Perticon

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Hi fellow jeepers, this is my first thread here and I promise to do my best at keeping it short, but also sharing our trip as much as the WiFi permits!

WHO:
Brian (Me)
Delaney (My girlfriend)
Perticon (Our 2020 Sting Grey Rubicon Recon)

WHAT:
We are taking a 30 day trip starting in Sarasota, FL and ending in Walnut Creek, CA to get our new-to-us jeep home. We recently purchased our Rubicon from John (@jeme) and have been waiting until the holidays to fly to Florida, pick it up and start our amazing journey home! The jeep is essentially stock, but John did add a couple creature comforts before we purchased it and treated this rig like his baby, as will we! :) As it sits, it currently has just over 4,000 miles, and is loaded up with as much camping gear and warm clothes as we could fit without turning this thing into a uhaul. Delaney and I will be working the entire trip which will come with its own set of challenges, but we thought there was no better office than The Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina or the beautiful rocky landscape of Moab. We are currently leveraging the att&t integrated WiFi, our Skyroam hot spot or our cell phones as our main source of connectivity to "the man" even though we plan to disconnect as much as possible :P

WHERE:
This is where the fun begins, and while this itinerary is our initial plan, we may iterate on it during our trip or might not ever make it back to the Bay at all! We are also very open to having people from this forum join us during any of our camping adventures, skiing days, or hitting the trails! This is also my first time trying to find said trails, so if you have any advice or MUST DO's please do not hesitate to holler at us!

Dec. 28 Sarasota —> Atlanta (7hrs)
Dec. 29 Atlanta —> Great Smokey Mtns. (3hrs)
Dec. 29 Great Smokey Mtns. —> Lexington (3hrs)
Dec. 30 Day with Max and Colt
Dec. 31 Lexington —> Chicago (5.5hrs)
Jan. 1 day in Chicago
Jan. 2 Chicago —> Kansas City (7.5hrs)
Jan. 3 day in Kansas City
Jan. 4 Kansas City —> Badlands SD (9hrs)
Jan. 5 badlands exploring
Jan. 6 Badlands —> Mount Rushmore (2hrs)
Jan. 6 Crazy horse mtn/mount Rushmore
Jan. 7 Crazy horse —> Denver —> Breck (7.5hrs)
Jan. 7-10 explore with Maddie & Nichole
Jan. 10 Breckenridge —> Moab (4.5hrs)
Jan. 10-14 Spend time wheelin in Moab
Jan. 14 Moab —> monument valley(2.5hrs) —> antelope canyon/horseshoe bend (2hrs)
Jan. 15 Horseshoe bend —> Zion (2.2hrs)
Jan. 16 Zion —> Grand Canyon (5.2hrs)
Jan. 17 Grand Canyon —> Sedona (2.1hrs)
Jan. 18 Sedona —> Las Vegas (4.2hrs)
Jan. 19 Day in Vegas
Jan. 20 Las Vegas —> Death Valley (2.1hrs)
Jan. 21 Death Valley —> Socal (4.5hrs)
Jan. 21-24 SoCal wheelin w/crew
Jan. 24 SoCal —> home (6 30hrs)


WARNING:
I am new to this whole writing/blogging thing so there is a good chance that my mind will take you, the reader, for a wild ride. I am not sure the best way to do this, but in order to add pictures and keep things somewhat live and in order I will post the days in the thread rather than in the OP. If anyone thinks this is a bad idea just let me know and I will simply continue to edit this main post.

PICS:
Here are a couple pictures of us starting our trip and being very eager to get things going!


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roadtrip (1).jpg





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av8or

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Sounds like fun. I’ll watch! Enjoy!
 

Jean Genie

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Looking forward to following your and Delaney's Jeep adventures. Have fun and stay safe on the road.
 
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Perticon

Perticon

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December 28, 2020

Day 1: 509/5,147m

From Delaney's parents house to our hotel for the night in Atlanta. We decided to hit the town, go ice skating and ended up at an amazing little pizza joint in midtown Atlanta called Fritti. After a full stomach, we headed back to the hotel, did a little bit of work and knocked out!
 

