Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Fayette Ridges of PA, USA
It's not the driving that's going to get you- no matter how many miles you travel in a day, it's the number of consecutive "one night stands".
Riding all day, setting up camp, making dinner, clean up, go to bed, wake up, get ready for the day, eat breakfast, clean up, break camp and get back on the road again. Repeat this cycle for about 2-3 nights and you’ll quickly find out that it’s a drag for both children and adults. You’re never truly “refreshed”. You've got to stop, relax, play, see the sights. After all, this is what it’s all about. The Cunard Lines has a motto: “Getting there is half the fun”. It should be yours, too.
I learned this lesson way back in 1989 when I planned a two week trip to Nova Scotia with my wife and two sons who were 11 and 7 at the time (and back in the days when electronic gadgetry to entertain children was non-existent). A complete itinerary was planned- where to stop, what to see, etc. The plans included a visit to Prince Edward Island. Starting From Pittsburgh, the first four nights were “one night stands”- Hazleton, PA, Sturbridge, MA, Bangor ME and Penobsquis, New Brunswick. The mileage wasn’t much (the most about 300 miles between stops) and we occasionally visited an attraction or two along the way. But, by the time we reached Penobsquis, everyone was frazzled. The constant “go, go, go” combined with being confined in a vehicle for "X" hours a day, plus the repetitious cycle mentioned previously had literally made zombies of us all.
Penobsquis was originally supposed to be a “one nighter” also, but it turned into two, and, in the process, put a family back together again. Instead of traveling, we actually enjoyed some of the amenities of the campground other than the shower house. We spent the day at The Rocks Provincial Park learning about the huge variance of the tides which occur in the Bay of Fundy. As for visiting P.E.I., we never made it. It got pre-empted in favor spending more time at other places.
From that point on, I’ve always tried to stay a minimum of two nights every time I stop, and if I do a “one night stand”, it is never consecutive.
Not to ignore your original question: The longest mileage I ever covered in a day was on that trip and it was from The Ovens Natural Park, near Lunenburg, NS to Christie’s Campground, near Newport, ME which, according to Google, is a distance of 517 miles. I have to admit, though, it was a long, grueling day. We didn’t get to Christie’s until about 1:00 AM. To me, there’s nothing worse (except if it’s raining too) than to come into a park for the first time at night. Even with a campground map, it’s difficult to orient yourself to where things actually are because often, the maps are not to scale. However, the real surprise occurs when you go outside for the first time in daylight, look around and say to yourself out loud, “Oh, so this is where we are. Look! There’s the lake that was on the map, and there’s the playground. Over there’s the…” .
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TV: 2009 GMC Sierra 2500HD | Crew Cab | Std. Box | 4WD | Duramax/Allison
RV: 2000 Jayco Eagle 266 | FBS | TT -- 1986 Coleman Laramie pop-up -- Still in the family!!!