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  1. Default San Francisco to The Gorge - Quincy, WA in 2 days

    Hi all,

    This summer some friends and I will be travelling from Phoenix, AZ to the Sasquatch Music Festival in Quincy, WA. Our first night we will be driving non-stop to San Francisco. After that we will have 2 days to arrive at Quincy, WA (Hopefully before nightfall). While I-5 seems to be the quickest route to our destination, I would really love to see some of the Northern California and Oregon coast. I have been considering leaving San Francisco on the 101 and driving along the coast for a ways. Since time is important I was wondering if anyone had any reccomendations for where to exit the coast and head inland. I would really like to maximize my experience of great views, but would also liek to be time efficient. Potential spots that we could possibly stay the first night after leaving San Francisco include Eugene, Newport, Albany, or any other recommended locations. These locations would allow us to arrive at Quincy, WA before nightfall the following day. I would love to see some spectacular views and was also curious if driving through the Avenue of the Giants was a better view than the 101 through the Redwood Forest. I will be leaving for this trip on the 23rd.

    Thanks,
    Kelly

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

    Default How many drivers?

    Quote Originally Posted by descendents View Post
    This summer some friends and I will be travelling from Phoenix, AZ to the Sasquatch Music Festival in Quincy, WA. Our first night we will be driving non-stop to San Francisco
    Well this sounds like a classic Speed Run -- make sure you read our tips and follow the advice! Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!
    After that we will have 2 days to arrive at Quincy, WA (Hopefully before nightfall).
    As you know, the most direct route is inland (about 800 miles) which is certainly doable in two days. And if you went the inland route, you could stop and see Crater Lake -- here is a field report from that area.
    While I-5 seems to be the quickest route to our destination, I would really love to see some of the Northern California and Oregon coast. I have been considering leaving San Francisco on the 101 and driving along the coast for a ways. Since time is important I was wondering if anyone had any reccomendations for where to exit the coast and head inland.
    US-101 doesn't run along the coast (it is an inland route until one reaches Eureka). But is a beautiful highway and I recommend that you take it up to Cresent City and then diagonal north on US-199 to US-97 and then on to Quincy. I would spend the first night at Eureka or Crescent City and then head for Quincy. Places of interest around Crescent City and the Redwoods:
    Hiking trails in Redwood National Park
    Camping on the coast
    I would love to see some spectacular views and was also curious if driving through the Avenue of the Giants was a better view than the 101 through the Redwood Forest
    Avenue of the Giants parallels the highway and it is worth the slower speeds!

    Mark

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

    Default A more coastal option

    Mark gave you good advice. If you want to see Crater Lake along the way, and it really is worth seeing, you could take 199 from Crescent City to Grant's Pass and then go east (actually south bound) on I-5 for just a few miles to Gold Hill. From there, take 234/62 to Crater Lake. It will take you through the beautiful Rogue River National Forest.

    After Crater Lake, you have several options. A good one is to take the Crater Lake North Highway to 138; go east until it meets with 97 and then head north. But check with the ranger station to ensure it's open and clear. If not, there's several other options to meet up with 97. You might ask a park ranger what they recommend.

    97 is a great drive. It takes you through a wide variety of landscapes. Bend is a really cool town along the way.

    If you decide on this route, I would actually push on to Grant's Pass for the night. If you get an early start, you should easily be able to drive this in daylight so you can enjoy the views along the way.(This route is about 940 miles)

    If you want to drive more of the coast, you might consider this: Continue north on 101 to Newport, OR. Then east on 20 to Albany. From there you will take I-5 to Portland, then I-84 East to the junction with 97, cross the Columbia on 97 and head to Quincy from there. This will give you more of the beautiful coast to drive. And you will get to see the equally beautiful Columbia River Gorge area. If you go this route, Florence would probably make a good stop for the night. (Route: about 990 miles) While it's only 50 more miles, it will take a tad longer to drive due to the windy roads that will likely be a tad busier than the other route and slow you down. But the scenery would be worth it.


    Both would be great drives. It just depends on what you want to see the most along the way. You should easily be able to make it to Quincy in the early evening. Especially if you get an early start.

