We used google maps to rough out the trip, but the real physical map we use was a Rand McNally road atlas. The atlas was invaluable, it's how we picked the state parks we camped at each night and it kept us on the right path. We had planned on sharing the driving time, but Alec quickly got the hang of the huge truck so I let him do the whole drive.
Day 1: We picked up the 16 ft long Budget Truck at 8 am and packed in a rush running boxes down two flights of stairs. We had some some awesome help (Keny and Jon) with boxes and the pinball machine. We left White River Junction, Vermont around 1:30 pm and made it to New York state. That night we camped at Sampson State Park on Seneca Lake, one of the finger lakes.
|Sampson State Park|
|Buck Creek State Park|
Day 4: Drove through the top of Arkansas, passed through Oklahoma, and camped at Palo Duro Canyon State Park near Amarillo, Texas. (This is where I dropped my camera on a rock and broke it.)
|Palo Duro State Park|
Day 6: Drove through the rest of New Mexico through part of Arizona and camped at Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Arizona
|Dead Horse Ranch State Park|
Day 8: Drove the rest of the way through California to Oakland. Alec did an amazing job backing the truck into the apartment driveway with about 6 inch clearance on each side of the truck. We unloaded the truck in a rush because it's an active driveway. It was a very stressful hour, but we did it. Later in the day we got some friends to help get the pinball machine out of the truck. The greatest relief was returning the truck the next morning with the knowledge that we don't have to drive again for a long time.
Alec and I have been planning our move back to the west coast for some time now. One of the biggest steps we took was flying out to Oakland mid-May to find an apartment before we moved out there. For the apartment hunt, I found a really helpful site called Padmapper.com.
Craigslist and maps them out using google maps. Since I've lived in Oakland before it was great to have each listing pop up where the apartment is located. It lets you customize exactly what you're looking for: price, number of bedrooms, pets, etc. It also lets you overlay walkscore, crime maps and neighborhood names.
Alec and I drove across the country from California to Vermont in the fall of 2010 and we took I-80 most of the way. For this trip we took the southern route and dipped down into New Mexico to visit my parents. Since we were in a big moving truck, which couldn't cover too many miles each day. I had been looking up the driving directions on google maps, but I wanted to divide up the whole trip by specific mileage each day and I couldn't find that feature. I ended up at Myscenicdrive.com which uses google maps but lets you create driving directions that will break down the trip by mileage or hours driving per day. This was really helpful, especially since we have a couple days where we'll be driving less than the others. This site also gives you nearby campgrounds based on where you'll be stopping each day.