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  1. Default South Carolina to Wyoming to Arizona to South Carolina

    I am so excited to find this forum. My family and I are going on an epic adventure odyssey :) in the last of August/first of September. We will be traveling from South Carolina to Yellowstone to the Petrified Forest in Arizona then back to South Carolina. If you plug those destinations into Google Maps you will see we will be making a big loop around the country. Our route is flexible, in that, we wouldn't mind driving a few extra miles (50-100) to see something really cool.

    What are the must sees along the way?

    What are some interesting locations to spend the night along the way?

    My husband and I will be tag-teaming the driving. Would 800 miles a day be unreasonable?

    Any and all suggestions and information is welcome!!!!

    Thank you!!
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    Last edited by AZBuck; 08-03-2011 at 08:06 AM. Reason: Removed non-standard font

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Yes, That Would Be a 'No'

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Let's answer your last question first, as it is the most important. Yes, 800 miles a day would be unreasonable, as would 700, or even 600. At just 600 miles you're looking at a minimum of 10 hours of total sedentary non-activity for both of you. Would you sit in front of your TV for that long each day and consider it healthy? Then there's the very real phenomenon of highway hypnosis where just sitting and staring for hours on end causes you to not really 'see' what you're looking at and to lower your reaction times in any event. The fallacy in the 'switching off' argument is that your 'rest' consists of doing exactly the same non-activity as when you're driving, just with even less mental involvement. In order to stay an alert and safe driver, you need to get out of the car and get some real physical exercise every few hours and get a full 8 hours sleep in a real bed every night. Just driving the route you've planned for yourselves will require 9 days of dedicated driving plus however much time you want to spend at sights along the way. But if you don't have at least 2 weeks for this trip then you need to seriously reconsider its scope.

    What you must see is entirely up to you and your interests, but some of the major attractions you'll be passing through or near include Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Nashville, Land Between the Lakes, St. Louis, the Oregon Trail, the Grand Tetons, the Great Salt Lake, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Petroglyphs National Monument, the Oklahoma City Memorial, Memphis, and Atlanta. And a host of smaller, lesser-known, but amazing venues. Even adding the Grand Canyon would only 'cost' you about 180 miles. Simply pounding out miles and passing all those by would be one of history's great wastes of time.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 08-03-2011 at 08:37 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Route advice, "highway hypnosis"

    Hello Neighbor (Foy in NC here),

    Just a week ago I returned from a 7,027 mile RoadTrip to Nevada, Idaho, Montana, and Utah, my third such trip in 13 months, and the longest by some 1,200 miles.

    AZ Buck's comments in terms of the relative absence of rest for the "off duty driver" is very real to me inasmuch as I have participated in many a "speed run" in various cars, pickups, vans, Class C motorhomes, and Class A motorhomes. Especially in cars, vans, and pickups, the off-duty driver gets little respite. And his observation that it's tough to average over 60 mph on a beginning to end of day basis is dead on the mark. My own experience is that "highway hypnosis" is very real and I have to take special care to avoid its effects by increasing the frequency of stops and taking longer stops late in the day's drive.

    Your route shows the expected selection including I-29 from Kansas City (KC) into Iowa, crossing the Missouri, and connecting with I-80 at Lincoln. Be advised sections of I-29 closed in mid-June due to Missouri River flooding and that as of this morning, the Iowa DOT still shows some closed segments. They also show their side of the shortcut across the Missouri, IA-2, as closed. When those roads closed in mid-June, the expectations were that they'd be closed into or through August. I chose to go through KC all the way to Denver's outskirts thence north on E-470 and I-25 to US 287 to I-80 at Laramie, WY. By doing so, I only added about 30 miles to the I-29/NE-2/I-80 route to Laramie from KC.

    On the Yellowstone to Arizona segment, have a look at coming down US 191 to Rock Springs/Green River, WY, crossing the east end of the Uninta Range at Flaming Gorge Dam, and going from there through Vernal towards southern UT and on to AZ. I found the I-15 route through southeast ID and into UT to be nice, but somewhat less scenic than US 191/Flaming Gorge, and I have always tried to avoid the traffic congestion between roughly Logan, UT and Provo, UT, generally the entire Salt Lake City basin.

    Have fun planning and taking your RoadTrip!


  4. Default

    Thanks so much to each of you. I truly value this advice and it makes perfect sense. AZ I see where you have replied to this 'how far can you drive' question many many times. I will plan our trip as safely as possible with as many breaks as we can manage. We want this trip to be a great memory and not a tragedy. Thanks again!!

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