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  1. Default Boston to Northern California

    I'm planning on driving from Boston to Northern California in a few weeks. I have about 6 days to get there so I was planning on taking I-90 to I-80 since as far as I can tell that's the shortest route and thus would allow for a slightly more leisure pace. According to mapquest the total mileage is slightly over 3000 miles. It also estimates the time as being 44 hours- in which case we would only be driving 7.5 hours a day- But then I was reading a few of the threads where the mediators were suggesting using a 55mph average to calculate total drive time. Using that calculation the total drive time is about 55 hours. Which means we would be driving over 9 hours a day. Still not terrible with two drivers but it still also doesn't leave a ton of time for non gas/reststop type stops... Is that correct? Is there a quicker way to go? Any advice would be very much apreciated.

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    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Default 57 mph in the west

    Quote Originally Posted by 3000 miles to home
    I'm planning on driving from Boston to Northern California in a few weeks.
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!
    I have about 6 days to get there so I was planning on taking I-90 to I-80 since as far as I can tell that's the shortest route and thus would allow for a slightly more leisure pace.
    Six days is a reasonable span of time for the drive. MapQuest is a computer which uses a complicated algorithm that takes into account construction delays, traffic delays, weather reports and the like on a given route of travel -- sounds good huh? It also is just about the most optimistic such estimating tool out there. Our rule of thumb is that over an eight hour day of travel you can expect to average 55 mph on Interstate highways east of the Mississippi River and 57 mph everywhere else. In order to average 57 mph over an eight hour period, you need to be traveling close to 77 mph 90% of the time. The difference is the time spent on re-fueling vehicle and body, rest stops, etc.

    With two drivers, if you drive for six days and take a couple of scenic detours, you can expect to be traveling at least 9-10 hours per day (covering ~ 3531 miles -- depending where in northern California you are going to). If you push and limit your time-outs to only when you need to fuel the car and get an early start each day, you can probably cover this distance in five days, but they will be long, long days in the saddle.

    Mark

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