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  1. #1

    Default Week Long trip, PA to CO, WY, MT and back

    The first trip saw us go from Pennsylvania, southwest through the Appalachian States and into Arkansas and Texas before heading back east to Georgia before heading back north, mostly on I-81. That took four days and brought us to the very brink of our physical abilities.

    The second trip is going to be seven days long. We decided on to leave on June 6th and get back in the early evening of June 12. We made it longer because the weather will be better and we will have the time. We both work in schools and the kids are off then and it's before any summer school stuff happens. Originally it was going to be another four day trip to the borders of North and South Dakota but we changed that with the time we now have.. It's going to be another 14 state journey, hitting 11 states that we didn't get to by going through the south.

    Starting in Pennsylvania, we are going to head west along the southern border of Pennsylvania. We are going to hit a small part of West Virginia before heading into Ohio towards Columbus. Following Columbus we are going to head southwest towards Cincinnati and into Kentucky where we will, once again, spend the first night of the trip. From there we will head due west from Louisville, Kentucky into Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and, finally, Kansas for the end of day 2. From Topeka, we continue our westward route to Denver, Colorado and start heading north to Fort Collins for the end of day 3. Day 4 heads north from Fort Collins into Wyoming and to Crow Agency, Montana before heading south east on US 212 to catch I-90 after crossing into South Dakota and finally to Rapid City. The fifth day starts with a trip to Mt. Rushmore before heading east into the heart of South Dakota. Halfway through South Dakota, we turn south onto US 83 into Nebraska until we reach US 20 where we head east until we reach I-29 in Sioux City, Iowa and then head south to the city limits of Omaha, Nebraska to end day 5. Day 6 starts in Omaha and heads due east on 80 through Iowa, where we stop at the World's Largest Truck Stop, then continue through Illinois, Indiana, and into Ohio, stopping in Toledo for the end of day 6. The final day takes us from Toledo back to Pennsylvania.

    Unlike the first trip we have short days and we have long days. It's not only 11 hours of driving each day. They alternate with the longest day being 10 hours of driving. We start with two long days, then one short day to check out Colorado a little more, continue with a few long days and end on a short day when we will be worn out. Staggering these days should make it easier on us to deal with a seven day trip.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Why? Why? Why?

    You just finished a 4 day trip that you yourself said brought you "to the very brink of our physical abilities" and now you're going to set off on another trek of over 4000 miles in 7 days. I have to ask: Why? This is just way too much driving and not anywhere near enough time to actually experience the new country you'll be seeing. Did you really enjoy driving yourselves to the brink of exhaustion? Because that's just what you're setting yourselves up for again. Do your kids enjoy this? Do you? You can claim you're going to stager long and short driving days, but you have to average around 600 miles a day. The only way to have 'short' days is to have killer days. I strongly recommend, as I did for your last trip, that you take a more realistic approach to what is possible, 'let alone fun.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Where's the short day?

    They alternate with the longest day being 10 hours of driving. We start with two long days, then one short day to check out Colorado a little more, continue with a few long days and end on a short day when we will be worn out.
    I'm really not seeing the short days in your plan here, or how you figure that your longest day will be 10 hours driving? You're planning to drive 600 miles from Topeka to Fort Collins and then more than 800 miles the next day going to Rapid City via Montana. That's 10 hours of driving for your "short day" and that's simply if you are using I-70 to I-25, which doesn't even take you into the mountains. Your next day is 14+ hours on the road, and probably more like 15-16 hours because you'll be taking two lane roads for a good chunk of it.

    As with Buck, I guess I don't really get it either. Right now I see a trip where you again will be pushing yourself to the brink of your physical abilities, but this time you will be pushing for 7 days instead of 4. When you start pushing too hard for too long, something's got to give.

  4. #4

    Default

    That part, AZbuck, was for effect. Makes the story more interesting, haha. I'm sure the guy riding on a bike, for 900 miles a day at some points, for 10 days was feeling the same exact way. Also the weather, switching from 70 degrees in WV to 27 in the TN mountains had something to do with it. We failed to realize that there would be such huge temperature jumps and got sick on day 3. I should have put that in there. We left at 6 and pulled in at 8 each day depending on how much we stopped, but no later than 8. This was roughly 3 hours of stopping a day, including the rest area stops for state map collecting at welcome centers!

    Looking back on our 4 day trip we had a lot of fun. We hated it the day after that trip, but ever since then it was all that we have talked about. We loved it. Our friends are sick of hearing about our first trip.

