Drove across the US last week end.

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Holadem, Jun 2, 2004.

  1. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Last weekend, I flew to San Diego, CA to help the g/f move to CT. We drove across the country in 4 days, stopping in Vegas, NV, Vail, CO, Chicago, IL. The longest drive was from Vail, CO, to Chicago, IL. About 1100 miles, 16-17 hours. It was fun, much more than it sound like below.

    Impressions:

    California
    [​IMG] Driving through the Desert. I had been to Cali a couple of times, but never actually saw the desert.
    [​IMG] LA traffic.

    Nevada
    [​IMG] Desert.
    [​IMG] Arrival in Vegas from the 15 north at night is quite surreal.
    [​IMG] Vegas, 'nuff said (and the less said, the better [​IMG]).

    Arizona
    [​IMG] Knowing I am in Arizona, the land of Monument Valley was enough to make me all giddy.
    [​IMG] Desert, Rockies.

    Utah
    [​IMG] Worse fucking state in the union, no offense to those who live there :b. Drab, lifeless, extremely boring, and impossible to speed through because of all the freaking canyons. To be fair, they were pretty at first, but go old really fast, we really needed a change of scenery after a couple of hours.
    [​IMG] Scenery is neither green nor desert, just this unsettling in between thing.

    Colorado
    [​IMG] Not Utah
    [​IMG] West of Denver, perhaps most beautiful of all the states. Snow capped mountains + pine trees, absolutely gorgeous terrain.
    [​IMG] Car (manual transmission) drive funny due to altitude.
    [​IMG] East of Denver, looks very much like Nebraska.

    Nebraska
    [​IMG] Not Colorado
    [​IMG] Flat, straight, cows to the left, cows to the right, cow manure to the left, cow manure to the right, lifeless, looooong, boooooooooring.
    [​IMG] 110 mph on the long flat straight streches of the I80
    [​IMG] Speeding ticket.

    Iowa
    [​IMG] Rolling hills, more trees, typical midwest landscape, and a welcome change from her Supreme Flatness of Nebraska.

    Illinois
    Looks like Iowa.
    [​IMG] The crossing of the Mississipi, a childhood dream of mine.
    [​IMG] Chicago is the place to be, I would move there in a heartbeat.

    Indiana
    Looks like Illinois which looks like Iowa.

    Ohio
    Looks like Indiana which looks like Illinois which... never mind.

    Pennsylvania
    [​IMG] Appalachians - change of scenery is always welcome
    [​IMG] Appalachians - Nothing can compare to the rockies.
    [​IMG] It was impossible to find a gas station openned in the middle of the night. It was nearly impossible to find one that would take credit cards.
    [​IMG] Overnight driving, first time on this trip, also counts as a change of scenery [​IMG]
    [​IMG] Driving at night feels faster for the same speed, resulting in a slower average speed.

    New York
    [​IMG] It's New York
    [​IMG] I84 in NY has potholes. POTHOLES.

    Connecticut
    [​IMG] It's home.
    [​IMG] It's home.

    Thursday: San Siego, CA --> Las Vegas, NV - 5h, 330 miles, Could have actually done this the next day, had we not wanted to spend the night in Vegas.

    Friday: Las Vegas NV --> Vail, CO - 12 h, ??? miles - Left Vegas @ 9AM, got to Vail before sunset, had time to sample the local brews.

    Saturday: Vail, CO --> Chicago, IL - 16h, 1100 miles - Left Vail @ 5AM, got to the Windy City @ 11PM. Stopped for an hour in Nebraska for lunch.

    Sunday: Chicago, IL --> Hartford, CT - 15h, 888 miles - Left Chicago @ 2PM, got to Hartford @ 7AM. Drove that one alone, stopped only for gas and drive-thru. Rainy for the first 5 hours or so. The last three hours were hell, I was litterally running on Cofee and Red Bull. I wouldn't let her drive because I wanted to be able to say _I_ (not we) drove from Chicago to Hartford in one shot [​IMG]. Of course, I will never do that again...

    Anyway, just wanted to share [​IMG].

    Feel free to post similar experiences.

