Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

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Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:48 am

Some more thoughts:

Snake bite kit - usually they stay away from you.
Pepper spray - good for humans, but if going into bear country you may want something like "bear spray".
A plastic whistle - can serve as a signaler and a noise deterrent to certain native animals.
Comfortable walking shoes.
Wide-brimmed hat if they are planning on hiking the canyons.
Good sunglasses.
Sunscreen - the Arizona sun is hot after end of May.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

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dm200
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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by dm200 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:51 am

hen I think of "emergency" financial tools - there is nothing better than several "Benjamin or Ulysses" tucked away safely to have as a friend!
If they are doing any water type sports, put the stuff in a water-tight floatable container.
Yes - and, perhaps, something like a "money belt" as well.

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dm200
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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by dm200 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:52 am

Get "advice" from two similar aged guys - ;)

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by GCD » Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:54 am

There's a difference between being overprotective/helicoptering and being reasonably prepared. I'm a 52 year old male. I carry everything on Grt2BOutdoors first list on me or in the car all the time as a matter of course. Other than the oil change I do everything on his list before driving out of my county. I don't see any of that as over the top.

I used to send my grandma a postcard everytime I drove through a new state on one of my roadtrips. If you gave them a roll of postcard stamps and $100 for postcards that would let you keep tabs on them loosley. Of course you might need to teach a 19 year old how to address a letter. Maybe I'm showing my age. They'll probably prefer to send you a selfie.

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by GCD » Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:59 am

It also occurs to me that since neither can legally buy alcohol or enter a bar there will probably be less alcohol involved on this trip than in their ordinary college life.

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by dm200 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:04 pm

GCD wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:59 am
It also occurs to me that since neither can legally buy alcohol or enter a bar there will probably be less alcohol involved on this trip than in their ordinary college life.
It has been many decades since that age, BUT never underestimate "creativity" ...

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by BuckyBadger » Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:05 pm

magicrat wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:46 am
Sounds like the car is ready to go and they have a plan. Make sure they know to call if they need anything, and remind them to follow their instincts if something / someone doesn't seem right.
This is a lot more important than you may think. Women are trained by society to ignore their instincts. To no make a fuss. To not inconvenience anyone. To be "nice." If either of these girls is in a situation where she feel uncomfortable, she needs to be willing to make a fuss if necessary to get out of it. This goes for life, not just this trip.

Having said that, don't worry so much! Unless there is some sort of pattern of behavior with either of these girls that indicate they're going to seek out trouble, trust that they can take care of themselves. Reasonable precautions as far as keeping the car running should be followed, of course, but this sort of fluid itinerary is designed to be relaxing. If they already have housing sorted out than they'll be inclined to get there on time. It's not unreasonable to request a text every evening, but apart from that, let them have their independence. They've survived a year at college on their own so there's no reason to think that they can't take care of themselves on a road trip.

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by Katietsu » Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:07 pm

vitaflo wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:03 am
Pajamas wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:18 am
That sucking sound you hear is all the fun being drained out of what was supposed to be a fun cross-country road trip. :oops:
Yup. They're adults. Just let them be on their way and have fun. People worry way too much about every little thing. It's obnoxious.

My wife did a trip like this when she was 19 (20 years ago). Her and her girlfriend still talk fondly of it.
Yes, but twenty years ago people did not expect to be able to get any service delivered to them wherever they were located, 24/7. Just last month, I was driving to a festival and ended up turning around and retracing my path for 45 minutes as I had to go back to where I had data service because I never thought to download directions or, even have a map. Fortunately, I had enough gasoline since there were also no gas stations for 40 miles.

Another time, I had a store clerk take pity on me and let me use her cell phone. First my car battery died, then my phone battery died while waiting on hold for the service truck. And there are no payphones anymore.

Anyway, a typical teenager may not be cognizant, unless forewarned, that there can be situations without cell phone service.

Though, I agree that flares and blankets are way more than I would do.
Last edited by Katietsu on Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by GCD » Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:07 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:04 pm
GCD wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:59 am
It also occurs to me that since neither can legally buy alcohol or enter a bar there will probably be less alcohol involved on this trip than in their ordinary college life.
It has been many decades since that age, BUT never underestimate "creativity" ...
True, that's why I said "less" and not "none". :sharebeer

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by koozie » Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:08 pm

I did this trip but in reverse after grad school to drive a car cross-country for a friend. I used no gps and just drove east on back roads until I got close enough to map it about 100 miles from my destination.

This is a chance to see parts of America that your daughter would never know to navigate to. That said, Coral Pink Sand Dunes in southern Utah remains my best accidental discovery.

