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  1. #1

    Default San Jose to Lexington, KY in 4 or 5 days?

    Hey folks, I think this route will be fine, but I'm just checking with the more experienced.

    I am attending the MotoGP US Grand Prix in Monterey, CA, but I am staying in Cupertino (San Jose). I am flying to Cali on Friday, but on Monday I plan to drive back home to Lexington, KY, stopping to see a friend in Denver.

    Does this seem wise:

    Monday: San Jose to Salt Lake City (West side) - Hotel reserved off I-80
    Tuesday: Salt Lake to Denver (staying at friends house in suburbs)
    Wednesday: Denver to Columbia, MO--hotel reserved off I-70.
    Thursday: Columbia, MO to Lexington, KY -- back home.

    I'm renting a nice car, so it should be comfortable. I have the car an extra two days in case something comes up, but it seems to be a good plan.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks for any insight--this is a great sight, I look forward to visiting often.

    -jR-
    Lex,KY

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default First Day could be a killer

    Quote Originally Posted by sahasralah
    Hey folks, I think this route will be fine, but I'm just checking with the more experienced.
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum -- experienced? Hmmmm -- but there are divergent opinions herein.
    Monday: San Jose to Salt Lake City (West side) - Hotel reserved off I-80
    This day is nearly 780 miles by the shortest route -- it is doable, but unless you have lots of western driving miles (under your seat) we generally recommend no more than 500 to 600 miles. You can expect to be on the road about 14 hours or so this day.
    Tuesday: Salt Lake to Denver (staying at friends house in suburbs)
    There are some scenic route options, here, but I think given the killer day you had on Monday, you should travel via Interstate the entire distance. But this is a very SCENIC interstate as can be seen in this field report on I-70. However, the shortest route would be I-80 to I-25 at about 535 miles -- Travel time will be about nine hours. If you go by way of I-70 and stop at some of those scenic overlooks (you must!) you can figure this will be another 11+ hour day.
    Wednesday: Denver to Columbia, MO--hotel reserved off I-70.
    Yikes! another 725 mile day -- about 13 hours of travel
    Thursday: Columbia, MO to Lexington, KY -- back home.
    Finally, a reasonable day at 465 miles or about nine hours of travel. It can be done, but a lot of driving for a solo driver. Be sure to read these tips from another solo roadtrip adventurer.

    Happy Planning!

    Mark

  3. #3

    Default follow-up

    Hey everyone, just posting a follow-up to this thread.

    My return roadtrip schedule was doable, but I definitely wished I had given myself another couple of days. As Mark mentioned, that first day was *KILLER*. I will say that the luxury rental (lincoln towncar w/GPS & satellite radio) was worth the expense, and did help make it a lot more bearable.

    On the first night, having traveled from Cupertino, CA (and not being dilligent in leaving at a proper time) I was almost at the point of giving up for the night several times after entering Utah. I noticed that they had many "Drowsy Drivers pull over!" signs around that point--I'm guessing people often try the CA-to-Salt Lake trip and end up there. I can't tell you how many vehicles I passed with drivers sticking their arms out the window or sunroof to stay awake.

    If I had stopped the previous night in Reno, I would have saved 3 or 4 hours in traffic from the south bay to Sacramento and been able to enjoy the end of that leg, and wouldn't have had to resort to calling home and talking to a live person to keep my brain going.

    The second day going from Salt Lake to Denver was a breeze in comparison, although the previous day's length did make me get tired earlier--having a friend in Denver to stay with was a big help. Other than the Sierra along the Nevada border, day 2 was definitely the most scenic of the trip. Again, I wish I had allowed more time to explore.

    After having seen the wonderous sights of the mountains in Utah and Wyoming and descending to Denver, day 3 was a little less exciting, but still nice. The drive from Denver to Columbia MO was quite a bit less interesting, so I counted on good old satellite radio and some books-on-CD to get me through. (Although for a break from the usual, I did listen to the local AM stations through western Kansas, listening to callers and forecasters talking about a series of tornados near Dodge City).

    The fourth and final day of my trip was more casual, as I entered the familiar landscapes of Missouri and Illinois. Lacking much to look at, I got quite a bit of "reading" done that day by getting through most of David McCullough's John Adams biography on CD.

    One of the main things I learned in this trip is to break a long journey into more managable chunks, and leave maybe twice the time to really enjoy the trip and see things, rather than always having to mind the clock.

    As far as attempting the trip solo, I'm glad I did--it was definitely confidence-inspiring, and a different--but enjoyable--experience making every decision as I wanted to.

    I'll definitely do something similar again, (although probably on a different route). And I'd like to try it with a friend and by motorbike ;)

    Here's wishing you good travels,

    --
    jR
    Lexington, KY

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Thanks for the trip report!

    It's always great to hear how people's trips went. Glad you were able to find someone to talk with to keep you awake! Yeah, that is a long day. But it sounds like you had a wonderful drive. There is something about roadtripping solo that is really great. I enjoy spending time with myself like that. Of course, satellite radio and books on tape/CD sure help when you get bored with yourself, too! LOL

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