View Full Version : Help! Cross conutry trip

02-23-2010, 01:13 PM
I'm planning a big road trip with a friend. From Montreal, QC - Victora, BC via southern USA. We plan on leaving May 1st and arriving May 25th. Our concerns right now are:

a) being rushed
b) missing landmarks we don't even know about

We plan on covering 9000km in 25 days. Is this too ambitious? We tried to plan most of the big driving early on and then take it slow near the end so we don't burn out.

We plan on buying a large, dodge ram type van and living in it for the majority of the trip. What do you guys think? Our 25 day limit is fixed. Should we try to cut out some driving and perhaps some destinations. Does this seem feasibility to do comfortably? Do you have any suggestions of other places to go?

Here is our proposed route:

<iframe width="425" height="350" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&amp;source=s_d&amp;saddr=Montreal&amp;daddr=1982+Fair way+Drive++Basye,+VA+22810+to:Knoxville+to:Great+S moky+Mountains+National+Park,+Cosby,+Tennessee+377 38,+37738,+United+States+(Great+Smoky+Mountains+Na tional+Park)+to:Atlanta+to:New+Orleans+to:Houston+ to:Austin+to:Roswell,+NM+to:Tuscon,+AZ+to:Phoenix, +AZ+to:Niland,+California+to:Las+Vegas,+NV,+USA+to :CA-190+W+to:Monterey,+California,+United+States+to:Vi ctoria,+BC&amp;geocode=Fef3tgIdXFuc-ynlMRocFRrJTDGU0cHwvvy4Lw%3BFaJcUAIdZylO-ymB7EuRzAO1iTFi36t5bQXtqg%3BFT63JAIdnXj_-impQs5GIhZciDHFNPXE2pLqew%3BFdi7HwId_nUF-yF1gYmlnDfJEA%3BFQP4AgIdclf4-imNCZNpXQT1iDELYwuZL97-Zg%3BFVgSyQEdQJCh-illghGyVKQghjG00yJe6FsG2w%3BFdQmxgEdON9Q-ikBhY1ItLhAhjE7BWXz3gINyg%3BFRHXzQEdK48s-ikvA8ygmbVEhjF61WnUS0abXQ%3BFVmO_QEd8BrF-SlV7axlE2XihjF-18905Asb5A%3BFS-q6wEdcWVj-Skr7SwLQWXWhjEVxxZNOC3Dcw%3BFblh_gEdy-JR-SnLeaFQ7RIrhzGsG0o1-MdpjA%3BFeUz-wEdZFId-SlnbXA3ya3QgDHYbLxinZu44A%3BFdYQJwIdMJoi-SnRffWkgre-gDGjebPV5tXMOg%3BFZbrKwIdiIQJ-Q%3BFa55LgId7Ai8-CmR-7VwUuSNgDFePUrYCUlI7g%3BFezx4gIdpZCl-ClxYbDdi3OPVDHtSLsedPPoOA&amp;hl=en&amp;mra=mr&amp;mrcr=12&amp;via =13&amp;sll=36.253133,-118.081055&amp;sspn=3.924186,10.821533&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=36.6 92649,-121.724396&amp;spn=0.975623,2.705383&amp;output=embed"></iframe><br /><small><a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&amp;source=embed&amp;saddr=Montreal&amp;daddr=1982+Fa irway+Drive++Basye,+VA+22810+to:Knoxville+to:Great +Smoky+Mountains+National+Park,+Cosby,+Tennessee+3 7738,+37738,+United+States+(Great+Smoky+Mountains+ National+Park)+to:Atlanta+to:New+Orleans+to:Housto n+to:Austin+to:Roswell,+NM+to:Tuscon,+AZ+to:Phoeni x,+AZ+to:Niland,+California+to:Las+Vegas,+NV,+USA+ to:CA-190+W+to:Monterey,+California,+United+States+to:Vi ctoria,+BC&amp;geocode=Fef3tgIdXFuc-ynlMRocFRrJTDGU0cHwvvy4Lw%3BFaJcUAIdZylO-ymB7EuRzAO1iTFi36t5bQXtqg%3BFT63JAIdnXj_-impQs5GIhZciDHFNPXE2pLqew%3BFdi7HwId_nUF-yF1gYmlnDfJEA%3BFQP4AgIdclf4-imNCZNpXQT1iDELYwuZL97-Zg%3BFVgSyQEdQJCh-illghGyVKQghjG00yJe6FsG2w%3BFdQmxgEdON9Q-ikBhY1ItLhAhjE7BWXz3gINyg%3BFRHXzQEdK48s-ikvA8ygmbVEhjF61WnUS0abXQ%3BFVmO_QEd8BrF-SlV7axlE2XihjF-18905Asb5A%3BFS-q6wEdcWVj-Skr7SwLQWXWhjEVxxZNOC3Dcw%3BFblh_gEdy-JR-SnLeaFQ7RIrhzGsG0o1-MdpjA%3BFeUz-wEdZFId-SlnbXA3ya3QgDHYbLxinZu44A%3BFdYQJwIdMJoi-SnRffWkgre-gDGjebPV5tXMOg%3BFZbrKwIdiIQJ-Q%3BFa55LgId7Ai8-CmR-7VwUuSNgDFePUrYCUlI7g%3BFezx4gIdpZCl-ClxYbDdi3OPVDHtSLsedPPoOA&amp;hl=en&amp;mra=mr&amp;mrcr=12&amp;via =13&amp;sll=36.253133,-118.081055&amp;sspn=3.924186,10.821533&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=36.6 92649,-121.724396&amp;spn=0.975623,2.705383" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">View Larger Map</a></small>

