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  1. Default Moving from Chicago to Northern California

    A friend and I are driving from just east of Chicago to Northern California. Leaving late October and have to be in California with-in 4 days. We plan to drive I-80 pretty much straight to Cheyenne, WY before we stop for the night. From there we are somewhat flexible but need to spend as little as possible. We're looking for great things to do/see near I-80. We know we will stop at the Bonneville Salt Flats. That's our only definate right now. Any input would be great. Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by iwishgrrl; 10-02-2008 at 01:31 PM. Reason: don't know exact dates

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Which Night?

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Quote Originally Posted by iwishgrrl
    ...driving from just east of Cheyenne, WY before we stop for the night.
    Sorry, No. That is over 950 miles and CANNOT be done in a day, even with two drivers, no matter what some overly optimistic software may tell you. You will need the better part of two days to complete that segment and need to plan on stopping somewhere well short of Cheyenne on your first night. I'd suggest somewhere around Grand Island, Nebraska, about 600 miles from Chicago. As far as cheap places to stop along I-80, try these and these.


  3. Default

    Thank you for the links of cheap places to stop.

    We've done the drive to Cheyenne in one day before.
    I am used to driving 11 hours by myself in one day to see a friend in TN. It's something I've done several times a year for about 10 years.
    So having 2 drivers will allow sleep time for the other.
    (but I do appreciate your concerns)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Too much.

    Hi there,
    I have to agree with Buck here, it's too far for one leg of your journey. To be in a car for around 16 hours + is one thing but then to have to get on the road again the following day is going to leave you wrecked and I can't see any benefit
    Depending on where your destination is in Northern Cali, you are looking at close to 2000 miles in 4 days and personally I think you would benefit from dividing it into somewhere close to 4, 500 mile days.

    Have a safe journey.

  5. Default

    Things have changed in our planning again. Since my friend has driven to Denver via 80 before she wants to see something new. We are thinking of bypassing Denver completely, heading up 90 north of Chicago and through South Dakota. Driving up into Montana to stay one night with a friend and down through Idaho to NorCal. I've just started to look at great road-side attractions, state parks, etc in the Black Hills area. Does anyone know anything about Spearfish Canyon, Deadwood, Rapid City? I heard it's beautiful but hard to find accomodations. Also, will we run into snow the first week or two of November in the higher altitudes? Thanks again.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default In 4 days?

    Well, you're looking at roughly 2400 miles so you'll need to average 600 miles/day. This puts you on the road about 10-1/2 hours each day so you won't have a lot of time to sight-see. But it's do-able as long as the weather cooperates. It's way too early to predict what the weather will be like and, quite frankly, with the whacky weather patterns we've all had the last couple of years, I wouldn't even want to predict. You will need to watch weather forecasts shortly before leaving and then re-check them each night/morning so you can adjust your route, if necessary. Snow is possible but probably not probable.

    Deadwood is a national historic site filled with Old West history. And, of course, this is the area with Mt. Rushmore (just outside of Rapid City). I have no idea what makes someone think hotels would be hard to find here. Yeah, in the summer it gets busy with tourists so hotel vacancies might be sparse but there are a lot of them and there should be no problem with getting a room anywhere in November.

    Perhaps your friend is referring to conditions during the Sturgis motorcycle rally? That's the only time when finding lodging is practically impossible.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Your enjoyment of a trip that far in 4 days is going to depend a lot on what kind of vehicle you have and how loaded/packed it is.

  8. Default

    after talking to them again the reference to hard-to-find hotels did happen to be the Sturgis ralley week - which they were unaware of at the time.

    thanks for the input.

    I wish we had more than just 4 days also. trust me.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default I wish you did, too! :)

    But I think you can have a fine trip even in 4 days. Yes, you might be pushing yourself and be fatigued at the end in order to cram in everything but you can do quick looks at things and, sometimes, that's all you can do. Hey, we've all been there.

    My only concern is that you not be so fatigued that your first day at your new job has you overly tired to function well. You might want to drive more miles the first 3 days in order to have a shorter 4th day. Bummer but it is do-able. Just don't drive past fatigue each day. In other words, if you're both tired, stop and take a nap.

    Here's some tips on speed runs that might be helpful.

  10. Default no job worries

    The good news is that my friend does not have to start work right away. The 4 day time crunch is because I have to be back home the day after we get there. We're allowing an extra day, for an in-case, on the drive.
    At this point we're talking about driving 15 hrs, then 9, then resting a whole day at a relatives house, then another 15. We'll see. But I'm confident we will be safe, smart, and still see some good things.

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