Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13
  1. Default Least-challenging VA to SoCal route?

    In mid- to late March 2013, I will probably be driving cross country from just outside of Washington DC to near Los Angeles with a friend and my dog. I have never driven this sort of distance before, and I'm not fond of driving (but I don't want to transport my older dog cross-country in the cargo hold of a plane), so I am looking to go the least-challenging route (fewest mountains, least risks of weather "surprises", etc.).

    At this point, I'm thinking I-81 through VA, I-40 through Nashvillle and Memphis (we may do a short stop in one or the other, because of my friend's musical interests), and then either head south to Jackson OR go to Little Rock and then south to Shreveport to pick up I-20/I-10 the rest of the way.

    Any sort of pitfalls to this route, other than boredom (which is OK!)?

    Thanks so much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Welcome aboard RTA!

    Your routing ideas are just great. We've done SoCal to VA via I-15, I-40, and I-81 in mid-summer, and hubby has done it a lot in winter. Heading down to I-10 can be fine, too. However, since you are traveling in March, keep an eye on the weather. As you stop each night, turn on Weather Channel, or if traveling with a tablet or laptop, check the weather for the next day. Keep your options open. I-40 in northern New Mexico and northern Arizona is up at about 5000-7000 ft elevation, and I-10 around Van Horn has been known to have a good snow storm here and there. Be prepared by scheduling an extra day in your plans, just in case!

    Mountains along any of the routes won't bother you unless you are towing something.
    You'll roll along and pretty soon you'll find yourself up in elevation!

    "Boredom" isn't a word we use around here. Conversations with your friend, an audio book that you both might enjoy, or your favorite music keep you going....as well as looking at the pretty scenery! If you love books, you can rent an audio book at any Cracker Barrel store and then return it at any other one down the road -- pretty reasonable, too.

    Plan to stop a lot to let your doggie take care of his needs. There's rest areas along the route, usually every 50-100 miles. If you go into a town, you may find parks where doggy might enjoy stretching his legs too. You should stretch too.

    The trip can be about 5-7 days, depending on how much you want to drive each day. Last year we drove across in 6 days via Phoenix: overnights were in Phoenix, Santa Rosa NM (on I-40), Sallisaw OK (on I-40), Cookeville TN (on I-40), and Staunton VA (on I-81 on the south end of the Skyline Drive) before arriving in northern NJ the next day. The first day was 360 miles, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th days were all just under 600 miles, and the last one was just over 400 miles.


    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Honestly, if you are sticking to interstate highways, there is very little that you will find challenging. Even mountain passes are very gradual, designed for truckers to maintain highway speeds. Weather is what it is, there is no route that is generically better or worse than others for weather, you just have to watch the forecasts to see what you'll see when you are traveling.

    The I-40 option through Memphis is about the shortest, so in that sense it is easiest. At 2600 miles, you need to plan on the route taking a full 5 days. If you want to cut south to I-20, it wouldn't really make any sense to cut down to Jackson or Shreveport, unless those are places you really want to see. In fact, going to either after memphis adds enough miles that you'd be looking at probably needing an extra night on the road. Taking I-30 from Little Rock to Dallas would be the more logical way to get down to I-20/I-10, although even that adds about 100 miles vs I-40 the whole way.

  4. Default

    Thanks to both of you for your input and welcome!

    I realized it would be at least a 5-day trip, if not longer. The boredom to which I referred is really more that the interstates won't necessarily have the prettiest or most interesting scenery of the many choices that will get us from point A to point B. I'm sure my friend and I will be able to keep ourselves entertained, and you can be sure that my dog's needs are going to be paramount on this trip (which I wouldn't even be attempting if it were otherwise!).


    We will be renting a car going one-way. I don't have a car now, and buying one here before the trip won't really work because I don't think I can get one w/ California emissions standards here.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Renting a car might work better for you for other reasons, but getting a car that meets California Emissions standards really shouldn't be difficult.

    Most cars in the US are sold to meet California standards, just from a practical standpoint it is easier to build all cars the same way, not to mention, so many people move, they don't want to sell people a car they wouldn't be able to use.

    It is easy to check. On the bottom of the hood, the car should have a sticker with various information including if the car meets Federal emission standards or if meets California or 50 States emissions. As long as it isn't "only federal" then you'll be good.

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

    Default Why not use both.

    Quote Originally Posted by loribelle1 View Post
    The boredom to which I referred is really more that the interstates won't necessarily have the prettiest or most interesting scenery of the many choices that will get us from point A to point B.
    Why not consider both... alternate your time on the Interstates with time on the US highways. Both will afford plenty of opportunities to exercise your pooch. When you have travelled a hundred miles on the old highways - many of which are four lanes - you will get a new appreciation of the interstates - a new interest. Recently my travels took me this way using US30 and I-80/I-15 in WY/ID; US2 and I-94 in MT/ND; US30 and I-80 in IL as well as US20 and I-90 in NY. Makes for an interesting and varied trip, without adding a great deal to your timeframe. Most are still 65 and all are at least 55mph. As a bonus, many of the small towns of the US have a wealth of history and attractions to offer. Furthermore, I noticed lots of 'mom & pop' motels along those minor routes.

    Lifey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    I believe I heard that California has a new law - regardless of emissions compliance, you can't register a car brought in from out of state unless it's at least 6 months old and has at least 7500 miles on it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    I have never heard of that law, and California's DMV's website doesn't mention it. They just note that it has to meet California emissions. I have a hard time believing such a law would last more than 2 seconds, before California would be sued in Federal Court by auto dealers in neighboring states.

    Even if that was true, it wouldn't apply to someone moving to California from another state. In fact, if you are moving from another state, your car doesn't even have to meet California Emissions, although you do have to prove that you have registered it out of state first.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Whoa! I haven't heard that law either. We brought in a truck from out of state last August. It had to pass the smog test, get it weighed and then pay moo-goo bucks.

    However....if you buy one out of state without paying sales tax to that state (such as a used vehicle from a private party), you may have to pay the sales tax to California. We got around that one since the vehicle was inherited.


    Donna

  10. Default

    http://dmv.ca.gov/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffvr29.htm

    See the above link for more info.

Similar Threads

  1. Challenging roadtrip SF -> LA -> GC -> LV -> DV -> YO -> SF
    By ludovic.boudinet in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 06-04-2011, 09:26 PM
  2. Challenging trip North
    By wango in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-04-2007, 07:52 PM
  3. Help!! New best route from SoCal to Seattle
    By Donna in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-04-2003, 10:48 PM
  4. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-01-1970, 12:00 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES