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  1. #1

    Default Nj - Sc - Tn - Nv - Ca - Il - Mi - Sc - Nj

    Hello fellow road trippers:

    There is the itinerary, the bulk of it anyway. Its all beginning on the 22nd of November and it must end on the 14th of December. I have read a few post yet have not found much that could suit my needs, hence my post. I am currently using Delorme Street Atlas to plan the whole thing, to get a better idea of mileage, time, and fuel costs/breaks. From NJ to SC and back from SC to NJ, the passengers will be myself, my wife and daughter (2 yrs old). The rest of it, leaving SC until we get back to SC will just be myself and my wife.

    Making my way to Florence SC, via Cape May NJ, Lewes Ferry, Chesapeake Bay Bridge, then following most of the shore of VA and NC down to Wilmington NC, to then follow west to finish the 1st leg in Florence SC.

    We are then staying in SC thru Thanksgiving. At which point the next leg will begin, to finish in Las Vegas NV, deadline for arrival is sometime on Monday. From Columbia SC we will be leaving on black Friday morning after shopping, to Nashville TN. Just actually realized how "close" to the Tail Of The Dragon (rt 129) we would be driving, so i just added the detour. We will be spending the night in Nashville and leaving before or right after lunch. The next scheduled stop is Grand Canyon, then the Hoover Dam and finish the leg In Las Vegas. There will be @1,600 miles to do between TN and AZ.

    Here comes the 1st question, any good places to stop for dinner and overnight for this stretch of I-40 Westbound?

    i was thinking of 2 overnight stops, Oklahoma city and Albuquerque, any restaurants or minor sightseeing that could be done at these locations.

    i also contemplated to drive straight thru overnight past Oklahoma city thru to flagstaff or something, I'm open for suggestions.

    I have a conference in Vegas from Tuesday to Friday hence the whole trip.

    Leaving Vegas and heading to Vista CA on Noon Friday. Sometime Saturday will head to San Francisco thru the pacific coast highway, any good places to stop and see or eat on this leg.

    So its now Sunday December 2nd In San Francisco and we have to arrive NJ in just 7 days (8 days is the utmost possible stretch). With wishes to stop in Chicago IL(overnight), Flint MI (wife's best friend, overnight stop), Fayetteville WV (river gorge bridge quick stop, overnight if need be), and Florence SC, before the end back in NJ.

    So here is the 2nd What could we do between San Francisco and Chicago, 2200 miles of I-80 Eastbound? Or am I just asking too much.

    Anything else i may have not considered or thought of?

    Thanks
    Pedro


    PS - this may help visualize the whole trip
    Google Map
    Last edited by QuattroCS; 11-02-2008 at 03:53 PM. Reason: added google maps link

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    You will be leaving Nashville around noon on Saturday and need to be in Vegas Monday night? That's a speed run, I doubt you will have time to see the Grand Canyon.

    You also are not going to make it from Vista to San Francisco in one day on the coast highway. That's another speed run, take I-5.

    One recommendation along that route - if you are a steak lover, try to stop at the Big Texan in Amarillo.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Too Much

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Pedro, four days is just enough time to make a reasonably paced drive from Florence to Las Vegas. But if you start adding in a lot of side trips such as Tail of the Dragon, and don't get started until late morning or noon each day, you're not going to make it by Monday. This leg of your trip has to be looked at as work. You will need to put in 10 hours a day (including meal fuel and other necessary breaks) in order to make this work. The sole exception you should allow yourself, and then only if you are ahead of schedule, is the loop through the Grand Canyon by heading north out of Flagstaff, west along the south rim and then south to Williams. There are scenic, refreshing stops along all the Interstates, but you really won't have time to go wandering off here.

    Another spot where you're overreaching yourself is you plan to drive through L.A. and all the way up the Coast Highway to San Francisco in one day. Can't be done. It will take you several hours to get through the L.A. Basin alone and then the PCH is a twisting two lane road with low speed limits. You will need at least two days for that leg.

