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  1. #1

    Default Illinois to California, but I don't like driving.

    I'm new here, Jen, 22 and planning on driving solo from Southern Illinois to Central California in early July. I'm moving (and taking all my things) so I need to drive, but I don't really like driving and I've never driven this far before. I figured that I wouldn't have many chances to drive cross-country, though, so I'd like to make it something special, but still somewhat easy.

    So, I'm looking for tips, I guess, best (and by best I mean sparsely traversed) routes and any must-see things along the way. My mother's also freaking out about me making it over the continental divide, does anyone have tips for the best place for a relatively inexperienced driver to cross (or go around)?

    Thanks a ton.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default The road more traveled

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Depending upon where in Central California you are heading, I'd think taking I-80 all the way to California might be the best option.

    I certainly wouldn't call it a sparsely traversed route, in fact it is probably one of the most used roads in America. However, it is that way for a reason. Its a fairly simple drive with no major mountain passes. Salt Lake City and Lake Tahoe would be a couple of things along the way that could be good distraction.

    If you want to really focus on the sparely traveled roads, you could dip down to US-50 through Nevada aka the Loneliest Road in America. But for the most part, if you don't like driving to begin with and you are looking for somthing easy, I think you might be better off sticking to the Interstates as opposed to driving down rural 2 lane roads.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default The Continental Divide is no problem!

    Really, most often, you won't even know you're crossing it. Some places where the Continental Divide runs through it will have a sign letting you know. Without the signs, you wouldn't even know it was there.

    I agree that if you don't like driving, sticking to the interstate is probably your best option. While it's well-traveled, you will also have some stretches without tons of traffic with you so that you can enjoy the wide-open stretches without a lot of intrusion. In other words, it's not like rush-hour near a big city but you will rarely be totally alone either. And there are a lot of traveler's resources (gas, restaurants, hotels, rest stops, etc.) along the way.

  4. #4

    Default Update

    My sister is meeting me in St. Louis and we're driving to California together. This is great because she's a very good driver and a lot more comfortable in the driver's seat while I can navigate pretty well. We also decided to take Route 66 (if we can find it.) Thanks for the feedback!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Finding Rt-66

    Finding Rt-66 will actually be pretty difficult, because technically, the route doesn't exist anymore.

    Following I-44 from St. Louis to OK City, and then I-40 to California will taking on the basic route, and in some places there will be signs for "Historical Route 66."

    But is sounds like you've found yourself a good plan that will be exactly what you need. Congrats!

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