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by GCD » Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:10 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:48 am
Pepper spray - good for humans, but if going into bear country you may want something like "bear spray".
Bear spray is also good on humans. Just make sure they know it's not like mosquito spary. It goes on the bear, not them. Seems like someone makes the news for that mistake every so often.

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by gasdoc » Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:24 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:04 pm
GCD wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:59 am
It also occurs to me that since neither can legally buy alcohol or enter a bar there will probably be less alcohol involved on this trip than in their ordinary college life.
It has been many decades since that age, BUT never underestimate "creativity" ...
It helps that neither girl drinks- and I know my daughter doesn't enjoy being around people that are drinking alcohol.

gasdoc

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by texasdiver » Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:33 pm

Buy them one of those AAA or Rand McNally road atlases that show the interstate system for the entire country and then invividual pages for each state. They can mark out their route with highlighter on the country map. Map reading is actually nearly a lost skill among the young. https://www.amazon.com/dp/0528019597/

No need to buy a separate Garmin GPS, although thery are cheap. If she is anything like my 19 year old daughter she will not bother to use the Garmin. Teach your daughter how to download offline maps using the google maps app on her phone. She can download all the maps for the entire trip and then her phone GPS will continue to keep working with the built-in GPS on the phone even when she drives out of cell phone range. There will be many places in the west where she drives out of cell phone range, especially if she strays off the interstate. NOTE: This only works for the google maps app, not the built-in Apple Maps app (if she has an iPhone).

If you have her on a limited data plan, tell her to download her favorite songs playlist so that they can listen to their music without streaming as that will run into a lot of GB of data on a long road trip and there are many places they can't stream. My kid always blows through data when on the road and then has to beg me for more so she can use maps.

As for the rest of it, spare tire and jumper cables is about all you can expect of a teenager. Make sure they can use them. And I would check your roadside assistance coverage on your insurance policy and beef it up if that is possible.
Last edited by texasdiver on Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:38 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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dm200
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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by dm200 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:35 pm

pare tire and jumper cables is about all you can expect of a teenager. Make sure they can use them. And I would check your roadside assistance coverage on your insurance policy and beef it up if that is possible.
I agree...

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gasdoc
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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by gasdoc » Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:48 pm

texasdiver wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:33 pm
Buy them one of those AAA or Rand McNally road atlases that show the interstate system for the entire country and then invividual pages for each state. They can mark out their route with highlighter on the country map. Map reading is actually nearly a lost skill among the young. https://www.amazon.com/dp/0528019597/

No need to buy a separate Garmin GPS, although thery are cheap. If she is anything like my 19 year old daughter she will not bother to use the Garmin. Teach your daughter how to download offline maps using the google maps app on her phone. She can download all the maps for the entire trip and then her phone GPS will continue to keep working with the built-in GPS on the phone even when she drives out of cell phone range. There will be many places in the west where she drives out of cell phone range, especially if she strays off the interstate. NOTE: This only works for the google maps app, not the built-in Apple Maps app (if she has an iPhone).

If you have her on a limited data plan, tell her to download her favorite songs playlist so that they can listen to their music without streaming as that will run into a lot of GB of data on a long road trip and there are many places they can't stream. My kid always blows through data when on the road and then has to beg me for more so she can use maps.

As for the rest of it, spare tire and jumper cables is about all you can expect of a teenager. Make sure they can use them. And I would check your roadside assistance coverage on your insurance policy and beef it up if that is possible.
Just ordered the map as linked above. Thanks. I remember driving in that area. No cell phone coverage, and outlet in the rental car did not work so our portable GPS ran dead.

gasdoc

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by Khanmots » Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:02 pm

As someone that had a tire turn into two pieces on a mountain road with no cell service... I'm going to reiterate that they need to know how to put the spare on and not rely on AAA or fix-a-flat.

Along with the idea of no cell service, remind them that (at least with google maps) they can download areas to be accessible (including directions) offline. GPS on their phone will be just fine anywhere, but knowing you're at point X doesn't help much without a map to put it in context :)

Might also be worth it to gift them a copy of a road atlas.

Finally, they're almost certainly going to take lots of photos and share the experience on social media. See if they're willing to add you, let them know you're interested in hearing what they've been up to... and then when they call you ask about what they've seen and done. Don't grill them on if they're tazing any stranger that comes near, brushing their teeth, etc. You'll get more updates that way... and if they do have something that they want/need help with they'll (if anything like me at 19...) be more likely to bring it up if they haven't been nagged on. :mrgreen:

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by StrangePenguin » Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:15 pm

Sounds like a lot of fun. I took a road trip across the country with my now-wife at the age of 21, when we moved from the east coast to the west coast for grad school. We took the "scenic route" and spent about 3 weeks getting across the country. One of the best experiences of my life.

