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  1. Default Critique my roadtrip plan

    Hey all Im new here, joined because I will be embarking on my first real roadtrip soon. Well heres the plan: Me and two of my friends who are all 20/21 will be leaving in the begining of January and we have 13 or 14 days if we need the extra. We are starting from basically NYC, and since it will be winter we want to get as far south as possible and stay there for most of the trip. We plan on camping out as much as possible to cut costs, we will be bringing full camping gear, camping stove and propane heater(just in case), and will cook a decent share of our own food, again to cut costs a bit. Here is the out line for our intended route of traveling:

    Day 1 NY to TN (Knoxville?) 700 miles 11 hours
    Day 2 TN to LA (New Orleans) 600 miles 9 hours
    Day 3 LA to NM (Roswell) This will be a long streight drive we will rest up in LA all day and leave late and drive streight taking turns with one person sleeping 1000 miles 16 hours
    Day 4 Possibly still driving, Camping outside of Roswell
    Day 5 NM to AZ (Grand Canyon) 575 miles 8 hours
    Day 6 AZ to NV (Vegas with a short stop at the Hoover) 250 miles 4 hours
    Day 7 Vegas to SoCal (Niland and the Salton Sea) 350 miles 5 hours
    Day 8 Niland to San Fran (This would be an all day drive stopping in LA maybe for an hour or so) 600 miles 10+ hours with stops
    Day 9 Stay in San Fran
    Day 10 ?
    Day 11 ?
    Day 12 ?
    Day 13 ?

    Now how possible is all of this? I know some of the milage is long but we are young and and that says a lot. The drive to Roswell will be difficult but there really isnt much to see through there and we want to get to cali. We will rotate have two people awake in the front and one person sleeping in the back, and make a few quick stops.

    What is a good alternate route back that would take us 4 to 5 days, and wont get us stuck in any snow (except right below and into NY)?

    Anyone have any good reccomendations for campsites in the warmer areas? We were gonna stay in a cheap hotel in New Orleans, a nice one in Vegas, and a cheap one in San Fran. Any good places to camp in the other cities?

    We have a bit of time to plan so this is just rough, all input is appreciated. Thanks.

    -Nick

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default young = foolish?

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Now how possible is all of this? I know some of the milage is long but we are young and and that says a lot.
    Being young can say a lot, and in this case, it says you think that you can take on the world, although your comfort, enjoyment, and safety might not agree.

    Your first two days are rough, but doable -although your time estimates don't match real world travel times. 700 miles is more than we recommend if you're going to be on the road for more than one day because it requires you to be on the road for 13 hours, which is very draining, no matter what your age. And then you'll be following it up with about 11 hours on the road the next day. With 3 drivers and a full tank of 21 year old energy, you can pull this off though.

    Sorry if I'm being rude here, but your 3rd day is just flat out dumb. I'm sure you'll be leaving late because if you're 21/22 and going to NOLA, I'm going to assume you're going to be up very late trying to take in the late night fun that the city has to offer.

    So after you get on the road late, after 2 hard days of driving and likely a long night of celebrating, you're planning a 1000 mile drive. Even if you didn't have the first 2 strikes against you, 1000 miles is just a brutal day behind the wheel, plus about 300 of those miles will be on 2 lane highways. Best case here, you're looking at 18 hours on the road, so if you left at 3 pm, you wouldn't even get there until 9 the next morning. Even with 3 drivers, that's not smart considering what you will have done in the previous 2 days.

    You've already got day 4 as pretty much a throwaway day, which you'll need if you attempt this schedule. Instead of doing a sucide run, take day 3 and go to Dallas, which is right about the halfway point and has plenty of things to do and see. You could still make it to Roswell on Day 4 pretty easily.

    On your way back, I-80 is the only reasonable route that I can see considering your timeline. You might not avoid snow, but there isn't a route in January that can guarentee perfect weather, and I-80 is about the best for keeping the roads clear and open even in adverse conditions.

    A warning for you as far as camping goes, even in places like Roswell it still gets quite cold at night, with below freezing temps certainly possible if not likely.

    In general, I think you're being extremely overoptimistic in the amount of things you can see and the ground you can cover in the time you've alotted. You might be able to squeeze everything in, but you're not going to be able to spend hardly any time at the places you've listed as stops. Honestly, I think you would have a much better time if you tryed to cut a few things out so you're doing more than rushing to get from place to place on this heartracing pace you've laid out.

