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  1. Default First Time LA to NY Travelers Need Some RTA Advice, Please

    Hi. Moving in May 2010 from LA to NY….Very Anxious bcs First Time CC travelers with 2 cats in tow, and we sure need some help planning the trip. Thankfully , we discovered your Forum and ….Wow! folks are just the Guardian Angels we never thought we’d find!! The day we were online, around 4/18/2010, you had planned a trip for two other LA to NY travelers. Although it is very time-aggressive for us, it is exactly the type of itinerary plan we need, listing the day, the interstate, the destination city, etc. Unable find it again, so I am glad that I snipped a wonderful stress-relieving copy till I could join the Forum and seek advice on how to modify it for our own trip. Here it is:

    I'm going to plan your trip for you, and it will take 4 days. You will get on the road by 8am, and you will be off the road by 10pm. You lose an hour each day due to time zone change.

    Day 1 - Leave LA on I-210 to I-15 to I-40. Spend the night around Albuquerque, NM.
    Day 2 - I-40 to I-44, spend the night around Tulsa, OK.
    Day 3 - I-44 to I-70, spend the night in Richmond, IN.
    Day 3 - I-70 to I-71 to I-76 to I-80 to NYC.

    This is 700 miles a day, the farthest I would recommend anyone drive in a day, regardless of the number of drivers. With respect to Albuquerque and Tulsa, I highly recommend you find a hotel on the Interstate outside the city itself. It would probably be best getting one after you go through the city, so you don't get caught in the inbound morning rush hour the next morning.

    Major city avoidance:

    1. OKC - take the Kilpatrick Turnpike around OKC, it turns into I-44.
    2. Tulsa - Stay on I-44.
    3. STL - take I-270 north, it will take you around to I-70 - unless you hit it between 2 and 7pm local. If that's the case, take I-255 instead around the other side of the city to I-55/70.
    4. IND - take I-465 south.
    5. Columbus - take I-270 north to I-71.

    We will driving a “Wed thru Mon/Tues ?” schedule , leaving LA about Noon on a Wednesday and want to take 5-6 days to get to NY, perhaps allowing another half-day for “unexpecteds” (weather,etc.). We figure 2 drivers can manage 500 miles a day; we want to stay on the main interstates for safety concerns; travel during daylight hours; overnight in/near larger cities; and we prefer to avoid or wait-out really bad weather . We will be making the necessary stops for lunch, fuel, bio breaks (us and the 2 cats), but not sure yet how many to expect (…never distance-traveled w/ cats.)

    Is it possible to stretch your plan out for a 500 mile-a-day trip? Thanks for the Assist.....HurryUp-N-Wait

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    Here is the thread you referenced.

    500 miles a day is our normal recommendation, and putting in an extra day for unexpected items with this type of trip is always a good idea. One potential route is as follows, putting you in or around larger cities each day, though on this route you won't have a problem finding plenty of lodging even outside of the cities.

    I don't know what type of traffic you would normally face in LA at noon, but potentially leaving around 10:00 am might put you in a better position when leaving town. I know that around my area, 10am - 12 noon usually presents a nice lull in traffic.

    Day 1: I-40 to Flagstaff, AZ, ~480 mi
    Day 2: I-40 to Amarillo, TX ~600 mi
    Day 3: I-40 to I-44 to Springfield, MO ~550 mi
    Day 4: I-44 to Indianapolis, IN ~460 mi
    Day 5: I-70 to I-76 to Harrisburg, PA ~550 mi
    Day 6: I-81 to I-78 to New York City ~169 mi

    Your chances of hitting any particularly nasty weather at this time of year in the Northeast is rather slim; the Midwest may present its own unique challenges, however, so be sure to keep aware of what the weather is going to be by whatever means necessary. Unfortunately nobody can predict the weather, especially this far in advance, so you'll have to use your instincts here.

  3. Default

    Thanks so much. Perfect timing to arrive just ahead of movers. Your comment about LA leave-time and traffic raises a couple more concerns/questions... Does it generally take about 10 hours drive time, with the various pit stops built in, to cover about 500 or so miles?? That's what I'm understanding from reading through RTA Forum threads. Our departure time on Day 1 is pretty much fixed 11AM or later, which will make it the shortest drive day. Starting out bright and early on the remaining days is the plan. But now, we're a little worried about falling short of Flagstaff, or having to drive tired to make it, esp. with 2 feline unknowns in the equation, and a lofty goal of 600 miles on Day 2. So we think we need to re-work the Day 1 strategy, and drive a bit longer on Day 6 but still land in NY on schedule. Say we shorten Day 1 by 150 - 200 miles to 'get the bugs out'... We would just swap out the cities, right?? The heart of the plan is traveling the Interstate routes you have outlined, and clocking the approximate mileage you suggest. We should have no problem finding similar major cities along that path. Looking much more positively toward this trip now that we found your Forum. You really took the edge off. Thanks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Business Before Pleasure