    I suspect that you have an error in your post when you say you have to be back in NJ in 7 days from San Francisco, and that you mean you have to be back in Florence to pick up your daughter in that time frame. Otherwise this too is too much. Even if you just do the drive you've laid out to South Carolina, including Michigan, that is at least a 6 day effort, so you won't have any significant time to visit with your friends having put in all that effort to get there.

    In general, I'd strongly suggest that you go back to the drawing board on this one and see what you can accomplish while counting on covering no more than 550-600 miles on any driving day, and significantly less than that on those days when you wish to spend time doing something other than just driving.

    AZBuck

  4. #4

    Default

    thanks for all the suggestions and i did think i was biting too much and have humbled myself and my ego and redesigned the entire trip.

    the beginning leg modified just a bit, with a stop in Virginia beach (330 miles)for the night, no need to make a toddler miserable, resuming with an arrival to Florence sometime Sunday (512 miles).

    the next big leg from Columbia SC to Las Vegas, is brand new. Direct, thru Atlanta with stops in Memphis (596 miles), then Erick, OK (610 miles), then Flagstaff AZ (720). then going thru the sunrise at south rim, Canyon Village, Hoover dam, with dead end in Vegas (400 miles).

    Leaving Vegas Friday afternoon, to LA (say hello to brother in law Spend the night Friday)(270 miles), Then Vista (say hello to nephew and spend the night Saturday)(100 miles), Stop in Tucson AZ (Sunday night 440 miles), El Paso (Monday night 320 miles), Dallas TX (Tuesday night 640 miles), Little rock AK (Wednesday night 320 miles), Nashville TN (Thursday night 350 miles), Florence SC (do tail of dragon and spend night Friday with daughter again 560 miles), NJ (arrive Sunday night 615 miles) with a total of 6,825 miles driven)

    I believe much more feasible. now i need suggestions on activities in Tucson, El Paso, Dallas, and Little Rock. Memphis, Erick and Flagstaff as well.

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

    Default better, but still some problems

    Quote Originally Posted by QuattroCS View Post
    the next big leg from Columbia SC to Las Vegas, is brand new. Direct, thru Atlanta with stops in Memphis (596 miles), then Erick, OK (610 miles), then Flagstaff AZ (720). then going thru the sunrise at south rim, Canyon Village, Hoover dam, with dead end in Vegas (400 miles).
    You're certainly in better shape with this trip, but I think you've still got a case of things on paper looking a lot easier than they really are. Your current Grand Canyon stop still borders somewhere between miserable and impossible.

    A 720 mile driving day is a brutal day behind the wheel. You're looking at 13 hours on the road trip, even with just the most minimal stops for food and fuel. Simply put, that's an exhausting day, and its at the very top end of what we'd generally consider safe.

    What's more troubling is that you are planning to follow up that exhausting day by waking up about 3 hours before dawn, so you can make the trip to the Grand Canyon by sunrise (3 hours would be pretty much the minimum when you factor in time to check out of a motel, 1.5-2 hrs of driving, entering the park, and then walking to a nice spot on the rim to see the sunrise). Just trying to see the Grand Canyon in one half day, when you are trying to pack in a trip from Flagstaff to Vegas, is a bit of a stretch, but when you try to do it on this timeline, following a 700+ mile trip the day before, I don't think you'll have a particularly positive experience.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Travels with a Two-year old

    As the other members have indicated, even your revised trip exceeds the bounds of what is prudent. Traveling with a baby requires careful thought and consideration. I think you are setting up a potentially dreadful road trip. Given the time period you have outlined, I would cut the trip distance in half and allow some time to actually enjoy the experience of being on the road. The pace of your trip EXCEEDS the federal law for professional drivers and I doubt that your daughter is really ready for the rigors of that much traveling. Is it really necessary to do it all this trip?

