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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.
    ~Jen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    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
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    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
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    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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