    --
    H
     
  2. Chris Moe

    Chris Moe Screenwriter

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    Sounds like a quite a trip, I did the same thing a couple years back but my trip was a little bigger. I went from Berkeley Californina to Key West Florida taking the northern route and then all the way back to Berkeley going the southern route. It was one hell of a road trip.

    It really amazed me how varied our country is and how beautiful parts of it are.

    For those interested you can read about my adventure and see lots and lots of pictures here http://www.moesrealm.com/miata/trip_01.html
     
  3. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I drove a similar route for a job I had but the ultimate destination was Maryland and this was over the course of a year. On the way out we had business in Illinois and Ohio and Pennsylvania.

    I agree Nebraska is a real snoozer.
     
  4. Aurel Savin

    Aurel Savin Supporting Actor

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    Awesome drive ... I could not drive straight for more than 8 hours, so I admire your stamina [​IMG]

    Would love to do one of these cross country trips myself ... when i have like 3 weeks to kill.

    Longest I did was NYC to New Orleans.
     
  5. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    A couple of years ago my wife and I did a driving trip from Michigan to Glacier National Park in northwest Montana. I had done a similar drive with my parents as a kid, but with the destinating being a little closer (Yellowstone National Park).

    Our route was across Illinois and Iowa, heading north just before Omaha, NE. We then headed west across South Dakota, stopping in The Badlands and the Black Hills / Mount Rushmore area before heading across Wyoming and Montana. Return route was across Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota and the Upper Penisula of Michigan (with a short trip in Wisconsin). We drove about 5,000 miles in 2+ weeks.

    To me, the entire region west of Chicago until The Badlands in South Dakota was pretty boring. Iowa and western Illinois look a lot like Nebraska to me (maybe not quite as flat). My description was "corn on the right, wheat on the left -- for variety, then, it's wheat on the right, corn on the left".

    Western South Dakota and Wyoming are more rolling range land -- lots of cattle and sheep. Eastern Montana also has lots of range land until you get to the mountain ranges. One thing that amazed me -- Montana is one huge state! We drove for about 9 hours when leaving Glacier NP and only made it to Billings, still about 2 hours from the North Dakota border. Granted, we got stuck in a hail storm in the mountains that slowed us down a little, but it's still a huge state. (btw, you can drive for about 12-13 hours in Michigan and never get out of the state, too -- it's a long way from Detroit to the western part of the Upper Penisula).

    One funny story -- my parents live in northern Michigan, and my dad constantly complains about all the traffic in the Detroit area when they come to visit us (there's no traffic where they live, but he drove a bread truck for 30 years in the metro Detroit area before retiring). Well, they drove cross country to Seattle via the Michigan UP, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana route. Before getting to Seattle, he called and complained about all the traffic in the "big cities" on their trip. I thought for a minute, then asked "what big cities could you have possibly driven through?" His answer was "Fargo".

    I still give my dad a ribbing about that story, and we made sure we called him while driving through Fargo on our trip to give him a traffic report. [​IMG]
     
  6. Tim Abbott

    Tim Abbott Second Unit

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    This thread is reminding me of my trips across the country (three so far).




    Nor will I [​IMG]
     
  7. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    [​IMG]
    Probably because of the season, there were no grown crops. It was all F-L-A-T. It's frustrating because it doesn't like like you're moving at all.

    Another annoying factor was losing an hour every day... It was like "oh wait, we're in the midwest, it's not 6PM, but 7PM [​IMG]..."

    We didn't have a CD player, but strangely enough, didn't get bored. Catching radio stations was fun. Contrarly to what most people have told me, there were very few places with no reception, even in the mountains of Utah.

    I also forgot to mention that the car was a... Corolla. I am pretty big fellow, but it wasn't as bad as I feared [​IMG].

    To those who have done the cross country trip a couple of times, how do you find the courage to do it again?! It was fun, but I am not going through that anytime soon! [​IMG] Perhaps a more leisury pace, I guess.

    --
    H
     
  8. Bill Williams

    Bill Williams Screenwriter

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    I did such a trip about four years ago, starting from MS and going up to NH on a vacation from teaching. I went through MS and AL, up through a tip of GA, back into AL, then through TN and into VA. The drive through VA was the longest haul of it all - 10 hours long on the interstate. (I've forgotten which one that is, believe it or not, it's been so long ago.) By that time I had driven for 15 hours and stopped overnight at a hotel some 30-40 minutes from the West VA state line.