  3. #3
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default The take from someone your age

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Sorry if I'm being rude here, but your 3rd day is just flat out dumb. I'm sure you'll be leaving late because if you're 21/22 and going to NOLA, I'm going to assume you're going to be up very late trying to take in the late night fun that the city has to offer.
    I have to agree with Michael on this one... NOLA is night life. At 21/22, unless you're completely against partying, you're going to be very sore the next day, with or without a hangover.

    So after you get on the road late, after 2 hard days of driving and likely a long night of celebrating, you're planning a 1000 mile drive. Even if you didn't have the first 2 strikes against you, 1000 miles is just a brutal day behind the wheel, plus about 300 of those miles will be on 2 lane highways. Best case here, you're looking at 18 hours on the road, so if you left at 3 pm, you wouldn't even get there until 9 the next morning. Even with 3 drivers, that's not smart considering what you will have done in the previous 2 days.
    Driving 18+ hours with little sleep is bad enough. Driving 18+ hours with little sleep and possibly quite the headache, I won't even attempt it. It really would be in your best interests to consider Michael's advice, he really knows what he's talking about, if Michael or another seasoned member has a concern about a potential route, I trust these guys enough to give them the benefit of the doubt and go with them on it, because I know they're only looking out for each other.

    Michaels suggestions are about as good as I can come up with right now, tweak them if needed, but they'll be a good place to start.

    -Brad
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 12-02-2007 at 06:31 PM. Reason: format

  4. Default

    Thanks so far...

    I'll Add the Dallas stop in there, any reccomendations for what to do in Dallas?

    I will check out I-80 for the return home, but since you guys know what you are talking about I will more than likely be sticking with that for the return home.

    As far as night camping, I was anticipating cold weather at night. I have a sleeping bag that is good for 30 degrees, and was planning on bringing some under armor cold gear to sleep in as well. Anything else?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default cold camping

    There are lots of things to do in Dallas, including plenty of nightlife, but I don't know what else you'd be interested in. There's also the factor that I don't see that you'll have a whole lot of time to explore on your schedule.

    Since degree ratings aren't really guided by any specific criteria, I always figure at least 10 extra degrees. So if you are expect temps to dip into the 30s at night, I want a bag thats rated to at least 20 degrees, if not colder. That comes after camping with gear that just wasn't warm enough - There are few things worse than not being able to sleep while camping because you can't stay warm.

    Another critical piece of gear for cold weather camping is a good sleeping pad that can help provide some extra insulation from the ground.

  6. Default

    Yep, have a sleeping pad forgot to mention that. I always put a tarp under the tent, and a thick moving pad/drop cloth on the floor of the entire tent. I will bring an extra blanket or two to keep in or over my bag.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NSaglibene View Post
    Day 3 LA to NM (Roswell) This will be a long streight drive we will rest up in LA all day and leave late and drive streight taking turns with one person sleeping 1000 miles 16 hours
    I know someone else has already commented on this, but this is really not a good idea. I have done a similar drive myself with one other driver when I was in my early 20's and had more stamina for this sort of driving -- starting in Boulder, CO at sunset after resting all day and ending up in Los Angeles. We made it without incident -- but there was a good deal of luck involved. And we hadn't been partying all day in New Orleans just before the drive.

    Still, just cut back on the length of the days a bit and this sounds like a great trip.

    --Jon

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Flashlight

    It sounds like you're in pretty decent shape for camping then. Just one more thing I'd make sure to bring is a couple of good flashlights. Between your schedule and the early darkness of January, I suspect you will be doing a lot of setting up camp in the dark. That's not a big deal, but its easy to forget about something as simple as a flashlight, and having a couple good ones will make your camping a little easier.

  9. Default

    Haha dont worry about the flashlights... Im a flashaholic. I got a couple of surefires, Fenixes, and a nice headlamp. I'll be sure to equip my friends with the extra gear. Im looking to get a lantern for use inside the tent for reading and changing.

  10. #10

    Default

    Having made a similar trip myself, I have just one thing to add, there is more to do and see in the southwest than you may think, I know that on our trip we actually ended up staying in Arizona for three days, we had only scheduled to be there one. Personally, I reccomend taking your time going through these areas, if you see a sign for something that looks interesting, go and look, also, when you stop for gas or food, talk to locals, often they can point you towards less known attractions. You never know the next time you will have the oppurtunity to make the trip again. Also, take time to rest, switch drivers even when you think you dont need to, because when you get to that days destination, you want to be able to enjoy it, not just sleep. Have a great trip.

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