Suffolklou

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Maybe Trails Offroad.com if you have a laptop with you or onxofforad for a phone app. I use gaia gps on my iphone for offroad navigation. It works with carplay.
 

Frezski

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I agree with @Suffolklou I use a lot of Gaia when planning and navigating. The best part is you can share your plots or plans amongst friends. I have also used trailsoffroad.com for brainstorming when trip planning.
 

Creeker

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If you are still south of NC, recommend taking the Blueridge Parkway (BP) as you go north.
Lots of scenic views and amazing hikes along the way.
The area around Grandfather Mountain in NC is an amazing place to hike (e.g., the Rough Ridge Trail, which is part of the Tanawha Trail that runs parallel to the BP).

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It is also possible to take fire roads off Hwy 221/BP down to the Wilsons Creek (WC) area.

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A favorite hike in the WC area is the Harper Creek Trail.

Wilsons Creek Dec 2020 Harper Creek M.jpg
 

wibornz

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I have traveled every place that you plan to journey to. I will give you some insight from my travels

an. 1 day in Chicago

The Field Museum is cool and has Sue a T.Rex on display.

https://www.fieldmuseum.org/our-events/sue-t-rex-virtual-tour-classrooms-0

For Chicago Deep Dish Pizza...
Ginos East. This is downtown so there is other cool stuff to see

Jan. 2 Chicago —> Kansas City (7.5hrs)
Jan. 3 day in Kansas City
Jan. 4 Kansas City —> Badlands SD (9hrs)
Jan. 5 badlands exploring
Jan. 6 Badlands —> Mount Rushmore (2hrs)

When visiting Mount Rushmore, make sure you catch the sunset ceremony. They put on a nice show. They invite all the veterans up on to the stage, lower the flag and present the flag to the oldest veteran. Give a brief history of the monument, and then as the sun sets behind the heads, and it gets dark, they light up the Monument. It is pretty cool. I have recommended this several times to friends that traveled there and all of them that took the show in later thanked me.

Jan. 6 Crazy horse mtn/mount Rushmore
Jan. 7 Crazy horse —> Denver —> Breck (7.5hrs)

The passes are probably closed, but Red Cone Pass is beautiful and it is outside of Breckenridge. Take Webster's Pass to Red Cone..... Like I said it is probably snowed in though.

Webster Pass and Red Cone in the background.
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Jan. 7-10 explore with Maddie & Nichole
Jan. 10 Breckenridge —> Moab (4.5hrs)
Jan. 10-14 Spend time wheelin in Moab

Fins and Things and Hell Revenge are doable with a stock Rubicon and a great way to see how well your shock Jeep will perform. I have done Hell's Gate, and the only way that I would do it is if there is someone there spotting you that has experience as a spotter at Hell's Gate. With an experienced spotter, anyone can navigate it. A inexperienced spotter, could easily get you in trouble and have your Jeep upside down. There are tons of cool trails that are not badge of honor trails. One of the drives we did was out to the movie location for Thelma and Louise Point. The location is where they jump the car off the cliff at the end of the movie. It is an easy drive from Moab out to it. Plan on getting there about an hour or so before sunset. Then continue on up Shaffer Canyon Rd. and go up onto of the Island in the Sky for star gazing. The stars are amazing up there. If you get the chance to see the sunset at Dead Horse Point, do it.

Thelma and Louise Point
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While I did not make it out to Dead Horse Point. Google it for images. We arrived to late to catch the sunset. I did snag this photo on top of the Island in the Sky a few miles from Dead Horse Point.
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I did not catch any photos of the night sky with the stars, but the views of the stars were amazing. You can see the Milky Way and it feels like you can reach out and touch the stars. Simply amazing up there.

Jan. 14 Moab —> monument valley(2.5hrs) —> antelope canyon/horseshoe bend (2hrs)

Monument Vally is best in my opinion at sunrise or sunset. We stayed in Mexican Hat at the Hat Rock Inn. Super clean and had a great heated pool with great views of the river and the surroundings area from the backside of the hotel.

