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Old 01-01-2015, 04:36 AM   #1
straggler OP
Joined: Dec 2004
Oddometer: 81
road trip starting in New Jersey.....maybe

Hi all,

My partner and I will be in New Jersey for a few days in July. Afterwards, we want to do a 2-3 week road trip. We will be doing this in a car due to not being American and therefore not having a motorcycle there (hope this is ok - if it helps, I did a trip around the US on a GS250 in 2005 and you lot were very helpful then).

So the areas we really wanted to see are all in the west - California, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota etc. My memory is not great but I'm pretty sure that's a Long Way from New Jersey.

The first plan is to hire a tiny car in NJ, drive out west and then drive back again. The disadvantage of this is the dead mileage out and back and the short amount of time we have. Plus excess mileage charges.

Or we could fly (or train, or bus) out west, hire a car there and spend more time on the road where we want to be. Not sure of the price of internal flights in the US.

Or we could stay in the east and just mooch round, seeing what we can find. I'm not familiar with this part of the US and we both really wanted the deserts, mountains etc of the west, but if someone can persuade me that the east/north-east will do it for me then great.

So, all and any suggestions are welcome. Unless they involve inserting vegetables up myself.

are those things real?
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Old 01-03-2015, 02:10 PM   #2
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Joined: Jul 2006
Location: Tacoma, WA and Williamsburg
Oddometer: 225
Fly out west

I would fly out west and rent a car from there.

In renting a car from the east coast you have to figure in how much it would cost not only for the car rental but also you have to add the petrol plus lodging plus tacky tourist t-shirts. You would probably pay the same amount, maybe less, flying to the west coast. Plus you would save time by flying and have more time to explore the western states.

I would rent a car out west and visit California, Oregon, Washington (maybe jump over the border into British Columbia for a trip to beautiful Vancouver), Idaho, Nevada, etc. I would consider anywhere west of the Rockies.

If you stay out east there are plenty of places to visit but traffic will be greater and the scenery is a whole different experience. I'm from Jersey but have lived out in Washington State for 11 years. I would recommend experiencing the western states. Fly in, rent and fly out.

laughatmyvanagon111 screwed with this post 01-03-2015 at 02:16 PM
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Old 01-03-2015, 07:03 PM   #3
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Joined: Feb 2005
Location: The Republic of Dreams , Bureau of Dubious Reality
Oddometer: 280
+2 Fly & rent

The excess mileage charges will far exceed the cost of round trip air fare. Plus the East is in the throes of some extremely shitty winter weather and will be for several more months.

Bon Voyage
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:50 PM   #4
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Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Santa Clara, CALI
Oddometer: 150
most of the rental have unlimited mileage
We did moto trip from CA to NJ last summer went thru 17 states and it was badass
Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself.
"You can watch things happen, you can make things happen, or you can wonder what the fuck happened."
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Old 01-07-2015, 01:50 PM   #5
Studly Adventurer
Joined: Jul 2014
Location: Princeton, NJ
Oddometer: 658
I've lived in NJ all my life, where abouts are you heading for business?

For most areas, its easy to take a bus or the train to Manhattan; awesome city and well worth a few days exploring. For NJ, i guess it all depends on what you like. I know of some great little towns, historic sites, great hiking, beautiful lakes and what not, but honestly, I would use those dates for travelling out West.

Taking the train out West? Total waste of time and money. Flights are much cheaper and obviously quicker. Our general train system is crap vs. Europe: takes a good 4 days to get across. Flight from Newark (NYC) to Denver will cost only $300 or so, you can fly home from any major city out West (LA, San Francisco, Seattle, etc).

Driving or riding across? Well, let's put it this way: I have a touring bike out there, and I shipped it rather than riding it out. The cost of gas, hotels, food and 4 days off from work would have been far more than the $500 it costs me to ship it. So glad I did: Colorado is beautiful.

You know you can rent bikes in Denver. Not cheap, but lots of Europeans do. But for a month, I would buy something with good resale value and plan to sell it before you leave. Even a loss of $1000 is far cheaper than renting.

Personally, I would fly into Denver, rent/buy a bike, then explore West/South West into Utah. Hit all of the main National Parks/Monuments then take in northern Arizona, Grand Canyon, through southern Nevada and into Death Valley. Most amazing desert landscapes in North America. Then hit cross the Sierras over to the California coast north of Santa Barbara, up Big Sur, cross back over to Yosimite, then Lake Tahoe, and up to Northern California Redwood area/coast line, then up the Oregon coast into Washington. Cross the state back into Montana (BIG mountains!) and back down to Denver. Or something like that

This route would expose you to the tallest mountains, the most colorful red rock deserts, deepest canyons, bizarre landscapes, stunning deserts, best motorcycle roads, coastal rainforests, the best food, biggest trees, and most stunning coastlines in North America.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 01-08-2015, 05:26 PM   #6
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Joined: Mar 2011
Location: filthy state
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There are some nice things to see & do on the jersey side !! There are a few Harley dealers that will rent u a motorcycle but boy are they expensive !! I normally ride with a group on weekends that does lots of backroad ridding !! But if u really want to travel around use a plane , cheaper not to mention faster living u more time to sightsee !!
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:26 AM   #7
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Joined: May 2009
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If everything you want to see is out west, then fly as the cost of renting/gas/hotel is probably more.

That said, there's a lot to be said for a cross country road trip. It really let's you get the scale of things. The emotions felt when you realize you're still just in Nebraska or Oklahoma (depending on route) are worth feeling once.

Maybe consider a 1-way rental? Drive out west, do your thing, and fly back east.
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Old 05-31-2015, 08:32 AM   #8
straggler OP
Joined: Dec 2004
Oddometer: 81
Thanks for all the replies. The trip has had to be cut back to 11 days, starting on 18th July, due to my other half insisting on having an actual job which requires her to be at a specific place at a designated time. Not sure that sort of thing will catch on.

Anyway, I've booked a car for those 11 days, starting in New Jersey, so I'm looking for tips on what to see and do. Last time I was there (on two wheels) I enjoyed West Virginia so am wondering if there's enough there to keep us going for a week or two.

We're planning on camping to keep costs down. I have a Don Wright book listing cheap/free campsites and will be buying a cheapy tent etc when we arrive in the US.

I love road trips but don't want to do intergalactic miles this time around. I'll save the great western road trip for next time.

Open to any or all suggestions!
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