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  1. Default Driving from Salem OR to Albuquerque and back in one week.

    For a friends birthday I purchased her VIP tickets to her favorite band down in Albuquerque where she grew up. I want this to be a wonderful trip for her and plan on covering the majority of the costs (so suggestions for keeping prices down would be great!).

    For the route we plan on heading south through California as I have a relative in Clear Lake we can stay with the first night when we arrive at 11pm on the 17th. I would like to spend most of that day visiting and then leave that night around 8pm on the 18th for the rest of the trip. Is it possible to make the rest of the trip from Clear Lake to Albuquerque without staying the night somewhere else (switching off drivers)? And is it reasonable to think we could make it to Albuquerque by 5pm on the 19th?

    I have never been to Arizona, should we just drive straight through or are there places that are must sees?

    I was hoping she could have a couple days with her friends down in Albuquerque and then leave the morning of the 23rd. To return the plan is to go up through Utah and Idaho then back over to Oregon We want to stop at the four corners of course and then the Shoshone falls near Twin Falls Idaho. Are there any other stops we should make along the way? Is it possible to make it back to Salem by the morning of the 25th?

    Would a budget of $500 dollars be enough to get down and back?
    We will be traveling in a 2007 ford ranger.

    Any suggestions or comments for logging, traveling times, areas to be careful (a friend mentioned that the stretch of hwy heading north in New Mexico to the four corners may be a little dangerous, I just want to make sure we will be safe since there will be no guys with us), places we should make time to visit, etc.

    Thank you:) This is not our first trip but it will be our longest (in mileage, not time), a warm up for our hopeful 48 state trip next year!

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

    Default Do you want to make another trip?

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    This may sound a bit harsh, but your plan on paper sounds like the kind of plan that will ensure that you and your friend will never want to travel together again!

    Sorry, but your plan to drive from Clearlake to Albq in one day isn't possible under any circumstances, but throw in the fact that you're hoping to spend the day with your relatives, and then depart on a 1200 mile trip at night takes that to a new level. If you left at 8pm the night before you might get to Albq at 5pm the next day at the earliest - but you've left out one very very big question - where do you plan to sleep?! Switching drivers is still not going to allow the other person to get signifcant rest, but just as important, to do this safely, you need to have 2 people awake to make sure that the driver does not fall asleep. There is absolutely no way that you can do what you are talking about safely. And quite frankly in the unlikely event that you made it to your destination without killing yourself or someone else, you are going to be so exhausted that you will want to kill each other.

    The fact is you are looking at a distance of about 1500 miles. That's a full 3 day trip, being on the road 8-10 hours a day, if you want to make any stops along the way. Even at a speed run, that would be a very strenuous distance to cover in 2 days with 2 drivers (you'd have to be on the road for at least 13-14 hours each day), but if you went that route, you need to worry more about stopping at a halfway point, not where you have relatives and free lodging, and you certainly would not have time for fun stops along the way.

    I will also say that your budget has some serious problems too. You're going to be looking at $350-400 in fuel costs alone, minimum. That barely leaves enough money leftover for you to eat. After that, there is no money left at all for lodging or anything else.

    I'm sure that's not at all what you are hoping to hear, but you are in way over your head with your current plan. You need to really rethink your approach in regards to the amount of time and money you'll need to make this a fun and safe trip.

  3. Default

    I assumed we would be needing to stop somewhere halfway between Clear Lake and Albuquerque. We have done this sort of thing before since she sleeps in till early afternoon and then stays up till two or three in the morning she takes the first shift and I get up when she starts to feel too relaxed and take over around 4 in the morning. However, we have never done it over a distance this long. Does anyone now any safe campsites preferably with showers along I-40 west between Barstow and Needles?

    I was excluding food in the budget as we will be packing food and then she will be covering the rest when we choose to stop. Will $500 still be too little for lodging and gas? I was expecting gas to be around $380, $60 for camping three nights while on the road, and then $60 for getting into the parks or other places.

    We have a couple days of play room since we can arrive late or leave early from Albuquerque and can return a day late to Salem if there are things we want to do or if we get to tired. Suggestions for places to stop would be great.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default My 2¢ As Well

    I'm going to have to echo Michael's comments here. Unfortunately, the answer to each and every one of your "Is this possible?" questions is a resounding: No. In order to maintain a driving pace over several days, you really can't count on covering more than about 550 miles. Trading off drivers really doesn't help much, as that limit is imposed by road conditions, speed limits, and the reality that 'cat naps' while sitting in a moving car really aren't all that refreshing. And, as Michael points out, you would need at least three people involved so that two can be awake at any given time, and this is absolutely required for safety. I have said it here before and I will say it again for you. Almost every one of the regulars here has done a thousand mile "Speed Run" at one time or another. None of them has done two, and none of them recommends it. That's about as loud as the "Voice of Experience" gets.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default perfect world

    Between Barstow and Needles, you've really only got the Mojave desert. You're not going to find much for campgrounds and services in this section. I'll also say that if you are still planning to depart late in the evening, this is a dangerous amount of distance to try to cover, and you'd be setting up camp just as the sun comes up!

    Just in general with your trip, I think you are plotting a trip where you'd have to have everything go completely perfect for things to work out. In the real world, that level of perfection just doesn't happen very often. Without any margin for error, you're setting yourself up for disappointment, or worse.

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

    Default Yup, I agree with them!

    Although, AZBuck was wrong because some of us have done two speed runs like you're planning. Me. I have no idea why I tortured myself like that a second time. I guess I'm stubborn.

    I suggest you go the quickest route both ways so you have energy to enjoy the concert and friends once you get to Albuquerque. Mountain Home ID and Green River UT are good places to spend the night. Each has several campgrounds in the area, including KOAs.

    I also suggest that you get up early and get on the road. I typically leave at 6-7am. This way, if you do get tired of being in the car during the day, you have time to stop and explore a bit (because stretching your legs and walking when driving multiple-days is important) and/or stopping at a nice park and even taking a brief power-nap. And this should get you into each campground in time to walk around, maybe even take a dip in the pool, before climbing into the sack. It's a nice way to end a long day of driving.

    If you get up and go early like I'm suggesting, and only do brief stops for food/fuel breaks, you should get there before 5pm. It's roughly 8-8.5 hours if you keep moving.

    I'm glad to hear you're bringing food from home. Make sure they're healthy foods as you want good food that gives you energy, not junk food that drains you, when you're spending this many hours on the road. Some ideas are here.

    Oh, I've driven this route a couple of times. Once with my 14 year old son and once by myself. It was perfectly safe. No worries.

    Anyway, three days there and three days back. Doing it in any less time is just asking for trouble.
    Last edited by PNW Judy; 06-03-2009 at 07:02 PM. Reason: added comment

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