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Our New Itinerary and Itinerary for America: An Update | Roadtrip USA (21)

It will be many of you on Facebook must have noticed that we are now in Colorado, while in our opinion we initial itinerary would actually first travel to the north (including Chicago and Wisconsin) and only then to the west. In this article I will explain why we changed the travel plan for America, what we saw and did en route from Florida to Colorado and what the new travel plan is.


Plan your vacation to America here


Our journey through the United States and Canada

This article is part of a major one-year journey that we (Chris and Malou van Wereldreizigers.nl), are currently making by the United States en Canada† We started in New York City and are through Washington DC en Baltimore (where we shipped our RV), first traveled south (Florida) and then made a full round of the country.

Organizing this trip took a lot of time and energy. So we had to US B1/B2 visa of one year and we spent weeks working on it renovating our 4×4 camper† Then we got to work on the RV to America to ship and in hindsight it turned out to be a Dutch vehicle insurance in America to be one of the biggest challenges.

When that was all over, we could finally focus on the anticipation: figuring out and planning all the beautiful places we want to visit. I built the ultimate roadtrip route through America and Canada of roughly 50.000 kilometers in Google maps and we are now making our dream come true! The interactive map can be viewed below.

More blogs from our trip through America and Canada

Why change the itinerary?

That has several reasons. It's a bit of a coincidence. Distances, costs, our mental health, but also the weather influenced this choice.

Make fewer kilometers

First of all, on closer inspection, we just want to make fewer kilometers. The distances here are huge and while I can enjoy driving our 4×4 camper, it's not something I want to do every day. I really enjoy driving on country roads and mountain routes, but I find highways boring and boring with all that truck traffic. The many kilometers we were going to make to the north would mainly be highways, so I honestly miss them like a toothache.

Bizarre fuel prices

Then there's the cost. The high fuel prices hit our travel plan hard in the wallet. Last year, when I started planning this trip, I calculated that I would have to spend about 7.000 to 8.000 euros on fuel (diesel). The harsh reality, however, is that diesel prices in America have increased by 100% in one year.

You read that right indeed, one hundred percent† By way of comparison: in the Netherlands, fuel prices have risen by roughly 40% in the past year. Although the fuel in America is still slightly cheaper compared to the Netherlands, it is not much more. It fits in nicely though. Precisely because we planned to do so many miles.

1 gallon (= 3,8 liters) of diesel currently costs about $5,85. Converted that is 1,53 euros per litre.

Chris – Wereldreizigers.nl

The 8.000 euros that we had previously budgeted for diesel has doubled to 16.000 euros with the current fuel prices. And the end of the increases is far from in sight.

You don't have to be a mathematician to understand that this causes a big dent in the budget. Added to this is the bad euro-dollar ratio due to the war in Ukraine and the fierce inflation that is gnawing at our budget on all sides.

take it easy

We had a period where we felt we had to hurry to stay on track. This was stressful! That is of course absolutely not the intention with a trip like this. If it's somewhere nice to be, we just want to be able to stay a few days longer. I had mapped out the ultimate route through America, with as many places and sights as possible, so that it would also be easy to take out or skip parts… At least then we could choose. Fortunately, in that sense, flexibility was part of the plan.

The new plan: across rural America

Making fewer kilometers and taking it easy. After we waved goodbye to our family in Miami enjoyed Malou and I at Lake Rousseau en Manatee Springs State Park in Florida for a while of the beautiful nature. These were the places where we could look at the plan in peace and re-evaluate.

Sunrise at Lake Rousseau
Sunrise at Lake Rousseau

We stayed for two nights at this beautiful lake where we were treated to intensely beautiful sunrises. I enjoyed the peace here so much that I started to think about our route and that the schedule is quite full.

Sunrise at Lake Rousseau
Sunrise at Lake Rousseau

We took the plunge at Manatee Springs, after two wonderful nights and a beautiful hike through nature full of animals. We are going to change our travel plan permanently. We're going to take it easy and drive fewer miles.

