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Drivin' cross country next week -- Which route?


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#1 of 16 OFFLINE   Bill Kane

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Posted September 01 2001 - 01:33 PM

I'm thinking of a solo road trip next week from central California to the Virginia seaboard to visit my family.

For a straight trip east with no sightseeing, I could take I-80 outa Sacramento then work my way top Denver then I-70 eastward. Or. there's I-40 outa Bakersfield for a straighter route into North Carolina, since I am headed for Norfolk-Virginia Beach first.

Coming back fropm the Washington DC area, I see a more southern route to the Southwest where I can camp out more leisurely. I'm drivin' a V-8 SUV so the solo part will be comparatively comfortable and I use onboard CB radio.

Hey, last time I drove across country, there still was a Route 66! Will interstate travel for 5-6 days be incredibly boring?

bill

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#2 of 16 OFFLINE   Alex Spindler

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Posted September 01 2001 - 02:02 PM

I've done the trip a couple of times. Firstly, if you're alone, I recommend taking a good collection of music (especially some you haven't heard) and books on CD. It helps to even out the trip and make it a somewhat valuable use of your time.

Both times, I've taken the straight shot across, going from Riverside (Southern California) to Las Vegas, lose some money, to the 40. See the dam if you'd like. Take that through New Mexico, going south to Carlsbad caverns or Roswell for the experience. Take advantage of the fact that you'll spend as little time driving through Texas, a very boring countryside to drive through IMO, and get to Oklahoma City. From there on, you'll have some variety in the countryside throughout the southeast all the way to Virginia.

I've never liked driving through Denver, although it's mainly because the drive eastward from Colorado is interminable.

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#3 of 16 OFFLINE   CRyan

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Posted September 01 2001 - 02:05 PM

We drove to California from Nashville several years ago. Made it a five day trip including sightseeing. If you just drive, it will be BORING. But sightseeing is not all that fun without a companion. If you take 40, you will go through Memphis and Nashville. I think it would be worth your while to stop over in Memphis and take in a bit of the nightlife on Beale. Nashville is nothing special IMHO.

The most boring part for us was New Mexico and Arizona. UGh. We dipped down into Dallas on our way there. We went more north on the way back home through Colorado but man Kansas was boring as well.

I would have to say 40 would be the quickest route. Road trips can be fun, but it may actually be cheaper to fly with gas prices where they are again.

Have fun!


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#4 of 16 OFFLINE   Kevin Potts

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Posted September 02 2001 - 07:23 AM

As stated earlier, I would avoid having to drive through the wastelands of western Kansas and eastern Colorado. There's about a 7 or 8 hour stretch of I-70 that's about as interesting as watching rocks. If you've never driven it, be glad because you didn't miss anything.

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#5 of 16 OFFLINE   Bill Kane

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Posted September 02 2001 - 07:51 AM

ok, heartland people, I-40 beacons...tks Posted Image

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#6 of 16 OFFLINE   Shawn Shultzaberger

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Posted September 02 2001 - 11:59 AM

Good choice Bill. I live in the Eastern Plains of Colorado and yes they are very boring. I've done the California to Virginia trip about 10 times and I've always gone I-40.

Stop in Amarillo for the 72oz. steak.
Beautiful forest between Memphis and Nashville.
Beautiful mountains right as you get into North Carolina.
Flagstaff AZ is beautiful.


Safe driving!

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#7 of 16 OFFLINE   Seth Paxton

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Posted September 02 2001 - 03:41 PM

Bill,

DO NOT SEEK THE TREASURE! Er, I mean... Posted Image Posted Image

DO NOT TAKE I-70!

Really, a little after Denver all the way to Topeka you could tie the steering wheel straight and sleep. You would be lucky to break up the wheat fields with an occassional oil well in Kansas.

Now the rolling hills of southern Kansas are a different matter and much more enjoyable.

