This was the first of my road trips and while brief, it spawned all of the rest. I realised that you could see a heck of a lot of country and some very interesting locations by traveling in a car with camping equipment. Of course, the set up for this first trip was very primitive and we learned a heck of a lot about doing it better.
First of all, this trip was a mad idea developed around a visit to San Francisco to go to the Interop Conference. This was back in the days when Interop was still a small, but rapidly growing Internet conference. Anyways, I figured that after the conference was over we could take a wild dash through some interesting National Parks. Furthermore, one of my companions on the trip just *had* to visit Las Vegas and had some relatives in Los Angeles. The airlines would sell us an open jaw ticket from Toronto to San Fran returning from LA for the same price as a return roundtrip from Toronto to San Fran. That and a rental car were all we needed to make the trip.
So we flew to San Francisco with our tents, sleeping mats, sleeping bags and a small set of pots and a small backpackers stove. As luck would happen, the car rental place needed to get a Lincoln Continental back to Los Angeles and they asked it we would like it as a free upgrade. Since we would be doing a lot of highway driving, this certainly worked well for us.
Off we went for a one week dash around California, Nevada and Arizona.