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  1. Default Travel from maryland to vegas

    Hi im a nurse travelling from MD to NV around the middle of December.

    I am driving a suzuki aerio with most of my worldly goods that i havent shipped ahead of me in.

    I realise now that is it great weather but as i am not from this country i am not familiar with the problems i could get going thru colorado in december.

    Would be grateful for info on that and cheap clean places to stay on my trip i reckon will take approx 6 days.
    Probably that long as i will see interesting places that i just want to look at and addedd a little bit of time for the unexpected.

    Or shall i just fly and let the auto movers take my car accross country????!!!

    Thanks in anticipation of any help

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

    Default Fly the Dragon

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Cymru am byth

    Six days is the absolute minimum I'd prescribe for this trip in the winter. That leaves just a little time each day for quick sightseeing along the route, while still averaging about 500 miles a day. Then you hold one day in your pocket JIC. That way, if a snowstorm hits on your journey, you're covered. You just hole up for a day and let the road crews clear the highways while you enjoy a nice walk through the woods somewhere on fresh fallen snow. If you luck out and have good weather, you can use that extra day at the tail end of your trip to get a first taste of some of the great National Parks in Utah such as Arches, Bryce Canyon and Zion.

    As far as 'cheap clean places' go, at the very cheap end are chains like Motel 6, Super 8, Red Roof Inn and Econolodge. All of those will give you a basic bed and clean linens for a pretty basic price. I tend to go up one step from those and use chains like Days Inn, Comfort Inn and Sleep Inn which cost a little more but just feel cleaner, safer and quieter. If you're going to be playing this by ear and allowing for possible weather delay, then don't pre-book, but do contact a few of the chains listed above and ask them to send you a brochure or directory listing their locations. Then you can see what's available wherever you end up on a given evening.

    Finally, even though you are going to be a bit cramped in your small car with everything you'll be carrying, by all means drive rather than fly. The country looks and feels a lot different at 0 rather than 35,000 feet. And do take the time to get away from the highways and into some of the smaller towns along the way for your meals. Walk around those towns afterwards and talk to people. Take the pulse of America - you may not pass this way again.

    AZBuck

  3. #3

    Default

    You might want to think about picking up I-44 in St Louis and then taking I-40 across Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona if you're nervous about Colorado in December. My Map Point software says that the southern route through OKC is only 15 miles longer but you're about 300 miles south and probably 4000 feet lower in altitude. I-44 across Missouri is a very pretty drive. Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle can get a little boring, but the scenery gets better in New Mexico and Arizona. I've made the trip from Oklahoma out to Yuma AZ and back several times in December and I've never had any problems with the weather. Watch the Weather Channel a couple of days before you start and plan your route accordingly.

    I agree with AZBuck about lodging. Comfort and Sleep Inns are usually pretty decent. I've done okay with the Microtel chain too. If you haven't booked your stay in advance and pull into a motel and things "just don't look right" - go down the road. There's no point in asking for trouble.

    You'll enjoy your trip. I might suggest a couple of Louis L'amour westerns on CD or tape to get you into the mood.

    Have Fun
    Dave

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default I would stick with Colorado

    Quote Originally Posted by OkieDave View Post
    You might want to think about picking up I-44 in St Louis and then taking I-40 across Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona if you're nervous about Colorado in December.
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! I like the drive through the panhandle -- there is a lot to recommend it (except in the winter). Road maintenance in Texas and Oklahoma can be iffy in ice storms whereas the Colorado highway department is one of the best in the nation at snow and ice removal. But I do agree that I-44 is a very nice drive!

    With a handle like OkieDave -- do you hail from Oklahoma? If so, what are some of your favorite road trip haunts?