  4. Default

    Thanks for all the great advice. I am pretty sure I would like to do a lot of my driving along the coast, especially with the varying landscapes. I have begun planning my trip in MS Streets and Trips and have uploaded my route thus far. Days 4 and 5 are the return route from Quincy to Tucson AZ. Stops are in Tempe, AZ and San Jose, CA to pick up friends. We will be spending the night in San Francisco at a friends on Day 1 and 4, and potentially in Newport on Day 2. If you have any suggestions or improvements on this route please make suggestions. Also, do the times that are being given by Streets and Trips seem reasonable with your coast driving experience?

    Sasquatch Route

    Thanks for the help again,
    Kelly
    Last edited by descendents; 05-08-2007 at 10:41 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
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    3,318

    Default How did you do that?

    I have no idea how to take a MS S&T map/directions and put it on a webpage like that. How do you do it? Cool.

    No, MS S&T is not always accurate. None of the programs are. Neither is Mapquest or any of the web-based products. The coastal route is narrow and parts of it are very windy. There will be times you are only driving 30-40 mph because of the turns. And there might be times that you're going slower because you will be behind an RV that really needs to slow down on this type of road. And, there will be other times where you'll breeze along at 55-60 mph.

    Let me tell you how I use MS S&T to calculate my driving times. Even though many interstates are 70mph and flow of traffic might have you traveling at closer to 80, I always plug in 65mph for that. I also usually plug in to figure that I'm going to be stopping for 1 hour every 4 hours. This accounts for quick stops to look at a scenic view/gas/restroom breaks/etc. If there are things along the way that I know I might want to linger at or if I'm traveling through areas where I know traffic can be horrid, I might even say that I'm going to stop 2 hours every 4 hours.

    Anyway, I then use the time-table as simply a rough guideline. If there's someplace I really need to be for the night, I can track my progress during the day. If I'm ahead of schedule at certain checkpoints along the way, I know I can stop and explore longer and still make my destination. If I'm behind schedule, well then I know that I need to pick up the pace and not stop someplace after all, or make other adjustments.

    The general agreement here is to figure an average of 57mph traveling in the west. That allows for quick stops for food/gas/etc. And it usually allows for any kind of traffic congestion.

    You're really pushing it with your schedule. The only reasonable day is the Newport-Quincy segment. We generally recommend keeping daily mileage closer to 500 miles as you can expect traveling 500 miles to take you about 9 hours of driving. Even with multiple drivers, what you're attempting to do just might not be possible.

    For example, you have a stop at Avenue of the Giants but your timetable says you will only be spending 4 minutes there. Really? First, I don't think you could drive through it in 4 minutes. Second, are you really not going to slow down and enjoy the wonder of the sights along there?

    I think you need to try to squeeze out another day somehow.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    234

    Default phew!

    I have done part of your trip as 2 different trips(bay area to Flagstaff & bay area to Portland-up on I5 & down the coast). And both were exhausting. We had taken 3 extra days than you have. But of course, we stopped here & there for the scenery, couple of hikes, this & that. But then again, we skipped northern CA altogether(we'd done it numerous times before).

    As Judy/Mark suggested, even if you cannot stop at the avenue of the giants, you will definitely want to slow down. If not for the winding roads & hairpin bends, at least for some wildlife on the road. Especially, if you are night-driving.

    My point is, if not 2, you will need at least 1 extra day.

    Good luck!
    cool

  7. Default

    Thanks for all the advice so far.

    As much as I would love to take an extra couple days for this trip it will not be possible because I will be travelling with students who have school the week before and after memorial day weekend. Currently this allows them to only miss three days of school (or summer school). We will have five drivers so I am sure we will be able to cover a signifigant amount of distance each day. I would really love to be able to stop along the way and explore the various sights but with the time restraints I don't feel it is possible.

    I've also looked at that Avenue of the Giants and indeed it does not have me travelling along it all the way. I added both the south and then the north entrance as route points but it still spits me back out onto the 101 mid-way and then back onto Avenue of the Giants later towards the north. Does anyone know how to change it so that it shows me driving along the Avenue the entire distance.

    Since the route I have planned may be too long to do, how would you suggest modifying it so that I will still be able to see some of the beautiful coast without overextending myself. Planning the trip has been fairly easy, but knowing if the route times are practical is a mystery to me. Thanks again for all your help. I will make sure to update my link as the route changes.

    Kelly
    Current Route

    P.S. If you would like to make your route into a webpage you must "Save as Webpage" or "Save as HTML" under the File menu. I have MS S+T 2007 so I am not sure if you will have this option. Once the webpage is saved you can simply upload it to your personal webspace. If you have any more questions regarding this, feel free to ask.
    Last edited by descendents; 05-09-2007 at 02:56 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
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    3,318

    Default Thanks, descendents!

