Skip to comments.Road Trip: California to Virginia - looking for suggestions
Posted on 04/12/2009 11:36:43 AM PDT by COBOL2Java
My daughter and son-in-law have moved back east from Escondido, CA to Northern Virginia (economy here's better).
They're living with us right now, but are planning to get their own place later this year. Their kids' furniture is in storage back in California, and round about December we're going to bring it here. I've always been a road trip lover, and we're thinking of getting a 12-foot U-Haul and driving the 2,700 miles ourselves, along with a small rental car (#1 grandson wants to join us).
I'm thinking of taking Interstate 40, which would give us a southerly route, then I-81 once we're in Virginia.
Assuming we do about 500 miles per day, we can make our stops in: Flagstaff, Amarillo, Little Rock, then hit 81 in Knoxville before heading home. That would give us 5 days for the whole trip.
Any Freepers ever try something like this? I've done many long-distance trips before, but usually in the 1,500 mile range. What about the idea of doing that route in December? Ideas / suggestions welcome!
Well from someone who now lives in northern virginia and visits iowa, so. dak. and wy. quite a bit....I’d say go the northern route, but not in Dec.
New Mexico shold have 3 to 5 feet of snow by December. Could be more than risky ~ try the word “impossible”.
I did the exact same route the opposite direction—Washington DC to Los Angeles. Make sure you take at least one side trip—my favorite close to the 40 is Petrified Forest National Park (http://www.nps.gov/pefo/) in Arizona. It is spectacular, you can drive through the park and see the petrified trees without even getting out of your car.
Would I-20 be better? We could pick it up down in Dallas...
Clark Griswold is that you?
40 is a great route, we’ve done it several times. Close to Carlsbad Caverns, Grand Canyon, ancient Anazasi site (I forgot the name), etc. Have FUN!
I drove out to Cali from MI in 1986. I-80 mostly.
5 days is a good pace.
6 might be a little easier to handle.
Why do you have to drive in December? Someone is bound to be ill then. The weather will suck. I’d do it in the early fall or even summer.
Cross the Mississippi at Alton, Illinois and stop at Fast Eddies for steak on a stick!
December? Be flexible and ready to jog South to avoid ice and snow storms.
LOL! Yep, that's me. Although I'm a little more flexible than Clark. :-)
If you go through Santa Fe, you should eat at Tomasita’s cafe.
In Albuquerque you could eat at El Pinto Restaurant.
That was where “W” declared he was running for president.
Garden of the God's (Colorado Springs) if you are going that way.
That's roughly when they forsee being ready to get their kids' stuff. I'd seriously doubt, given their economic situation, any earlier, but it certainly could be delayed until the Spring. I just thought a southerly route would help. Maybe I-20 would be better than 40 once we're beyond Texas...
I also might add that in planning road trips, I come up with several contingency plans - hence my post: looking for good suggestions!
You said — Any Freepers ever try something like this? I’ve done many long-distance trips before, but usually in the 1,500 mile range. What about the idea of doing that route in December? Ideas / suggestions welcome!
If you want to do some sight-seeing, you’re not going to be doing 500 miles a day, not unless you want to wear everyone out... (and drive from morning to late at night (while seeing certain things during the day).
It’s not a bad idea to do some sight-seeing, but you will need to take the time out of the day where you won’t be doing driving. And the problem with that, especially if you get a U-Haul truck, is that they’re going to give you a set amount of time to make the drive. I think it may end up being the normal driving time, plus two days (perhaps). After that you start getting charged extra.
As far as the kind of driving, well, I’ve driven anywhere from that distance you say, to 4,500 mile round trips to 11,000 mile round trips (in about 5 weeks...). But, in all those cases, I wasn’t hauling stuff to take back somewhere else (although I’ve done that, too, just specifically for that reason).
One thing that I know for sure, it always takes longer than you think to see certain sights, even if you think you’ve got it planned out. LOL...
There was one trip (and I’ve made a bunch of them, for sure), where I thought I was going to plan it all out, to the exact sights to see, on what day, and what motel to stay at and everything. I even had all the reservations made to hit each place on each certain day. Well..., I did that once and I’ll never do that again. I did make all the sights and stops and overnights, along the way, but there were times I was driving until midnight to make it... LOL...
Now, when I’m doing one leg of a 4,500 mile trip (2,250 on a leg) and I think it will take so many days, and I’ll see certain things along the way, I’ll figure out how much time it will take and what sights I might want to see and add two days to what I think... :-)
Again, that’s *if* you want to see certain things along the way (which I think one should always do, in any case, because you’re already passing by or pretty close, anyway...). If you were just “driving” and nothing else, then you could make better time. But once you start “stopping” along the way, then it’s “all over” for “making time”...
Taking the ‘southerly’ routes in December is a roll of the dice. I once took I-10 across southern AZ and thru El Paso to avoid the hell that is I-80 in Wyoming, only to skate on icy snow-packed interstate roads thru the Davis Mtns enroute back to the Iowa-Illinois Quad Cities. It wasn’t fun. Further, the West is best seen in sunny conditions. The contrasting light of morning and evening helps the landscape to stand-out in stark contrast. That’s also a wet blanket when the skies are cloudy in winter.
Depressed yet? Were it me, I’d put the furnishings in boxes and let ABF or some other freightline pick it up and deliver it while you took AMTRAK where you’d see much better scenery up close and without the worry of getting stuck until a storm blew-over.
I’ve made the trip both ways several times. I’ve taken the norther route (80) the middle (40) and the southern (10).
Given that your trip is planned for the December timeframe, I would take the southern route. You can catch the 10 north of Escondido and then take the 20 to Dallas once you get into Texas. This route will keep you in the more moderate Southwest weather regions. From Dallas, you can start heading north on the 30 and pick up the 40 in Little Rock.
No matter what way you go, stop and see the country. It’s awesome!
We are BIG road trip travelers but 5 days to cross the entire US? Possible, I guess, but not much fun. Your grandson is going to be bored to tears.
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