CA to MA mid-Dec.
This website was very helpful last year when I moved from Boston to San Diego. Now, I am moving back to Boston in mid-December. The trip out to San Diego went very smoothly. My friend and I went I-81 to I-40 to I-30 to I-20 to I-10 and then I-8 in 5 days with ample time to stop at the places we had planned. I have just started trying to figure out a route back to Boston, but would love to see some different parts of the country this time if possible. We'll be a lot slower this time because we'll be driving a small pick-up truck that will be towing a U-haul trailer. We have about 10 days for the trip. Does anyone have any suggestions for routes that will get us there in time? I know you can't really predict the weather but are there routes we should definitely stay away from? Thanks for any and all help.
Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 11-30-2007 at 11:31 PM.
Reason: added link to the previous planning thread
new trip, new challenges
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I think the advice this time is going to be pretty similar to what you were given last time. If you are looking for another route, you could simply take I-40, I-70, or I-80 for most of your trip across country.
A couple extra things to keep in mind with this trip. Last time you got plenty of advice warning you that making this trip in 5 days was on the upper edge of what is generally safe and reasonable. This time you've got two more major elements working against you.
First, you'll be pulling a trailer which will force you to reduce your speed significantly. I'd plan to be driving at least 10 mph slower on average when dealing with the extra baggage of a trailer. Since you'd already have to be looking at some long driving days, you will need to plan on those days being even longer.
The other aspect is that instead of traveling in September, you'll be traveling in December, when there is a chance of getting snow or ice on any cross country route from I-10 to I-90. Because of this, I wouldn't pick my final route until just a day or two before departure when I could use the weather forecasts as my guide. And of course, you'll also need to plan for delays to your relatively short time frame in case you do find weather that forces you to slow down or even stop.
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As I recall, you only had 5 or 6 days for your trip west, but now you have some experience with what is involved in a cross-country drive pulling a trailer. You also have about twice as much time for the return trip so you can take a bit of time wander a bit and really explore some places on this run. There are three basic possible routes between Boston and San Diego, all within a hundred or so miles of the same length, roughly 3000 miles. You took the southernmost on the way out. The northernmost is the one I suggested previously, I-15 into Utah, I-70 to Denver, I-80 across the plains, and I-90 into Boston. That is a gorgeous route in the west, but you tend to pay for it by driving through and around heavily populated northeast cities. My preference would be for the central route (with a twist): I-8 to Phoenix, I-17 up to I-40 and Oklahoma City, I-44 to St. Louis and then I-64 through Kentucky and into West Virginia, finishing up with I-79/I-70/I-81/I-84 on up into Boston. This middle route brings you within visiting distance of two of the great natural wonders of the U.S., the Grand Canyon and Mammoth Cave, a number of great cities including Oklahoma City and St. Louis, as well as a number of smaller sites along the way. And it is generally scenic for most of its length.