I believe our parents did expect us to call once a day, just to say hi and check in. Funny thing is that I can't remember if we owned a cell phone at that time (it was 2002). Maybe we had one.

I realized a lot has changed in >15 years, but one thing I can't believe nobody explicitly mentioned is having a paper map. Yes, a standalone GPS will work anywhere but the batteries in your paper map are never going to die :happy . Maybe you don't have to get a detailed map of every state but a road atlas for the US might come in handy.

[edit to add: oops, a couple posts ahead of me beat me to my point about the road atlas. Glad there are some other old-fashioned types on here]
Last edited by StrangePenguin on Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

billfromct
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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by billfromct » Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:15 pm

Each should have a separate car key with metal tag with their first name & cell phone number in case they lose the car key or leave it on the table at lunch or the coffee shop.

I have an extra key hidden under the bumper in a Velcro "key hider" in my daughter's car. If this is done, just make sure she knows where it is. May not be needed, but I would imagine you will feel better that it's there.

My daughter had to use the hidden key one time when she accidentally locked her key in the car.

bill

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by dm200 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:18 pm

billfromct wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:15 pm
Each should have a separate car key with metal tag with their first name & cell phone number in case they lose the car key or leave it on the table at lunch or the coffee shop.
I have an extra key hidden under the bumper in a Velcro "key hider" in my daughter's car. If this is done, just make sure she knows where it is. May not be needed, but I would imagine you will feel better that it's there.
My daughter had to use the hidden key one time when she accidentally locked her key in the car.
bill
Great idea!!

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by Flobes » Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:32 pm

I am a female road warrior and solo hiker. I've been criss-crossing America in my car for many decades.

I've no doubt both your daughter and her friend are familiar with all the "Stranger Danger" rules. Great joys of traveling are interacting with new people and receiving the kindness of strangers when you're in trouble. Don't overemphasize paranoia; they got that part.

Do not drive in the dark. This is about "Stranger Danger" threats. You get a flat tire at noon, and a guy pulls over in a truck saying I want to help, and you smile,"Thanks so much." You get a flat tire at midnight, and a guy pulls over in a truck saying I want to help, and you tremble, "I'm gonna be raped." I have three tales of three kind men in three states who've stopped to change my flat tires, in daylight.

No nighttime driving rule is also about critters, large and small, on the roads. And, of course, getting lost on unfamiliar byways.

Always lock the car. Travel with two sets of keys.

"Welcome centers" near stateline crossings offer great tourist info and maps, clean bathrooms, free coffee (and sometimes fruit or muffins), and a safe rest. Some states still have friendly hosts.

At motels, there are two advantageous places to park. One is by the window of the onsite residence or the check-in office. The other: locate the video cameras, then park in their full view, which is usually under a bright light. Especially important for stops adjacent to major highways. Once in the motel, move the chair to block the door; knowing that a sound will be made if anyone tries to enter will ease sleep at night.

Plan for a different route coming and going. Example: westward on I70; eastward on I40. It's a grand country; might as well see more of it.

Cruise control is your best friend on long (boring) stretches of interstate.

Stock road food. Well packaged (to not attract bugs or critters like raccoons, bears, etc). Power bars, applesauce, nuts, dried fruit, granola, etc. (Chocolate, candy and sugary stuff may melt in a hot parked car.) Food you can prepare adding hot water, like instant oatmeal packets, ramen noodles, etc. Canned cooked food, eatable at ambient temperature. You can easily heat a roadside gourmet dinner of bagged cooked Indian food and pre-cooked rice, placing the bags on the hot engine while you're making a bathroom stop. (Aside: have toilet paper in the car, as many roadside stops are missing this amenity.)

Once they're in the deserted desert wilds, cell phone and GPS may be rendered useless. (Learn to read a real map!) Also GPS is not always smart about seasonal roads that are open in summer and lead to desirable destinations.

In general: don't pass an available bathroom. Don't pass an available gas station. Don't let the gas tank get close to empty, but don't overfill it. Check the airs in tires, every day.

Most important:
They'll be in hot arid sunny climes. Dehydration is a significant issue. (Plastic water bottles may turn toxic in superheat parked car.) They need a really good protective sunglasses, brimmed sunhat (not a baseball cap), sunscreen and SPF lip goo. There are rattlesnakes. There are flash floods. Expect hot days and cool nights; diurnal variance of 40 degrees; wardrobe appropriately. Steer them to info about these real and manageable concerns. The desert West is very different than their Eastern life.