    The times that I stated are from google maps from the trip plans that I had already made. There is ond day close to 700 miles on there. For this trip short means 8 hours and long is ten. The last one had us take 4 days at 11 hours each. This doesnt include stops and all, but I can';t see us making 4 - 6 hours of stops to push trip 2 to 14 or 16 hours a day. We are doing this just to enter states, not sight see (other than Mt, Rushmore which opens at 7am). Taking into account the 3 hours of stops per day from last trip it would be between a 6am - 5pm and 6am - 7pm affair if the times from google maps are correct. Shorter than the first.

    We are 23, don't have kids or families, and our trying to see all of America before that time comes. These trips with kids, I imagine, would be impossible. With work it's difficult. We have to take these oppurtunities while we can.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    The times from the mapping programs do not include *ANY* stops - fuel, stretch, eat, etc. - and do not account for any delays from traffic, weather, construction - see where we are going here? Even on a "speed run" on pure Interstate highways you can't really use a number higher than 57mph for a daily average unless you have no regard for even trying to stay close to the speed limit.

  6. #6

    Default

    57mph? interesting. The last time, with the stops, it added 3 hours a day on what google maps had said. I'll do a little more research on US 212 up in southeastern Montana and I'll see what I'm up against. That's the one road I'm definitly a little hesitant on after reading all of this.

  7. #7

    Default Raleigh, NC to Port Hueneme (Ventura), CA speed run

    Quote Originally Posted by jimzdj36 View Post
    57mph? interesting. The last time, with the stops, it added 3 hours a day on what google maps had said. I'll do a little more research on US 212 up in southeastern Montana and I'll see what I'm up against. That's the one road I'm definitly a little hesitant on after reading all of this.
    jimzdj,

    With my then 20 year-old son, I co-drove a speed run across country on I-40 a year and a half ago. We had practically zero in the way of traffic issues and enjoyed perfect, bluebird weather all the way across. We also drove well in excess of the speed limits, and most of the posted speed limits were at least 70 mph (note I am NOT advocating this--but in reality we ran a solid 80-83 mph everywhere possible). We economized on downtime/stops by combining food/fuel/nature stops and in reality stopped just 3-4 times a day, often leaving the truck idling during stops since we were only going to be a few minutes. The bottom line is we averaged just a bit over 60 mph from beginning of day (pre-dawn) to end of day (motel room just after dark). Our days included but a single sit-down meal (breakfast) and we only took 45 minutes or so for that. One of our days did include a leisurely drive-through of Grand Canyon National Park (spent < 3 hours in the Park) and about 2.5 hours sitting still at Hoover Dam. The balance of the entire trip was "in the wind".

    If you get to US 212 (Beartooth Highway) in MT you will surely want to take your time. Stopping and running around at +2,000' above timberline is much of the fun of being there. There's no point in rushing through there, and you can't go any faster than lumbering RVs on that two-lane, anyway.

    I'm with some of the others in wondering "what's the point", but I must admit I've taken my share of lengthy speed runs as a younger man.

    Travel safe,

    Foy

  8. #8

    Default

    I read, on wikipedia, that the Beartooth region is towards western Wyoming, unless all of 212 is called that. We are going to head east on 212 at the I-25 interchange (Crow Agency). I read this region, heading east, is was the Warrior Trail Highway

    The purpose of this and other "speed runs" is to set foot in all of the states. Nothing more (other than Mt Rushmore)

    I-40? How did you like that? On the last trip I was in the region from Memphis to Little Rock. Arkansas was the worst, haha.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default 3 hours

    Adding 3 hours a day to Google map estimates sounds about right, in the range of the 57 mph total speed estimate. For example, your Topeka to Fort Collins leg is 600 miles, and estimated by google to take 8.5 hours. Averaging 57mph, it would take about 10 hours, so that is quite a bit less than 3 additional hours.

    I too have tested the 57mph benchmark. After being stuck for a day in Western Ohio after my car broke down, I needed to get back as quickly as possible. I drove nearly the entire 600 mile day at 80-85 mph, managed to even avoid traffic in Chicago, and only made 3 quick stops for fuel, but still only averaged about 62 mph for the trip. That was one of the quickest paces I have ever driven, and certainly couldn't sustain it for more than one day.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    I beat the 57 mph average exactly once. I drove 805 miles - from Dallas to Lordsburg NM. The only stops were fuel, potty, and lunch at Mickey D's. I did it in 13 hours for 62 mph. I was cruising West Texas at 87 mph in the 80 mph zone. It absolutely destroyed my gas mileage - my V-6 truck got 12 mpg.

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