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  1. #1

    Default Coast to Coast Winter RoadTrip (FL to CA)

    Hello,

    Me and two of my friends have planned a road trip from Ft. Lauderdale, FL to Los Angeles, CA this December. The route follows the southern states, mostly along I-10. Panama City, Lake Havasu City, Las Vegas, Death Valley park are in our plan. We have about 10 days to make this trip. Any suggestions/guidance that u can provide to make this trip great would be fantastic.

    We understand that this is like a speed run, but the three of us will be driving in shifts. We are also not planning on more than 10-12 hrs of drive a day. We are not planning on making advanced reservations for hotel/motel either. If there is an alternative route that would be better, please suggest.

    Thanks, Avi...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default One Way or Round Trip?

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    If this is a one way trip, then you have plenty of time to see quite a bit during your drive, but if you are planning a round trip to L.A. and back to Fort Lauderdale, then all you're going to be able to do is make the drive, turn around and make the drive home, with no real time for major stops or detours.

    Having multiple drivers on a trip of this length really doesn't help all that much since no one will get any real useful sleep in a cramped moving car, and there's precious little to be gained by being on the road more than about a dozen hours anyway, since there's absolutely nothing to see at night.

    AZBuck

  3. #3

    Default

    Forgot to mention that..this would be a one way trip only. We will fly back to Ft Lauderdale from LA. So that gives us about 10 days to do the 3000 odd miles trip east to west.

    One detour we are thinking of is taking the road along the US-Mexico border in Texas instead of the I-10 cut through the center of the state. Do you think it is worth it? If not, is there something better in central Texas?
    Thanks..Avi

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

    Default Take Your Time

    Even with all your proposed side trips this is, as you note, 'only' a 3,000 mile trip over 10 days, so there is no need to consider it or treat it like a Speed Run. This can be a very relaxed drive through and to some scenic areas with a good mix of driving, hiking, and sight seeing en route. Obviously there are plenty of possible stops along the Gulf Coast including Gulf Islands National Seashore, New Orleans and the Creole Nature Trail among others. Through west Texas I think your idea of following the Rio Grand is a generally good one with the simple caveat that you keep your eyes open and your 'radar' up, but stops along there would include Amistad National Recreation Area, Langtry (home to Judge Roy Bean's 'Justice West of the Pecos'), Big Bend National Park, Marfa (home of the 'Marfa Lights'), and McDonald Observatory. Then a couple of stops in my neck of the woods - Kartchner Caverns and the Pima Air and Space Museum (and adjacent 'bone yard' at Davis-Monthan AFB).

    AZBuck

  5. #5

    Default

    Avi,
    Please keep in mind the dangerous drug wars that plague the US/Mexico border... An alternate route would be in Lafayette, LA get on I49 and head northwest to Shreveport, then get on I20 heading west into Dallas/Ft. Worth. From there you could go on Highway 287 (in Decatur, TX there is a GREAT little steakhouse called Sweetiepie's Ribeyes... and there is a Best Western Inn and Suites in Henrietta, TX with great rates, very clean and nice customer service... [my mom is the night auditor]) 287 will take you through Wichita Falls then a number of small but historical towns to Amarillo. In Amarillo get on I40 to take you the rest of the way to California... (just don't pull a 'bugs bunny' and take a wrong turn in Albuquerque). There is an iPhone app called Roadside that will tell you cool stops along your way according to your location... it could add to your adventures...

    Wishing you a safe trip,
    Cori

  6. #6

    Default

    Thanks for this info Cori. Rio Grande is out of our route now :). Can you let us know if we need to be prepared for the winter weather in texas (and pretty much everywhere else) during our drive? We are not driving in the night. Also, we are renting a car in Ft. Lauderdale, so i am sure it wouldnt have snow tires...
    Thanks, Avi...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    It won't have snow tires, but it will have "all season" radials. Those will be good enough. If you do hit some bad weather, you would be wise to wait it out if it's bad enough where you are having problems with traction.

    It's possible to get snow and ice along the I-10 corridor, but not very likely. You do need to be prepared with appropriate clothing, it can get cold.

  8. #8

    Default

    We have a saying in Texas, "if you don't like the weather, wait an hour... it will change" :-) It does get pretty cold, and ice can sneak up on us pretty fast (and none of the native Texans know how to drive in it, so everything closes down) but the good news is that it doesn't last too long. The past couple of years, ice was not a problem until January, but weather patterns are changing every year... so have back up plans. I'm not sure about the weather or driving conditions in the other states.

    Best Wishes,
    Cori

  9. #9

    Default

    Yes your speed run would be 30 MPH. however when I do a big trip like this I task it to google. put in you start and finish and then select the route you would like to take, you may need to put in another place if you don't get that option. From zooming right out slowly zoom in until you start to see large towns appear on the map. Usually there are things to see and do around these places, and good options for food and hotels and a little night life. Having these options is good as you know whether you need to stop for the night or can carry on.

  10. #10

    Default

    Greetings!

    We are back from our 10 day coast to coast road trip and we want to briefly write about our experience. We started on the 17th of december from the Atlantic Ocean at Ft. Lauderdale beach with night stops at Tallahassee FL, New Orleans LA, Wichita Falls TX, Albuquerque NM, Tusayan AZ, Flagstaff AZ, Las Vegas NV and Los Angeles CA, ending our trip on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. We encountered rain, wind, dust, snow, we saw everything from the most overcast day skies, to the clearest of the night skies, we drove through marshlands, plains, meadows, deserts, mountains, forests and everything that this country offers. In the 3650 miles that we did, we saw a lot of things but most importantly, we realized the freedom that we have, to do what we did, see what we saw and go where we went. This journey has been something that we will remember for ever.

    Thank you all for your kind suggestions. Have a safe and happy holidays.

    Avi...

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