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  1. Default FL to OR...need advice!:)

    Hi there,

    I will be driving from Jacksonville, FL to Portland, OR at the beginning of Sept. I am going to give myself 7 days to get out there and have figured that traveling about 600-650 miles a day would get me there in 5 (about 3000 miles). Hereís the deal: I need to be out there within a week (this trip is the way for me to get my car to Portland along with myself), but I want to sightsee the Rockies and westward (FL to CO is all bizness!). I am a 25 yr old female who will be all by her lonesome.

    I am thinking about several routes:

    North to Memphis, TN. West on I-40 to Las Vegas, NM. North on I-25 to Denver.

    OR

    North to St. Louis through TN and KY and West on 70 into Denver through Kansas.

    I donít think I want to take I-80 West.

    This is the point where I really want to soak it in and take my time. Iím a FL girl and have traveled both coasts and Southern Utah, NM and AZ, but I still have never crossed the Rockies. I want to see tall mountains, deep canyons, red rocks and green trees. Where is the best place to do this scenery-wise? I was thinking highway 34 from Denver through Rocky Mountain National Park and back down to I-70, stopping at Arches and then north to Salt Lake City and onward to Portland. How scenic is this? Is 34 a rough road? Are there better routes that may be more scenic through the Rockies? Iím looking for 2-lane highways but not extreme backcountry mountain roads (donít wanna fall off the mountains LOL!) Also, has anyone ever traveled I-70 into CO through Kansas? Iíve heard it can be a lot of flat driving through Kansas, but that may be the same going through OK and TX. Any thoughts?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks so much!!

    Jess

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Can you spare a couple more days?

    Quote Originally Posted by FLgal81 View Post
    I will be driving from Jacksonville, FL to Portland, OR at the beginning of Sept. I am going to give myself 7 days to get out there
    Actually, to take the scenic detours you have outlined, it will really be pushing it to make it in seven days. Fatigue is going to get you on this trip. In order to travel 650 miles you will need to be traveling at or above the speed limit and be on the road for at least eleven hours each day. When you factor in some of the mountainous roads, as mentioned above, you should not expect to be able cover more than 400 miles in 8-10 hours of driving.

    You can certainly do this adventure -- but you need to be wise about how you do it.

    Here are some tips to get you started:

    Doing a speed run (and this will be one!)
    Solo roadtripping from some experts:
    Judy
    Brand new one!
    Solo camping (in case you had planned for this option)
    North to Memphis, TN. West on I-40 to Las Vegas, NM. North on I-25 to Denver. OR North to St. Louis through TN and KY and West on 70 into Denver through Kansas.
    Both routes are good -- I think you will enjoy I-40 a little more -- it follows the historic Route 66 for most of it.
    I want to see tall mountains, deep canyons, red rocks and green trees. Where is the best place to do this scenery-wise? I was thinking highway 34 from Denver through Rocky Mountain National Park and back down to I-70, stopping at Arches and then north to Salt Lake City and onward to Portland. How scenic is this? Is 34 a rough road? Are there better routes that may be more scenic through the Rockies?
    CO-34 is a great road -- Here is a field trip report that I think you will find helpful. Actually Gerald Thurman did five one-day trips from Denver and you will get a sense of the topography from his reports.

    Also, I-70 through eastern Utah is just about my favorite Interstate highway in the USA.

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Central California
    Posts
    378

    Default Take a day, or two

    Hi,

    Mark is right about the time. You are asking a lot to get from corner to corner in such a short time, so find a way to squeeze in an extra day or two. You only pass this way once, or so they say.

    I like the route through St. Louis to Denver, up to Hwy 34, through the park, down through Winter Park to I-70 and on as you planned. You'll love it and you won't fall off any mountains. And don't worry about Kansas, yes it is flat, but so is Florida. It has a zen beauty all its own (I've driven across it dozens of times) and it will make you appreciate the mountains all the more.

    Welcome to the left coast.

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

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