Cross-country treks: a coast-to-coast drive

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of December 17 - December 23, 1998
Cross-country treks: a coast-to-coast drive
Skiing centers in Vermont
A February motorcycling tour

Cross-country treks: a coast-to-coast drive

By Grant Davis

Question: What is the best way to drive cross-country from New York to California? How long would it take?

Farmingdale, Connecticut

Friendly small-town stops can be the highlight of a road trip
Adventure Adviser: There are two ways to drive cross country: fast and direct or meandering and lengthy. If you want to get to California fast, hop on Interstate 80 and three days later you’ll be in San Francisco — that’s assuming you’re up for driving 18-20 hours a day. However, if you really want to experience the landscape and locals, contact Adventure Cycling (406-721-1776) and ask about their three transcontinental bike routes. These meticulously mapped routes along the northern, middle, and southern United States list everything — campsites, services, emergency numbers, even road gradients. The biggest bonus for the steering wheel-bound is that Adventure Cycling directs you along quiet, two-lane, biker-friendly (read, empty) roads that toodle through spectacular scenery and some of the friendliest small towns left in America. During the summer, many towns will let you camp for free in the municipal parks (just check with the police station first). A complete set of maps will run you $80-111 depending on which route you take. Allow 10 days to two weeks to soak up the experience.
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