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  1. Default Meandering across the US

    Hello RTA!

    After spending a while reading and soaking up information from this forum I've finally embarked on my first cross country road trip! I am traveling alone in my classic 1968 Chevy, the ultimate highway cruiser.

    So the first day I left my home on Long Island and headed straight to Pittsburgh, where I'm staying with some friends. The drive took a while because I was delayed and hit rush hour in NYC, then some rain in PA, but overall it was a good drive (albeit dark). I'm going to be staying here for the weekend and then heading out on Monday, but I'm not sure where to go! I'm thinking Chicago, but I might want to avoid big cities, haven't decided yet. Can anyone suggest cool places to go heading west from Pittsburgh?

    My original plans were to go west along northern route, going through Yellowstone, but the cold weather and snow that's been hitting Wyoming is making me reconsider... I'm interested in route 66, which I know "begins" in Chicago, so I want to generally head in that direction.

    Anyway, gonna do some sightseeing here now, but I hope to get some suggestions before I leave PA!

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

    Default Good News / Bad News

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Fortunately, if you had the time to get to Yellowstone from Chicago for your RoadTrip as originally planned, you will have time to get to almost anywhere in the western U.S. on your revised trip. Unfortunately, that means your trip is so wide open at this point, that no one can offer you any meaningfully detailed advice, just the broadest of outlines of suggestions. You could, as you suggest, try to follow what's left of Route 66 which would take you through St. Louis, the Ozarks, Cowboy and Indian territory, the Grand Canyon and Los Angeles. Or you could follow the old Lincoln Highway/Oregon Trail up the Platte River, across the heart of the Rockies, and on to Salt Lake City or even Lake Tahoe. You could even head south down the Mississippi to New Orleans and then back home via the Natchez Trace Parkway and I-81 for a very scenic drive.

    AZBuck

  3. #3

    Default Your ride?

    Hello iceberg68,

    I'd enjoy hearing a bit about your ride.

    Is she a '68 Impala? 2-door or 4? Small-block 327? Maybe a 396? Powerglide automatic? Ragtop or hardtop?

    I've got a '66 Impala ragtop, overbored 350 (to 358), Edelbrock intake, Holley 750 double-line 4bbl, Crane cam, Hedman Headers, 2" pipes to Thrush "mufflers" to 2" tailpipes, a high-stall TH 350 3speed auto trans, and 4.11 rear Posi-Trac.

    She's geared too low for RoadTripping, but what a blast on a Sunday afternoon drive. She goes fast and makes a ton of noise.

    So, your ride?

    Foy

  4. Default original optioned impala

    Foy - my Impala is a matching numbers unrestored survivor with the 327 (4bbl quadrajet), 4 speed wide ratio trans, dual exhaust (not sure what kind of mufflers, but they're quiet), the limited slip rear end has really tall highway gears in it, I can do 75mph in 4th gear at 3000rpm. The diff cover has 12 bolt Upgrades: new coil springs all around, poly body mounts, and a 1 1/8" front sway bar. She handles well for her size, and gets decent gas mileage too, I've estimated it to be around 20mpg on the highway.

    AZBuck - thanks for the suggestions, heading through the Rockies sounds really fun, but I'd probably run into some snow, no? I'm wondering if I should just go buy chains for the tires and head that way anyway. I'll look into the old Lincoln Highway/Platte river route. I'm planning on returning along the far south so something moderately northern heading west is preferable.

    Any suggestions for a fun/scenic drive heading west out of Pittsburgh?

    I'll keep you guys updated as the story develops...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    If you get near a situation where you think you might need chains, you shouldn't be out there to begin with - take a break or take a detour.

    You can essentially take I-70 all the way to Denver - but old US-40 pretty much parallels it all the way. This would be a similar trek to following Route 66.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default West of Pittsburgh

    There are a host of scenic highways in Ohio. In your case, I'd recommend the Lincoln Highway (US-30) with a possible side trip down the Amish Country Byway.

    AZBuck

  7. Default Cruisin' USA

    Well, I decided to make as much westward progress as possible and ended up taking I-70 west to Illinois, where I'm staying in a cheap motel. The trees were all kinds of red, orange and yellow as I headed west from PA into Ohio, which when lit up by the occasional rays of sunlight really provided some amazing views. All in all a good second travelling day, tomorrow I hope to get as far into Kansas as possible. Even though I'm mostly set on getting to Cali quickly (to see yosemite before it gets too wintry), any must see places near I-70 in Missouri/Kansas?

    Oh yeah, I would like to drive through the Rockies, but with all the storms and record lows this October is this a really bad idea? My car sucks in the snow/ice but driving through mountains is high on my to do list! Thanks again for the suggestions everyone!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    If you have time, take a quick trip into St. Louis and visit the Gateway Arch and the Museum of Westward Expansion.

    If you want to drive through the Rockies, I-70 should be fine. They aggressively keep it cleared. The website to keep an eye on is cotrip.org. At this exact moment, I-70 is being reported as "dry" across the entire state.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default The movie still is amazing!

    If you have time, take a quick trip into St. Louis and visit the Gateway Arch and the Museum of Westward Expansion.
    The movie they show in the visitor center is astounding -- and if the ride to the top of the Arch is unforgettable!

    Mark

  10. Default Quick update

    As per suggestions, I stopped in st louis and took a few pics in the fountain area and of the arch, which is really huge when you see it from a distance in front of downtown. Didn't have time to check out the museum or ride to the top unfortunately; there was a lot of construction going on around the arch.

    Afterwards the drive through Missouri was pleasant, albeit cloudy and a little rainy, but I finally emerged in Kansas, where I drove through the flint hills and stopped at a rest stop for pics and a couple pamphlets about the area. That day ended at Salina KS at a flying j, where I had a great dinner, slept in my car for the first time. While cold (40!) it was surprisingly restful.

    Today I continued along I 70 making a stop in goodland ks for lunch at the local cafe and popped into the museum, chatting with the locals in each place to get the vibe. The sky cleared up in Colorado and by Denver it was quite warm and very clear. I drove up to buffalo bill's grave on lookout mtn and after the sun set got some amazing shots of Denver glittering below. Staying at a truck stop again I had a couple drivers approach me when they saw my car; one chewed my ear off for a couple hours! It was awesome and he even tuned my carburetor because in these high altitudes my car has been running rich and idling a little rough. This should help with my gas mileage, yay! I hope 70 is clear through the mountains, I think I'm headed to salt lake city. Wish me luck!

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