Suggested gifts:
* A copy of Edward Abbey's "Desert Solitaire" book. Aaron Ralston's "Between a Rock and a Hard Place" book or DVD of "127 Hours" movie about his adventure.
* A day of river rafting (from Moab, perhaps?). A lifetime memory from Dad. Be really extravagant: buy them a two-day trip with an overnight on the river.
* Two lightweight metal water bottles (each)
* Alternative^: a hydration backpack (and one water bottle). These are no longer expensive, and oh so useful. (Amazon)
* A good metal whistle (for each). Never never hike without it. Summon help in an emergency; scare critters.
* Sunhat (Amazon stocks foldable SPF hats with large brims with back-of-the-neck protection.)
* Headlamp (for hands-free navigating at the campsite in the dark) and a bright flashlight
* A good old-fashioned road atlas, large pages, with maps
* Sun visor for windshield
* First Aid kit, well-stocked for minor injuries and misc minor medical needs. Roadside emergency kit (Amazon). Murphy's Law: You will need these if you don't have them, and you won't need them if you do have them. Both kits aways in the car, this trip and forever...
* Calm and enthusiasm and optimism!

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by HueyLD » Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:39 pm

Fantastic and helpful insight. Thanks for posting, Flobes.

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gasdoc
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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by gasdoc » Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:40 pm

Flobes wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:32 pm
I am a female road warrior and solo hiker. I've been criss-crossing America in my car for many decades.

I've no doubt both your daughter and her friend are familiar with all the "Stranger Danger" rules. Great joys of traveling are interacting with new people and receiving the kindness of strangers when you're in trouble. Don't overemphasize paranoia; they got that part.

Do not drive in the dark. This is about "Stranger Danger" threats. You get a flat tire at noon, and a guy pulls over in a truck saying I want to help, and you smile,"Thanks so much." You get a flat tire at midnight, and a guy pulls over in a truck saying I want to help, and you tremble, "I'm gonna be raped." I have three tales of three kind men in three states who've stopped to change my flat tires, in daylight.

No nighttime driving rule is also about critters, large and small, on the roads. And, of course, getting lost on unfamiliar byways.

Always lock the car. Travel with two sets of keys.

"Welcome centers" near stateline crossings offer great tourist info and maps, clean bathrooms, free coffee (and sometimes fruit or muffins), and a safe rest. Some states still have friendly hosts.

At motels, there are two advantageous places to park. One is by the window of the onsite residence or the check-in office. The other: locate the video cameras, then park in their full view, which is usually under a bright light. Especially important for stops adjacent to major highways. Once in the motel, move the chair to block the door; knowing that a sound will be made if anyone tries to enter will ease sleep at night.

Plan for a different route coming and going. Example: westward on I70; eastward on I40. It's a grand country; might as well see more of it.

Cruise control is your best friend on long (boring) stretches of interstate.

Stock road food. Well packaged (to not attract bugs or critters like raccoons, bears, etc). Power bars, applesauce, nuts, dried fruit, granola, etc. (Chocolate, candy and sugary stuff may melt in a hot parked car.) Food you can prepare adding hot water, like instant oatmeal packets, ramen noodles, etc. Canned cooked food, eatable at ambient temperature. You can easily heat a roadside gourmet dinner of bagged cooked Indian food and pre-cooked rice, placing the bags on the hot engine while you're making a bathroom stop. (Aside: have toilet paper in the car, as many roadside stops are missing this amenity.)

Once they're in the deserted desert wilds, cell phone and GPS may be rendered useless. (Learn to read a real map!) Also GPS is not always smart about seasonal roads that are open in summer and lead to desirable destinations.

In general: don't pass an available bathroom. Don't pass an available gas station. Don't let the gas tank get close to empty, but don't overfill it. Check the airs in tires, every day.

Most important:
They'll be in hot arid sunny climes. Dehydration is a significant issue. (Plastic water bottles may turn toxic in superheat parked car.) They need a really good protective sunglasses, brimmed sunhat (not a baseball cap), sunscreen and SPF lip goo. There are rattlesnakes. There are flash floods. Expect hot days and cool nights; diurnal variance of 40 degrees; wardrobe appropriately. Steer them to info about these real and manageable concerns. The desert West is very different than their Eastern life.

