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  1. Default NYC area to Berkeley, CA

    First, I just want to say "hi" as I'm new to the forum.

    I'm planning out a road trip that will start next week.

    I've gotten lucky and have a minivan to drive.

    I just want some experienced people to look at my itinerary and let me know if this can be done (sanely) within the amount of time I have allotted.

    I hope to leave no later than Sept. 6th. I'm hoping for the 4th or 5th, if possible.

    Does this work or am I nuts?

    Sept. 6th: NYC/Jersey City ---> Cleveland, OH
    Sept. 7th: Cleveland ---> Chicago
    Sept. 8th: Chicago ---> Sioux City
    Sept. 9th: Sioux City ---> Mount Rushmore (gotta see it and no time for Yellowstone)
    Sept. 10th/11th?: Mount Rushmore ---> Salt Lake City
    Sept. 12th: Salt Lake City ---> Lake Tahoe
    Sept. 13th: Lake Tahoe ---> Berkeley

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Doable.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You can certainly make the trip in the time you have without exhausting yourself, but unless you get those extra couple of days you won't have a lot of time to 'hang' about. You have also given yourself a lot to do between Mount Rushmore and Lake Tahoe and although possible, it could be tiring towards the end of your trip. Without the extra day[s] I would consider clearing Chicago and the possibility of morning traffic and continue on to Davenport IA or beyond. From there you could make it to Mitchell SD[The Corn palace] or a little further again. That should give you time for a quick visit to Rushmore and get you further west towards SLC, perhaps around Newcastle WY or beyond.

    Edit] I now notice that you have 2 days for the Mt Rushmore to SLC leg so that is no longer a concern. However, if you don't have a particular reason for heading into Chicago and considering your limited time and possible traffic issues, if you pushed on earlier in your trip as suggested you could spend a little more time relaxing in the Mt Rushmore/SLC area.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 09-01-2011 at 12:10 AM. Reason: Read it properly !!

  3. Default thanks :)

    Thanks for the feedback. Initially, I planned it to be completely open with no deadline. But I have a new roommate that wants me to arrive before she takes off on a trip. As we're virtual strangers, that's a reasonable request, so I'm going to comply.

    Actually, I don't have to be in Berkeley until the 14th and could even push it back to the 15th, so I've got wiggle room. I'm also trying to push to see if I can get the minivan I'm driving earlier. (Hurricane Irene pushed things back a bit.) If so, yeah!!! More time.

    I have friends from college that are in Chicago. It would be fun to stop and see them and meet their kids. That's why it's in there.

    I have a friend whose parents are in Salt Lake City and he's offered up their home. (I hope he tells them.) I'm trying to schedule, but also trying to factor in things like road work or other things like just having fun that might slow me down.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Extra days

    If you are able to get the extra day(s), I would encourage you to take a little of that time to enjoy beautiful Pennsylvania, even if it means not getting as far as Cleveland. It would still be an easy day into Chicago the next day.

    Do you have a transponder for the tolls. It will not only save you money, but will make the drive so much easier.

    Lifey

  5. #5

    Default What I would do with your parameters

    Quote Originally Posted by rkw View Post
    Sept. 6th: NYC/Jersey City ---> Cleveland, OH
    Sept. 7th: Cleveland ---> Chicago
    Sept. 8th: Chicago ---> Sioux City
    Sept. 9th: Sioux City ---> Mount Rushmore (gotta see it and no time for Yellowstone)
    Sept. 10th/11th?: Mount Rushmore ---> Salt Lake City
    Sept. 12th: Salt Lake City ---> Lake Tahoe
    Sept. 13th: Lake Tahoe ---> Berkeley
    Are you relocating to Berkeley? If so, Tahoe is a fairly easy trip up from Berkeley. You might have more time than you think for this trip.

    I, personally, would be tempted to push those first two days a bit harder and tool around out West (unless there are things you specifically want to see in Cleveland/Chicago). I would be aiming to try to make Rapid City in 3 days of driving - this would be an average of about 560 miles/day for you which is quite do-able if you are not stopping for anything specific. You can then spend a day in the area. From there it's a one-day drive to Yellowstone or the Tetons. From Yellowstone, it would be a two-day drive to Berkeley.

    So, with 9 days, with Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone as priorities, you could have:

    3 days to Rapid City
    1 day sightseeing
    1 day to Yellowstone
    2 days Yellowstone/Tetons (not much, I admit)
    2 days to Berkeley

    Maybe too fast, but I would consider something like this. Your mileage may vary.

    --Jon

  6. Default

    I'm from California, exploring the west is redundant. I already have, but Yosemite is NEVER ruled out. If I have time that will happen, for sure. :)

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    If you are able to get the extra day(s), I would encourage you to take a little of that time to enjoy beautiful Pennsylvania, even if it means not getting as far as Cleveland. It would still be an easy day into Chicago the next day.

    Do you have a transponder for the tolls. It will not only save you money, but will make the drive so much easier.

    Lifey
    Thanks.

    Re tolls, it isn't my minivan, so I don't have any control over that.

    I spent a couple of months staying with a good friend in Valley Forge, PA a couple of years ago. That's not west PA, but I think I really want to get to Cleveland and spend some quality time at the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame.
    Last edited by rkw; 09-03-2011 at 08:10 AM. Reason: More info time.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Oh, yes you do.

    Quote Originally Posted by rkw View Post
    Re tolls, it isn't my minivan, so I don't have any control over that.
    On my last trip I drove a mini van which was loaned to me by friends, and got myself a transponder to deal with the tolls. It does not need to be your vehicle, even though you will have to give the plate number when purchasing it. Transponders are transferrable from vehicle to vehicle, so long as you let the company know. Mine was a Fast Lane.

    Lifey

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

    Default

    If you are in NYC or NJ, you can get an EZ-Pass. However, if you won't be returning back east, there really isn't that much point in it for only one trip.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    However, if you won't be returning back east, there really isn't that much point in it for only one trip.
    Why not??

    The transponder does not cost anything, and every cent saved on tolls, is another cent in your pocket.

    Lifey

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