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  1. Default San Francisco to Macon,MO in two weeks - doable?

    Hello all,

    I'm not sure how to search for this kind of information on my own, so I thought I'd ask.

    Is it doable and more importantly, enjoyable, to drive from San Francisco to Macon, MO in the space of two weeks? Does that leave enough room to see and experience things along the road, or will it just be a tedious race against the clock?
    We're planning to start in San Francisco on Sep 12th, get to Telluride, CO on the 19th, for a BB King concert, and arrive in Macon, MO on the 25th. (I have to be in Macon for a photography workshop, but that's beside the point)

    We'd like to visit some national parks and do rafting in Colorado, stop along the way for anything that looks interesting, and make it to Macon after an exciting and eye opening roadtrip, and not just a long drive.
    Does that make sense?Or should we pick a shorter route?

    Thanks a lot,
    Emil.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
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    10,748

    Default Comfortably

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Your trip is one that could be done in 4 full days on the road, so with 2 weeks you have time for some sight seeing and to take a relaxed approach.

    From San Fran you have many options, and now is a good time to study a map and look around the forums for things that stand out to you. If it were I, I would head through Yosemite, across Death valley and to the Grand canyon before making my way to Telluride via Monument valley. You could of course head into Southern Utah and the likes of Zion and Bryce canyon from the Vegas area.

    From Telluride you could head to Montrose and US 50 past the Black canyon of the Gunnison and Currecanti rec area to Colorado Springs, [115 from Penrose] nearby is the Garden of the Gods and Cave of the winds. You can get back to I 70 by way of CO94/US 287, or hit 1 70 earlier by heading North from US 50 at Poncha springs and take a detour through Rocky mountain NP.

    If you don't want to add too many miles then I 80 is an option to Salt lake then I 15 to US 6 to I 70 and 191 through Moab, "home" to Arches and Canyonlands NP's.

    As I mentioned, these are just a couple of suggestions from various options, and variations of those options run into dozens,, so look around and when you have decided upon some basics we can the help "fine tune" your trip
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 08-28-2010 at 06:02 AM. Reason: Added comment.

  3. Default

    Thanks for the quick reply!
    I'm actually interested in getting the RoadTrip USA book and follow the Lonliest Road route, except for a detour for Bryce and the concert in Telluride. After each detour I would get back on the suggested route.
    How many hours of driving can I expect each day if I were to take the more comfortable approach? I don't think more than 4 hours behind the wheel per day, is desirable.
    Am I correct?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Personal tastes.

    As a ball park figure we generally recommend travelling no more than 500-600 miles in one day, which equates to 9-10 hours on the road. Of course everyone is different in there approach to a road trip and that's what makes them special, to be able to go where you want at a pace that suits you. Not everyone wants to drive long periods, and if you think 4 hours a day is enough for you, so be it. That would mean travelling for 9/10 days [Approx] to cover your distance, but personally I look for places that are of most interest to me and see how I can build them into my trip, as opposed to seeing where I will end up after 4 hours of driving. As long as it keeps me on track of my destination for time, then some days I am happy to drive 8- 10 hours a day, in the knowledge that I won't have much ground to cover the following day, and will be able to enjoy the place I have chosen. It's just a balancing act to get the most enjoyment from the trip to suit your needs with an opportunity to make your own discoveries, rather than follow somebody elses idea of the "perfect" road trip from a book or through hearsay. If the "Lonliest Rd" is what appeals to you then that's fine, but don't be blinkered by a preconceived idea when there is so much more out there.

  5. Default

    I totally agree with you that setting a limit to drive-time and just being surprised by where you end up at is not the best approach. I'm just trying to come up with a ballpark figure I can sell to my wife. She is weary of having to spend the bulk of our trip in the car.
    We're thinking to use the Lonely Planet guide to USA and maybe that RoadTrip book, and just pick things we find most appealing along the route, with reasonable detours.

    So, on average, 4 hours behind the wheel should be get us safely to Macon, MO within our 2 week timeframe?
    I'm sorry I keep getting back to this, I just have no frame of references for the huge distances of the States. Having spent most of my adult life in Israel, I've gotten used to everything being an hour away. Looking at the US map is as intimidating as it is breathtaking, to me.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Let me try to put this in perspective for you.

    SF to Macon via US-50 and Telluride is around 2100 miles. If you were going to get in your car and drive it nonstop (which we would NEVER recommend) it would take you about 40 hours. If you are insistent on driving no more than 4 hours a day, this will give you 4 days to play with. However, with 12 hours of daylight each day, you should be able to drive more than 4 hours on selected days without it becoming too much like work. Drive for a few hours, stop and relax at attractions for a few hours, then drive for another few hours. This will balance out with days where you don't even drive at all. There will be stretches of road where there are no major attractions and you can pile up some serious miles in one day without a problem - stopping every couple of hours for a stretch and a little walk will rejuvenate you.

    When I travel, I try to get an early start to each day - and get on the road no later than 8 am. I avoid driving after dark and I try to be off the road checked into a hotel around dinnertime. Without sightseeing, I can generally cover at least 500 miles a day this way and I'm not exhausted at the end of the day. This gives me plenty of time to eat a good dinner and relax before going to bed, and this also keeps my awake/sleep schedule consistent.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Default I already have.

    So, on average, 4 hours behind the wheel should be get us safely to Macon, MO within our 2 week timeframe?
    I'm sorry I keep getting back to this, I just have no frame of references for the huge distances of the States.
    No need to apologise, but I have tried to offer you some "ballpark" figures.

    Your trip is one that could be done in 4 full days on the road, so with 2 weeks you have time for some sight seeing and to take a relaxed approach.
    As a ball park figure we generally recommend travelling no more than 500-600 miles in one day, which equates to 9-10 hours on the road
    if you think 4 hours a day is enough for you, so be it. That would mean travelling for 9/10 days [Approx] to cover your distance
    This is certainly not a trip where you will spend the majority of your time in a car and the journey will become a slog. You can take lot's of breaks and visit many interesting places along the way.

    Without stops for anything other than food and bathroom breaks and to fill with gas, expect to average around 57mph on main highways over the course of a days driving. As glc pointed out, you have around 2100 miles to cover, to do that in 14 days is 150 miles a day, or under 3 hours a day. Of course that is route dependant so I really would get a map out and start working on it.

    Enjoy the planning !

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