Suggested gifts:
* A copy of Edward Abbey's "Desert Solitaire" book. Aaron Ralston's "Between a Rock and a Hard Place" book or DVD of "127 Hours" movie about his adventure.
* A day of river rafting (from Moab, perhaps?). A lifetime memory from Dad. Be really extravagant: buy them a two-day trip with an overnight on the river.
* Two lightweight metal water bottles (each)
* Alternative^: a hydration backpack (and one water bottle). These are no longer expensive, and oh so useful. (Amazon)
* A good metal whistle (for each). Never never hike without it. Summon help in an emergency; scare critters.
* Sunhat (Amazon stocks foldable SPF hats with large brims with back-of-the-neck protection.)
* Headlamp (for hands-free navigating at the campsite in the dark) and a bright flashlight
* A good old-fashioned road atlas, large pages, with maps
* Sun visor for windshield
* First Aid kit, well-stocked for minor injuries and misc minor medical needs. Roadside emergency kit (Amazon). Murphy's Law: You will need these if you don't have them, and you won't need them if you do have them. Both kits aways in the car, this trip and forever...
* Calm and enthusiasm and optimism!
Thanks, Flobes, for your experienced advice. I am gong to print this.

gasdoc

quantAndHold
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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by quantAndHold » Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:03 pm

Flobes and Gr8 have said pretty much the sum total of what needs to be said. If they follow the advice of those two posters, they will be fine.

The only other thing I would add is that letting them have small adventures themselves will help them develop life skills. If they have a blowout somewhere that there’s no cell service, they will be fine as long as they have water (and probably still fine even if they don’t have water), and they will learn several things about preparation and problem solving in the process of having the adventure.

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by HomerJ » Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:08 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:03 pm
they will learn several things about preparation and problem solving in the process of having the adventure.
Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgement.

:)
The J stands for Jay

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by rhinopylon » Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:11 pm

Just browsing through these comments shows the huge generational gaps between common users of this site and the mentioned 19 year old travelers. I mean, printing out atlas maps? Cmon, they have a phone right? Then they have maps and know how to use them. The US is not so desolate that they won't be able to load their route prior to heading out in the morning. They'll be hard pressed to find an area that doesn't have a cell signal or wifi.

Make sure they have a reliable car and they have a credit card for hotel/airbnb stays as needed. Ask her to send pictures as she's able. Be excited for her.

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:24 pm

rhinopylon wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:11 pm
Just browsing through these comments shows the huge generational gaps between common users of this site and the mentioned 19 year old travelers. I mean, printing out atlas maps? Cmon, they have a phone right? Then they have maps and know how to use them. The US is not so desolate that they won't be able to load their route prior to heading out in the morning. They'll be hard pressed to find an area that doesn't have a cell signal or wifi.

Make sure they have a reliable car and they have a credit card for hotel/airbnb stays as needed. Ask her to send pictures as she's able. Be excited for her.
+1

Lots of belts + suspenders here.

When DS started doing these types of trips during college a few years ago, he and his friends had much more planned out than we had anticipated. Even when they had to hunker down far from home for a few days during the "snowpocalypse" two years ago and braved another heavy snowstorm over Spring break this year, they managed quite well. I'm not saying OP should throw caution to the wind, but I think a lot of people are underestimating the abilities of people this age today.

IMO the travelers not taking off in a 20 y/o Boglemobile should take care of ~80% of their potential problems. They should have a fine trip, and be much the better off for having made it. Smooth sailing to them!
Last edited by Doom&Gloom on Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Trapper
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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by Trapper » Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:34 pm

I used to worry about my attractive daughter on the road. When she slipped off the road while driving and got the car stuck I would’ve been worried if I had known.
This is how she handled the unexpected breakdown.
She called the state police/highway patrol non emergency number (got it by googling) and told the dispatcher of her situation and if they would call a tow for her. Now law enforcement knows there is a young lady broke down and I’m sure if there is a unit in the area they will head that way for a welfare check. The tow responding will know that law enforcement is aware they are the ones responding. Any helpful strangers can be evaluated and told the state police have already dispatched a tow if she feels uncomfortable.
Yeah, it will cost a couple bucks for the tow. Not a big deal in this situation.
I don’t see my daughter changing a tire or walking to fill a gas can.

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by GCD » Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:42 pm

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:24 pm

Lots of belts + suspenders here.
Well, not to turn this into an intergenerational war, but...

http://theweek.com/articles/464674/8-dr ... o-disaster

It seems modern technology often causes people to turn off their brain. Just be glad nobody has suggested forcing them to take a car with a manual transmission because it keeps you more engaged with the road, aware of conditions, and off your phone.

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by Peter Foley » Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:56 pm

My English got the better of me with the title of the post. I just had to read it.

I understood the OP to mean that his daughter and his 19 year old girlfriend were going to take a cross country trip. Darn those dangling modifiers!

Some good advice regarding safety has been offered.

As a family we camped at Dead Horse Point State Park. It was scenic in and of itself and convenient for seeing the Moab area and Arches National Park. Moab has a public swimming pool and our kids enjoyed an afternoon break from the very hot weather.

I would buy them a guide to the National Parks.