And here is our planned breakdown of the drive:

Day 1 - Mtl - Virginia, 10.5h
Day 2 - Grass ski at Bryce mountain + 6.5h drive to Knoxville
Day 3 - Knoxville/Smokey Mountains
Day 4 - Smokey Mountains - New Orleans 11h drive
Day 5 - Day off - New Orleans
Day 6 - Day off - New Orleans
Day 7 - New Orleans - Austin via Houston 8.5h
Day 8 - Austin - Roswell 10.5h
Day 9 - Roswell - Tucson 8.5h
Day 10 - Day off - Tucson - Phoenix 2h drive
Day 11 - Day off - Phoenix/Arizona desert
Day 12 - Phoenix - Slab City 5.3h
Day 13 - Day off - Slab City
Day 14 - Slab City - Vagas 6h
Day 15 - Day off - Vegas
Day 16 - Day off- Vegas
Day 17 - Vegas - Monterey, CA 10h
Day 18 - Day off - Monterey*
Day 19 - Day off - Monterey*/San Fransisco / Yosemite
Day 20 - Day off- Monterey* /San Fransisco / Yosemite
Day 21 - Day off - San Fransisco 2h
Day 22 - Northern Cali
Day 23- Northern Cali
Day 24 - Oregon
Day 25 - Arrive Victoria, BC

* Visiting a friend in Monterey.

Thanks for all your help and input!


Midwest Michael
02-23-2010, 03:04 PM
Welcome to the RTA Forum!

I think you are trying to push things a bit too much. Online mapping programs are extremely over-optimistic in their time estimates. They assume you'll never have to stop or slowdown for gas, food, traffic, etc. Figure your travel times will take 20% more than what google estimates, and we generally recommend people keep their long haul days to 500-600 miles.

For example that first day from Montreal to Virginia is 670 miles. In a best case, that's going to be about 12 hours plus whatever time it takes you to get through Customs. You've got a few other legs like that, which while not impossible, are really to far to enjoy. Those legs are work, where you'll have basically no time to enjoy anything along the way.

The other major point where I just don't see the logic in your routing is the Vegas/Monterey section. First of all, there's just no way that you can see any of Death Valley and make that drive in one day. Second, it also doesn't make sense to drive to Monterey and then backtrack to Yosemite. If its open, going over Tioga Pass would be far more logical to drive through the park (it opens in may or june depending on conditions, so odds are about 50/50), but even if its closed, I'd look at hitting Yosemite (and maybe Sequoia) before going across California to the coast.

While I understand that you've got a friend in Monterey, Yosemite is really a long way to do that as a daytrip. Even San Francisco is going to be a long way to "commute" for sightseeing. There is a lot to see in that area, and certainly spending a day driving along the coast through Big Sur and maybe down to Herst Castle would make some sense. I would also recommend trying to drive up the coast through Northern California (including the redwoods) and Oregon, rather than taking I-5.