Road Trip & Over Planning

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In less than a week, I will be on My Epic Road trip! I’m so excited and want to leave right now. It has been a while since I planned a journey, and am also one of those Type A personalities and liking things to be structured, I have found some issues with my planning. I tend to over plan.

What makes it even tougher is that I don’t know what the weather is going to do. It’s funny that I say that because as I’m typing this and looking out the window, it is currently hailing. The weather says snow today and tomorrow (and that means the hills are going to be getting a few feet)!

This also means I will be able to test my gear out in freezing weather. I haven’t done much cold weather camping, so this will be an excellent test. This trip is going to have a few tests.

Trying To Go With The Flow

I generally map out every detail I can. I will also admit that I love Excel. Who doesn’t? It is so easy to use, organize, and sort. I use a ton of columns. Some include the date, locations, any essential phone numbers, confirmation numbers, things to do, and the list goes on.

Then before I know it, my over organization takes over. This is when I have dates in my calendar, multiple notes on what I want to do, and I get overwhelmed. It’s almost like I plan too much and then forget where I put the note or that one thing I found online.

Another side note, who uses planners these days? I ask because I started playing around with creating my digital planner. I think it would be cool because I have never found one that I like. I also want it to be digital so that I can access it on my phone and computer. The question is, does anyone else want or use a planner? If I decide to create one, I’m more than willing to share it, but only if there are interested people out there. If you are, let me know in the comments below (I would also be interested in what you would want in a digital planner).

Phone Apps

Okay, now back to my over-planning issue. I decided it was a good time to update some applications on my phone. Mainly the maps and AllTrails for hiking. I then I saw Evernote. I opened it and saw a few things I was testing a long time ago. But I thought that I have enough notes and crap that I didn’t need another one. A few weeks ago, that feeling all changed.

I started researching Evernote and watching YouTube videos. To make a long story short, I have switched all my notes, to-do lists, even emails, and confirmations all into this fantastic program. It sinks automatically online, so everything is up to date. I have enjoyed using it, and it makes everything super easy. Instead of having multiple notes everywhere, I have one. It can even record audio so you can talk to it and make an audio note. And even better, I can use ‘tags’ and link other notes together. It’s one of those Type A personality dreams!

This has made planning almost therapeutic and fun.

Sorry, I keep getting sidetracked, it happens. Let’s get back to the road trip.


I don’t know if you can call them issues, problems, setbacks, or just something that I need to be aware of.

The main one is the weather. As I mentioned in my earlier post I am planning on visiting 10 states and over 5,000 miles. I honestly do not know what to prepare for. It could be awesome and fantastic weather, and it could be cold wet and possibly snowing everywhere. I have a few things to combat this, but you just never know this time of year. Not to mention this weather recently has been crazy.

Then there is the whole Coronavirus. Things might be changing a little (side note, click the “Coronavirus” link to get an excellent up-to-date Cleaning Suppliesmap and info on the status of the world). I’m trying to stick to the ‘Go With The Flow’ thing and using this trip to get away, see some fantastic sites, and hopefully stay away from people.

Going to the epidemic, we are all facing. I find it interesting the effect this is happening to our economy. Whole cities are stopping, canceled sporting events, and so on. It’s also interesting that if something catastrophic were to happen, how many people do not seem prepared. I went to the store last night, and it was busy, and the shelves were empty. One lady was holding so many canned goods she could barely walk.

I wonder how many of these people think having toilet paper is the answer. But how many of those have even a basic first aid kit or even food for more than a few days (I’ve written some other stuff on those topics, you can check it out here)? We shall see what happens.

Maybe everyone right now should just, “Go with the flow.”

Where to Stay

I have been using a few different websites and apps to find places to stay. I plan to camp out the entire trip. My favorite site so far is Free Campsites. I also like to check out All Stays. Having a variety of locations to sleep allows you to find a safe and relaxing spot. Sometimes what seemed good online is not a great place to stay when you arrive.

Something else interesting I found is there are not as many rest stops as you would think. I do find this a bit strange, but never the less there are always truck stops, casinos, and a few stores (assuming there aren’t any local ordinances in place). There are also real campgrounds and even a KOA park.

Camping-stock-tentThe locations I have enjoyed staying and I would like to find more of including BLM land (there is a lot of it, especially on the west coast), and Forrest or Public Lands. After I find a location, I tend to use Google Maps and Google Earth to see if I can find any suitable sites. The ones that are the best are off the main road and have fire rings made out of rocks. These are always good signs that others have been there.

One of the benefits of not over-planning where I am staying is that I can indeed go with the flow. If there is something I find interesting or something that happens that I did not expect or plan on, I will be able to adapt to it. Over the last few months, I have realized that is what I have been missing in life. Not planning every minute of every day, but to enjoy life. Be in the present.

I am not making any reservations (well besides one, but that will be another post) and am only sticking to a list of places I want to see. This will give me the opportunity that if I see something fun, I’ll go check it out. If I see or hear about an amazing hike, I’m going on it. If I encounter snow (like I did a few days ago on my Sierra Buttes hike), I will either chill, read a book or try to go to a lower elevation.


I want to end this with some questions for you:

  • Have you been to Utah to include Zion or Arches?
  • Do you have an interest in the gear I use? Is there any gear you would like me to review?

I am happy to report that a few have already reached out and given me some new places to stop. Some cool things are just of the route I planned on taking. This is going to make it even more exciting to check out and see some fantastic places.

Lastly, I plan on writing about a few of the places I’m going to. I figure if I find it exciting and beautiful, maybe others will too. I was considering reviewing some gear I use and perhaps what my vehicle set up is going to be. If that is of any interest, let me know!

I think the next post I will make will be when I’m on My Epic Road Trip. Thanks for reading and stay in touch!

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