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USA trip: advice needed

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Marto

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USA trip: advice needed

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 4:25 pm

Hi all,

I'm making the long, perilous journey to the US and Canada later this year - May-June-July - and am looking for gearhead stuff to do.
My schedule is wide open too.

I'm quitting my job, leaving my house and packing up all my stuff. So, I'll just be rambling around the Americas and, if money stretches, the rest of the world.

So, anyone have advice on gearhead stuff to see and do? Anyone know a LeMons team that needs a mechanically unskilled foreigner who can't drive a LHD car?

Anyway, suggestions welcome. I'm not really interested in museums and such, I'd rather be involved somehow. Especially on the cheap.

Cheers,

Marto
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jeep_jeff

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Re: USA trip: advice needed

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 6:23 pm

Second Saturdays will be going those months, if you find yourself in the Bay Area, you can meet a bunch of us in person in one swell foop. You can also head over to San Francisco and see some of the World's Dumbest City Planning (by which I mean Lombard St). The Golden Gate Bridge, IMO, is actually worth driving and walking across (it's in a very pretty spot).

It's not gear-head related, but there are some jaw dropping spots in the American West. Yosemite Valley is filled with silly tourists for a reason. Mt. Rainier and Olympic National Park are way up in Washington State, but gorgeous. Canyonlands and Arches near Moab, UT rank pretty high in my book (depending on what your mode of travel is, Moab has possibly the best off-road trails in the world). Also worth it to stand at Dead Horse Point (Utah State Park, also near Moab). All the National Parks have something amazing to see.

The San Francisco to Moab run can be adjusted to include America's Loneliest Road (Route 50 through Nevada). It's long, straight and probably pretty boring (I've only taken I-80 across NV, but Rt 50 is how I'm going to go when I head back to Moab in the nebulous future). If you haven't seen Vanishing Point, it's a great way to get excited about road trips across Nevada.

The interstate system is impressive, but tends to be wide, straight, kind of boring and often has lots of traffic. Most any two lane mountain road in the Sierra Nevada that's not an Interstate is going to be a twisty blast. There's a bunch of great twisty roads between 101 and the Pacific Coast in Northern California. Actually, great twisty mountain roads are pretty easy to find on the West Coast and the Mountain States (and many of these roads are found around National Parks).
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jibduh

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Re: USA trip: advice needed

PostWed Feb 27, 2013 7:20 am

I like to keep one eye on http://www.myautoevents.com/pls/mae/frmMain.Show In particular, the open track days. The first time I went to one, I just went as a spectator/ride along to see what it was all about and if there was much that would risk me getting DQ'd (not too much). Still fun, but did make me want my own car for the next time... :P
BlackIce_GTS wrote:M is a number somewhere between 53 and 75, X is between 12 and 13
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Scandinavian Flick

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Re: USA trip: advice needed

PostWed Feb 27, 2013 12:26 pm

This sounds like some epic fun! Where are you planning to start? Big country and all...
jeep_jeff wrote:Second Saturdays will be going those months, if you find yourself in the Bay Area, you can meet a bunch of us in person in one swell foop. You can also head over to San Francisco and see some of the World's Dumbest City Planning (by which I mean Lombard St). The Golden Gate Bridge, IMO, is actually worth driving and walking across (it's in a very pretty spot).

I'm definitely looking forward to the return of Second Saturdays. If Marto shows up, it would be a good time to make the trek over to Blackhawk Auto Museum too. (Edit: I apparently missed that you weren't interested in museums. Scratch that then. Anything else I could recommend would depend on when you end up in the area.)

There's a Volvo gathering/show coming up in April. :-P
Last edited by Scandinavian Flick on Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Volvo_Nut

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Re: USA trip: advice needed

PostWed Feb 27, 2013 1:09 pm

The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix has events going on for two weeks starting on July 12th.
Lots of old iron to see, hear, and smell, since they actually do some racin' on city streets.
http://www.pvgp.org/complete-2013-event-calendar/
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danleym

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Re: USA trip: advice needed

PostWed Feb 27, 2013 1:15 pm

Sounds like a great time!

I don't know what level of involvement you're looking for, you said no museums but you'd like to be involved with LeMons. I'm not sure where a car show falls on that spectrum (museum-ish but better, I suppose). Anyway, there's a big national meet for AMCs in July, from the 18th to the 20th, in Auburn, IL. The club putting it on is one of the biggest in the country, I've been to some national meets and they're usually a good show. So if you've ever had the desire to see 100+ AMCs in one setting and it fits with your plans and where you're going to want to travel, check it out. Here's a link for some info: http://www.amonational.com/event/2013-a ... rn-indiana

Check out a NASCAR race (I know, boring, drive in circles, blah blah blah). It is a very American gearhead thing to do, and you also get to observe rednecks in their native habitat! :lol:

Go to Colorado. Anywhere in Colorado. Just wander around, get lost then find your way back. You won't regret it. It isn't much of a gearhead thing, unless you're driving a fun car, in which case the place is loaded with fun roads, but either way it is an amazing place you should make a point to see.
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jibduh

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Re: USA trip: advice needed

PostWed Feb 27, 2013 1:54 pm

More things in the midwest!

A little later than you might be around, but if you're still here in august, and care to be around the motor city then, the woodward dream cruise http://www.woodwarddreamcruise.com/ is a staple of the area, and the weeks leading up to it are pretty fun too.

and to add another museum, the Henry Ford has a nice auto exhibit (more than just Fords) as well as being a great museum in general. As is the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry (which has some hands on stuff if that were to somehow sway your decision).
BlackIce_GTS wrote:M is a number somewhere between 53 and 75, X is between 12 and 13
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pj134

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Re: USA trip: advice needed

PostWed Feb 27, 2013 2:23 pm

If you're in Philly on a weekend for any reason, these guys take their museum pieces out and give them a good beating.

http://simeonemuseum.org/
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engineerd

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Re: USA trip: advice needed

PostWed Feb 27, 2013 3:11 pm

My automotive selection for such a trip would be a Ford Raptor. Sure, they aren't cheap and they suck down gas, but whatev. If you can't swing that, may I suggest a 4WD E-150? Either would help with my next suggestion.