    Mark

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Same thoughts

    Hi there,
    I have to agree with the others,you are pushing boundaries and the old addage "Less is more" springs to mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist View Post
    Traveling with a baby requires careful thought and consideration.
    Mark
    I had the same thought originally but.....................
    originally posted by QuattroCS From NJ to SC and back from SC to NJ, the passengers will be myself, my wife and daughter (2 yrs old). The rest of it, leaving SC until we get back to SC will just be myself and my wife.
    Have a safe trip.

  8. #8

    Default

    thanks for the replies.

    I would consider myself to have some road experience, i have 1000 miles yearly roundtrip comute, yet my car ends up with 25k miles a year. i love driving and have learned and realized my limitations. I have lost count how many times i have driven to SC. Once to Alabama, orlando, Williamsburg. Several times to Detroit, flint MI, Atlanta, charleston, hilton Head. not counting the many day/short trips to Maryland, south jersey, PA, and the many runs my buddies and i do every few months (these average around 500miles for the day thru backroads).

    the longest dreadfull trip i have done was a single shot North NJ to Anniston Alabama in 16.5 hrs. my wife drove 1.5 hrs of those 16.5. that was 1000 miles. or the regular weekend run to SC, 1400 in 2 days.

    720 mile stretchs i'm accustomed to, north Jersey to Columbia SC. We usually achieve it in 10-11 hrs.

    My wife will help drive, so the load will be a bit lighter.

    The baby as the previous poster mention will only be with us between NJ and SC and back, so thats not an issue.

    the hardest strech is that of going to Vegas from SC, going back i believe i have split it accordingly to a nice pace.

    I really would like to know of some specific things that can be done on each city we are stopping, to make the trip a bit more memorable. Of course we will probably limit ourselves to only one thing or just a couple of hours on our way to vegas, but on teh way back we will have some more time to spare.

    Any suggestions could cetainly be appreciated.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Wish List

    As I noted before, all of your stops along the major legs of your drives will have to be pretty near the main road due to the time constraints that you're under. But even so, if you are used to long drives it is still to you benefit to take some R&R or mental health (and safety) breaks along the way. Besides the many parks and quiet spots I pointed you to in my last post here are a few specific highlights that I've enjoyed, one per city on your route. Memphis: Mud Island; Oklahoma City: National Memorial & Museum; Amarillo: Cadillac Ranch; Albuquerque: Petroglyph National Monument; Los Angeles: La Brea Tar Pits; Tucson: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum; Dallas: Sixth Floor Museum; Vicksburg: National Military Park . You certainly won't have time for all or even most of those, but someday, when you have more time....

    AZBuck

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default And the wife ?

    Quote Originally Posted by QuattroCS View Post
    thanks for the replies.

    I would consider myself to have some road experience, i have 1000 miles yearly roundtrip comute, yet my car ends up with 25k miles a year. i love driving and have learned and realized my limitations. I have lost count how many times i have driven to SC. Once to Alabama, orlando, Williamsburg. Several times to Detroit, flint MI, Atlanta, charleston, hilton Head. not counting the many day/short trips to Maryland, south jersey, PA, and the many runs my buddies and i do every few months (these average around 500miles for the day thru backroads)

    Any suggestions could cetainly be appreciated.
    I, like you, love to drive and don't find it a chore but I don't think "She who must be obeyed" would enjoy being cooped up in a car for 10 to 13 hours a day as the scenery flashes by. I know you have a conference and you are probably trying to mix business with pleasure [and admittedly I would try to do the same] but it looks more like business then pleasure at the moment.

    Anything else i may have not considered or thought of?
    Is there any chance you could get your Brother-in law and Nephew to join you in Vegas for a night or 2 during the conference rather than you visiting them? They could possibly keep your wife company while you are at the conference and it would free up another 2 days of travelling time making the whole experience more enjoyable and memorable.

    I really would like to know of some specific things that can be done on each city we are stopping, to make the trip a bit more memorable.
    Sorry I can't help with that but google is your friend but someone may turn up with some local knowledge.

    Have a great trip !

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