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  1. Default CT to Tahoe City

    Hi there,

    Thanks for this forum – reading through the posts has been super helpful.
    My sister and I are roadtripping from Connecticut to Tahoe City California next week. It’s our first roadtrip, so we wanted to run our route by an expert to see if its realistic.

    We’re hoping to:
    See some or all of the Blue Ridge Pkwy/swing by Smoky Mountain N.P.
    Stop in Memphis and Vegas for the night
    See the Grand Canyon

    Ideally we'd like to get the trip done in 7 days, but it seemed too tight so its 8 right now...

    Question: We'd like to do the Blue Ridge Pkwy, but we're not sure how much time to plan for it. As of now, because we want to keep this trip in the 7-8 day range max, we decided not to take it from the beginning but instead pick it up near Roanoke, take it to Asheville and then leave it there to head up to Knoxville. Any advice about this or other possibilities to work it in and not add another day?

    Day 1: CT to Roanoke VA
    Day 2: Asheville, SMNP, Knoxville
    Day 3: Memphis
    Day 4: Oklahoma City
    Day 5: Albuquerque
    Day 6: Grand Canyon
    Day 7: Las Vegas
    Day 8: Tahoe City!!!

    Thank you in advance for any feedback or advice you can provide!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Really Pushing It

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    It is just possible to do what you propose, but that leaves no margin for error and will only allow you minimum time in the Smokies and at the Grand Canyon. Having two drivers will help, a little, but the fact is that you're going to need to be on the road about 10 hours each and every one of the 8 days (max) that you have. As noted, that leaves a couple of hours for physical and mental health breaks - and sight seeing - and you really need to take those even on days where there's 'nothing' you want to see in order to keep yourselves rested and alert, and safe. If you fall behind schedule early on in your trip, you'll have to be willing to give up certain stops later on, no 'making up time'. But...,if everything goes right, your plan will just work.


  3. #3

    Default Long day on the Parkway, and no time for GSMNP

    Hello EAC,

    From your proposed itinerary, I assume you plan to leave Roanoke on the BRP, take it to Asheville, and then perhaps I-40 to Knoxville at the end of that day. But, you also mention the Smokies, and you note your travel plans are for next week.

    Be aware that your approximately 260 mile trip on the Parkway in late October will likely be a very slow day's travel. Posted speed limits are nowhere greater than 45 mph and in some places are 35 or even 25 mph for short segments. Add to that the fact there will be many others enjoying the leaf season (albeit a week, week and a half past their peak by next week), and you're looking at a solid 8+ hour drive from Roanoke to Asheville, with no long stops. If you average as much as 35 mph on a beginning to end of day basis, that's as good as it'll get. I'd assume 27-30 mph if I were inclined to numerous pull-outs, a couple or three short walks, and a sit-down lunch.

    Getting off at Asheville misses the Smokies, too, you understand. To continue down the BRP to Cherokee (southern end) is another 90 miles (3 hours, give or take) then a trip into/across the Smokies.

    If your intent is to see much of the BRP and the GSMNP, I'd consider leaving Roanoke, overnighting in Blowing Rock or Little Switzerland, NC, and get an EARLY start the next day in order to take the must-see side trip to Mount Mitchell, enjoy Craggy Gardens, and a handful of other great sights on the southern end of the BRP. An alternative allowing you to keep from adding a day to your trip might be to cut down I-77 to US 421, thence west (which, oddly enough is NORTH on US 421) to Deep Gap, picking up the BRP there. Overnighting somewhere like Wytheville or Hillsville, VA, or North Wilkesboro, NC, rather than Roanoke adds 1 to 2 hours beyond Roanoke. In my humble opinion, the BRP from Roanoke to the NC line is the least scenic segment, and getting on at about Deep Gap would give you more time for the higher elevations and more dramatic topography from the NC-VA line down to Asheville.

    Safe travels and enjoy your upcoming RoadTrip!

    Last edited by Foy; 10-21-2010 at 09:16 AM.

  4. #4


    Tahoe City brings back a close encounter with a mother and cub bear.

    Just on the edge of Tahoe City near the lake my wife and I were having dinner in a bar/diner just off the road amongst some trees. Leaving and walking into the car park saw a couple near the door looking up at a tree – and there just in front only a few yards away were the two bears standing on a low branch in the tree.

    Luckily had my camera and took a few snaps - the one shown I had to move a few yards away from the diner door. Well aware of the danger where mums and cubs are involved.

    Think the bears had been attracted by the smell of food put in the outside bins.

    The bar owner called the authorities to deal with the situation but I never did find out the result as we had to leave. Probably the bears either left of own accord, captured and moved or were destroyed. Spoke with someone soon after and I think the policy at the time (3/4 years ago) was to destroy bears in such circumstances.

    So never a dull moment in Tahoe City – best wishes with your trip.

  5. Default thank you!

    Thank you to everyone for your feedback. We've decided that if we need to we'll add a extra day or two to the trip. Thanks also for the advice about the Blue Ridge Pkwy. We're going to skip the section near Roanoke and get on at Deep Gap.

    Ps. Foy - thanks for the bear story and the picture. Hopefully we won't see any diner bears (for our sake and theirs)! Will certainly report back if we do!

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