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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    right now iowa, possibly california or utah in near future
    Posts
    3

    Default Possible roadtrip Des moines to Los Angeles

    Hi forgive the n00b here, i did a one page quick scan for anything close but am planning or MAYBE planning a road trip to Los Angeles (possibly San Diego also) for job/move.

    Does RTA.com have route planners beyond 6 hour radius? i didn't see it so thought I'd ask. I know from google maps/mapquest/randmcnally.com that i can go via denver or thru utah. Going thru Denver this time of year would I be in danger of black ice still thru high elevations?

    hope this isn't too stupid a question. I found this site because of an article on yahoo news this morning.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    right now iowa, possibly california or utah in near future
    Posts
    3

    Default

    ok let me clarify, posted with minimal coffee no breakfast = forget stuff. I can use google maps, mapquest or yahoo travel to map out a route. Figuring out stops for me is where I run into minor snags. I like to preplan a bit because on this trip I will have 12 yr old dog with me and will be stopping every 2 hours or so at rest stops to exercise him.

    so I need to plan for hotel that will allow a larger dog (most seem to esp best western/comfort inn thats generally where I stay) and am planning on about 8 hours drive time that doesn't count stops. i mean when i'm on the map sites i calculate about 8 hours of actual drive time when I'm looking for hotels.



    any suggestions?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    On Interstate highways, 8 hours actual drive time with NO stops accounted for would be around 500 miles. That would make DSM-LA a 3.5 day drive.

    The 500 mile point the first day would put you out in the middle of nowhere. I'd probably take your time getting out of DSM and plan on a night in North Platte. From there, you can check on road conditions and make a decision on whether to take I-76/I-70 or I-80 to I-15. For the second night, the logical stop would be Grand Junction if you take I-70 or Rock Springs/Green River if you take I-80. The third day you should be able to make Las Vegas.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default And Stops for the Dog

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Note that these lists are by no means unique and that there are plenty of other such 'rest stops', but they should give you an idea of what's available to exercise yourself and your dog as you make your way west.

    AZBuck

  5. #5

    Default There are no complete substitutes............

    ............for elementary map-reading exercises.

    I'd spend the $20, as I did 2 weeks ago, on a 2010 highway atlas. I've got all the normal gadget tools: Vehicle GPS, a laptop w/wireless card, and all the Mapquest and Google Maps everybody else has. What works best for me, however, is sitting down with the Atlas, a pad and pencil, and a 4-function calculator. In just an hour on a stormy Saturday afternoon, I filled in my itinerary for a 22-day 6,000 mile RoadTrip from NC to MT and back during July, and I've got a solid feel for how Plan B or Plan C can develop in the event Plan A falls through to any extent.

    The Atlas offers mile-marker numbers at each interchange and quite a variety of longer-interval mileages. It should clearly show rest areas, too, and it's simple enough to extrapolate the milemarker for rest stops in the event the Atlas doesn't show them. Just be aware that some states closed rest areas during 2008 and 2009 due to lack of funds to maintain them.

    I get a much better "feel" for the route looking at it on an Atlas than most any other method of study (although the shaded relief now on Mapquest is VERY NICE). All of the GPS and mapping software in the world is only as good as the last update (true for Atlases, too) but the Atlas doesn't require a power supply, clear skies, or button-punching skills to use it. I've maintained for years that the way to get the best use out of a GPS is to know how to read a map to begin with.

    Have fun planning and taking your RoadTrip!

    Foy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    right now iowa, possibly california or utah in near future
    Posts
    3

    Default

    wow thanks everyone! Loved everyone's responses, new atlas great idea mine outdated by at least 2 years. i don't have an air card so would have to use google maps on cell (is tmobile dash 3g, which is htc snap windows mobile 6.5 now) but if i can put this together will get cheapo dashboard gps also. NEVER would depend on GPS without map though. heard nightmarish stories about that.

    and every 500 miles sounds about right, that was the tough part on this route was if every 500 miles or so lots of empty spaces esp in plains areas so you either stopped early waaaay too early or went way beyond my tolerance (and doggies)

    i might have to bump it to 9-9.5 hours of road time. with 4 or 5 rest stops for dog (avg 10-15 mins?) that would make it about 10 hours total. I always take a cooler with snacks etc because I'm gluten free. man i miss the good ole days of flying thru mcdonalds and getting a cheeseburger all american deal. oh well.

    thanks for the answers everyone and the wonderful welcome.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default not too hard

    Quote Originally Posted by iamnoone View Post
    and every 500 miles sounds about right, that was the tough part on this route was if every 500 miles or so lots of empty spaces esp in plains areas so you either stopped early waaaay too early or went way beyond my tolerance (and doggies)
    That really shouldn't be too tough. There are very few places anywhere on the interstate system where you have to go more than 30-45 miles between towns that will have several motel options.

    Using your specific example, 500 miles from Des Moines would put you just past the I-76/I-80 split - with Julesburg Colorado being right there. A quick google search shows there are 3 motels there.

    But if you want a few more option, you could stop 20 miles earlier in Ogallala Nebraska, where there are at least 6 chain motels. Or you could go 30-40 miles farther and stop in either Sidney Nebraska or Sterling Colorado (depending on which highway you are using) and once again you'd have at least a half dozen chain motels to choose from.

    As you get out into eastern Utah and western Wyoming, they may stretch out a bit farther. But on I-80 you'll never be more than about an hour between stops. I-70 does require a bit more planning as there is a 100 mile gap in services between Green River and Salina Utah (and a pretty large gap between Grand Junction and Green River too) but even here, its very easy to plan your stops in this area as long as you are thinking about what you are doing.

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