The Ultimate Road Trip, Part One

Here’s my idea:

Let’s get a group of friends together, like four to six. The deal is, we take an RV from the northernmost drivable city in the Americas, Prudhoe Bay Alaska, to the southernmost, Ushuaia Argentina. We will use ground travel only (we will take planes, but they’re return us to where we left off). One person drives while the others sleep, and then we switch. It’ll take hiking energy and a time commitment, but we’ll see some of the most amazing things on the planet. I’ve done the planning, all that’s left is to do it.

DAY ONE – We kick it off from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. We don’t need to leave until the late evening, as long as we get to Bettles, Alaska by noon the next day.

DAY TWO-SIX – We will join Equinox Expeditions for five days. We will witness one of the most amazing spectacles on earth – hundreds of thousands of caribou amidst migration, at our own pace. We could also see grizzlies, wolves, and sheep.

DAY SEVEN – After a night in Bettles, we’ll leave at dawn to get to Fairbanks by 2pm for a walk with reindeer. Then, we’ll drive on.

DAYS EIGHT-NINE – Although we could make this a one day drive, we’ll take two days and have some fun along the way to Berg Lake (southern Canada).

DAYS TEN-ELEVEN – This is one of the most amazing hikes in the Americas! The Berg Lake trail in Canada passes glaciers, fjords, huge waterfalls, and incredibly dramatic scenery. Each day includes five miles of biking and eight miles of hiking.

DAY TWELVE – After driving for most of the night, we will reach Cannon Beach, Oregon in the morning. At 9am, we’ll visit the beautiful Cascade Head for a short coastal hike, and at 12pm, we will whale watch in Depoe Bay. We’ll arrive at Crater Lake by 5:30pm to gaze at the deepest lake in the continent.

DAY THIRTEEN – Today will be spent in San Francisco. We’ll check out the neighborhoods.

DAY FOURTEEN – Today will be a Half Dome hike. It’s a day hike that summits a giant rock face for sweeping views of the Yosemite Valley.

DAY FIFTEEN – Today are another two hikes. In the morning, we’ll get beautiful views of Zion National Park from Angel’s Landing. In the afternoon, we’ll hike through the river at the Narrows.

DAY SIXTEEN – Another southwestern day! We’ll start at the Wahweep Hoodoos and finish with an afternoon at the Grand Canyon!

DAY SEVENTEEN – Today, we drive along Mexico’s West Coast, and we have all day to make stops.

DAY EIGHTEEN – At 8am, we will take a Mazatlan dolphin watch tour. This is incredibly special as we can snorkel with wild dolphins! We will spend the night in Guadalajara.

DAY NINETEEN – We will begin by seeing something I’ve wanted to see for years – one of the most polluted rivers on Earth, in El Salto. Afterwards, we will continue and spend the afternoon exploring Mexico City.

DAY TWENTY – We’ll try to spend a day of Mexico City cultural immersion – the true way to explore a city.

DAYS TWENTY-ONE AND TWENTY-TWO– We’ll drive through southern Mexico and Guatemala, making a stop at Tikal to see the Mayan ruins. We’ll continue through the cities of Tegucigalpa and Managua, and drive along the Costa Rican coast to Danta Lodge, Osa Peninsula.

DAYS TWENTY-THREE AND TWENTY-FOUR – We will take a horse ride to Corcovado National Park, and hike through dense jungle to Sirena Station. The next day, we will continue our hike along the coast to the town of Puerto Jimenez.

DAY TWENTY-FIVE TO TWENTY-EIGHT – We will drive to Panama City, spend some time, and then catch a five day sailboat ride via the San Blas Islands to Cartagena, Colombia. (It is impossible to drive from Panama to Colombia, and as we want to stick with ground travel, we will take a ferry as opposed to flying).

DAYS TWENTY-NINE – THIRTY – In the afternoon, we will arrive in Cartagena, Colombia. We have a 34 hour drive to San Francisco de Yuruani, Venezuela, and a 12 hours of stops.

DAYS THIRTY-ONE – THIRTY-NINE – We will begin a combo tour of two of the greatest world wonders. We start with a six-day trek to summit Mount Roraima, a tabletop mountain with spectacular views. The final three days will be spent at Angel Falls, boating and walking nearby the tallest waterfall on Planet Earth.

DAYS FORTY – FORTY-TWO – We will spend three days in the Amazon rainforest. Apparently, we will be able to canoe with pink dolphins, visit a tribe, sleep in the jungle, see caymans, and witness “the meeting of the waters”.

DAY FORTY-THREE– We have a long drive from Manaus, Brazil, to Cusco, Peru, with time to stop.

DAYS FORTY-FOUR – FORTY-SEVEN – We will commence on a four day hike along the Inca Trail. One of the most famous on earth, it passes through the Peruvian Andes and drops off at Machu Picchu.

DAY FORTY-EIGHT– We drive today, from Cusco to Uyuni, Bolivia.

DAY FORTY-NINE– Today is spent at the Hodaka Mountain Tour, witnessing the most amazing reflective salt flats on Planet Earth!

DAYS FIFTY – FIFTY-TWO – It’s a 62 hour drive, but we have 3 days to do it. We will pass the mountains and pamaps of Chile, stop in Santiago, and finish in Ushuaia, the southernmost point on Earth!

DAYS FIFTY-THREE – FIFTY-SIX – It’s the once in a lifetime opportunity to see the glaciers before they melt! This three day cruise passes through some beautiful glacial landscapes!

That’s it! In well under two months we’ve gone from the northernmost drivable city to the southernmost, and had a hell of a time along the way. (Oh yeah, and that’s going to be ten to twenty thousand dollars per person). Oh, yeah…

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