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  1. Default Los Angeles to Annapolis in 3 Days? NEED ADVICE.

    This week I have to make a single person cross-country roadtrip from Los Angeles to Annapolis. I am likely leaving in the wee hours on Thursday morning and MUST make it to Annapolis by Sunday, late morning. The roots of this little adventure are based on a terrible tragedy and I don't want the result to likewise be tragic. So I need some advice from anyone who has made a similar trip. Can this be done?

    I'm thinking I can do 15-hour days on the road, no problem. I have some grueling Travel experience under my belt, several long road trips... but that was several years ago. Physically and mentally, I'm on my game. I think I can do this. I don't think I can do this. This is a challenge. I'm having doubts. Etc, etc, etc.

    Help.

    ~( ):>

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default No, You Can't

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    In a word: No

    Driving across this country in 3 days even with multiple drivers is in a word homicidal. I don't care how much you "think" you are game, the human body simply can't function at the high level required to operate a 2 ton machine at 75 mph without sleep.

    What you're considering doing is every bit as dangerous drinking a case of beer, slamming a bottle of jack, and then hitting the road. Don't try to fool yourself into thinking somehow you can do this if you just have the right attitude or with positive thinking.

    If you need to make this trip in the timetable you are talking about, get a plane ticket, it really is your only option.

  3. #3

    Default Weather as well

    with the Winter season starting you are going to have weather delays, be it because of accidents, snow, rain. You would not be always travelling at top speed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default I think you know it.

    You are right to have doubts and they are there for a reason, as Michael has said it wouldn't be safe to do so. It seems as though something unexpected has come up that you need to deal with, but I think you already know it's not the right way to go about it. Being on the road for a 15 hour day is bad enough by itself, do 3 back to back day's like this, plus extra miles on Sunday to finish off would be a killer. Remember, 15 hours on the road is easily an 18 hour day with only an hour to get showered and fed in the morning and on the road, and only 2 hours to book in to a room, eat, unwind and get to bed in the evening, leaving 6 hours sleep maximum. Not good.

    As Michael mentioned, find more time or fly to avoid the risk of more tragedy, good luck !

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    You have my deepest sympathy for your tragedy. However, I just looked it up and the TRAIN can barely make it from LA to DC in that time frame. If a train that runs 24 hours a day can't do it, an automobile certainly can't either.

    If you have a strong reason for not flying, this is the best you can do:

    Amtrak - leave LA 6:15 PM Wednesday, arrive DC 1:10 PM Saturday. 3 hour layover and train change in Chicago. One way fare $310.00.

    There are no trains available leaving Thursday that get in before 1:10 PM Sunday.

    Greyhound leaves LA at 2:25 PM Thursday and arrives in Annapolis at noon Sunday for $211. The schedule is the same for 1 day earlier - Wednesday to Saturday.

    It's a 2700 mile drive. Even 4 full days is pushing it to an unsafe level solo. If you must drive, and must be there by Sunday morning, you must leave no later than tomorrow (Tuesday) around noon, and you must check the weather and road conditions.

  6. Default Thank you all for the advice...

    Gentleman, thanks for setting me straight.

    Yea... I think my math was a little unrealistic to say the least. I am flying out to Los Angeles tomorrow morning and driving a vehicle to Annapolis, so flying is not an option for that leg of the trip. I changed my flight after all the feedback, so I'll get to Los Angeles a day early. If everything works out, I'll be leaving after noon on Tuesday. So I'm still cutting it close enough to make it a grueling adventure.

    Thanks for the guidance, and if you have any further suggestions, throw em at me. I truly appreciate it.

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

    Default

    That's much better.

    You are right, that will be a very long trip that's still going to push your limits, especially if you factor in that you'll have some fatigue from your flight tomorrow morning and that you'll be losing 3 hours of time as you head east across the time zones. Certainly its doable, but make sure to make use of all the time you can, and if you are seeing any signs of fatigue, its time to stop and take a break. I assure you, missing your deadline is a much better option than not making it there at all.

    I'd recommend you take a look at our speed run tips for more on this subject.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default "Targets"

    We wish you well and have a safe journey.

    If you could get as far as Kingman for your first night, it would set you up quite well for your trip, as Michael said, when it's time to stop, it's time to stop. From Kingman, Santa Rosa NM would be a good 'target' to keep you on track. From there either Joplin MO, Louisville KY, Cumberland and under a 4 hour run 'in' Sunday morning via I 40/64; or sticking to I 40/81 from Santa Rosa would be to 'target' Fort Smith AR, Nashville TN, [to the East to clear morning traffic] Harrisonburg WV and the short run in Sun am. You will have to adjust as you go and your first stop will depend on where you are flying in from and how you feel.

    Good luck.

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

    Default

    Let me offer you a suggested route and target overnight stops. I'll assume you can get out of LA by 2pm and this will get you to the western DC suburbs Saturday night.

    I-15/I-40/I-81/I-66/South DC Beltway/US-50. 2700 miles.

    Kingman AZ
    Tucumcari NM
    Russellville AR
    Knoxville TN
    Manassas VA

    It's about an hour and a half into Annapolis from Manassas. LA to Kingman is about 5 hours, a very easy drive once you get out of the LA basin. If you get out of LA earlier, Williams is the next opportunity after Kingman, it's less than 2 more hours. This could move the next night up to Amarillo, then Little Rock, then Kingsport. From there you could make it to Annapolis Saturday night.

    This is going to have you on the road for about 12 hours each day with normal fuel, food, and rest stops - and will have you driving after dark when you are the most tired - unless you get up real early and get on the road by 4 or 5 am.

    EDIT: Dave posted while I was researching and taking a couple phone calls - looks like he has very similar ideas. I'm suggesting I-40 to I-81 to keep it simple, less large metros to go through. The mileage difference is pretty negligible. Kingman is the key - if you can't get that far, you will be behind the 8-ball.

    Good luck and stay safe!

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