    I see in my menu where I can save maps/directions as a web page. I can't believe I never noticed that before. Thanks!

    It's too bad you can't add extra days. You will want to ensure that this speed run is done safely. When the extra drivers are off driving duty, they should try to nap and get some rest. If they can't nap, at least closing their eyes for awhile helps. Eye fatigue, in addition to real fatigue, is a safety factor when driving long hours. So encourage times where the car is quiet so people can get that rest and recuperation before their next turn at the wheel. I don't mean you have to be quiet the entire trip, but at least have an hour or so of relative peace every few hours. Whoever is in the passenger seat should be alert and a good navigator to aid the driver and to keep a watch on the driver to notice signs of fatigue setting in. If everybody is just getting too tired to drive safely, it doesn't hurt to pull over so everybody can try to get in a power nap. I've been known to pull over at parks, beaches, or other quiet locations and lay down my blanket and take a nap in the middle of the daytime. I've done it in my car as well but that's harder for all of you to do because I would guess that car would be a little cramped for you all to do this. A 20-30 minutes power nap can make a huge difference in being alert. It's better to take this kind of break and be safe than to push on when everybody is drowsy.

    Having healthy food to snack on is pretty important, too. Bring a cooler with healthy food. I would focus on proteins as much as possible. Things like nuts, cheese, jerky, protein bars, deli meats, and hard-boiled eggs. And water, lots of water. Protein will keep everybody's blood sugar levels more even. Even healthy people that aren't diabetic can have blood sugar swings from eating too many sweets or carbs. Dropping blood sugar levels can make you feel more fatigued. So you want to avoid too much snacking on sweets and dependence on junk food stops. Also, drinking water and being hydrated helps keep you alert as well. Dehydration can induce fatigue. And having food handy like this eliminates at least some of your food stops saving you time on the road.

    The best way to save yourself some time and miles is to alter your route. The more I think about it, I really think you're pushing it by continuing up the Oregon Coast this trip. The road in most places if fairly narrow and windy. You are just not going to be able to make good time on this route. It's just not made for a speed run. And it takes you through many communities that are right on the road where your speed limit will be 25-35mph. Add in getting slowed down by RVs or other congestion caused by tourist traffic, and this route adds many more hours than the extra 40 miles or so suggest. You absolutely can't use MS S&T's time-to-drive guesstimate for this route. Even the 57mph average suggested here is too fast for that road. Save this stretch of road for another time.

    I suggest that you take 199 from Crescent City to I-5 and take I-5 North. Oregon is a beautiful state and you will have some beautiful vistas even though you're on an interstate. In, just south of Portland, take the 205 East until it merges with I-84, then go East. This is another beautiful drive along the Columbia River Gorge. Just a few miles past The Dalles, take 97 North into Washington. At Toppenish, take I-82 North (or will it be marked West?)...follow the signs towards Yakima and Ellensburg. At Ellensburg, take I-90 East to just past George, then 281 north to Quincy.

    Staying on interstates will make for easier driving and you will cover the miles faster. You will see lots of interesting landscapes. It will still make for a fun drive.

    If you are making good time and drivers are alert, you might want to take the Historic Columbia River Highway. This will be just off I-84 at Exit 22. It returns to I-84 at Exit 35. This will add more time than the miles suggest because it's very windy but it's been awhile since I've done it so I'm not real clear how much extra time. Maybe and hour depending on how many stops you make? But it's a very cool drive if you're up to it at that point. Enjoy a stop at the historic Vista House and Multnomah Falls to stretch your legs and enjoy the scenery.

    Enjoy!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
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    3,318

    Default Forgot this in my last response

    Quote Originally Posted by descendents View Post
    I've also looked at that Avenue of the Giants and indeed it does not have me travelling along it all the way. I added both the south and then the north entrance as route points but it still spits me back out onto the 101 mid-way and then back onto Avenue of the Giants later towards the north. Does anyone know how to change it so that it shows me driving along the Avenue the entire distance.

    Sometimes you have to push the program by clicking on points along your intended route and adding more waypoints. You could also add a time frame that you expect you will want for a stop there by double-clicking on "Avenue of the Giants" on the list of stops when in route mode. It will bring up a window where you can input how long you want to stay there. I always use this feature when I know I'll want to make a stop at a specific place for awhile to help the program give me more accurate travel times.

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