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  1. Default Across America and Back in 2 Weeks.

    I've been planning or atleast thinking about this trip for quite some time but never thought of it the way the tittle of this thread describes it.
    But that's what it is. 2 drivers, one 95' m3, our destination? California, bimmerfest 08'. We leave from Philadelphia, April 26, a saturday, to arrive may 2nd the following friday to California. We will be staying in california the weekend until may 5th and then returning to be back for the week of the 12th.

    This is purely a drivers journey, we are not so interested in visiting places as much as we are on driving roads with awesome views. Ofcourse with only 7 days to make it, I don't know how much le-way we have to travel on roads we would like to. That's why I came here. That's the biggest part puzzling me right now (I'm only on my first phase of planning). How much is too much... For 7 days what kind of pase do we need to follow, what kind of roads can we take, what roads should we take.

    I lost my last bmw last summer in a pretty gnarly crash. I've been off in school without a car, waiting, reflecting and waiting more for this spring. I hope this trip will make up for the lost year of driving.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 01-20-2008 at 11:16 AM. Reason: Removed the photo -- a little large for our format

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Mostly Interstates

    Welcome to the RTA Forum, and welcome back to the road!

    I think with 7 days you'll have to stick to freeways much of the time. However, you should still have enough time to take a few detours onto lesser traveled routes. 5 days is a good rule of thumb for cross country interstate travel, so you've got 2 extra days to work with. For some of that time, I think I would use it just to take a few short loop like detours to explore an area, and then get back on the freeway, but of course you could decide just to get off the interstates for a couple of days. That's just going to depend upon your own styles and desires.

  3. Default

    Yeah, I like the idea of having those 2 days of slower driving in less traveled roads. Estimating and putting together a route for this journey should be fun.
    Another realization I just made is that camping will be the way to go for this trip since beeing young, we are also in a budget. Using google earth I estimate that a good 10 hours of highway driving equals 600 miles or more :) I'm trying to put these estimations together with check points each night at camping sites. I don't really know how yet.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 01-20-2008 at 11:16 AM. Reason: format for clarity

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default use estimates with caution

    60 mph is actually fairly difficult to achieve in real world conditions, once you factor in stops and slowdowns. 55-57 is really the rule of thumb we usually go by. 60 is obtainable, but you have to really be keeping your stops very short and your speed up around 80 mph.

    Camping is a great idea, and its certainly the way that I do most of my roadtrips. Its a great money saver and there's just something about being outdoors after a day in the car that is nice. Just one small note, when I'm camping, that does usually mean I try to stop a little earlier in the day, since I factor in some extra time to find the campsite and get everything set up before dark.

  5. Default

    Very good insight on the average speed. I'll keep that in mind. As far as the camping I was thinking, I always like to skip rush our when ever I drive and I love driving in the early morning. Perhaps we will start our days early and end them in the late afternoon.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 01-20-2008 at 11:16 AM. Reason: format for clarity

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Some Alternatives

    Michael is right. To get from Philadelphia to Santa Barbara (by the way, such details as your destination do matter!) could be done in 5 days by the most direct Interstate route, I-70/I-44/I-40/I-15. But with two extra days each way you can wander a bit. I am particularly a fan of taking separate roads out and back, so here are two sets of alternative roads that would still let you make the journey at a reasonable pace and not turn you new ride into a copy of your old one.

    From Philly, first head west on the turnpike to Harrisburg and then take I-81 south. This both bypasses Baltimore and Washington and sets you up for a drive down the Appalachians. As the mood strikes and time allows, use the parallel but slower Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway. Once you get down to the North Carolina/Tennessee area, you'll have a couple of very scenic options for crossing the Appalachians, through Great Smoky Mountains National Park or on the Tail of the Dragon. In either case reconnect with I-40 in Tennessee until your next worthwhile detour in western Arkansas/eastern Oklahoma, the Talimena Scenic Drive. Once out on the plains and past Oklahoma City, the old (now decommissioned) US-66 will be running alongside, handy for the occasional break from the Interstate.

    The other alternative (here described west to east, but either route could, of course, be taken in either direction) would be to head up I-15 through Las Vegas to the great national parks of southwestern Utah, Zion and Bryce Canyon. I-70 would start you east and take you by another great side trip, Arches National Park. I-70 is also a great ride in its own right. At Denver take a shot stretch up I-76 to western Nebraska and follow the old Oregon Trail with lots of amazing landmarks along the Platte River and with US-30 providing a slower paced side road. At Lincoln head down to Kansas City and then over to St. Louis where I-64 will but you into northern Kentucky and US-52 provides a scenic ride up the Ohio River Valley. Finally, US-40 would provide one last scenic drive through the Mountains and back to the east coast..


  7. Default

    WoW. You have no idea how much that helps. I didn't even know where to start. Thank you very much, both of you. Now I have a real idea of where to drive. 2 months thinking about this and finally I have an idea to start off with. This is great!

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