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  1. #1

    Default St. Louis to Dallas - Logistics Question

    Hi all,

    I still owe a trip report for the four-week Western trip this Spring (and thanks to everyone here for heir help), but I was wondering if I could get a bit of advice on a quick trip from St. Louis to Dallas. I need to be at the Dallas Convention Center to give a talk at a conference at 2:00 PM on Thursday, October 11.

    I am okay getting in with targeting a noon arrival with some leeway (I would like at least an hour to park, register for the conference, and find the room I am speaking in. I can leave St. Louis on Wednesday, but would prefer to leave as late as possible (to cancel as few classes as possible). I really, really don't want to fly (I plan on meandering back through Arkansas).

    Within these parameters, what would you recommend? I am thinking somewhere around Tulsa for Wednesday night which means I would have to leave St. Louis early afternoon. Does this seem reasonable?

    Thanks in advance,
    Jon

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default About Right

    Yeah, I would say that you’re looking at about 6 hours, maybe a shade more, to get to Tulsa, and then about another 5 hours to Dallas, plus any sit-down restaurant meals that you may include in your plans. So that would mean a 2:00 PM departure would have you in Tulsa in the not-too-late evening with maybe even some time to go over your presentation. Then, after a good 8 hours of sleep, hitting the road at 7:00 AM would put you in Dallas around noon. The one thing I would do is to get completely through Tulsa before bedding down, leaving no chance of being a victim of its rush hour in the morning. Okmulgee looks about right, even if it would require a slightly earlier start from St. Louis.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    It will take you 4 to 4.5 hours from STL to Joplin. You could spend the night here, then get on the road by 6am, take I-44 to Big Cabin, then US-69/US-75 to Dallas. This saves you 75 miles and is actually a bit faster than staying on the Interstates all the way. It's 350 miles to Dallas from Joplin via this route and there really isn't much to slow you down. Last time I went this way, I made it from McKinney to Joplin in 5.5 hours.

    We have a ton of hotels here at Exit 8B, just stay out of the Sunrise, it's a total filthy dump. Do you have a chain preference? The Motel 6 is 40 bucks a night, the others range from $63 to $124.

    If you want to get farther, there's a few hotels in Miami ranging from $51 to $84, and a $100 HI Express in Vinita. It's about 30 minutes from Joplin to Miami, and another 30 minutes from Miami to Vinita. Once you get on 69, you won't find any kind of choices till you get to Muskogee, which is another hour. If you are prepared to drive 6+ hours on Wednesday night, Muskogee would be a good bet, rates are $39 to $109. There is a Days Inn in Wagoner for 50 bucks, which is 15 miles before Muskogee.

  4. #4

    Default

    glc, Buck:

    Thanks so much for the responses - sorry to take so long but work has been very hectic.

    I considered doing a stopover in Joplin (and I know any money into the local economy will help, given the ongoing recovery), but I really want to get a little farther the first day. Taking Us-69 to Muskogee looks more promising to me.

    Is Us-69 through OK mostly four-lane divided?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    It's 4 lanes all the way from I-44 to Texas. There are some freeway stretches, some divided stretches, and some undivided stretches. It does go through some towns. It saves time, mileage, and tolls over going through Tulsa, and it's a major through truck route to and from Dallas. US-75 is a freeway from the TX-OK line all the way into Dallas.

    Plan on 6.5 hours if you want to make Muskogee for your overnight, and at least another 4 hours the next day.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    It will take you 4 to 4.5 hours from STL to Joplin. You could spend the night here, then get on the road by 6am, take I-44 to Big Cabin, then US-69/US-75 to Dallas. This saves you 75 miles and is actually a bit faster than staying on the Interstates all the way. It's 350 miles to Dallas from Joplin via this route and there really isn't much to slow you down. Last time I went this way, I made it from McKinney to Joplin in 5.5 hours.
    On my way to Dallas after stopping for dinner in Joplin (thanks glc!), my car broke down on I-44 in Northeast OK. I am currently in Miami, OK. There is a car rental place across the parking lot that opens at 8 AM. Is it possible to rent a car at 8:00 AM (understanding it would take a bit of time to actually sign the paperwork, etc.) and make it to the Dallas Convention Center by, say 1:30 PM? It looks possible but iffy to me (and this would seem to jibe with glc's note above).

    If it's possible to do so while not driving recklessly, I plan on doing it. If not, I will try to see if I can get the car repaired early tomorrow and accept that i won't make my talk - counting on my colleague to take care of it in my stead.

    Thanks!

    Jon

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default I'd guess not.[?]

    Although I have no first hand experience of this route, I would say not. If you were on the road by 8:30 you would have to average 70mph all the way with no stops. That might not seem to bad, but when you factor in getting out of town during a busy period and getting around Dallas to your location, even without other possible delays, you would be risking a speeding ticket for a large part of your journey.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default just maybe

    I'd say you'd have a chance of making it, but everything would have to go just about perfectly.

    If you can get the car quickly and get on the road in 15-20 minutes, if you can make the trip without stopping, and if you see very little construction or traffic delays, I think you'd be able to make it without driving at excessive speeds.

    The problem is that first thing in the morning, you may be dealing with longer than normal lines for the rental car. You are looking at a trip that's on the upper end of what most cars can go on a single tank of gas. And of course, Dallas is a city that can see a lot of traffic issues, even in the middle of the day.

    If you only see one or two little issues, like it takes a full 30 minutes to get the car or you have to make a quick stop at a gas station, you still might be able to make it on time, but there are a lot of things that could keep it from happening. I'd say really it comes down to how important is it for you to be there, and how willing you are to try, knowing there's a chance even with your best efforts, you might still be late.

  9. #9

    Default Going to try

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    I'd say you'd have a chance of making it, but everything would have to go just about perfectly.

    If you can get the car quickly and get on the road in 15-20 minutes, if you can make the trip without stopping, and if you see very little construction or traffic delays, I think you'd be able to make it without driving at excessive speeds.

    The problem is that first thing in the morning, you may be dealing with longer than normal lines for the rental car. You are looking at a trip that's on the upper end of what most cars can go on a single tank of gas. And of course, Dallas is a city that can see a lot of traffic issues, even in the middle of the day.

    If you only see one or two little issues, like it takes a full 30 minutes to get the car or you have to make a quick stop at a gas station, you still might be able to make it on time, but there are a lot of things that could keep it from happening. I'd say really it comes down to how important is it for you to be there, and how willing you are to try, knowing there's a chance even with your best efforts, you might still be late.
    That's more or less the same calculation I made - I am glad that it seems reasonable. I have a colleague on site who can cover for me for a bit if needed, so I am going to give it a try.

    It's stuff like this that makes travel "interesting" I suppose.

    Thanks (ant TO SW Dave too!)

    Jon

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    You're certainly not the only one who has been in a similar situation before!

    Let us know how it went.

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