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  1. #1

    Default Chicago to Sac -- August

    First post here on the site, and I must say it's nice that something like this exists. I have a deep love of traveling, and I don't know many people around me who enjoy it like I do. I don't do it for the destination; I like it for the trip itself.

    That said, I did Springfield, IL, to Sacramento, CA in December (27th-28th) and blitzed through it in two days. There were four of us, and aside from a one-time 4 hour stop in a motel to crash and get a real meal and refueling stops we did it nonstop. All told it took us about 40 hours. We took the southern route -- went down through Oklahoma -- and rode 40 to Southern California, at which point we headed north until Sacramento. It's probably my second-best memory, right behind my wedding/honeymoon (which is why I was traveling in the first place).

    That said, I want to do it again. I'll be doing it with my wife this time, and it will just be the two of us, so we'll probably have to pace ourselves a little more. She's not as into the breakneck pace thing as I am, and we would probably get too exhausted anyway. Granted, when I did it in December, I literally did not sleep the entire time except for the four hour stop. I normally sleep well in the car but I was enjoying the trip too much.

    I'm in the early stages of planning, but the biggest thing I'm wondering is what route I should take. I really enjoyed the southern route, but i would like to try taking 80 all the way as well. I know that there are other routes as well though, and I know most of you will know them better than I will. Suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default It's Called "Breakneck Pace" for a Reason

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Wives have a way of making one grow up in a hurry, so listen to her. As just one example: On your previous RoadTrip did you visit the Petrified Forest or just drive on by? Did you visit Meteor Crater or just drive on by? Did you visit the Grand Canyon or just drive on by? Did you explore the longest remaining piece of the old Route 66 or just drive on by? Did you visit Hoover Dam or just drive on by? Did you visit Oatman where donkeys roam the main drag of just drive on by? Did you stop to see the original, real London Bridge or just drive on by? And that's just some of the stops you could have made in just one state, Arizona. Hopefully on this trip you'll get to do more than simply sit and burn gas and see the inside of a motel room for a few hours.

    I-80 is a perfectly good route to take, and makes navigation incredibly easy. Just allocate the time required to actually stop and see some of the things along the way and you'll be fine. Just to list a few of those things: the Amana Colonies in Iowa, the vestiges and landmarks of the Oregon Trail as you follow the Platte River in western Nebraska, Rocky Mountain National Park (a short detour) in Colorado, Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, Dinosaur National Monument (another short detour), the Wasatch Mountains, Salt Lake City and the Great Salt lake, Bonneville Salt Flats, Virginia City, Lake Tahoe, and Napa Valley. But you can't do any 'of that if you try to make the drive in two, three, or even four days. Actually appreciating the land you'll be driving through will take 5+ days. make sure you have them.


  3. #3


    thanks for the tips! I did drive by virtually all of the sights, but doing it both ways are enjoyable to me. I like seeing the scenery as I drive by it, and I like the adventure of doing it quickly. For whatever reason I enjoy driving all night, and I like being 1000miles away from the place I was the last time I woke up. I think I was meant to be a long haul trucker. haha. But in all fairness, I also love seeing the sights along the way. And so probably the majority of my trips will be longer, more sight-seeing oriented excursions now.

    On the other hand, when we do the Chicago to Sac trip it will almost always be to see her parents, and so she will want to make that trip more quickly. So probably it will be some split of the two this time around. I plan on some other long distance sight seeing trips as well in the future.

    Aside from National Parks/Monuments/well known attractions, what things are along the I80 route? I've spent a pretty significant amount of time in NorCal, including Tahoe and Napa, so I'm more looking for things along the rest of the route.

    Also, on some of the more desolate stretches (Nevada) what should I expect? what should I prepare for?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Truckers can't do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by blubaru View Post
    ... I think I was meant to be a long haul trucker. haha.
    Long Haul truckers are strictly forbidden from being 1000miles away from the place they were the last time they woke up. For both health and safety reasons, they are restricted to 600 miles per day. And they are well trained, and have the experience to know that more could be injurious to either themselves, or other road users. That is only one reason why on this forum we advocate between 500 and 600 miles per day, on a multi day trip. And a good night's rest. (Only two days ago I was speaking with a trucker who was adament that 8 hours sleep is useless if it does not mean 8 hours rest.)

    May I suggest that as you drive through WY that you make a point of stopping at the rest areas, some of which are of great interest. There is the one near the summit which has the history of the road, as well as the statue of Lincoln, and a fantastic view of I-80 right by it. Then there is the 'Tree in the Rock' rest area to the left, and the magnificent views from there. These are excellent photo opportunities.

    Little America further on in western WY is a great place to stop. Truck stop with motel and restaurant... one of the best.


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