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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Southern New Jersey
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    32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    The only thing that I wouldn't do is Monument Valley back to Flagstaff - as that involves quite a lot of backtracking.

    If Flagstaff/Sedona is a priority, then I'd do that before the Grand Canyon, then head to GC and Monument Valley, and then directly onto Albuquerque from there.

    Otherwise, you could skip Flagstaff and instead spend a little time in Southwest Colorado, perhaps adding in Mesa Verde or a little time in Durango before continuing to Albuquerque.
    Thanks for the advice! I'm thinking of skipping Sedona. I think the kids will like Las Vegas for one night. I was trying to coordinate seeing a sunset at the Grand Canyon, but that's a lot of time at the Canyon waiting for nightfall. I'm assuming I can do the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley in one day. I'm thinking Vegas for one night then GC onto Monument Valley.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,786

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    If you are thinking of going from Vegas to Monument Valley in one day, then you really won't have any time to actually see the Grand Canyon. You'd easily have more than 8 hours of driving, not including any time actually spent at the Canyon.

    Don't underestimate just how big the Grand Canyon is. You could easily spend a full day, but I'd say a half day would be the bare minimum to even say that you saw it (I don't consider peaking over the edge at one stop and getting back in the car "seeing it").

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Southern New Jersey
    Posts
    32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    If you are thinking of going from Vegas to Monument Valley in one day, then you really won't have any time to actually see the Grand Canyon. You'd easily have more than 8 hours of driving, not including any time actually spent at the Canyon.

    Don't underestimate just how big the Grand Canyon is. You could easily spend a full day, but I'd say a half day would be the bare minimum to even say that you saw it (I don't consider peaking over the edge at one stop and getting back in the car "seeing it").
    I was trying to fit Sedona and the Painted Desert in the trip but I think it'll be too tight. I like your plan. From Vegas I'll head to the Grand Canyon for the day and try to find a place to stay nearby after sunset, then on to Monument Valley for a tour the next day and then on to Albuquerque. It looks like I can take a stop at Canyon de Chelly. I'll have to save Sedona and Painted Desert for another trip given I only have 8 days to drive back.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    8,258

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    The nearest lodgings out of the east entrance on route to Monument valley are found at the Cameron Trading Post. You can find cheaper lodgings in Tuba City and next up is Kayenta. I think you are right in cutting back or else you will just be rushing one place to another without really experiencing anything.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Southern New Jersey
    Posts
    32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    The nearest lodgings out of the east entrance on route to Monument valley are found at the Cameron Trading Post. You can find cheaper lodgings in Tuba City and next up is Kayenta. I think you are right in cutting back or else you will just be rushing one place to another without really experiencing anything.
    Thanks for the tip Dave. Have you stayed at the Cameron Trading Post? I came up with a second route below. The last day is a long run from Nashville to NJ (I'm 15 from Philly in NJ.) We actually have 8 days so I can break up that last long run or find some time elsewhere. I put in some estimated travel times.

    Day 1 - LA - Las Vegas, NV - day in Vegas, fountain show at night - 4 hours
    Day 2 - Las Vegas, NV - Grand Canyon Village - 4 hours
    Day 3 - Grand Canyon Village - Monument Valley - 3 hours
    Monument Valley - Canyon de Chelly - 2 hours (possible stop)
    Canyon de Chelly - Albuquerque, NM - 4 hours
    Day 4 - Albuquerque, NM - Oklahoma City, OK - Oklahoma City Memorial - 8 hours
    Day 5 - Oklahoma City, OK - Memphis, TN - 7 hours
    Day 6 - Memphis, TN - Nashville, TN - 3 hours
    Day 7 - Nashville, TN - NJ - 13 hours

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,786

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    I've got to warn you that your travel time estimates are fantastically unrealistic.

    In nearly every case you're hoping to complete trips even faster than the over-optimistic estimates provided by Google.

