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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    I live in midtown manhattan
    Posts
    2

    Default Driving to CA in 4 days...tips anyone?

    Hi!
    I found your site while searching for tips on making it on a 4-day trip to California. I will be accompanying a friend in a cross-country drive to cali because he will be teaching in USC this fall. The thing is I dont drive but I navigate well and I can be really talky. Haha. So he'll be driving those 2800 miles all the way and we're planning to do it in 4 days. Since he is still busy doing his preparations with this move, I took the task of mapping our itinerary for this trip. I was hoping to get your inputs, comments, what to watch for, whats nice to see in the stops that we are making as well as web links to resources that isn't here in the website. I've been navigating this site all morning and I would like to give my sincerest gratitude to the moderators ...its a great help!

    Anyways, here's a proposed route:
    Day 1 - NYC to Dayton, OH
    Day 2 - Dayton to Tulsa
    Day 3 - Tulsa to Scottsdale, AZ
    DAy 4 - Scottsdale, AZ to CA

    Anything to be wary of with this proposed route? My friend is prepared to do 15 hours of driving since he really wants to go to CA as soon as possible. (day 3 is the most grueling drive so far).

    I will appreciate any comments on this.

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

    Default Pushing it hard!

    Quote Originally Posted by uncanny View Post
    I will be accompanying a friend in a cross-country drive to cali because he will be teaching in USC this fall
    Thanks for the Kudos, and welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum -- now for a dose of reality....I have driven LA to Manhattan in three days -- I had a co-driver and we only stopped for fuel. It was a brutal-brain-cell-destroying-trip -- Covering the same distance in four days with only one driver is nearly as nuts. The 2800 miles is about right, but you will need to plan to be on the road for at least 17 hours every day to cover this distance in three days. If you stop for fuel and at least one food and rest break and travel at or above the speed limit in the states you will be traveling through, you should be able to average 56 mph over the course of the 17 hour day. If you can stretch this out to five days and travel 8-10 hours per day, it is much more doable.

    No matter what, please read this article about completing Speed Runs safely!
    Sorry, but you will not have time for sightseeing on this trip. You will need to keep the "hammer down" if you are going to be able to cover the distance that fast. There is a lot of gorgeous country to see -- but you will need to stick on the interstate highways and keep pushing. It will be like traveling to Washington DC (from Manhattan) twelve times in four days. Possible, but very fatiguing.

    Anyways, here's a proposed route:
    Day 1 - NYC to Dayton, OH
    A reasonable first day at 610 miles -- but it will be slow traffic day -- figure 12 hours travel...
    Day 2 - Dayton to Tulsa
    752 miles -- take a break and see the St. Louis Arch -- ride to the top! -- A little faster speed day ~ 13 to 15 hours of travel depending upon how long you spend at the Arch.
    Day 3 - Tulsa to Scottsdale, AZ
    At 1120 miles, this is an illegal distance for professional drivers -- is the college professor a driving professional? Even with higher speed limits, you need to factor in fatigue and so this would require a minimum of 20 hours on the road!
    DAy 4 - Scottsdale, AZ to CA
    Wow, a reasonable day -- hopefully can sleep in and drive these remaining 385 miles a little bit awake.

    Happy Planning!

    Mark
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 08-20-2007 at 04:31 PM. Reason: fixed quote

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default Welcome

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    This is very much a speed run, and will pushing the limits of what a single driver can safely do. Be sure to read our Speed Run Tips, as well as these safety tips, and most importantly, if the driver starts to get tired, stop. Getting there in 4 days isn't nearly as important as getting there in one piece!

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    I live in midtown manhattan
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    At 1120 miles, this is an illegal distance for professional drivers -- is the college professor a driving professional? Even with higher speed limits, you need to factor in fatigue and so this would require a minimum of 20 hours on the road!
    Wow, a reasonable day -- hopefully can sleep in and drive these remaining 385 miles a little bit awake.
    Mark
    Thank you for all your inputs I really appreciate it. I guess I should break down day 3 and add the remaining miles on our fourth day. The thing is, my friend doesnt care how long it takes to drive because he wants to get to cali by sunday. But since I took charge of planning this trip, I would like to pass through some noteworthy drives along the way, since I might never do this again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default reality

    If you want to take some scenic detours off of the Interstates, then you can't do this trip in 4 days, its just that simple.

    As we've said, its possible to do this trip in 4 days, but it really is pushing thie limits for what a single driver can safely do.

    Of course, there are some neat things to look at as you go by on the Interstate, and you certainly don't have to get onto backroads to have a good time. But when getting to the destination on a certain day is your number one priority, sometimes other things have to be sacrificed, and in this case detours off the interstate would be one of those things.

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