    Your timing/itinerary is not great but should work out OK. In particular, you will not have any time during your first few days on the road for any sight seeing, but if you treat the driving as your main order of business, and are willing to put in 8-10 hour days at it, you should be able to keep to this schedule. Another way to think about real world driving times is to plan on being able to maintain an average speed of about 55 mph when you factor in various stops for food, fuel and other human and feline needs. That means that you're looking at around 9 hours in the saddle on your first day, arriving in Flagstaff at roughly 8:00 at night, maybe a bit later depending on how long it takes you to get out of L.A. Working to your advantage is the fact that Arizona does not observe Daylight Savings Time so you won't lose an hour on this day. Get a good night's sleep, and be ready to hit the road bright and early the next morning and be able to put in a solid 11 hours of travel (again, with routine stops) and you should get into Amarillo sometime around 8:00 PM again. Note that on this day you lose two hours and will be on Central Daylight Savings Time (CDT). But at this point you will be well on your way and even have a slight cushion should weather or traffic slow you down at some point later.

    But yes, you can re-arrange your schedule however you think fits or even set out and just see how far you get, If you travel without reservations, you are free to stop each night wherever the mood strikes. You have a good idea of how far along on your journey you need to be on any give day, and that's what is most important.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I'd modify it as follows:

    Day 1 - stop in Kingman AZ.
    Day 2 - stop in Santa Rosa NM.
    Day 3 - stop in Tulsa OK.
    Day 4 - stop in Effingham IL.
    Day 5 - take I-71 out of Columbus to I-76 to I-80 (avoid a lot of tolls) and stop in Youngstown OH.

    There's no reason to stop in major cities. You would actually save money staying around the smaller towns and avoid rush hour traffic hassles in and out.

  6. Default

    Tks for reply..writing using I-Touch, from road after day 1, Wednesday. Made it to Flagstaff. *Glad we made it actually bcs lots of weather advisories re wind, dust storms that closed I-40 today about 25 miles further east. *May affect tmro schedule. *Detour that takes us off I-40 for any length of time wil put our timing back,*But now we can thank you for several cities to plot and choose from. Today we learned that we need to be in NY by Mon PM latest. *Also, thanks to some dry runs in L A, *the cats acclamated amazingly well. *No need for the ear plugs! *Any advice on managing I-40 closure? *Windy weather in forecast thru tmro, *but we do need to progress. * * * * *

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    If I-40 remains closed tomorrow, you don't have a lot of options. Its too bad you didn't notice the weather problems earlier, so you could have routed yourself around the problem - by taking I-15 into Utah and then gone across either I-70 or I-80 which really wouldn't have affected your timetable at all.

    The best option now that you are at Flagstaff would likely be to work your way north to I-70. Your routing would be US-89/US-160/US-191 which would take you through Monument Valley eventually reaching I-70 near Moab, Utah. This will be a fantastically scenic route and shouldn't be too difficult to drive, but it will be slower going than the Interstate. I'd Glenwood Springs is probably about where you could end up if you go this way - with Grand Junction being a worst case if the weather is less than ideal and you see heavier traffic from others taking a detour.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Albuquerque, New Mexico


    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael
    Your routing would be US-89/US-160/US-191 which would take you through Monument Valley eventually reaching I-70 near Moab, Utah.

    I'd Glenwood Springs is probably about where you could end up if you go this way - with Grand Junction being a worst case if the weather is less than ideal and you see heavier traffic from others taking a detour.
    The weather forecasts don’t exactly look great going that way -- cold and maybe a little snow across the Rockies. But it’s supposed to be very windy tomorrow all the way across New Mexico and into Texas, with the winds really picking up as the day progresses. Not fun weather to drive in.

    Here’s what the NWS Albuquerque forecasts look like right now.

    NWS Albuquerque April 29, 2010 Forecast

    NWS ABQ - Wind Gusts at Noon

    NWS ABQ - Wind Speed and Direction at 3pm

    NWS ABQ - Wind Gusts at 3pm

  9. Default

    Hey. Thks for the updates and the weather links. *Stayed put tdy bcs of advisories of weather hazards in our path on routes north and east. *Will try for longer run tmro-- heading for Colorado*Springs via I-40 , I-25. * We now know that we can safely handle 600 mi a day. *Would you choose I-70or I-80 to move east from there? *Traffic ?, speed limits? *Great having you travel with us ! *****

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Considering you've now lost a day, and pretty much all of your wiggle room, I would not recommend taking a detour all the way to Colorado Springs. That's going to add 200 miles to your trip, it also means you'd be looking at a 700 mile driving day which really does start to push the limits of safety. Remember, you're not going to have anymore off days to recover from your long days behind the wheel.

    It should also be noted that there are probably quite a few other trucks and travelers that were in your same situation, and its very likely you'll be seeing some rather heavy traffic and related slowdowns for much of your day tomorrow.

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