    Mark

  5. Default thanks a lot

    Thanks a lot especially for the welsh greetings but also for the excellent tips i like the idea of being further south and at a lower altitude so actually do think i will go that way.
    It has been a hit and miss with motel 6 to a real grotty one in Boston to a superb one in Vermont.
    Even if i pushed the boat out and stayed at Holiday inn/express with petrol it is still going to be less than the cost of shipping the car.
    I am slightly worried about the milage that i will be putting on my poor suzuki as i plan to sell it mid next year to return to the UK dont want to devalue it too much.
    Will take all your suggestions on board thanks
    J
    X

  6. #6

    Default

    Mark -

    I live in Norman - I've been here for almost 30 years. We have family back in NJ and PA and make the run back east about every other year. I also do a trip up to Upper Michigan every fall to go deer hunting -its a long story of why I drive 1200 miles to shoot deer so that's for another time. Anyway I'm a Route 66 nut and I've driven most of it in Missouri and all of what's left of 66 in Oklahoma. Route 66 in Oklahoma is a very nice 2 day drive with plenty of time to take pictures and stop for some good food.

    Dave

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Do you ever get up to Stillwater?

    Quote Originally Posted by OkieDave View Post
    I live in Norman - I've been here for almost 30 years.
    One of the events I have tried to fit in for a couple of years is the annual concrete canoe competition in Stillwater each year. Have you ever been?
    I also do a trip up to Upper Michigan every fall to go deer hunting -its a long story of why I drive 1200 miles to shoot deer so that's for another time.
    Yeay, because unless something has happened recently -- there are a few deer in OK.
    Anyway I'm a Route 66 nut and I've driven most of it in Missouri and all of what's left of 66 in Oklahoma. Route 66 in Oklahoma is a very nice 2 day drive with plenty of time to take pictures and stop for some good food.
    I agree, it is a very nice run. One of our RoadTrip Advisors "Road Dog" is also a bonafide Route 66 enthusiast. Here is one of his Route 66 threads.

    Mark

  8. #8

    Default Shipping the auto

    cymru2-

    Far be it from me to discourage a road trip, but you seem a bit anxious about two material aspects of the trip--the chance for winter weather encounters and wear and tear on your vehicle.

    My thinking on both matters is:

    1) Winter weather is hard to predict more than a few days ahead of time. A winter storm may be a mild inconvenience or a major stoppage of your progress. Consider what happened in Colorado, Texas, and New Mexico just before Christmas of 2006 (or was it 2005?) It was awful for travelers. A delay of one day is troublesome, a delay of two days is certainly possible, and longer delays are possible, regardless of route. If you have enough leeway in your travel time allotment, no worries. If you're on a set timetable to arrive and begin work in your destination location, this could be a serious issue for you.

    2) You correctly regard the mileage put on your car as a cost factor on driving the trip vs shipping. If not in your estimates/comparisons in dollars and cents form, you're at least thinking about it. As well you should, as 3,000 miles is approximately 20-25% of the average annual miles put on the average American-owned vehicle. For me, it's actually over 50% of my non-recreational annual mileage. Aside from your plans to sell the car before returning to the UK and the depreciation that the additional mileage might factor into its selling price, you're also 3,000 miles closer to whatever unknown mechanical difficulties lie ahead for your car. If your expected driving patterns once in NV are such that you'd be living close to your worksite, etc, you may be putting more miles on the car on this trip than in many months of residency.

    I recently looked at shipping an American-made fullsize pickup truck from North Carolina to California. All of the quotes were within $100 of $1,100. It was February 2007 when I sought quotes and fuel prices were around the same then as now. With the assumption that there'd be additional airfare added to the shipping cost (my son was to fly from CA to NC one-way, to begin with, and would have flown back if not for electing to drive his truck back), I figured something like $800 in fuel and motels to drive his trip, some $500 less than shipping and flying, yes, but that's before wear and tear on the vehicle is estimated in $$ terms, and with no consideration to the vagaries of transcontinental travel.

    But that said, my son very much wants to do a cross-country trip, as do I, so on Sunday next, off we go, economic analysis be damned. If there's some adventurousness about you, you might do the same.

    Foy

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