I am guessing there are many out there, like myself, who have wanted to travel across and photograph the United States. Also like me, they may be a little hesitant about doing a long road trip due to expenses, time required, and uncertain opportunities for photography. This blog recounts a trip that my wife, 2 sisters, and I just completed, and hopefully, it will answer some questions and allay some trepidation, and encourage others to take similar trips. The best way to see the USA is slowly.
Our goals were to spend a total of 15 days in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks at a time when young animals were available for photographing; and to explore the Plains some for photographic sites, and perhaps some spring storms. We allowed a total of 22 days which we hoped would allow us to avoid the summer traffic jams that plague Yellowstone after Memorial Day. I will write about 1 or 2 days at a time, and try to post at least one new segment each week.
May 1, Day 1: 6:00 AM – we packed up our Chevy Silverado Crew Cab, putting suitcases and cold weather gear packed separately into the bed with a cover on it. We also included a small cooler with snacks, a case of water, and a box with non-perishable food items, coffee and filters, and some wine. Plenty of room, as we all packed as light as possible, planning on doing laundry once during the trip. I had to pack my camera, lenses, and tripods in the back as well because I was driving. The other three kept their camera bags and tripods in the cab with them, and there was sufficient room for everything. Unless noted differently, we ate lunch each day from our cooler filled with summer sausage, grapes, cheeses, crackers, and other fruits and goodies.
6:30 AM we pulled out of the driveway in Stockbridge, Georgia and headed north on I-75. Our goal was to make as many miles as possible the first day, and then venture off the Interstates as we entered and crossed the Great Plains. At Chattanooga, TN we picked up I-24 and followed it north through Paducah, KY to where it intersected with I-57, then north to I-64 west to pick up I-70 and crossed the Mississippi River into Missouri at St. Louis. From there, we followed I 70 west to Columbia, MO where we stopped for the night around 5:00 PM. 700 miles total. I had planned on a possible gas mileage of 18-19 MPG and was pleased to find our average had been 22 MPG for the day.