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  1. Default 9-1-07 Denver - Reno - California

    Hi all

    Been a long time reader of this forum.

    Well, September 1 begins my vacation and I always take it the same time every year. I am traveling solo this time around and have 9 days to make my round trip. This year, I have a new tool, a Garmin GPS. With that in mind, I am not afraid to explore and go to places along the way that I have never been before, it will be hard to get lost....finally!

    Though I have lived in Colorado all my life, I have never travelled west, I-70 through the mountains to get to anything west. I have Always taken I-25 to I-40 then over to Vegas and California. The weather is starting to change, a few cool days here and there and a few mountain peaks have a dusting of snow already. Anyone familiar with the trip through I-70 know if there is any chance of encountering snowy roads this early? Yes it can snow in Denver anytime once September gets here but I am scared of mountain roads and snow. Not only will this be nice to do, I am leaving about noon on Saturday so I will have 7.5 hours of daylight to enjoy the mountain roads.

    So then I plan on my first stop being Reno this time and skipping Vegas. Other than casinos, what places are there to see while there, I plan on staying possibly two days.

    After Reno, moving west to California. I want to make my usual stop in Hollywood then move up possible towards San Fransico to check out the bridge and from there I have no idea what else to see in that city. Suggestions again?

    Then towards beginning the journey back home, heading down to San Diego. Places there to see?

    So I plan:

    Arriving in Reno late afternoon Sunday and staying till Tuesday morning.
    Tuesday night arriving in L.A., Hollywood area. Wednesday heading west to Santa Monica, hitting the beach there and then heading up to see P.C.H. then coming back and heading to San Francisco and the rest of the trip. I should have plenty of time. I just need to be back in Denver sometime on Monday the 10th.

    Could this work out ok?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Life is an Adventure

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Quote Originally Posted by hexonxonx
    (I)t will be hard to get lost.
    See, in my book, that's a shame. Getting lost (or at least the possibility of it) is half the fun of a RoadTrip. I'm also not a fan of too much reliance on technology. Your GPS may know where you are, but do you? Especially in the mountains of western Colorado, you can lose the lock on the 5-6 satellites required for a reliable position - then what do you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by hexonxonx
    Though I have lived in Colorado all my life, I have never travelled west (on) I-70
    Another shame. I-70 in western Colorado and eastern Utah is one of the most stunning roads in America. But be sure to get off on the side roads as well. Weather will always be a concern, but should not stop you from setting out on this trek. Just keep an eye on the forecast and be ready to sit out a day if you have to.

    While in the Reno area, be sure to get up to Virginia City, and in San Diego the best place to start is the information center in Balboa Park.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default sense of direction

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    First of all, as you mentioned, its possible, but unlikely that you would see any snow in early September. Second, I really wouldn't worry about I-70, which is nothing like the twisting 2 lane roads that go through mountains in other parts of the state. Its grade and turns are all very gradual.

    After Reno, moving west to California. I want to make my usual stop in Hollywood then move up possible towards San Fransico to check out the bridge and from there I have no idea what else to see in that city. Suggestions again?
    OK, I think you might be a little lost here. Why would you go from Reno, down to Hollywood, back up to San Francisco, and then down to San Diego again? Wouldn't it make a lot more sense to drive from Reno to SF, and then head down the coast?

    I also am a little concerned about your travel plans. Are you really planning to drive from Denver, leaving at noon, and make it to Reno in one day? And actually you think you could make it there by "late in the afternoon?" Maybe I've missed something, but that's not going to work. Its more than 1000 miles, and will require more than 18 hours on the road.

    You seem to be all over the place, so perhaps I'm missing something, but I think you'll need to put a little more thought into where you are going and how long you'll be spending in each location.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default I'm with Buck


    I agree with AZ Buck on the I-70 route west. How about this as a plan (where to put the overnights will depend on your driving ambitions for each day):

    Denver to Reno, via Virginia City - I-70 to Hwy 50 to Hwy 341
    Reno to San Francisco via Lake Tahoe and Sacramento - Hwy 50 to I-80,
    or take the back way via Lake Tahoe, Jackson/Sutter Creek (49er mining towns) and Stockton - Hwy 50 to Hwy 89 to Hwy 88 to Hwy 4 to I-5 to I-205 to I-580
    San Francisco to San Diego via Hwy 1
    Then home via Las Vegas or the longer route through Santa Fe.

    That works out to about 3,000+ miles, driving 6 hours per day on average, which is very doable.

    As for things to do in San Francisco, just cruising around town for a day or so will be interesting enough. Golden Gate Bridge, Marin Headlands, Muir Woods, Sausolito, Alcatraz (ferry ride), Cable Cars, Twin Peaks, Chinatown, Castro District, Golden Gate Park, The Embarcadero (waterfront from Ghirardelli Square to ATT Park where Barry Bonds hits his homeruns.) Just get a map and explore.

    Craig Sheumaker

    co-author of America's Living History-The Early Years

  5. Default

    Thanks RedCorral

    Yes, that seems allot better. I didn't realize how unorganized my plans seemed when I first posted my message above. I do plan on going more or less the same way that you suggested.

    Well, should be a fun trip no matter what, I just want to go to Reno, San Francisco and L.A. and the rest in between is open to whatever I come to or think of while I am there.

    Thanks to the other two people who posted comments also. I'm leaving in the morning!

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