Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Oh, The Places We'll Go!

Earlier this month we shared our new and exciting theme for the year: a United States road trip of epic proportions! But there are a lot of different ways that we could make this happen. This whole trip plan started based on the concept of the optimal road trip, outlined in Randal Olson's blog post here.

We took the map and list of landmarks, and customized it to the Alston family's interests, and where our friends and family live. Below is a general overview of our planned stops and landmarks we will be visiting! (All cities and states are listed in the order we plan to go.)

This is BASICALLY the route we will be going, except for some specific stops that have been changed to suit our needs

I tried to make this as easy to read as possible... States are listed in CAPITAL LETTERS, and different state visits are separated with a line that only has a hyphen. Cities where we are planning to stay overnight (or close areas) are indicated in parenthesis, in case you would like to volunteer to have us visit you, or know someone we should visit! Otherwise we will be camping almost the entire way. LDS Temples we plan to stop and take a picture at have ** around them. (We probably will not have time to do work in these temples, especially because we have two toddlers with us.) The main goal is to see the temples and share the beauty of a unified worldwide church with our kids. :) We have even added a couple more to the list in the past few weeks!

Thank you to EVERYONE who has contacted us so far with ideas and your favorite places to see. We are adding in and researching as many of your suggestions as possible!

Also, big thanks to Nonna and Papa Alston for the Idaho State Parks pass, and Beth Alston for the National Parks pass. :D  #ExtendedChristmasAwesomeness

Ready to see where we're headed?? Here we go!

Leaving from: Rexburg, IDAHO
Craters of the Moon National Monument, IDAHO
Lehi/Orem/Provo area, UTAH (overnight)
*Provo Temples*
Bryce Canyon National Park, UTAH (overnight)
Grand Canyon, ARIZONA (overnight)
Phoenix, Flagstaff, Sedona, Mesa, ARIZONA
*Phoenix, Gilbert, and Mesa Temples*
Mesa (overnight)
Hoover Dam, NEVADA
*Las Vegas Temple*
Las Vegas (overnight)
Fresno, CALIFORNIA (overnight)
*Fresno Temple*
San Francisco, CALIFORNIA
*Oakland Temple*
*Sacramento Temple*
Loomis, CALIFORNIA (overnight)
Portland, OREGON (overnight)
*Portland Temple*
Yelm, WASHINGTON (overnight)
*Seattle Temple*
Sammamish, WASHINGTON (overnight?)
Coeur D'Alene, IDAHO (overnight)
Glacier National Park, MONTANA (overnight)
Fort Union Trading Post, NORTH DAKOTA (overnight)
Mount Rushmore, SOUTH DAKOTA (overnight)
Ashfall Fossill Bed, NEBRASKA (overnight)
Fort Snelling/Minneapolis, MINNESOTA (overnight)
Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Madison, WISCONSIN (overnight)
Des Moines, IOWA (overnight)
check out the border of KANSAS
head to Nauvoo, ILLINOIS
*Nauvoo Temple*
Springfield, ILLINOIS (overnight)
Gateway Arch, St. Louis, MISSOURI (overnight)
*St. Louis Temple*
West Baden Springs Hotel, INDIANA 
Louisville KENTUCKY (overnight)
or just straight to Mammoth Cave National Park, KENTUCKY
Cincinnati, OHIO (overnight)
Detroit, MICHIGAN (overnight)
*Detroit Temple*
Christmas Story House, Cleveland, OHIO
*Kirtland Temple*
Edinboro, PENNSYLVANIA (overnight)
Niagara Falls, NEW YORK (overnight)
*Palmyra Temple*, Hill Cumorah, Sacred Grove
Shelburne, VERMONT (overnight)
Mount Washington Hotel, NEW HAMPSHIRE
Acadia National Park, MAINE (overnight)
USS Constitution, Boston, MASSACHUSETTS (overnight)
Harvard University!
*Boston Temple*
The Breakers, RHODE ISLAND
The Mark Twain House
Hartford, CONNECTICUT (overnight)
Yale University! New Haven, CT
New York City, NEW YORK (overnight)
Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Times Square
*Manhattan Temple*
Liberty Bell, Philadelphia, PENNSYLVANIA
Cape May Historic District, NEW JERSEY (overnight)
New Castle Historic District, DELAWARE
Annapolis or Silver Spring, MARYLAND (overnight)
*Washington DC Temple*
The National Mall: White House, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, etc.
Arlington National Cemetery, VIRGINIA (overnight)
Williamsburg, Mount Vernon, VIRGINIA
Cape Hatteras National Seashore, NORTH CAROLINA (overnight)
Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kitty Hawk, NORTH CAROLINA
Lost World Caverns, WEST VIRGINIA (overnight)
Charleston, SOUTH CAROLINA (overnight)
Fort Sumter and/or Fort Moultrie
Okefenokee Swamp Park, GEORGIA (overnight)
Spring Hill, FLORIDA (overnight)
Orlando, FLORIDA
*Orlando Temple*
Harry Potter World!!
Tallahassee, FLORIDA (overnight?)
USS Alabama, Mobile, ALABAMA (overnight)
French Quarter, New Orleans, LOUISIANA
*Baton Rouge Temple*
Vicksburg, MISSISSIPPI (overnight)
Vicksburg National Military Park / National Cemetery
Elvis Presley's house: Graceland, Memphis, TENNESSEE 
Little Rock, ARKANSAS (overnight)
Toltec Mounds Archaeological State Park
Oklahoma City, OKLAHOMA
*Oklahoma City Temple*
Platt Historic District-former Platt National Park area
Chickasaw National Recreational Area (overnight)
Dallas, TEXAS
Carlsbad, NEW MEXICO (overnight)
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Colorado Springs, COLORADO (overnight)
Pike's Peak, Cascade, COLORADO
Denver, COLORADO (overnight)
*Denver Temple*
Casper, WYOMING (overnight?)
Jackson, WYOMING
Rexburg, IDAHO
*Rexburg Temple*

The End

Whew! So there you have the gist of it. 48 states in 51 days. Some states we just pass through quickly, and others we spend a couple days exploring. It really is a sightseeing and photo taking tour as much as anything. We really have to be picky and choosy about where we are going and what we spend time and money to see! I wish we could do more in some areas, but experiences like So Cal, Chicago, visiting The Alamo, and seeing a show on Broadway will just have to be part of another trip someday. :)

So give us some input! And if you know anyone in these areas that might want to be part of our adventure, let us know. We love all you wonderful people and are excited for this great experience together!

"To travel is to live." -Hans Christian Andersen

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