    Days 1 and 2 are both 5 hour trips. Albq to OKC is 550 miles, and will take you at least 9 and more likely closer to 10 hours. The next day to Memphis again, will take at least an extra hour or two. Your estimates assume you could reach average speeds of about 70 mph, but with just minimum stops and slowdowns for fuel, traffic, restrooms etc, cruising speeds of 70-80 mph will result in an overall average of 55-60 mph.

    Despite that, nearly all of your days look very workable, except for the very end. Its more than 800 miles from Nashville to Philly, and doing that in one day isn't only unreasonable, that starts to be unsafe when doing it on your 7th day on the road. Realistically, that's going to be a 15 hour drive, assuming minimal delays in the DC/Baltimore area. You've got a 8th day, plan to use it, and don't give yourself the temptation to try to push yourself to unsafe limits.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Southern New Jersey
    Posts
    32

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    Thanks for the info. I'll update the travel times in my plan. I was basing the times on Mapquest and realize there is no allowance in them for stops and breaks. I'm definitely breaking up the last day. I'm not sure what's a good stop between Nasvhille and NJ so I'll play that by ear.

    Based on some suggestions from AZBuck, another route I'm considering is below. This might be a little too optimistic based on your time corrections.

    ay 1 - LA - Las Vegas, NV - day in Vegas, fountain show at night - 4 hours
    Day 2 - Las Vegas, NV - Grand Canyon Village - 4 hours
    Day 3 - Grand Canyon Village - Monument Valley - 3 hours
    Monument Valley - Mesa Verde - 3 hours
    Mesa Verder - Moab - 3 hours
    Day 4 - Arches National Park - Denver, CO - 6 hours
    Day 5 - Denver - Kansas City - 9 hours
    Day 6 - Kansas City - St. Louis - 4 hours
    St. Louis - Memphis - 5 hours
    Day 7-8 - Memphis - NJ
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 05-30-2012 at 07:02 AM. Reason: Removed Quote of entire previous post

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Southern New Jersey
    Posts
    32

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    Are there any recommended stops between Nasvhille and NJ? Also, is there a list on the site somewhere of items to bring on a cross-country trip? I have a list together, just want to make sure I'm not missing anything. Thanks!

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,786

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    If you're just looking for a place to stop for the night, you really don't need a big city. Pretty much every moderate sized town along the interstate will have a few lodging choices, and often that will be much cheaper than staying in major cities.

    There will be no shortage of potential stopping points along I-81. Roanoke, Harrisonburg or Front Royal would be a few of your bigger options a reasonable distance from Nashville, with lots more smaller places in the middle.

    Your alternate route still has the same impossibly optimistic drive time estimates. Grand Canyon to Moab via Monument Valley and Mesa Verde really would be impossible to do in a day. You could likely do Mesa Verde or Moab, but not both. If you did Mesa Verde you could really go north or south - up the Million Dollar Highway and onto I-70 or back down to Albuquerque without adding many miles.

    Here's an old favorite thread about what people take on a roadtrip.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Southern New Jersey
    Posts
    32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Your alternate route still has the same impossibly optimistic drive time estimates. Grand Canyon to Moab via Monument Valley and Mesa Verde really would be impossible to do in a day. You could likely do Mesa Verde or Moab, but not both. If you did Mesa Verde you could really go north or south - up the Million Dollar Highway and onto I-70 or back down to Albuquerque without adding many miles.

    Here's an old favorite thread about what people take on a roadtrip.
    Thanks Michael! Based on your comments, I modified my original route.

    Day 1 - LA - Las Vegas, NV - day in Vegas, fountain show at night - 5 hours
    Day 2 - Las Vegas, NV - Grand Canyon Village - 5 hours
    Day 3 - Grand Canyon Village - Monument Valley - 3 hours
    Monument Valley - Canyon de Chelly - 3 hours (possible stop)
    Canyon de Chelly - Albuquerque, NM - 4 hours
    Day 4 - Albuquerque, NM - Oklahoma City, OK - Oklahoma City Memorial - 10 hours
    Day 5 - Oklahoma City, OK - Memphis, TN - 9 hours
    Day 6 - Memphis, TN - Nashville, TN - 3 hours
    Day 7-8 - Nashville, TN - NJ - 13 hours

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