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by Alexa9 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:03 pm

I would fly to the west coast (Phoenix, Las Vegas, San Diego, LA, Portland, or Seattle) and rent a car and then drive along the coast. Most of the country is not worth driving through honestly and it will likely be miserable if they are really planning on going that far. Driving more than a few hours for weeks is more straining than you realize when you are planning a grandiose trip. I would also camp rather than stay in dive hotels unless it's raining. If the car has any issues, it's not your problem. I would plan around national parks personally but they might want to visit college campuses as well.

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Watty
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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by Watty » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:10 pm

A couple of things;

Take a few minutes and clean the windshield every morning so you get a good view of the things you will see. Take some windex and paper towels with you.

For the long drives having audio books really helps. They may be able to download them from their library and they may be able to find some that are based where they will be going. They are murder mysteries but the author Nevada Barr has a series of books featuring a character named Anna Pigeon who is a ranger in various national parks. Most of these are pretty good but they should read the reviews to pick the ones they might want to listen to.

Don't push the driving too far. They may be tempted to drive non-stop and switch off driving while the other takes a nap but that is very risky.

Check the air pressure in the spare tire, assuming the car has a spare since some newer cars don't. As other have said walk them through actually changing a tire. Not only will prepare them for doing it but it will be a good check that all the parts for the jack are in the car.

Have a printed list of phone numbers. Cell phones are great but if they get lost or break then they may not have the phone numbers anywhere else.

Have their credit card numbers and the companies 800 number in someplace safe in case they need to cancel them if a card is lost or compromised and the card needs to be canceled. Always have a couple of hundred dollars in cash to cover a few days expenses if there is a problem with their credit cards.

If they have a debit card(which I would not recommend even in normal situations) then they need to be aware that hotels may put a large hold on their funds to cover potential damage and that hold may not be release for many days after their stay. That can cause them to not have any available funds.

It was not clear exactly where and when they are going but in addition to being prepared for extreme heat they also need to be prepared for snow in some of the high elevations of the mountain at least into June.

For budget hotels they can check the free magazines that are at the rest stops. It will be hit or miss but these occasionally have good coupons for lower priced hotels. In a marginal hotel tell them to not be afraid to ask to look at the room before they check in to make sure that it will be OK.

When looking for a campground for the night also look at state parks and things like county parks since these can be less expensive and have more openings.

They may be tempted to make a side trip to Las Vegas which you should discourage, not so much for all the vice but because it is really a pretty unpleasant place to be in when you don't have some money to spend.

One thing to watch out for is that there is a scam where someone may call you, or a grandparent, and say they are in jail or a emergency room and you need to wire money right away to bail them out or get treated. Don't fall for it.
gasdoc wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:00 am
Reminding them to keep gas in the tank is a good idea.
Keeping gas in the trunk is a really bad and dangerous idea since it is a fire hazard not only from vapors and leaking but also if they are in a fender bender.
Last edited by Watty on Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by WildBill » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:13 pm

Howdy

Tips from multiple cross country trips:

Pack some duct tape.

Pillow can be handy.

Spare set of keys, in a magnetized box tucked securely under the car on a cross member.

AAA card handy.

Phone charger for car.

Clip on doddad for dash to hold phone for navigation reference. Phone charger keeps phone charged, so they can take plenty of pictures.

Ask them to send you those plenty of pictures.

Have fun

W B
"Through chances various, through all vicissitudes, we make our way." Virgil, The Aeneid

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:13 pm

Alexa9 wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:03 pm
I would fly to the west coast (Phoenix, Las Vegas, San Diego, LA, Portland, or Seattle) and rent a car and then drive along the coast. Most of the country is not worth driving through honestly and it will likely be miserable if they are really planning on going that far. Driving more than a few hours for weeks is more straining than you realize when you are planning a grandiose trip. I would also camp rather than stay in dive hotels unless it's raining. If the car has any issues, it's not your problem. I would plan around national parks personally but they might want to visit college campuses as well.
Car rentals are problematic, or impossible, for 19 year-olds.

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by Alf 101 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:14 pm

Much good advice here. In that age range, I did a fair bit of driving back and forth across the west. Here's what worked for me:

1. I did carry a 5 gallon water jug, and would fill it before crossing the desert. Something about spending time in the desert, and thinking about getting stuck in the desert, made that a good idea.

2. I had a milk crate in the back with a variety of automotive supplies -- e.g., oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid, basic tools. I got into the habit of checking fluid levels and tire pressure at every stop. Also, as has been noted, gas stations are not as readily available in the west as the east. I purchased a large cup at the Flying J, which I could refill for $0.79, and would ensure I would have to stop again about every 150 miles. Fill up every time you stop.

3. I was mainly climbing at that time, so I was with someone else, and we had the means to camp out. I also carried a good amount of food. Going to grocery stores was far more cost effective, and you can only eat at Subway so many times in a row. Maybe bring a small cooler, or insulated bag.