    The next morning I went through VA, West VA, PA, and one other state (I forget which, I'm thinking Delaware) all within an hour's time. My trip took me up through PA and into NJ, where I went through my ex-fiancee's hometown. Very beautiful land up there, but very eerie going through there. I then headed into and through NY, and it was great going through NYC. I went across the George Washington Bridge, and I could have headed either to Brooklyn or the Bronx from there. As I went across the George Washington Bridge, I got a great glimpse of the Manhattan skyline. I should have stopped to see the WTC, but I didn't. (This was all pre-9/11, of course.)

    I then headed north into CT, where I drove right by the WWE headquarters in Stamford. Freaked me out so much, that on my return trip I stopped about a block away just off the interstate and took a couple of pictures proving that I'd driven by there. Believe it or not, the WWE office is not much bigger than some of the other big offices in other cities I've been through (Birmingham, Huntsville, Shreveport, Dallas, etc.). It just looks a lot bigger on TV. But it was cool nonetheless.

    I then headed up through CT and into Massachusetts, missing much of the Boston traffic snarls. The traffic in, around, and out of Logan Airport is still a mess - I don't think they'll ever finish construction work around there! lol! Then I headed up into NH and even got a chance to venture a little bit into Maine. All in all, it took 25 hours to make my trip through about 15 states.

    And my return trip home, I was able to track my directions back exactly and yet shave off about four hours from my trip, about 21 hours.

    And that be my cross-country experience.
     
  9. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Actually, after opening the Ted Williams tunnel and then connecting it to Route 3 South and the Mass Pike (RT 90), getting to and from Logan from the west or south is one of the easiest things about Boston traffic. I can be at Logan from my house in the 'burbs in less time than it takes to get through the city (and even that's much easier with the Big Dig tunnel and Zakim bridge open). Traffic still sucks inside the city, though.
     
  10. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    It's not easy. On the way to Glacier NP that I described above, we had a great desire to stop by Yellowstone NP, since we were within 3 hours of the park. We decided we did not have the time to do justice to the visit (we've been there a couple of times before) so we would go the following year. When it came time to plan that trip, I couldn't bare the thought of making that drive across the Plains again. Instead, we flew into Bozeman, MT and rented a car. It was much more relaxing -- especially since I end up driving the entire time on these road trips.
     
  11. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    [​IMG]
    you have to remember vail is about 9,000 feet. The car probably drives fine, just doesn't have any power [​IMG]
     
  12. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    I figured that was it, however, it happened at the randomest times. We would be going uphill fine, and then when we would level off or start going down, it wouldn't go faster than 50 mph or so. This sparked some hiliarious arguments:

    - See, it's happeneing again!
    - We must be going uphill...
    - Nope we're defintely going down, it should be picking up by now! What the heck is going ?!
    - Look at that car ahead, is it above or below us? I tell ya, we're going uphill...
    - EVERY SENSE I POSSESS IS TELLING ME WE'RE GOING DOWNHILL OK?!
    - Can you taste it too?
    - SHUT UP!

    [​IMG]

    --
    H
     
  13. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

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    I drove from D.C. to Vegas twice in 1998. Once by myself and once in a Ryder truck with my wife and a car in tow.

    When I drove by myself, I made pretty good time.

    D.C. -> Memphis
    Memphis -> Amarillo
    Amarillo -> Vegas by 2pm.

    What a shit drive that is. I-40 from Memphis all the way to Kingman, AZ. Arkansas sucks. Amarillo isn't much better.


    Yeah, hearing the lastest cattle and crop prices on the radio was weird driving through OK.
     
  14. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Holadem, did you take pictures?????

