2. The Planning

By Brooke McKirdy

The second part of this future journey is all the planning that must go into making the trip run smoothly.  First we are deciding what states and places we want to go to.  We were fortunate to travel back East with Kelly’s students with EF Tours on a number of occasions.  We also traveled across the states in 1984 when Cameron was just 3 months old!  We had a Toyota “Starlet” that got 55 miles to the gallon and the whole circle trip of the US only costs us $1200.  We stayed at KOA campgrounds and family and friends houses.  It was a fun adventure!

Kelly has been teaching a class over the last several years called “Road Trip Across America Project”.  The students plan all the places they would want to go in “their” states. They usually pick two states, a national park, a historical location, a museum, a sports stadium, and a state capital.  Then they put it into a power point presentation.  This year we took apart an old atlas and mapped out our big 5 month trip (22 weeks) RV trip.  Kelly connected the highways and put the entire map on his classroom bulletin board.  The kids are now “helping” us with our road trip and some students are really getting into this.  I have been in the class a couple of times to help and answer questions for them. It has been interesting to get to know them and one girl said “I wondered why a the lady was sitting in our class”?   The kids include best time to visit, local cuisine, and even write home on postcards as if they already have been at their locations!  I will be there this year when they do all the power point presentations and I will learn with them, about all the things we need to know as they/we travel across the United States on our route!

Some things “we” have had to consider when we are planning our trip is if the road would accommodate a 54′ pickup and fifth wheel, what campgrounds fill up quickly and which week we will be at each campground or area. We want to consider the best viewing for the fall foliage and weather for each region.  Lots of planning ahead of time.  We are also considering which campground membership to purchase or not.  If anyone out there has ideas or suggestions please let us know.

This will be our route:  Heading up to Seattle to see Andrew & Becky, Darlene & Gary, and Donna & Leo then going through Leavenworth.  Next we will see the Grand Coulee Dam and then head to Coeur d’Alene.  We have to make a stop at the Silverwood Theme Park so Kelly can get his roller coaster fix.  Yellowstone National Park is of course on the itinerary. Then see Kelly’s stepmom Barbara and Mike and Jeanette in Blackfoot.  Then we head through South Dakota and go down the Mississippi River by Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois.  Then we head into where my Dad’s family roots are Missouri.  I will visit Stotesbury the little town my Grandma Opal’s family is from and Kansas City to find out more about my Grandfather’s family.  We will go through the northern part of Arkansas and then go to Hot Springs.  Next we will head over to Tennessee and see Memphis Nashville and Knoxville area in the Smoky Mountains.  Kelly wants to see South Carolina and Georgia where my sister and I went to a couple of years ago.  After that we will head up the coast to North Carolina, Pennsylvania (Amish country), and if time go to Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine before heading back down the Blue Ridge Parkway to see all the fall foliage.  Then we will head over to the old Route 66 and end in Arizona. We hope to head back to Oregon a few weeks before Thanksgiving and stay through New Year’s.  Who knows what 2017 will bring?


Schatzie mapping out all the places he wants to go!


Classroom project- “Road Trip Across America” is mapping out our route.  The sticky notes are the week numbers.  Any suggestions?