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  1. Default CT to NM early November, by myself

    Hey guys!
    Cool forum. If you're in a rush just skip down to the bold...

    I need to get out to NM when my home here in CT gets rented Nov.1, I am near NYC.
    Heading out to Albuquerque, NM- one way trip. I can't fly, possibly take one or 2 trains but that would be it. I am probably driving my mother's car to save her the cost of shipping her car. I may have to give up my car (sniff, sniff) but I still am considering taking mine instead because of the trouble of selling mine ($1700) and buying another (less than $1700). Hers is a little better than mine (98 Honda, tip top shape, automatic), mine (99 Nissan Sentra) has been rebuilt from a total at one point but I think it could possibly make it.

    Why I'm Here:
    I'm not the most experienced long distance driver, my longest was a road trip from southern CT to Nashville and back this year. I can't drive at night (get blinded by other cars), and found on my Nashville trip I didn't want to do more than 4 hours per day by myself (which I will be on this trip). I am ok with more time obviously and the extra hotel nights. I am thinking of making St. Louis, MO my middle point given I do a have a friend who I can rest a day or 2. So the trip will probably be Nov.1 - ?

    I need tips, I have only just started planning this.

    Things concerning me
    1. Is Nov 1 a time when I would get any bad weather on the way down, would it be freezing already anywhere?
    2. I do have anxiety, I had really bad attacks on the Nashville trip (trying to go around these):
    --driving through Philly and cities with the elevated curvy tight populated highways
    --driving through the VA(?) hills where the trucks were going 70 around me going 50 (haha).... Mountain driving= yikes.
    --through the tunnel and over the bridge in Philly

    My absolute favorite part of my Nashville trip was the Shenendoah valley I think, where there were 3-4 car lengths space around me all times, going 70, on a very straight, open highway. I prefer this type of drive over any other and am hoping CT to NM is moreso straight, open?.

    Pros: I have Sprint phone navigator, a power inverter in the car so I can have laptop+internet the whole drive, AAA (only one service call left on the gold plan), additional roadside from Sprint (probably not much help), and can afford possibly another roadside or some kind of trip insurance (?)

    Anyone who can offer anything helpful would be so appreciated. I'm trying to make this as easy on my nerves as possible, thats really the limiting factor while driving solo.

    Thank you, CTtoNM

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    Ordinarily, we would recommend you make this a 4 day trip. However, that would have you driving 10+ hours a day. So, in your case I'd recommend you make it a 6 day trip (plus whatever dead time you want to spend in STL, which is the halfway point). This will have you driving no more than 6 or 7 hours a day.

    Take your most familiar/comfortable route to I-80 in NJ or PA. Take that to Youngstown OH and take I-76 through Akron. Take I-71 to Columbus, and take I-270 around the NW side of the city to I-70. Take that to Indianapolis, take I-465 around the south side of the city back to I-70 to St. Louis. Take I-44 out of St. Louis through Tulsa to Oklahoma City. Best way around OKC is the Kilpatrick Turnpike to I-40, which you take all the way to ABQ. The closest thing to true "mountains" on this whole route will be through northern PA. I-80 has recently been completely rebuilt through there, so it's not a bad drive at all. None of the cities you will be going through or around have the type of highways like Philly that bother you. However, STL can be a bit rough, get advice and exact directions in and out from your friend.

    Suggested overnight stops:

    Brookville PA
    Richmond IN
    Tulsa OK
    Amarillo TX

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default what you'll need

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I will say I really can't relate to the rather severe level of anxiety you've described, and honestly, if you are that concerned about things, I'd have to think that going via train would be worth the extra cost of shipping the car (and honestly, with the cars you're talking about, selling them and buying replacements in the southwest -where there won't be any salt damage - sounds like a pretty reasonable plan to me.)

    The reality is you're going to be making a cross country trip, and that means you'll see a little bit of everything. Sticking to the interstates will generally be your best bet, in terms of having controlled access, limited curves/grades, and no drop offs - however, if you're at a point where your fears won't let you travel near the speed limit and/or dramatically slower than other traffic on the road, then that it in an of itself could become a significant danger in its own right - which is the very reason interstates do have a minimum speed (usually 45).

    The best route would likely be I-84/I-81 to I-80 across PA, I-76/I-71 through Ohio to I-70 to St. Louis. Then I-44/I-40 to Albquerque. This route doesn't have a lot of mountains, but it does have some, it doesn't have a lot of major cities, but it has a couple, and it will have some stretches of long open road. Since you will only travel a maximum of 4 hours (250 miles) per day, you're going to need a good 8 days to make this trip.

    I will say that from a cost standpoint, it would likely be quite a bit cheaper to travel via train. Once you factor in only motels, fuel, and food, you're likely going to need at least $1000 for this trip. If you were going to enjoy the trip, that's probably worth it, but if you aren't going to be able to have fun while on the road, that's a lot of money to spend to keep a 10+ year old car that's worth less than $3000.

  4. Default

    Hey, I just wanted to thank you both for your posts and info. So much common sense! So there are several plans, but thankfully none of them involve me being the main driver. :)
    The train was an awesome suggestion, I had never considered that to be any more comfortable than flying but the sleeper trains sounds pretty good, a small room to yourself, 56 hours. Thats an excellent backup and would be pretty relaxing.

    The main plan is my brother-in-law is probably going to drive a 16 foot Budget truck (Uhaul like) and tow car #1 behind it. Bless his soul! I don't think he has any specific hangups in driving, but the "around the cities" route you both presented will definitely be a good option.

    I can't thank you guys enough.

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