, or have an interest... but if you head off around early August, the ferry will drop you off pretty close to being able to break and spend a day there.  Which isn't as good as spending a week, but better than nothing.

Maybe you should run a shake-down of your packing kit going to spectate Challenge, Amelia Island, Daytona 24, or Sebring?

I'm pretty good at packing, with all the racing/rally/rallycross stuff. Spatial efficiency is one of my top skills haha.....we take way more stuff to stage rallies in the truck than other teams seem to be able to even fit in theirs, all about the Tetris Packing :)

Yeah, will see about the ferry. I actually have a family house (extended family) up in Marquette, so thinking about hauling all the way up there and then across the top of Michigan at this point. 

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
9/13/18 6:15 p.m.
Ian F said:

If you can figure out how to comfortably sleep in the car, there are Walmart parking lots. The tricky part would be showering.  Maybe a hotel every-other day?  Planet Fitness membership?

Always that, but I'm 42....sleeping in a sportscar isn't anything I'm remotely interested in ;)

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
9/13/18 6:16 p.m.
bluej said:

Like Chris said, 3-4 weeks would be tough, but I'd be interested in a week or so, flying out to meet you wherever.

 

Sounds good, definitely figured I'd keep you in the loop regardless. Right now my timetable is looking like about 3 weeks and change total trip length, with three main "legs" (northern route out, down the west coast, and southern route back). 

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
9/13/18 6:20 p.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

The appeal of a rooftop tent, to me, is less about bears and more about just flipping it open and having it be ready to go- the floor is the mattress, you don't have to berkeley around with poles or stakes, etc.  For any tent quick setup is the biggest deal to me, so if you're going to camp I'd look for whatever the quickest assembly/disassembly that still fits your needs when it's put together.  We have a cheap Ozark Trail tent which has served us well so far, it unfolds and everything clicks into place without much fuss- and I like that it's cheap, because I don't feel bad about bunching it up in like 30 seconds and cramming it away since the worst I can do is lose like $60 for another one.  Freecampsites is our favorite resource for finding awesome places to camp for nothing, and many out west put you off the beaten path into interesting places.

good points. Maybe I'll see if I can get a deal on one of the roof tents through the ski/outdoor shop I work at. One of the main issues is that none of the major rack manufacturers even MAKE a roof rack for the 924/944 any more, or even the fit kit. In any case I think it would be something decided pretty near the depart date, depending on what the funds/route look like. I'm still thinking that for the price of one of the roof tents + rack I would be looking at around $1500 all told, which would cover cheap motel costs for 3 weeks give or take haha......

I'd also have to see if the roof can support the weight of 1-2 people and a tent sleeping up there, and/or if the bar spread distance would be sufficient since it's a pretty small roof.  I do like the idea, though. Then just transfer it to the race tow rig when I'm done with it. TBD. 

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
9/13/18 8:43 p.m.

More route ideas, and feel free to add inputs, ideas, or what I *HAVE* to see on these general routes, or if my timeframes are unrealistic and I should change them. I'm just starting to decide exactly how to go but I think I have the "general vicinity" route for 2/3 of the trip, as follows.

Day 1 – Burke to Cleveland (7 hours, 400 miles) – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

 

Day 2 – Cleveland to Marquette (9 hours, 600 miles) – Slt St. Marie, stay at my great-uncle's camp in Marquette there overnight.

 

Day 3 – Marquette to Duluth, Minnesota (5 hours, 250 miles), then to Grand Forks ND (5 hours, 270miles)

 

Day 4 – Grand Forks ND to Devil's Lake ND (Fort Totten) (1.5 hours, 90 miles), then keep going west 12 hours/740 miles toward Glacier Park, Montana, stopping whenever it is appropriate and probably not doing that whole haul on this day

 

Day 5 – Go the rest of the way to Glacier, and Explore Glacier Park the rest of the day. Camp there?

 

Day 6– roll southwest to Portland (10 hours, 700 miles), or that vicinity. 

 

Day 7 – Portland to Humboldt Bay, CA (8 hours, 450 miles) to visit my friend Jody, who literally has found every beautiful place within 500 of there, looking at her instagram :). AVENUE OF THE GIANTS in Redwood Forest, for sure.

 

Day 8 – possibly stay a day in the Humboldt area and explore with Jody

 

Day 9 – Humboldt to San Francisco via PCH – 7 hours, 300 miles. I haven't been there since I was a kid, so check out Alcatraz, Golden Gate, Nob Hill, and other touristy stuff I guess. 

 

Day 10 – San Fran to Morro Bay area (5 hours, 250 miles). Check out Big Sur and more PCH. Not sure why Morro Bay is my intended destination here, but for some reason I feel like that's where I want to stop and explore.

 

Day 11 – Morro Bay area to Old Rt.66, to California border area (all day, 600 miles)

 

Day 12 – More old Rt. 66, to Grand Canyon – 6 hours, 300 miles. Explore around there and stay someplace nearby

 

Day 13 – Decide whether to head either toward Denver, or to the Cadillac Ranch, or someplace else. I could also ask Dad what route we took back in 1978......since I know they went the “southern” way.

 

Day 14 – still planning return transit, but eventually hit Nashville, Tail of the Dragon or some similar roads, not sure what to do between the rockies and the Mississippi River, yet.

bluej
bluej UberDork
9/14/18 7:35 p.m.

Can I call "shotty" on the west coast leg?

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
9/14/18 7:58 p.m.
bluej said:

Can I call "shotty" on the west coast leg?

for sure. I'm still holding out hope that Chris will ride out there, and then buy some random old sportscar (I'm thinking old-ass Fiat for him) and caravan back lol.....just because it would be epic :)

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
9/15/18 8:08 a.m.

In reply to irish44j :

I really want to do the Trans America Trail on a motorcycle, so if I did that West to East I'd probably ride out with you, have you drop me off to buy a bike, then race you back across the country (I get a head start but I'm on dirt!) and meet up in Tennessee near the end of the trail... maybe overlap in the middle once too.  Or run it the intended East to West route and you would pick up a very tired Chris somewhere in California.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
9/15/18 8:22 a.m.

I've been around the country a fair bit. The only part of the US that I've not explored is the East Coast from about South Carolina to Newfoundland. The whole west from southern Alaska to central Mexico. You can't see it all. You never see it all, but I've put on a bunch of miles. 

Driving at night on a trip like this sucks. As soon as it gets dark you're missing something. Sometimes it's ok, things like berkeley Kansas, but for the most part I'd rather be up at 5:00 AM and on the road as things just start getting light. 

I hate campgrounds. HATE THEM. Mostly that's because I dislike people randomly wanting to chat with me and that only goes up after 12 hours of driving. The more interesting your car or you are as a person the more they want to talk. Hell, I'd walk up to a 924 with a roof top tent and chat. I like E36 M3ty hotels. $40 a night type hotels where getting fleas or stabbed is a possibility. Nobody talks to me at a $40 hotel. Ever. 

It's more fun with a co-driver. At least for me. 

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
9/15/18 4:38 p.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

In reply to irish44j :

I really want to do the Trans America Trail on a motorcycle, so if I did that West to East I'd probably ride out with you, have you drop me off to buy a bike, then race you back across the country (I get a head start but I'm on dirt!) and meet up in Tennessee near the end of the trail... maybe overlap in the middle once too.  Or run it the intended East to West route and you would pick up a very tired Chris somewhere in California.

hey, sounds like a plan to me. Would have to pick you up after unloading Sennett though lol.....not sure either of you can fit in the rear seats in this thing :)

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