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Calgary, Idaho Falls, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Eugene,Vancouver, road trip

Calgary Select: Road trip - The Big Loop drive to Disneyland

Montana

The Montana Department of Transportation offers a website with extensive road condition reports

http://www.mdt.mt.gov/travinfo/

Really cool is the ability to connect to multiple cams throughout the state. Of interest to us is the I-15 Interstate ones.

Idaho

Idaho Transporation Department has traveler services at

http://511.idaho.gov

Road Trip Calgary to Disneyland via Las Vegas - The Big Loop

It has been quite a few years since we took a vacation and so now we decided we must visit Disney before the kids completely grow up and move out. We are not content with simply hopping onto a jet and immersing ourselves in all things Disney, no we decided to make a grand adventure out of it. We are going to do what I call the big loop.bigloop.gif Drive through Montana, Idaho and Nevada. Stop off in Las Vegas, then jaunt over to Los Angeles ( Annaheim to be specific). There we will tour the grounds, and ride the rides. Then we head up the Pacific coast highway (rte 101) up to San Francisco. We are planning on taking in a Oakland MLB game (baseball). From there we want to visit the redwoods as we make our way up the coast through Seattle to eventually end up in Vancouver to visit relatives and then on the last day the familiar trek through the Rockies back home to Calgary.

We are planning on doing all of this in the space of approximately 10 days.  As per Mappquest the total estimated driving time is 59 hours, 16 minutes with a total distance of 3,632.96 miles. Your results may vary.

I plan on updating this page daily as we proceed on the trip. We plan to leave just before Easter and of course we are hoping for good driving conditions.

Pre-trip Planning:
It is as of today (Mar 11) less than a month away to the start of our trip and already the excitement is building and some pre-trip activities are underway. Since we will be in Vegas & LA during the Easter season we decided to pre-book our hotels. Apparently the Easter season is cheaper than March break but the day after the Easter holiday room prices fall drastically until the June summer holiday season starts.

Even though in 2007 the border crossing by land doesn't require a passport, we have taken the precaution of getting them. We expect to see them in our mail box well before we leave.

Each of the children have picked a major city for them to focus on and be the expert for general information, accomodations and sights to see.

Some of the things on our pre-trip checklist are:
Out of country medical insurance
Vehicle tune up
Clothing - bathing suits, casual wear
In-transit activities (first day will be about 12 hours in the car)
Communications - Laptop, internet access, cell phone coverage
Financial - amount of US currency - which credit card we will use
Maps- we purchased a current Rand Mcnally Atlas
Batteries - especially rechargeable ones for the camera etc

March 15th update:
We purchased the Royal Bank's travel insurance, family rate $64.00 for the 1 trip.

Rules of the Road: A search on the internet says that a right turn on red light is permitted after stop in all states. Left turn on red light from a one-way road into a one-way road is permitted after stop in 42 states. So if the Internet is right we should have no problem with the various states we are going through.

March 25th update:
On the advice of a friend and customer (Thanks Guy) we purchased a GPS system. After a little nuvi.jpgshopping etc we settled on the Garmin Nuvi 360. We have been playing with it quite a bit  locally just so we could get used to what we might expect once we hit the road. Mostly it has been pretty accurate here in Calgary with some strange little nuances. For instance if a road was  Riverview Dr. The text to speech would pronounce it as Riverview Doctor. Glenmore Trail translates to Glenmore Track (how ironic is that).

A little side note, we purchased our unit at Best Buy in Deerfoot Meadows but the same day I discovered that local supplier GPS Central was selling the same unit for about $100 less. Back to Best Buy who without any pain honoured their best price policy. Nice to know these things work.

We also bought a portable dvd player (Samsung) so the kids could watch videos during the long stretches. Our first try on that piece of gear revealed an awesome little player with a nice crisp looking screen. It features two earphone jacks so that is perfect.

We are also starting to stockpile road snacks. Things to munch on in the car. Now for our family that is a bit difficult as we are all pretty conscious of the bad effects of junk food. Recently we found at Costco a wonderful snack food that is low in calories but high in  appeal,  dried cherries and dried blueberries. More on the snack food later.

Also this week our passports arrived. Technically during 2007 and for land crossing into the USA they are not required. Our feelings were, what if we had to suddenly fly back to Calgary for either a  business or family emergency. So better safe than sorry.

See our navigation menu on the left for details of day 0 through day 11.