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I don't think you are young and foolish. I think you have made a very well laid out plan. You have to drive from the east coast out to the west coast, and you are routing this so that you can see some cool sights along the way. Obviously your trip isn't meant to be a trip where you are planning on getting to know each stop intimately. You have planned it very intelligently to be in some good places at sunrise and at sunset. In each location, you will have the time to see one or two majory icons and photograph them.
I think you have a fun trip planned. I did the same thing a couple of years ago, and I certainly wasn't young or foolish. I had to help my brother move from N. Carolina back out to California. So I made a similar route and made sure to make stops for sunset and sunrise. I swung through Arkansas and shot some cypress groves with Barry Hamilton, plotted my course to arrive in Petrified forest in the afternoon and shot the sunset there, etc... It was fun. Not every trip has to be the end all to end all trips...
So thanks for posting your route, myself, I think it will be great and you will have a really fun time with your friends.