As far as places to see, I recommend Monument Valley. You can drive down into the valley and it's unlike anywhere else I have been in the world.

I see someone above mentioned the Woodward Dream Cruise and Henry Ford Museum. There is a lot going on during the summer automotive-wise in Southeast Michigan. A good chunk of them seem to be in Ypsilanti and are listed on this website: http://www.ypsiautoheritage.org/events.htm.

Sounds like a lot of fun! If you do make it to Southeast Michigan be sure to let us know. We can have a Hoons meetup!
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Marto

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Re: USA trip: advice needed

PostThu Feb 28, 2013 12:40 am

jeep_jeff wrote:Second Saturdays will be going those months, if you find yourself in the Bay Area, you can meet a bunch of us in person in one swell foop. You can also head over to San Francisco and see some of the World's Dumbest City Planning (by which I mean Lombard St). The Golden Gate Bridge, IMO, is actually worth driving and walking across (it's in a very pretty spot).

It's not gear-head related, but there are some jaw dropping spots in the American West. Yosemite Valley is filled with silly tourists for a reason. Mt. Rainier and Olympic National Park are way up in Washington State, but gorgeous. Canyonlands and Arches near Moab, UT rank pretty high in my book (depending on what your mode of travel is, Moab has possibly the best off-road trails in the world). Also worth it to stand at Dead Horse Point (Utah State Park, also near Moab). All the National Parks have something amazing to see.

The San Francisco to Moab run can be adjusted to include America's Loneliest Road (Route 50 through Nevada). It's long, straight and probably pretty boring (I've only taken I-80 across NV, but Rt 50 is how I'm going to go when I head back to Moab in the nebulous future). If you haven't seen Vanishing Point, it's a great way to get excited about road trips across Nevada.

The interstate system is impressive, but tends to be wide, straight, kind of boring and often has lots of traffic. Most any two lane mountain road in the Sierra Nevada that's not an Interstate is going to be a twisty blast. There's a bunch of great twisty roads between 101 and the Pacific Coast in Northern California. Actually, great twisty mountain roads are pretty easy to find on the West Coast and the Mountain States (and many of these roads are found around National Parks).



I will be in the Bay Area around then. I am making my way south from Vancouver to LA visiting friends and San Francisco intrigues me: the hills, Mythbusters, a red bridge called gold, Bullitt, the social vibe of the place, Full House, Big Trouble in Little China, etc, etc. My mum and sister have both been and said I'd love it.

I'm a bit of a hiker and have done some climbing, so Yosemite is definitely on the list. Plus, I want to do some longer hikes into thinner air - nothing like summiting a good mountain.

Thing is, I don't think I will be doing much driving. I'm hoping buses and lifts can get me around.

I've never driven on the right side of the road and have no idea what it takes (in terms of what paperwork I need) to buy a car in the US. However, my Australian driver's licence is valid in your country - apparently. Anyway, I want to keep a lid on expenses, the less I spend the longer I can keep travelling. The US government says I can holiday in the States for 90 days total, but that starts as soon as I set foot in Northern America - Caribbean, Canada and Mexico included.
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Marto

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Re: USA trip: advice needed

PostThu Feb 28, 2013 12:43 am

jibduh wrote:I like to keep one eye on http://www.myautoevents.com/pls/mae/frmMain.Show In particular, the open track days. The first time I went to one, I just went as a spectator/ride along to see what it was all about and if there was much that would risk me getting DQ'd (not too much). Still fun, but did make me want my own car for the next time... :P


Thanks man, I'd love to some ride-alongs. I'll keep an eye on that site.

Also, somewhat perversely, I want to go to a shooting range and fire a gun while I'm in the States. And even more perverse, the gun I am most interested in going bang-bang with is a Derringer. And yes, I wanted to try one before I saw Django.
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Marto

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Re: USA trip: advice needed

PostThu Feb 28, 2013 12:52 am

Scandinavian Flick wrote:This sounds like some epic fun! Where are you planning to start? Big country and all...
jeep_jeff wrote:Second Saturdays will be going those months, if you find yourself in the Bay Area, you can meet a bunch of us in person in one swell foop. You can also head over to San Francisco and see some of the World's Dumbest City Planning (by which I mean Lombard St). The Golden Gate Bridge, IMO, is actually worth driving and walking across (it's in a very pretty spot).

I'm definitely looking forward to the return of Second Saturdays. If Marto shows up, it would be a good time to make the trek over to Blackhawk Auto Museum too. (Edit: I apparently missed that you weren't interested in museums. Scratch that then. Anything else I could recommend would depend on when you end up in the area.)

There's a Volvo gathering/show coming up in April. :-P


Hi there,

I'm actually starting my trip in Japan visiting friends. Then the first few legs of my trip will be spent visiting various friends in Vancouver, Seattle, LA and New Orleans. And that draws a big L down the west coast and then eastward. At that point I am truly at a loose end. No job, no house, no plan and maybe no money.

Anyway, I wouldn't cross states to see a museum, but if there is one around I'll certainly take a look. Still, I'd rather do real stuff, like help out a racing team for a weekend (even though I have no mechanical skills - ha ha) or tag along on someone else's road trip, than be a tourist.

That said, for every city I stop in I am quite keen to see a local band, drink the local drink and eat the local specialty.

See you in a few months, I hope.
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