#8 of 16 OFFLINE   Seth Paxton

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Posted September 02 2001 - 03:52 PM

Oh, and if you want to see more desert and some (but not all) interesting rocky terrain, then take I-10 across.

Tucson, Phoenix, El Paso ,(the MEX border), San Antonio, Houston, New Orleans, Tallahasse, Jacksonville all along the way.

I think if you round trip it, it would be cool to go out one way and come back the other (10-40).

40 between Knoxville and Ashville (Smokey Mtns.) is REALLY awesome. I used to drive overnight down to Charlotte (from Indy) and this was my favorite part of the trip by far.

Whatever comes of it, I envy you. I think American roadtrips are the best, and I've done many in various directions.

#9 of 16 OFFLINE   Kenny Foor

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Posted September 02 2001 - 05:15 PM

It's been a while since I've been on I-70 but I remember it was very boring and I also think it is a toll interstate.

#10 of 16 OFFLINE   Steven K

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Posted September 04 2001 - 01:40 AM

I-40 through the state of Tennessee ranks among the most boring drives in the nation. Start in Memphis, then drive for 3 hours to Nashville (stopping in Jackson to visit my crew), then another 3 hours to K ville. And... not a single thing in between...

#11 of 16 OFFLINE   Anthony S

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Posted September 04 2001 - 04:50 AM

My family and I (wife and 15 month old) will be driving from Ann Arbor, MI to Las Vegas to visit some friends in Oct. We are planning to sightsee along the way. Going out on I-70 and comming back I-40. That way we can see a lot of the National Parks in Colorado, Utah, Arizon, Nevada, Califirnia (Death Valley), and New Mexico.


Tony

#12 of 16 OFFLINE   John M Miller

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Posted September 04 2001 - 05:15 AM

What are you guys smoking??? You're going to pass up the Rocky Mountains? Go through Colorado on I-70. It more than makes up for the badlands of eastern Utah. But I've never minded the great plains. The way to do it is to plan that part of the trip at night. Get a nice drive through the Rockies during the day and hit Kansas afterwards. Also, I strongly recommend that you forego taking I-70 the entire way and hit Kentucky instead of Ohio and Pennsylvania. I think it's an absolutely gorgeous state.

Anyway, enjoy!

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#13 of 16 OFFLINE   Bill Buklis

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Posted September 06 2001 - 04:08 AM

Here's a suggestion if you can budget enough time:

Take I70 to Denver and see the rockies. Then take I25 south to I40 to avoid the Kansas plains.

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#14 of 16 OFFLINE   Matt Stryker

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Posted September 06 2001 - 06:05 AM

Another vote for I-40, though I did it going the other way. The scenery from Flagstaff to Albequerque is absolutely amazing, though once you cross into TX it is pretty much awful (I got on in Memphis, so I'm not sure about it after that), but I have been on 40 in NC and that is nice.

Make sure you get a Rt66 hat at one of the museums along the route; the most prominent is in OK if I remember correctly.

P.S.- try to forget Arkansas. I'm sure some people consider it beautiful, but the parts I saw off of 40 remind me of Louisiana without the water or New Orleans.



#15 of 16 OFFLINE   Tim Hoover

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Posted September 06 2001 - 12:22 PM

Also, driving on 40 through Arkansas feels like you're riding a horse. The bumps are absolutely terrible and occur every ten feet!
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#16 of 16 OFFLINE   Bill Buklis

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Posted September 07 2001 - 03:56 AM

How's this for a drive? This is one of my plans for a cross country drive from LA to Denver (via Grand Canyon) that I will be doing in early October.

From Los Angeles:
I15 to Hoover Dam in Nevada
US93 to I40
I40 to US64/180 to Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

US64 to US89 to I40
Stop at the Painted Desert/Petrified Forest in AZ

I40 to US666 to US64/160
Pass through Four Corners (why not?)

US160 to Durango, CO

US550 to US50 to US24 to I70 to Denver, CO.

Does this sound good? Or am I crazy? Has anyone driven any part of this route?


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