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  1. #1

    Default From SoCal to Columbus OH in Mid December

    So I'm done with college and shall be returning home for the winter break. Just bought a new 07 Element and it's able to fit everything I own in the back, so I figure it'll be quite loaded (although not necessarily heavy). My grad date is Dec 15th, and to avoid CA traffic I was thinking about leaving as soon as the ceremony was over (Around 6p I'm guessing). This is not a scenic trip, I'll save those for when I'm in the USAF. What I want to know is:

    * What's the fastest time it's ever taken someone to singlehandedly drive this distance, close to the speed limits or flow of traffic that is

    * (sub-question) Has it be done w/o sleep? Google maps says 1 day 14 hours, and I've been able to pull myself through that once before at a LAN party.

    * It's the middle of December. NAVTEQ routes me through AZ, NM, TX, OK, MS, IL, and IN taking the I-10, I-17, I-40, I-44, and I-70. Do you think the snow will be terrible, and should I invest in snow chains? (It's a 2WD on stock tires).

    * Cities to route around as opposed to NAVTEQ's planning in consideration of weather, congestion or construction?

    On the plus side, there's a good chance I'll get to try my hand at GPS navigation for the first time by reviewing this. Anyone have any experience with how accurate these are when it comes to fuel stations?

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

    Default Time Traveling

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    While I certainly can appreciate your eagerness, there are some realities you are going to need to face here.

    * What's the fastest time it's ever taken someone to singlehandedly drive this distance, close to the speed limits or flow of traffic that is
    Experience says that about the fastest anyone can cover a long distance, when you factor in stops for gas, bathrooms, food, ect, is about 57 mph. Even if you drive above the speed limit, and limit your stops, this is still close to the best you can realisticly obtain.

    I calculate your trip to be around 2300 miles, which means you'll be looking at about 40 hours on the road, assuming good weather conditions.

    * (sub-question) Has it be done w/o sleep? Google maps says 1 day 14 hours, and I've been able to pull myself through that once before at a LAN party.
    I'm going to try to avoid sounding like a lecture here, but this is important and you need to understand something: You can not safely drive this distance without sleep. Even attempting such a feat would be putting both your life and the lives of others on the road at an extreme risk. It simply is not worth it.

    3 days would really be the minimum I would allow for a trip of this magnitidue. Even that will really require you to push your body to its physical limits.

    Reading the articles on How to make a speed run will provide more help in safely planning this kind of trip.

    Good luck and safe travels!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

    Sorry, man, but Michael is absolutely right. This trip cannot be made in a day or even two. When Google maps says that the trip can be made in 1 day, 14 hours, they mean 38 hours of non-stop, at-the-speed-limit driving. Streets and Trips says 35 hours - again assuming uninterrupted driving. There was a time (when I was just out of college myself) that I prided myself on my ability to drive long distances in a single sitting. I would routinely go from the Coast of Maine to the shores of the Chesapeake without any stops of any kind. I also made my living working long, overnight shifts, so sleep deprivation was nothing new to me. But even in my heyday, my absolute record was just over 1200 miles in 26 hours. And at the end of it I slept for 14. Trying to push too far too fast will just end up costing you in the long run (one way or another). Ask any successful marathoner and they will tell you that the secret is in pacing yourself. Realize that the fastest you are going to make this trip is 3-4 days (and I have serious doubts about 3, you'd have to cover over 700 miles each day) and just relax and enjoy it. On a similar note, I doubt that trying to leave L.A. at 6:00 PM will help you to "avoid California traffic". I think you'd be better served by going home after the ceremony, adopting an "early to bed and early to rise" strategy, and taking off before sunrise the next day. Scenic or not, every trip must, above all else, be safe.

    AZBuck

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

    Default It 'aint a LAN party!

    Quote Originally Posted by Androktasie View Post
    Google maps says 1 day 14 hours, and I've been able to pull myself through that once before at a LAN party.
    Congratulations on your pending graduation and the purchase of your new ride. I have been a fan of long drives and speed runs ever since I purchased my first car and I will add my two cents to the excellent advice above: Doing a speed run requires all of one's senses and driving skills on high alert. Even with a professional co-driver I would not attempt this drive in less than two days. As a solo driver, in winter, you are asking for a terrible result to drive it in less than three. We have an entire section of this site that provides tips for safe driving -- you might find it helpful to "thumb through" a few of the suggestions. Also take a look at these tips for winter weather driving.
    Do you think the snow will be terrible, and should I invest in snow chains? (It's a 2WD on stock tires).
    This looks to be an El Nino year and so, yes, there is going to snow on the route -- probably a lot of it. I carry chains year around (since I have them it is just about guaranteed that I won't need them) I would suggest that it might a good practice to copy.

    Happy Planning!

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 11-04-2006 at 11:19 AM. Reason: Added another resource link

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Is your GPS -- FM Compatible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Androktasie View Post
    On the plus side, there's a good chance I'll get to try my hand at GPS navigation for the first time
    The feature article of the week gives a great overview of what GPS units ought to be doing at this point in time.

    Mark

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