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  1. Default need advice - Santa Fe, NM to Eugene, OR in 5 days

    Hi. Advice requested, please.

    I will be helping my son move from Santa Fe, NM to Eugene, OR in early June. We would like to do this trip in no more than 4 or 5 nights out. We will have a small (10') moving truck which will tow a flatbed trailer for his car. It will be the two of us and his 70 lb dog. We are willing to do camping stops or pay for hotels. Short (no more than 1/2 hr) hikes only. We would like to make sure the places we stop are reasonably secure, as all his possessions will be in the truck. The stops we have considered, which are along a few possible routes, are:

    1. Moab, Bryce/Zion, Salt Lake, Las Vegas, Reno or Lake Tahoe, Crater Lake, Bend OR

    2. Grand Canyon, north or south rim (I have been to south twice, he has not been to GC at all), Vegas, Death Valley, Reno/Tahoe, Crater Lake, etc

    3. Northern route through Salt Lake, then Idaho, into OR.

    Any recommendations would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Pick the Right Route First

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The basic problem you face is not distance, or time, or a lack of things to do, but getting strange and awkward rig safely across 1500 miles or so of rugged terrain.The shortest route is about 1400 miles, but is 'cross-country' in the sense that you'll often be on smaller, two lane US roads rather than Interstates.The all Interstate route is a shade over 1600 miles. Given that you will be traveling in a relatively unwieldy and totally unfamiliar rig, I would recommend that you take the Interstate route, I-40 to Barstow, CA-58 through Bakersfield to I-5, and then I-5 up to Eugene. The great attributes of the Interstates are things that you will directly benefit from: easier grades, gentler curves, and extra lanes for others to get around you. On the Interstate route, you still have Petrified Forest National Park, the Grand Canyon, Mojave National Preserve, Edwards Air Force Base, California Gold Rush country and Napa Valley, the Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area, and a host of other smaller venues to keep you amused, but safety and reduced stress should be your primary goals as you plan this move.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    CA-58 through Bakersfield to I-5
    I would modify this slightly - CA-58 to CA-99 north to Stockton, then CA-4 to I-5. This keeps you on a freeway the whole way.

  4. Default thank you for your suggestions......

    .......I would be comfortable on good two-lane US roads in addition to the interstates, even if that means slower progress. I would prefer to avoid narrow mountain passes with no shoulders. With that in mind would you suggest some other attractions or places to stay?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default No Guarantees

    Quote Originally Posted by mmarmor
    I would be comfortable on good two-lane US roads in addition to the interstates, even if that means slower progress. I would prefer to avoid narrow mountain passes with no shoulders.
    Well, that's the thing, of course. We try to keep our specific recommendations based on personal experience, but even though I've got over a million driving miles under my belt, a lot of that is repetitions of a few particularly well traveled routes, and even if it weren't would only get me half way to covering the two million or so miles of paved roads in the US and the additional two million miles of unpaved roads. I can't personally guarantee you that if you head out cross country on the older US highway system you won't run into some narrow mountain passes with sharp turns and no shoulder. I can guarantee you (because I looked at a few of the more likely places along the major routes you mentioned), that you will run into places with grades and no shoulders.

    However if you stick to the Interstates, then you won't have steep grades, you won't have sharp curves, and except in a very few short restricted spaces you will have shoulders. That's because the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, better known as the Interstate Highway System, is built to very specific criteria which are based on the ability to transport large military equipment and convoys from one part of the country to another with speed and safety.

    So, again, before we can suggest places to stop, we'll need you to decide just how comfortable you'd be crossing the Rockies and Cascades on two lane roads with no shoulders, and which route you are actually going to use.


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