4. America is far more beautiful when you get off the Interstates. Some Interstate driving is necessary, just to get west. But places like NE Nebraska, going over Big Horn Pass in WY, or up around Silver City in NM are fantastically beautiful. But explore a little. Share what you can about their route, and maybe some on this site can share great places to see.

5. No doubt any fears about stranger danger are well known. If I had a long distance to go, I'd get started early in the morning, and always end my day before the sun set. I just didn't want to be tired, looking for someplace to stay, after dark on rural roads. The odds of me driving off the side of the road, or hitting a deer, were things I wanted to avoid. Plus watching the sun rise is beautiful in both the mountains and desert.

6. I liked having a road atlas. Sure I can look at my phone, but as the passenger, it gives me something to read. Why not? It's old school, but sometimes it's nice looking at a bigger map than your phone. If I recall correctly, the road atlas will use some icon to mark out particularly scenic routes. If I had no particular route I had to take, this was more often than not what I used.

It sounds like a good trip. It's unfortunate that gas is not as relatively cheap as it once was. This made road tripping at age 19 a lot more affordable...

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Watty
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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by Watty » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:19 pm

GoldenFinch wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:41 am
Don’t speed.
+1 on not speeding.

In addition to the normal dangers and speed traps speeding on Indian reservations can be expensive since some of them are known for giving out lots of traffic tickets.

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by Flobes » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:24 pm

gasdoc wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:40 pm
Thanks, Flobes, for your experienced advice.
gasdoc
You're welcome. It's my pleasure.

One more thing:
Create an "In Case Of Emergency" document. Include complete contact details -- names, phone numbers, email address, etc -- for all parents (and/or siblings or other relatives), car insurance (w/policy #), health insurance, and AAA (w/membership #). Keep a copy in the glove compartment. Make a miniaturized version for each wallet. You might even laminate them. Murphy Be Gone!

One more thing:
When cruising the highways, unlock the car. Emergency workers and/or good samaritans will be able to fetch you out, in case of accident.

One more thing:
Don't speed. There are traps everywhere, looming for out-of-state plates. A $300 ticket with a next morning appearance before the local magistrate will not in anyway enhance your journey or its saga.

One more thing:
Don't overpack. Don't haul too much stuff. Bring two of everything clothing; bring one of everything gear. Bring some laundry soap and clothespins. (Note: some motels and AirBNBs have washers and dryers for guest use.)

One more thing:
They will be in places with neither cell service nor wifi. Glibness upthread is ill-advised. This is a geography issue, not a generational issue. "Disconnection" from the electronic universe is totally manageable for your daughter and her friend, especially if it is anticipated. No Big Deal. True delights of travel: everyplace is not like your homeplace, and you discover you have the personality resources to handle come what may.

[Cell service vanishes about 6 miles from my house, and is gone for next 50 miles up the highway; this area is populated and not remote. My most recent flat tire was a mere 12 miles 15 minutes from home, and cell phone was useless. A kind young stranger in an old beater pulled over shortly after I did and helped: unload the trunk, change the tire, reload the trunk. He would not accept money; I offered.]

PS I know how to change a tire. (This skill and task is not gender-based. I routinely swap set of winter tires for summer tires. My dad taught me that if you're a driver, you should understand how to deal with your vehicle.) Yet road angels always appear when I'm on the side of the road.

One more thing:
Be kind to strangers; accept the kindness of strangers.

One more thing:
Don't over plan. Opportunities and serendipity will arise. As will disappointment and nasty weather. The unknown is exciting. Be nimble and flexible and joyful.

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by quantAndHold » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:38 pm

rhinopylon wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:11 pm
Just browsing through these comments shows the huge generational gaps between common users of this site and the mentioned 19 year old travelers. I mean, printing out atlas maps? Cmon, they have a phone right? Then they have maps and know how to use them. The US is not so desolate that they won't be able to load their route prior to heading out in the morning. They'll be hard pressed to find an area that doesn't have a cell signal or wifi.

Make sure they have a reliable car and they have a credit card for hotel/airbnb stays as needed. Ask her to send pictures as she's able. Be excited for her.
No, I think it’s people who’ve actually been to southern Utah, and know that once you get off the main roads in some of the places they’re intending to go, cell reception gets iffy, and much of what we rely on as part of normal modern life doesn’t exist. It’s hard enough to fill the 5 gallon water jug. AirBNB doesn’t exist.

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by GCD » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:45 pm

Alf 101 wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:14 pm
If I recall correctly, the road atlas will use some icon to mark out particularly scenic routes.
Green dots next to designated scenic routes in the Rand McNally atlas.