Our camping spot at Manatee Springs in Florida
Our camping spot at Manatee Springs in Florida
Manatee Springs, Florida
Manatee Springs, Florida

We came to the conclusion that we didn't want to drive to the North-East at all (to Chicago, among others). Way too many miles! So we decided to head straight west to Louisiana and Texas. From Texas we would then drive up through New Mexico to Colorado.

What also played a part is that we saved so many beautiful places that we wanted to see in New Mexico and Colorado. So much so, that we already knew that the 'last leg' of our journey would be a busy one. We could now take that pressure off a bit.

We're going to Texas

Carving away from the north-east of America gave us the chance to visit some of these places now, before the summer. We will do the other part after the summer. At least, that's how we thought of it.

We had been on the road for well over a week, when it got extremely hot in Alabama and Louisiana. Mid-May already! And then came another massive heat wave in Texas. In mid-May, temperatures of 40+ degrees were already indicated here. So we didn't feel like doing that at all, because then you can't do anything anymore. You can then forget about walking or hiking and exploring cities in that heat is no fun either.

New plan due to extreme heat

So, just before Louisiana, we decided to rigorously change the plan again. We drove a bit to the north to cool off and then to the west. Knowing that we had to go through Kansas, where there is really nothing to see. We took this for granted…

Our Google Timeline map below clearly shows that we suddenly bend upwards and go straight through Kansas.

Across Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas

Fortunately, the first part of this route was not a punishment either. We drove at a reasonable pace across the state of Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas. We found some beautiful viewpoints there, like this one South Mountain Scenic Overlook.

South Mountain Scenic Overlook, Arkansas
South Mountain Scenic Overlook, Arkansas

We also visited some state forests and lakes there and stood at various beautiful camping spots close to the water. After that heat we really needed some cooling. The first place we landed was Tyler Bend Campground to the buffalo national river† A fantastic piece of nature where we also walked a lot.

The Buffalo National River right at Tyler Bend Campground
The Buffalo National River right at Tyler Bend Campground
Hiking on the Buffalo National River
Hiking on the Buffalo National River

We liked Arkansas

After this we drove further north in Arkansas, into the mountains. The next stop was Beaver Dam Site Park, where we spent three nights on the Dam Site Lake Campground to work on the overdue maintenance of the website.

Dam Site Lake Campground, Arkansas
Dam Site Lake Campground, Arkansas

We had good weather here for one day until it suddenly turned. We saw only rain, rain and more rain for two days after that.

Rain Rain Rain at Dam Site Lake Campground, Arkansas
Rain, rain, rain at Dam Site Lake Campground, Arkansas

We made a lot of progress in these days working on the website, but we hardly got out. The weather was really awful. After two days of hard work, we decided to treat ourselves to an old-fashioned German Schnitzel and German beer at a local (German!) restaurant called The Bavarian Inn.

Due to the persistent bad weather, our solar panels stop tracking our power consumption the next day. Everything was empty! The pantry, the refrigerator, the power station and the household batteries that we still have as backup.

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So there was nothing for it but to leave. Then we could first do some shopping and then recharge the batteries and power station while driving. We have connected them to both the solar panels and the dynamo.

The hellish ride through Kansas

After shopping, we first drove a short distance through Missouri and then made the crossing through Kansas to Colorado. What a hellish ride this was! We were perhaps the most boring two days of my life. There was really nothing to see but countryside, cows, abandoned villages and old factories. The weather didn't help either; lots of rain and wind.

The whole herd looked at us strangely. Apparently the cows hadn't seen people in this remote landscape for a while either.
The whole herd looked at us strangely. Apparently the cows hadn't seen people in this remote landscape for a while either.
Old, abandoned factories in Kansas
Old, abandoned factories in Kansas

Even though I almost fell asleep at the wheel (Malou always fell asleep next to me), after 1000 kilometers of countryside we were still treated to a beautiful sunset and welcomed by a herd of cows along the road. The colors in the sky were beautiful!

Malou is going to have a look at the cows in Kansas
Malou is going to have a look at the cows in Kansas

And because we were in a very remote place, I think 150 kilometers from the nearest village or gas station, it suddenly felt really cool. What a bizarre country this is.

