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  1. Default San Fran to Las VEgas (end of November)

    My wife and I are going to the US towards th end of the month. As part of the trip, I want to drive from San FRan to Las Vegas. My intenirary is as follows:

    Day 1 - Leave San Fran mid morning and drive to Carmel - arrive mid-afternoon. spend day at spa relaxing
    Day 2 - Leave Carmel after lunch and drive to Bakersfield, arriving in the evening - have dinner and bed (not much to do hre by the sound sof it)
    Day 3 - Leave after breakfast and drive to Vegas.

    Now my questions are:
    1. My wife will be 5 months pregnant - is this too much time in a car for her (She wont be driving)
    2. Will there be any snow on the roads - my plan is to stick to the Interstate 5 and 15 - really do not want to be driving in adverse weather
    3. Will the route be quite flat or lots of elevations (again thinking of wife and possible car sickness here).
    4. Is there a better route - I only choose Carmel because it is supposed to be nice there and there is a nice spa I have found to spend the night. However, ideally I would like to travel a little further on Day 1 (and less on days 2 and 3) but cant find anywhere else nice to stop along the way.
    5. Any other tips/advice/rcommentaion would be appreciated.


  2. Default Leisurely drive, pretty much..

    Hello drdes,

    You're talking about 4-6 hours in a car for the longest part of this drive (Bakersfield to Las Vegas). If you stop a couple of places and get out and walk around, it would help anyone not comfortable for sitting long times in a car.

    There shouldn't be any snow on the roads -- you're sticking with pretty much flat ground for 95% of the way. The only real passes you'e be going over are over the Diablo/ Trembor range, and those are typically pretty flat and low (a couple of thousand feet high). So I wouldn't expect to see snow at all to Bakersfield. If you're concerned about mountain roads and driving, and don't want to backtrack to the Pachaeo Pass road (152) from Gilroy to Las Banons, you might consider taking 101 down to California 46, and then take it east across the Tremblors to Lost Hills (and the I-5 or beyond to the 99). The 101 in that area is a very good road (4 lane superhighway), and most of 41 is also a very good road with speeds of 60 mph. That's a more direct route, and pretty fast and straight and low. It also will take you a little bit through some of the Paso Robles area wine county.

    From Bakersfield to Las Vegas you'll be in the high desert, and it is uncommon to see any snow at all there (they get a couple inches once maybe every 3-4 years).

    Your route through Carmel sounds pretty good, particularly if you want to be relaxed and laid back a bit about the trip. That's good in my opinion. Carmel is a beautiful town, and the 17 mile drive is very scenic.

    Depending upon what you like and what your tastes are -- and without getting too gonzo for a drive -- I think you've laid out a pretty good trip. There are literally thousands of alterantives, but your basic route is pretty good. A couple of things you might give some thought to is maybe some places to stop for a picnic snack between Carmel and Bakersfield, and between Bakersfield and Las Vegas. You might consider taking the 101 down to Paso Robles and then east to I-5 as noted before. The I-5 isn't known for places to stop -- but if you take the 101 you might consider stopping at one of the old spanish missions along the route (the 101 follows the old Spanish El Camino Reale between the missions). Or there are a hundred or so wineries near Paso Robles, but if you wife isn't participating it might not be seen favorably to stop at a winery.

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