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  1. Default Wash DC-AZ-CA-WA x-country

    Hello fellow road tripers,

    I am roughing out an itinerary for a road trip from Washington DC to Seattle, WA around the end of October 2007. My route layout so far looks like this.
    * Leaving the DC area via I-66 W towards I-81 in West Virgina.
    * Take I-81 south towards I-40 Nashville, TN
    * Travel on I-40 W through Memphis, Little Rock, Oklahoma, Amarillo, Albuquerque until reaching Phoenix

    Here is where I can divert. Leaving from AZ I can head north on I-15 through Utah and Idaho. But with winter settling in the roads might be a bit to hazardous for a trailer in tow.
    The other route would take me through southern California. Then up through Cali, and Oregon.

    On my route I would like to stop here and there for some interesting sites to photograph.
    Anyone have any cool places along my route that they could recommend????

    I am reading through Jamie Jensen's "Road Trip USA"

    thanks in advance
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 10-13-2007 at 06:46 PM. Reason: added link to RTA's review of Jamie's book

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    Quote Originally Posted by red_right_returns View Post
    I am roughing out an itinerary for a road trip from Washington DC to Seattle, WA around the end of October 2007. My route layout so far looks like this.
    That's coming up real soon now! How long do you have to make this trip?
    Also, is this a one-way (ie - moving to a new location) trip?

    The I-81 corridor runs right through the heart of Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, and is one of my favorite places. The way the weather has been, it seems as though the peak foliage color will occur within the next couple of weeks in that area. This should afford you some nice opportunities for photographs.

    You say that you will have a trailer in tow - is this a large trailer? That might limit the options that you have to taking some of the more scenic routes.

    Here is where I can divert. Leaving from AZ I can head north on I-15 through Utah and Idaho. But with winter settling in the roads might be a bit to hazardous for a trailer in tow.
    The thing about the Interstates is that they are designed to allow for the transfer of cargo and traffic in all but the worst conditions. There may be some foul weather at this time of year, but you should still be relatively safe taking this route.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 10-13-2007 at 08:17 PM. Reason: added link to one of Tim's posts about Shenandoah Valley

  3. #3
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default I-5 May be worse

    As Tim says, the Interstates are designed to function in most conditions, and take top priority when states and counties begin snow removal duties. However, I-5 may be worse for you towing a trailer. I-15 to I-84 and then into Washington via the Columbia River Gorge may be best. I-5 has approximately 6 defined summits, so those are 8 mountain passes you have to cross. Siskiyou Pass can be hard to cross in dry weather while towing (it's a fairly steep grade), but in winter it can occasionally get snowed in.

    Going through Utah, you cross only 1-2 summits, the primary one I know of is a bit of a steep grade in Eastern Oregon, but there is far more flatter land along the route.

    I'd keep both options open, and even plan for using both, and watch the Weather reports before leaving Phoenix. If Utah is getting hit with a lot of snow, and I-5 is clear, then jump over to California. If California is having problems, Utah is still there. It's always good to have options.

    Just remember, there are miles of nothing in Northern Utah/Southern Idaho, unless you like desert and grassland scenery.

    There are pros-and-cons to each route. I've driven both, and I like both.

    Hope this helps.

    -Brad
    Last edited by RoadTripper Brad; 10-14-2007 at 06:32 AM. Reason: 6 summits, not 8. I can't count Blewitt and Snoqualmie.

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mass Tim View Post
    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    That's coming up real soon now! How long do you have to make this trip?
    Also, is this a one-way (ie - moving to a new location) trip?
    I am pulling a 5x8 foot trailer from Uhaul with my Nissan Titan 4x4 pickup truck. For the stint from Wash DC to AZ I figure 5 days. Then I will be stopping in AZ for some sightseeing and family visits. My cousin has made the trip from AZ to WA in 2 1/2 days, so I know its doable but I dont plan on it. I received an email from one of my friends in San Francisco. So it as of now I am leaning on a coastal drive up California.
    And yes it is a one-way trip. Thanks Brad and Tim for your insight. I will be printing and entering both routes into my GPS.

    I might start a blog about this trip as well, because thats a fun way to motivate one to document the planning, routing, driving and memories of a road trip.

    Thanx again, and keep those wheels turning

  5. #5
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default 2.5 days!?!

    Quote Originally Posted by red_right_returns View Post
    My cousin has made the trip from AZ to WA in 2 1/2 days, so I know its doable but I dont plan on it.
    Phhhttt.... Leaving out sight seeing and needless stops, I've done both routes in 2 very long days (2 AM-8 PM). Unless you have time constraints, I recommend seeing some of the sites and taking a bit longer, at least 3 days if not more.

    If time is of the essence, it is possible to get between Phoenix and most of Washington in less than 48 hours. With adequate stretching, it's not that difficult. Tiring, but not difficult.

    Report back with the blog, we'd love to hear about it. Here is a new free tool that will enable you to create a free road trip travel site.

    -Brad
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 10-14-2007 at 09:31 AM. Reason: added the direct link

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