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  1. #1

    Default A tour of the SW

    My wife and I will be going on our first road trip in late May. Here is the tentative schedule:

    May 27 - Houston to El Paso
    May 28 - El Paso to San Diego
    May 29 - spend day in San Diego
    May 30 - spend day in San Diego
    May 31 - San Diego to Las Vegas (spend afternoon and evening)
    June 1 - Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon (spend afternoon and evening)
    June 2 - Grand Canyon to Santa Fe
    June 3 - Santa Fe to Dallas
    June 4 - Dallas to Houston

    Some questions: Is this doable? Should I cut some cities to add other cities? Is the path sensible? Are there things I should stop and see along the way? Other suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Not Really

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    Houston to El Paso is 750 miles. That is more than anyone should really attempt in a day. It will take you over 13 hours to cover that distance and will leave you exhausted the next day. Then you plan on another 13 hour driving day (725 miles) the next day to San Diego. I've driven those roads and it is three days minimum. Santa Fe to Dallas is another day that, while better at 'only' 640 miles is still considerably more than you should realistically try to accomplish in a day. I suspect that what you've done is go to some on-line mapping site(s) and pick city pairs that are supposedly 10 hours or so apart. You need to realize that those mapping routines simply do not hold true in the real world. Here's another post where I briefly list some of the unrealistic assumptions that go into the estimates that they provide, and a similar post by the Editor. If you want to enjoy this trip, then you're either going to have to scale back the miles or add several days. Sorry but that is the way it goes.

    AZBuck

  3. #3

    Default

    Wow. You're right on about the online mapping thing. Very good advice, thanks. I have driven Houston to El Paso before, but I think driving to San Diego the next day is too much back to back. We may cut a day in San Diego to give us more time getting there. Unfortunately, my wife's work schedule doesn't allow us to add extra days.

    If I stay on I-10 the whole way, will there be plenty of gas stations along the way?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default no shortage of fueling stops

    Quote Originally Posted by UHCoog27
    If I stay on I-10 the whole way, will there be plenty of gas stations along the way?
    Yep, on most Interstate highways you can count on fuel at least every 25-30 miles. There are still some stretches of I-15 and I-70 with 100 mile gaps but not on I-10 (to my recall). If you use the TravMatix program (it is free) you can locate all known fuel stops on any Interstate highway in America, along with a bunch of other cool info.

    Mark

  5. #5

    Default

    Also, if we were to divide the Houston to San Diego leg into three days, where are two good overnight places?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default 2 Stops

    Stopping for the night at Fort Stockton, TX and Benson, AZ would leave you three legs of 450-500 miles each day. That allows for a little time each day out of the car to stretch your legs and focus on something other than the two lanes dead ahead.

    AZBuck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Late May...

    Quote Originally Posted by UHCoog27
    Also, if we were to divide the Houston to San Diego leg into three days, where are two good overnight places?
    Personally, since it is still late May, I would stop at Terlingua, Texas the first night (eat at the Starlight Theatre!!!!) Oops that is too far at 655 miles, but I suggest this another time. In fact, there are some great hot springs in the area, ( but I digress) Let's see, a more reasonable first night's stop would be Fort Stockton, Texas (506 miles -- still a long day, but reasonable).

    Benson or Tucson the 2nd and then on into San Diego on the 3rd. (Interesting how similar AZBuck and I were with this advice!)

    Mark

  8. #8

    Default

    Thank you! I'm going to talk with my wife, rework the schedule, and then post again to get you guys' thoughts. What a great site!

  9. #9

    Default New Schedule

    OK, how's this?

    May 27 - Houston to Fort Stockton (I-10 W)
    May 28 - Fort Stockton to Tuscon (I-10 W)
    May 29 - Tuscon to San Diego (I-10 W, I-8 W)
    May 30 - spend day in San Diego
    May 31 - San Diego to the Grand Canyon (I-15 N, I-215 N, I-40 E)
    June 1 - spend day at Grand Canyon
    June 2 - Grand Canyon to Santa Fe (I-40 E, I-25 N)
    June 3 - Santa Fe to Fort Stockton - short stop at Roswell (285 S)
    June 4 - Fort Stockton to Houston (I-10 E)

    More reasonable? What about the route? Anything I should know about these roads?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default That fifth day?

    Quote Originally Posted by UHCoog27
    May 31 - San Diego to the Grand Canyon (I-15 N, I-215 N, I-40 E)
    Is there some reason you need to back-track all the way to Devore? I mean I-15 is pretty and you could stop have some the best strombolis in the world, but I would suggest going east on I-8 to Yuma and then north on US-95 to I-40 and east again. This will be a long day, 500+ miles - but doable.
    June 1 - spend day at Grand Canyon
    Good plan.
    More reasonable? What about the route? Anything I should know about these roads?
    Yes, that seems pretty reasonable. It would be easy to give you about two weeks of distractions between San Diego and Santa Fe, but...

    Mark

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