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  1. #1

    Default The 10k miles Round (road) Trip

    Hey y'all, I'm Derek and I live in Birmingham, AL. The trip I'm planning for September/October 2011 is a US Round Trip, from Birmingham, AL to Key West, FL then to Maine (all of the Route 1) then to Ozette, WA, heading down to San Diego (following all of Hwy 1) and then back home to Birmingham, AL.

    It's a 10300 miles trip (so far) and I have 21 days to do it. Why? I'll explain later. The exact trip is in pieces. Google maps cannot include all the details but here's what it looks like (Google map).

    I'm using TomTom for navigation and Tyre for planning the route (more details in another post).

    So, since this is my first post, I might as well introduce myself and maybe you'll understand why I'm doing this. I'm not from the US. I was born in Europe and I moved here almost a year ago. Since I'm here with (for now) a 3 years VISA, I decided to do the 3 things I've always wanted:

    - Route 66
    - Alaska Highway and Barrow, AK
    - A round trip in the US

    I did Route 66 last year and it felt GREAT! I was going to visit Barrow, AK this year, but a problem with my hotel reservation (only one hotel there) postponed my trip for 2012. So now, I'm going to do the round trip. I'm not planning on seeing or visiting anything, just driving.

    So here it is. I'm glad to be in this forum and I'm sure I'll find great info about my trips.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default nope

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    There is a very big problem with your plan. You simply can't cover these distances, using the highways you are talking about in 21 days.

    As it is, you could just barely cover those miles if you stick to interstate highways. Its going to require 500-600 miles of driving every single day, which is the absolute maximum number of miles you should be doing for safety sake while on the interstates on a long term trip like this. However, US-1 and US-101/CA-1 are both very very slow going 2 lane roads where you won't be able to cover anywhere near those kinds of miles in a day. You'd need nearly 21 days just to drive the lengths of both coasts on these 2 lane roads, and that doesn't give you time for the "long" trips of going east to west.

    Honestly, as much of a road warrior as I am, I can't see how that would be "fun" after about the 5th day, but regardless, if you want to do a loop around the US, really have only 2 choices, significantly increase your travel time, or stick exclusively to interstate highways. You simply can't make the math work any other way.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Harsh Reality

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Without even considering the details, it is obvious on its face that you cannot complete this trip as planned. Why? It's 10,000 miles over 21 days. That means you have to cover 500 miles a day. Pretty much every day you're on the road. It's simply impossible to do much more than that safely (maybe 550 or so), so if you fall behind at all, you'll have nowhere to make it up. And you will fall behind. US-1 on the eastern seaboard is a street-level highway that goes right through the heart of many a small town in the South with stop lights and strictly enforced, low speed limits. In the Northeast, it's even worse as it goes through the worst of the BosWash corridor carrying local traffic including shoppers and commuters throughout the day, each and every day. You cannot maintain a 500 mile per day pace on this road. The same thing is true of US-101/CA-1 down the Pacific coast. It's a road built to connect scenic seaside (tourist) town with scenic seaside town, not for speed.

    At best this trip will mean you spend 21 days seated on your butt passing amazing place after amazing place without stopping for a moment at any of them, and at worst that you'll press on regardless of being over-tired in order to complete some preconceived notion of an 'epic journey' and become a safety hazard to yourself and others. If you want a safe and enjoyable RoadTrip, you're going to have to cut back on this overly ambitious plan.


  4. #4


    Thank you both for the replies. That's exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping for. From what you say, I guess that US-1 and US-101 are just like the last 80 miles of WB Route 66 from San Bernardino, CA to Santa Monica: 4 hours...

    It seems there are only two options: either expand the trip to 5 weeks and try to stay with the original plan or expand it at least to 4 weeks and stay on the Interstates. And please correct me if I'm wrong. In anyway, I can't make it in 21 days.

    Once again, thanks for the feedback. I'll be seeing you around :)


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default You Got It

    Yep, about your only two realistic options are to use faster roads AND/or add significantly more time. Note my preference for the AND. I'd also caution you to think about what you want to accomplish on this trip other than drive/drive/drive/drive/drive... As Michael pointed out, that's going to get real old real fast. Make the trip about something, and then make the best use of your time to accomplish that. simply putting down miles for the sake of miles or checking off states is not nearly as memorable as you might think.


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