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  1. Default CA to NC roadtrip plans

    Hi,
    I am relocating to the east coast and have decided to drive cross-country. Never done anything like this before, so I would appreciate any comments on my plans to go from Santa Clara, CA to Apex, NC via I-40.
    Here is what I figured out:
    DAY 1 (Departure)
    Santa Clara, CA to Kingman, Arizona
    584 miles/ 9 hours
    Day 2
    Kingman, Arizona to Tucumcari, NM
    645 miles/ 10 hours
    Day 3
    Tucumcari, NM to Russelville, AK
    633 miles/ 10 hours
    Day 4
    Russelville, AK to Knoxville, TN
    596 miles/ 9.5 hours
    Day 5 (Arrival)
    Knoxville, TN to Apex, NC
    357 miles/ 6 hours

    Do the distances and times look reasonable? I used yahoo maps to estimate. Any suggestions? Oh yes, I might mention that I will be accompanied by 3 unhappy cats. :-)

    amd

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Pace Yourself with a Dose of Reality

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    It is a sad fact of life that the on-line mapping routines do not advertise the assumptions that go into their estimates, but here they are. The roads are always clear and dry. There is never any traffic, You' don't have to stop (ever) for gas. You don't have to stop to eat. You never require a bathroom break. You never get tired and just need a break. Now, if those sound like reasonable assumptions to you, go ahead and plan on driving 600-700 miles a day, day after day. If, however, you live in the real world, plan on doing no more than 500-550 miles a day as a pace that you can keep up over the long haul. You can still probably make the trip in 5 days, but you'll have to be a bit more judicious in where you choose as your end-of-day destinations so that you're not running yourself into the ground the first few days. Also keep in mind that you're going to loose 3 hours to time zone changes as you progress eastward. I might look for stops more like:

    Kingman, AZ
    Santa Rosa, NM
    Salislaw, OK
    Lebanon, TN
    Apex, NC

    These better spread the load and still leave a couple of shorter drives at the end when you'll be getting tired of the whole driving deal, and, like your plan, leave you staying in mid-sized cities with some motel choices but some quiet as well. Hope they suit you better. And be sure to read this thread from today for a discussion of traveling with cats.

    AZBuck

  3. Default

    Thanks a million AZbuck! I will check out the stops you suggest.....And it's funny, I thought I had factored in some down time, but after reading your list it was probably not enough.

    Glad to have advise from experienced roadtrippers. This is a pretty daunting adventure for me! :-)

    anita

  4. Default New plan for SF to NC: please advise!

    Hi,
    Based on feedback from the forum, I have decided to extend the trip one extra day to make the days more manageable. So, this is the new plan travelling via I-40:
    DAY 1
    Santa Clara to Needles, CA - 520 miles
    Day 2
    Needles, CA to Albuquerque, NM - 534 miles
    Day 3
    Albuquerque, NM to Oklahoma City, OK - 544 miles
    Day 4
    Oklahoma City, OK to Memphis, TN - 467 miles
    Day 5
    Memphis, TN to Asheville, NC - 506 miles
    Day 6
    Asheville, NC to Apex, NC - 243 miles

    Please let me know if there is anything I should be aware of for this trip route and if anyone has any experience with any of the hotels in Needles, I would be glad to hear about it, especially the Best Westerns.

    Thanks!

    amd

    Quote Originally Posted by amd View Post
    Thanks a million AZbuck! I will check out the stops you suggest.....And it's funny, I thought I had factored in some down time, but after reading your list it was probably not enough.

    Glad to have advise from experienced roadtrippers. This is a pretty daunting adventure for me! :-)

    anita

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

    Default Needles?

    Quote Originally Posted by amd View Post
    So, this is the new plan travelling via I-40:
    DAY 1: Santa Clara to Needles, CA - 520 miles
    Needles would not be my first choice for accomodations. It is only about 60 miles further to Kingman, Arizona with just about every major motel chain in the business. Kingman is a pretty town as well with great Route 66 stuff therein. (Make sure you go to the second exit -- the new motels and grocery stores are there).
    Day 2: Kingman, AZ to Albuquerque, NM - 534 miles
    This would be a short day at about 470 miles, so you could push on to Tucumcari -- great Route 66 town. (650 miles -- pushing it, but you would still be OK)
    Day 3 Tucumcari , NM to Oklahoma City, OK - 544 miles
    I would do Tucumcari to Ft. Smith, AR (about 550 miles)
    Day 4 Ft. Smith, AR to Nashville, TN - ~ 500 miles
    Day 5: Nashville, TN to Apex, NC - ~ 534 miles

    As Buck pointed out, if you add the extra day -- you can take it easier -- but you can certainly do this trip in five days. And actually, the stops he suggested still make the most sense. But stopping in Needles will not really start your trip out in the best way possible!

    Mark

  6. Default

    Hi Editor,
    First of all...thanks a million for your suggestions! I really appreciate it! This is very overwhelming for me.

    I guess I probably should've explained my decision better....I decided to expand to 6 days because not only do I have 3 cats to deal with, but my 70 yr old mom will be along for the ride as well and I think over 550 miles may be too much for them....and consequently for me ;-)

    As for Needles, do you think it is unsafe? or just not very exciting? I unfortunately can do no sightseeing on this trip. Cats can't be left in car or hotel alone, so this trip is all about getting to NC quickly, safely and fairly comfortably.

    anita

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Needles is fine

    Quote Originally Posted by amd View Post
    As for Needles, do you think it is unsafe? or just not very exciting?
    There are not as many motels in Needles as other places -- but here is a link to several Best Westerns in the area.

    Mark

  8. Default

    Thanks Mark! Yes, I did notice that :-)

    So, if I understood correctly it sounds like Needles is safe and fine for a 1 nite stop? Just not much to do there, right? And that's fine...we will probably just crash, get up really early and cross the rest of the desert in the morning. That's another reason I preferred to stop there rather than continuing on to Kingsman in the middle to the afternoon heat.

    I really wish I had more time to sightsee....especially reading about all the wonderful places I am going to miss, but unfortunately this trip is about moving the furballs across the country, doesn't leave room for much else...sigh!

    Any preferences between the 2 Best Westerns?

    anita

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Haven't ever stayed in Needles

    Quote Originally Posted by amd View Post
    That's another reason I preferred to stop there rather than continuing on to Kingman in the middle to the afternoon heat.
    It will be much hotter in Needles than in Kingman. Kingman is at a higher elevation and a nice drive -- I still think Kingman makes a heck of lot more sense than Needles.
    Any preferences between the 2 Best Westerns?
    Sorry, never have stayed at Needles.

    Mark

  10. Default Barstow Holiday Inn opinions

    Hi,
    Planning to stay overnite in Barstow next month and was looking at the Holiday Inn on West Main street. Everything looks fine, but am reading online that it is located next to a train switching station and that it is very loud and hard to sleep. We will really need a good nites sleep, so I would appreciate feedback from anyone who has stayed there. Is it really loud?

    The other Holiday Inn on Lenwood looks like a better location, but the price shoots up.

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