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by bob60014 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:49 pm

Keep the cell phones charged, have a cb radio as a backup, have AAA, a good GPS, plenty of water, snack items , have a "full size" spare tire in the trunk(!!!) don't pick up hitchhickers.....rock n roll!
Last edited by bob60014 on Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by SrGrumpy » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:51 pm

Flobes wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:24 pm

One more thing:
Don't over plan. Opportunities and serendipity will arise.
Somewhat contradicted by a long list of recommendations that includes lamination and clothes pins. This largely risible thread would make Keroauc roll in his grave.

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by tesuzuki2002 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:55 pm

gasdoc wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:18 am
Our daughter and her friend, both having just finished their freshman year of college, are planning a summer road trip. They are driving from the eastern U.S. to the western U.S., spending time in Southern Utah, Grand Canyon and other stops. Their main activities will be sight seeing and hiking. They will be staying in AirB&B homes, national park campgrounds, and occasionally in Best Westerns. Their average stay will cost $65 per night. They are excited; their parents are anxious. Advice?

gasdoc

AWESOME!!! It's gonna be great trip for them. If they want any advice on free camping places in Central and southern CA. There are many GREAT places out here and I have met around 50 or so world travelers who are doing it right and extremely helpful to other on their journeys. !

It's a great place.

Oh yeah.. and do a through vehicle inspection before departing and make sure the spare is good to go. ! Bring extra water and food.

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gasdoc
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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by gasdoc » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:30 pm

This is the OP. Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. I am making notes. And I am certainly feeling better about the whole deal from reading your comments.

gasdoc

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by mega317 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:32 pm

WildBill wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:13 pm
Spare set of keys, in a magnetized box tucked securely under the car on a cross member.
This has been mentioned a couple of times. Do would-be thieves not look for these?

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by Lynette » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:38 pm

I know cellphones have taken over the world but this would be a wonderful opportunity to improve their photographic skills if they are remotely interested in this. Even if they don't have a DSLR, cellphones take great photos. Also I know that everyone uses social media but this is an opportunity to keep a more detailed journal provide context for their photos for when they are dad's age.

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by GCD » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:41 pm

mega317 wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:32 pm
WildBill wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:13 pm
Spare set of keys, in a magnetized box tucked securely under the car on a cross member.
This has been mentioned a couple of times. Do would-be thieves not look for these?
I've taken to carrying a spare key in my wallet.

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by Darth Xanadu » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:45 pm

SrGrumpy wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:51 pm
Flobes wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:24 pm

One more thing:
Don't over plan. Opportunities and serendipity will arise.
Somewhat contradicted by a long list of recommendations that includes lamination and clothes pins. This largely risible thread would make Keroauc roll in his grave.
Perhaps. But given what I know from both Flobes and Kerouac's writings ... I think I'd prefer to road-trip with Flobes (and maybe read Kerouac along the way, best of both worlds). 8-)
"A courageous teacher, failure is."

GCD
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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by GCD » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:47 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:38 pm
rhinopylon wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:11 pm
Just browsing through these comments shows the huge generational gaps between common users of this site and the mentioned 19 year old travelers. I mean, printing out atlas maps? Cmon, they have a phone right? Then they have maps and know how to use them. The US is not so desolate that they won't be able to load their route prior to heading out in the morning. They'll be hard pressed to find an area that doesn't have a cell signal or wifi.

Make sure they have a reliable car and they have a credit card for hotel/airbnb stays as needed. Ask her to send pictures as she's able. Be excited for her.
No, I think it’s people who’ve actually been to southern Utah, and know that once you get off the main roads in some of the places they’re intending to go, cell reception gets iffy, and much of what we rely on as part of normal modern life doesn’t exist. It’s hard enough to fill the 5 gallon water jug. AirBNB doesn’t exist.
Concur. It's more like huge experiential gaps. From personal experience I can tell you there are places in ND, SD, WY and MT on the interstate that you can lose cell service in. My most recent experience was on I-90 in 2016 where I lost service about 100-150 miles east of Rapid City.

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Pajamas
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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by Pajamas » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:48 pm

They should consider spending at least one night in a Walmart parking lot. There's a whole subculture based on that.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/14/us/w ... ng-rv.html

Billionaire
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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by Billionaire » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:27 pm

Visit your local REI store and load up on supplies. If you are not already a member of the co-op, you should join and take advantage of the membership benefits.

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Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Post by ClevrChico » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:35 pm

The over protective dad in me would have them purchase an Amtrak pass that would allow them stops along the way. (I've had a family member and coworker both total their vehicles on road trips this year. They walked away, luckily.)

Here's a list of National Parks available via Amtrak:

https://www.amtrakvacations.com/destina ... nal-parks/

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