Hat Rock Inn

Since you are in the area, consider exploring the Valley of the Gods also. If camping, there is a spot that you can camp right on a 1000 ft. cliff overlooking the Colorado River.

This video from the Epic Family Road trip shows the camp site in the first 30 seconds of the video.

Antelope Canyon. It is awesome. Book your tour right now. You want to be in a time between 11 am and and 1 pm so you will get good light from above for taking photos.

A couple that I was able to capture.
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Jan. 15 Horseshoe bend —> Zion (2.2hrs)

Once again. Sunset for the Horseshoe Bend..... It is amazing. Just now that it is not a long walk to the bend, but it is over a sand dune so it can be taxing. Also it is a popular place so expect parking to be an issue if going there at sunset.

I spared the pictures, because everyone that has been there or is interested as seen it. Hell it is one of the photos on the Amazon Fire Stick screen saver....

Jan. 16 Zion —> Grand Canyon (5.2hrs)

Zion in my opinion is one of the prettiest place in the US. I have climbed Angels Landing. The views are incredible. I have also hiked the Narrows. Probably to cold for that this time of the Year.



Jan. 17 Grand Canyon —> Sedona (2.1hrs)
Jan. 18 Sedona —> Las Vegas (4.2hrs)
Jan. 19 Day in Vegas
Vegas.... I highly recommended the Hash House of GoGO for breakfast. It is kick ass and try to get there every time I visit Vegas.

Hash House A Go Go. We go to the one in the Linq Casino
All of their food is great, I love the chicken and waffles.
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Jan. 20 Las Vegas —> Death Valley (2.1hrs)

The Area 51 Alien Center..... A Gas Station, sovereign shop and Alien Cathouse brothel all in one is on your way from Vegas to Death Valley. Bought gas and a T-Shirt, my wife and I did not take the free tour of the brothel. Glad I didn't. We checked out their web site later that night when we stopped in Hot Springs California. All I could think of was people actually pay to have sex with they women???? If you do dare to check their site, just remember I warned you not to. What has been seen can not be unseen.

Jan. 21 Death Valley —> Socal (4.5hrs)
When you come out of Death Valley and head south, weather permitting, consider taking General Sherman's Pass over the mountains to Hot Springs California. It is an awesome drive and it also puts the Sequoia Nation park with in driving range for a visit.

General Sherman's Pass

Get gas when after you leave Death Valley and before you head up the pass...... Like I said weather permitting.

Jan. 21-24 SoCal wheelin w/crew
Jan. 24 SoCal —> home (6 30hrs)

Like I said, I could type on here for days about all the places that you are planning to travel, I just tried to highlight some stuff that is not on the normal radar when traveling in the locations that you two are visiting.
 

runningshoes

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Welcome and the trip looks amazing. One comment - as someone living in Chicago, there is really nothing going on in the city right now as the COVID restrictions have shut down all the museums and many of the restaurants are down as well. Those open are on restricted hours, usually take out only (winter is kind of incompatible with outdoor dining). Unless you're meeting friends for NYE I would save the miles and head west instead of north.
 

Oncorhynchus

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I’ve done the cross country drive twice and hit many of the places you are planning to go. Just be ready to be flexible because there can be wintertime whiteout or worse.

Sounds like it will be a great trip. I’ve found that some of the state parks which don’t have the national name recognition of the famous places can be really memorable if you slow down and appreciate the environs because there will be fewer people around. Then again it’s winter and it’s COVID so you might find some solitude even at the national parks.

looking forward to the pics & stories. Good luck. Be safe.
 
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Perticon

Perticon

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I have traveled every place that you plan to journey to. I will give you some insight from my travels
Thank you so much for all of the awesome info! We will definitely leverage your experience in our trip! I actually read through your entire blog before we bought the Jeep from John so you helped inspire some of these locations for sure! :)
 

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