    Sam
     
  15. John Besse

    John Besse Supporting Actor

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    The speeding ticket part made me laugh with the thumbs down. I just got a 92 in a 70 crossing the Florida line from GA on a road trip last week. Drove from Florida to Georgia to North Carolina to Tennessee, then the same trip the opposite way going back home. I would have to say your trip sounded a lot more fun. Anyways, here is my experiences:

    Florida
    [​IMG] It's home - I love it here
    [​IMG] Driving up I75 to leave the state, boring drive
    [​IMG] Got a 22 MPH speeding ticket 5 miles into the state


    Georgia
    [​IMG] Went to a Jimmy Buffett show in Atlanta
    [​IMG] Got extremely drunk tailgating before the show
    [​IMG] Don't remember half of the show
    [​IMG] Ate at Dave and Busters the next day (great restaurant, I recommend it highly!)


    North Carolina
    [​IMG] Beautiful scenery, lots of mountains and small towns.
    [​IMG] Good being back in a state I used to live in, but glad I'm not still there!


    Tennessee
    [​IMG] More mountians than North Carolina - The Smokey Mountains
    [​IMG] Can't drive fast or you are going down the mountains
    [​IMG] Rented a phenominal cabin just outside of Gatlinburg
    [​IMG] Gatlinburg - Awesome town, but very touristy.

    We had a fun trip. 5 of us went to the Buffett show in Atlanta, then to the cabin outside of Gatlinburg. All 5 of us returned, which is a good thing! My trip was only abot 700 miles each way. I got the speeding ticket, which sucks 'cause my buddy James should have been driving. However, he'd have got it a lot worese 'cause he drives faster than me. The worst part of our trip was doing the drive from Tennessee straight back to Florida. We didn't accomplish anything except stopping for food, gas and a ticket! Other than that, we had lots of fun too!
     
  16. Greg.K

    Greg.K Screenwriter

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    Reminds me of a song.. Although it's funnier hearing it than reading it.

    Interstate 80 Iowa, by Heywood Banks

    Mississippi River
    Davenport
    Corn, Corn, Corn, Corn, Corn, Corn, Corn
    What's that smell?
    Corn, Corn, Corn
    Iowa City
    Corn, Corn, Corn, Corn, Corn
    Look, a tree!
    Corn, Corn, Corn
    Des Moines
    Corn, Corn, Corn, Corn, Corn
    There's that smell again!
    Corn, Corn, Corn
    Council Bluffs
    Missouri River!

    Heywood Bank's home page
     
  17. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    Each of the crossings has it's own little charms and quirks and I think I have traveled each of them at least once.
    Driving across Iowa in the 80s one time I came across a great Reggae station.....not what you expect. Up on I90 you get the Wall Drug signs every 2 miles or so until you are insane. I hit Cody Wyoming when the town was desserted and found out every one was at the rodeo.
    On I10 you get the Caddies stuck in the ground which is pretty cool and I am not sure where the Corn Palace is but one morning after driving most of the night I came across it with a giant Mural of Indians hunting buffalo all made out of corn. Then there was the time I was cutting across Wisconsin at night (Hey no traffic then) and a strange light engulfed my car and I don't remember much after that.

    The worst most boring drive is I5 from LA to SF which you are in a trance after a while (a friend almost rear ended a cop going around 90 once) and only the horrible smell of cowshit at this huge ranch wakes you up.
    50 in Nevada is called the most lonely highway (or something) and it lives up to it's billing. The tree with 1000s of pairs of shoes is on it and some dinosaur sites (dig your own!) make it interesting
     
  18. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    I believe this is the states liscence-plate motto [​IMG]

    I once did a 17 hour non-stop from Chicago to Watertown NY after six-hours of walking around a tattoo convention. Although it sucked major monkey-balls and I swore I would never do it again it remains one of my staple "intresting stories" and turned out to be a minor life experience I wouldn't trade for anything. (helped to have a wild & crazy car companion).

    And it has inspired me to run a cross-country trip this summer on a Motorcycle! No cruise control! no radio! no windows! Then I'll be able to own the "Iron Butt" liscence plate frame with pride!

    For more on the Iron Butt Association, check out their website

    http://www.ironbutt.org

    happy road tripping! [​IMG]
     
  19. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    do you remember passing a town called Victorville (before barstow)?

    well ... i grew up there!

    umm...okay, i guess that's all i had to say. :b
     
  20. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Seems like a common occurence eh? [​IMG]

    --
    H
     

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