Blog Travel

4,000 Miles :: Alaska to California

May 6, 2016

You know how there’s always those amazing, epic trips that people talk about, and put on their bucket list, and say “someday…” to?  I’ll confess to you, I don’t actually have a bucket list.  But I do have an insatiable appetite for travel in whatever form it presents itself.  So, I decided to take some of the “someday” things and do them in June.  I have always wanted to drive the entire coastal route of the West Coast.  Since I’m leaving Alaska anyway, and just signed the papers for my very own Jeep yesterday, why not drive the whole thing?

Oh, by the way, I’m not driving alone, nor will I look fashionable.  For the first 2,500 miles, I’ll have the tallest Mexican hippie you ever did see folded into the front seat with me.  Oh, and the passenger side of the Jeep we’ll be driving is well…um…not super functional.  So, Kacy will spend the 2,500 miles having to climb over the driver’s seat to get into her side.  Perhaps I’m crazy.  There have been suggestions of starting a betting pool to see how far we get dow the road before breaking down.  As long as the proceeds of that could go to my missionary support somehow, I see no problem with it.  Kacy will drive the Alaska/Canada portion with me before I drop her off in Seattle, and we look forward to 45 hours crammed in a Jeep together with only 1 functional window.  What could possibly go wrong?

Google Maps keeps suggesting the quickest route, down I-5, but really?  Could you have any lamer ideas Google?  My favorite place on earth is Highway 1 between Monterey and Santa Barbara, California. I’m guessing that the rest of the coast north of that is just as spectacular, so what would be stopping me from just driving the whole thing?  If I did have a bucket list, this would be an item to check off of it.  West Coast, booyah.

That being said, take a look at the maps I’ll be following.

I’m putting out maps and routes here for 2 reasons, really. The first is that I really want to connect with people! Are you on my route?  I want to visit!  Can I sleep on your couch?  The second is that I want your wisdom and input. Am I driving through a place you absolutely loved when you visited? Does a particular town have to-die-for apple pies? Or the most amazing quirkiest bookstore ever? Tell me! I must know these things.

So, here’s part 1 of the trip, this will be my driving portion, nearly 4,000 miles.  After I pass through Portland, Oregon, I want to drive the rest of the way down the coastal routes, either the 101 or Hwy 1 once I get into California.  Monterey is a favorite, and Morro Bay, but I don’t know anything at all north of San Francisco.  A stop in Long Beach is a MUST to see Molly, and then over to Riverside once I finish driving.  Where else should I stop?  Here’s the Alaska to California portion (except the California map stops at San Francisco, and I know my way down from there):

Alcan Highway Alaska Highway Canada


California Roadtrip

After spending some time with family in California, I’ll take the southern route over to Colorado.  I’ve driven from CA to CO so many times in my life I can’t even count, but ever since my earliest childhood, we have always taken I-15 to I-70.  I want to try something different this time.  Is there anything along this route that is an absolute must see?

California, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado Roadtrip

What are your favorite road trip suggestions?  I’ve got the AAA membership and Alaska Milepost book already.  Favorite snacks to pack?  Good Audible suggestions?  A favorite road trip playlist?  Ready, tell me all the things!

In another blog post we’ll talk about Part 3 of the epic trip, which will be via train across 19 more states.  I want suggestions for this too!

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