It’s time once again for road trip USA. Similar to RTUSA-II we’ll be driving the Dodge Neon Rally Car across the country from Maine to California. Only this time we’ll have as much equipment as possible to make the journey safer and go by faster. We stopped by AAA and got our trip-tic + maps + tour books. For ham stuff, I’m planning APRS tracking and we’ll have the 2 Meter 60W mobile ICOM, my FT-60 hand-held and a GPS receiver (that hopefully we can get to display APRS data). Instead of GPS on the laptop (we’ll take that as a backup) we’ll have a smaller stand alone unit. I’m going to try to log some mobile contacts and will be polling received APRS data for local repeaters and frequencies. As usual the rally car will be KI6IUC-9 and can be tracked here or on APRS.fi. For tunes, we’ll have some AC powered PC speakers zip-tied to the dash board, hooked up to a new XM Radio receiver.
For the route we’re going to attempt an I-40 crossing. Sure, it’s safer to travel on the I-10, but I just hate that drive across Texas. “Hey, we made it to Texas!” (next day) “I guess we’ll stop in Midland… Texas…” (next day) “Why are we still in Texas?!” The pan-handle is the length of NJ, so it’s as much TX as I want to see this year. We’ll be swinging up to Maine to visit my parents the weekend after Christmas. Skip back to NJ for a night or two, pack the car and then head out. Stopping first in Baltimore to see friends. We have planned to do some travel on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We’re hoping for Nashville or Memphis for New Years Eve, which either way should be fun. A stop in Phoenix to see friends, then a final push for Southern California. Five days maybe. Here’s what the route looks like in Google Maps. 3,315 miles We’ll try to chew off 700-800 miles a day, which would not be a grueling pace were it not in a car setup for stage rally.
We’ll be blogging from the road as much as possible this time. Hotels now routinely have free wifi, and we’re war-driving professionals should it come to that. Look for posts tagged with the new RTUSA-III logo. I also make a new category called “Road Trip“.