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After buying a car in Vancouver I though the remaining trip would be a breeze, but starting from the Border gate it proved to be anything but. The trip was amazing, I drove through and stopped at some of the most beautiful country I think I will ever see. Having said that it leaves a lot to be desired. Luck I had a car otherwise I don’t think id have been able to do any near what I did without more tome of a heap more money

  • Crossing into the USA from Canada is a lot tougher when driving, they start asking all kinds of questions that whilst reasonable seemed to baffle them endlessly
  • Telling the truth at the borders is definitely the way to go, they ask over and over again, and they will tear apart your car and any bags in it
  • Make sure your car is up to the trip, mine had a small clutch issue, would have been smoother and quicker if I could travel up and down the mountains easier. Having said that, it was a great little car and did the job I asked of it
  • Do the purchase all legit, they will ask questions you cant answer otherwise and you wont be able to sell it in California either
  • Be prepared to stop unexpectedly, there are so many addition historical and scenic spots to visit along the way that I was not expecting
  • Stock up on snacks and meals, they may be few and far between on the road
  • There are not as many truck stops and rest areas as I thought there would be. Half of those along the way were closed any way. Seems odd that these great areas are closed for seemingly no reason
  • Even the unexpected places would be great to visit I think, I would have loved to spend more time in the bigger cities I flew past. I think they get overlooked for the major destinations when really they should be given more of a go
  • I felt a bit like the early pioneers and outlaws, was like driving through a western movie. All I needed was a bunch of cows and few guys on horses and you could have called me John Wayne
  • Petrol prices change wildly between cities and states, anything from US$2 a gallon to US$3.50 a gallon. Having said that with the conversion of currency and sizes it is still cheaper that petrol in Australia
  • Altitude will get you, traversing up to 8000 feet and in between that and 5000 feet will make you feel odd. May be not sick but certainly odd. Climbing big flights of stairs will be harder than you remember
  • Ensure you do the driving at the end of winter; snow would have made the trip impossible. They have road closure sites everywhere and laws that state you need to carry chains in the car
  • Having the car was great, as I didn’t need to pack and unpack, as I would have using mass transit. My pack exploded all over the car
  • Have the camera ready, there is always something to take a photo of
  • I think driving through the West in Summer would be an exercise in endurance, the heat is apparently merciless
  • Nights were cold but not unbearable, I didn’t mind the temps just the lack of space in my little car. Was a dream sleeping in a real bed again
  • There was a surprising lack of animals, even domesticated beast, really sparse. There wasn’t really a lot of grass which may explain it, but still though there would be more grazing going on
  • They have “open range” which sounds kin of cool, I’m guessing it is land anyone can use to graze their cattle but for the weary traveller it means a cow could be on the road ahead
  • I saw sheep, I thought it would be all cattle and horses but there were sheep amongst the lot
  • They know how to cook a steak in the West, it is ridiculous how the steak melted like butter
  • Health food options were abundant; it was a bit of a mission to buy junk food. Having said that fast food outlets are everywhere as well. So many options
  • Driving for 12 hours a day can be exhausting. I have a real appreciation for the professional that do it for a living. It is really important to have rest breaks so as to avoid the worst
  • Be prepared for no radio along the way, some very dead spots. There are some spots where all there is to listen to is Christian radio or Country and western stations. Public radio is pretty good, some very interesting discussions and documentary shows playing
  • Seeing family was my highlight, spending time with people you very rarely see is a cherry on the Sundae of the trip
  • Scrapping the car in Los Angeles was easier than I thought it was going to be. Went off without a hitch, I thought it was a bit of a scam but I was mistaken. Now I need to speak with the ICBC people for a refund on my insurance and Rego which will be interesting, apparently I need to do it in person in BC
  • Would I do the drive again? Yes I would, and I would give myself the time do it right not rush through places, was an amazing experience
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