Beautiful colors on a deserted country road in Kansas
Beautiful colors on a deserted country road in Kansas
Beautiful colors on a deserted country road in Kansas
Beautiful colors on a deserted country road in Kansas

Arriving in Colorado

After the miserable long drive through Kansas, just straight ahead, after two days of driving, the redemption finally came: the Welcome to Colorado sign was in sight! How thrilled we were to see this sign after that hellish ride through the godforsaken landscape called Kansas.

Welcome to colorful Colorado!
Welcome To Colorful Colorado!

We stopped here for a few hours to rest and escape the wind for a while. It was not pleasant driving with a side wind of +-45 kilometers per hour.

What now?

Now that we've put in quite a few miles in a relatively short period of time, we really want to make the most of it in Colorado. We visit here, among other things, the national park The Great Sand Dunes where we go sandboarding. We also visit Mesa Verde National Park, where we learn a lot about the indigenous tribes that lived here more than 1000 years ago.

Then we drive on one of the most beautiful roads in the world – the Million Dollar Highway – to mining towns Silverton en Ouray† Here we camp by the river at almost 3000 meters and hike to intense blue glacial lakes at almost 4000 meters.

The continuation of the route will be via Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park en Rocky Mountains National Park to Salt Lake City are, and then move up to Grand Teton National Park en Yellowstone National Park to drive. Although the latest news from Yellowstone is not so good…

Heavy rainfall has washed away roads and bridges in recent days and the park is completely closed. It remains to be seen how this develops in the coming weeks.

More on that later!


Plan your vacation to America here


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Chris

Owner of Wereldreizigers.nl † Discover the world!

✔️ January 2021 - Friesland
✔️ February 2021 - Dordrecht
❌ March 2021 - Hard lockdown
✔️ April 2021 - Roadtrip Switzerland
✔️ April 2021 - Elsloo, Friesland
✔️ May 2021 - Eijsden & Maastricht, Limburg
✔️ May 2021 - Breda
✔️ May 2021 - Achterhoek
✔️ June 2021 - Mallorca, Spain
✔️ July 2021 - Roadtrip Croatia
✔️ August 2021 - Roadtrip Slovenia
✔️ August 2021 - Kenya Tour
✔️ September 2021 - Round trip Uganda
✔️ October 2021 - Ostend, Belgium
❌ November 2021 - Home
❌ December 2021 - Home

➡️ 2022 - 1 year United States & Canada

0 comments

  • Ha Chris and Tamara, We are now driving our Dutch Mercedes sprinter campervan from California to Oregon
    NB! Diesel price on average € 6,10 per Gallon. The Grocerys are also more expensive here than in the Netherlands, we spend € 30 per day in the supermarket (hardly eat outside the door). Furthermore, it is still very cool to travel here this way, so just do it.
    Regards, Camper Alfonso

  • Hey Tamara!

    Thank you for your nice comment. We are indeed doing our best to keep up with it all haha, there's a lot of work in it 😀

    Great to hear you're planning something similar. We had budgeted about 8000 euros in diesel for a whole year. And that was already quite generous! See the calculation below.

    – According to our route we would drive +- 50.000 to 60.000 kilometers in one year.
    – Our camper drives about 1 in 7.
    – 60.000 kilometers divided by 7 = 8570 liters.
    – The diesel price last year was 80 cents, so we had budgeted about 8000 liters with 10.000 euros.

    That has now doubled.

    How much we spend per month or per week really differs greatly… Sometimes we stay longer in one place. In June, for example, we've barely made any miles so far, while in May we drove thousands of miles from Miami to Colorado. So there really isn't much to say about that.

    I think it's best to just calculate the bigger picture. What exactly do you plan to do in a year? Then you create routes on Google Maps, then you get an estimate of the number of kilometers. Add 30% on top of that for groceries, outings, road closures, detours, missed turns, change of plans 😀 etc. etc. Then you're on the right track.

    Chris

  • hey! What an incredibly cool website you have. You really keep track of everything. We will soon also ship our camper to Halifax for a tour of North America 1+years. I read in your last article about 8000 euros gasoline budgeted. I was wondering when? And how much do you now spend on diesel per week/month?
    Sorry rude question, but I'm very curious… Greetings, Tamara

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