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  1. Default Boise to Dallas in November

    On the 24th of this month I'll be driving from Boise, ID to Dallas, TX in my Grandpas old 1971 F100. I have no doubt in the trucks road-worthiness - I have AAA premier if my lack of doubts proves foolish (200 mile tow). I plan on doing this trip in 2 days (13-14 hour days) but have allowed a third and 4th day if something goes wrong/I decide the days are too long.

    Original plan (for no specific reason) was to go Boise-SLC-Albuquerque-Dallas, but I'd like some input from the seasoned roadtrippers on that route and the other options - Google maps gives me:
    1. Boise-SLC-Albuquerque-Dallas via I-84/I-15/US-6/I-70/US-191/US-491/US-64/I-25/I-40/US-287/US-380
    2. Boise-Cheyenne-Salina-Dallas via I-84/I-80/I-25/I-70/I-135/I-35
    3. Boise-Cheyenne-Amarillo-Dallas via I-84/I-80/I-70/US-287/US-380
    4. Boise-Cheyenne-Nebraska-Salina-Dallas via I-84/I-80/US-183/KS-9/I-135/I-35

    I'd post links to routes but new member message said I can't so I wont bother trying.

    Thoughts? Must see sights along the way?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Let me start by thanking you for actually reading the welcome email about posting links! Actually, we generally do allow links for thinks like googlemaps, its just sites that are for other commercial companies that we generally don't allow (basically to prevent spam on the site).

    Nonetheless, I think we can all get the picture of what you are thinking, and we can say pretty definitively that you're trying to do way too much in too little time.

    All of your route are 1600-1800 miles, with the shorter options involving significant 2 lane travel. That's simply too far to safely drive in 2 days, and professional drivers drivers would be required by law to take a minimum of 3 full days for this trip. You really need to plan to use 3 full days (still being on the road for 10+ hours a day), and have the 4th available in case you run into winter weather that slows you down - a real possibility anywhere along the route, no matter which route you take.

    For scenery, and if the weather cooperates, I do like the option of going through Albuq, but there is no reason to go all the way over to I-25 via US-64. Instead, take US-550 south from Farmington to save quite a few miles. There are several national parks that right along this path that could make for a nice detour, but you'd really need to plan for a 4th day to include any of them in the trip.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Actual Foolishness

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    If you have a well-founded faith in your vehicle that it will make the journey, and a back-up plan should that faith prove misplaced, then it is not foolish to make a 1600+ mile drive in it. What is foolish is to think that you can do this in two days. There simply isn't enough time in two days to cover those miles, and stop for gas, and make rest stops, and eat, and lose time to traffic and construction delays, and (most important) get enough sleep to stay safe. You need to plan on a minimum of three days to make the trip safely and sanely, and you need to plan on a fourth day if you want to spend any meaningful time seeing things along the way.

    If you only have four full days for the trip, then I would suggest that you take the following route: I-84 to Salt Lake City and I-15. South of Provo take US-6 over towards Moab and US-191 south. At Monticello use US-491 to Cortez CO and US-160 east across the Rockies to Pagosa Springs. Next take US-84 and US-285 south through Santa Fe to I-40 and Amarillo. Finish up on US-287 to Dallas/Fort Worth. Highlights of that route would include the Great Salt Lake and SC, Arches National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, and Santa Fe.

    If you only have three days, then you need to stick to the most efficient route available. That would have you taking I-80 east out of SLC to west of Cheyenne. Use US-287 to cut down to I-25 to Denver and then head out onto the Plains on I-70, switching over to US-287 at Limon. US-287 will then take you all the way into Dallas. While you won't have time for any major stops, you will have time for - and should take - short stops for hikes and fresh air in local parks and small towns along the way.

    If you can only spare two days for the trip, fly.


  4. Default

    Part of the reason for this trip is to see family for Thanksgiving - the other part is to pick up the old truck - my grandfather purchased it when it was 3 months old with 300 miles - I "claimed" it as mine years ago. Many great memories attached to that truck. At the beginning of this summer he called and says "take-er home at the end of summer" so that's exactly what I'm doing. My job is busiest during spring, summer would be hotter than I'd like to do such a trip in a truck with no AC (one of the first upgrades I'll do) and summer heat can wreak havoc on an old vehicle.

    I'll probably leave Boise a bit earlier than originally planned (Saturday late afternoon vs Sun morning) and stop just outside of SLC (~6 hours).
    Since it sounds like I might be able to post google links:
    OP Route 1: (I think this is the same as Midwest Michael recommends?)
    OP Route 2:
    OP Route 3:
    OP Route 4:

    My understanding of AZ Bucks suggested 4 day route:
    AZ Buck 4 day:
    AZ Buck 3 day:

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Ft. Collins, CO.


    Given a 1971 truck for long days in a trip - I recommend earplugs. It reduces fatigue somewhat.

    You also should consider whether the truck is really ready for such a trip. Belts, hoses, coolant, oil consumption, tires, brakes, battery age, wiper age, washer pump condition -- are all unknown and potentially neglected unless you can be assured otherwise. (If it were me, I'd want details rather than the 'yeah, yeah, it's ok' treatment. Some people's ideas of good-to-go leave too much room for trouble.)

    Old isn't automatically bad but it means that maintenance has to have been attended to for it to be a reliable vehicle.

    Do a preflight each morning and at each gas stop on the first day. Pull the dipstick to get an early handle on oil consumption. Sure would look silly to wipe the engine out for lack of knowlege of its behavior.

    An un-pressured trip like this would be fun. Under time pressure the chances of having a special adventure with a towtruck company and/or hospital along the way increase.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Option 1 is the route I did recommend, but I still think you need to give yourself more time.

    You seem to be forgetting that online map time estimates are only accurate if you never stop for fuel, food, or restrooms, never need a break from the road, and never see traffic or construction. They also assume traveling at or above the speed limit, and I assume you'll have to be a little more gentle with the speeds with the old truck, especially considering the terrain. In real world conditions, this trip is going to take several more hours than you are currently planning.

    Leaving "late afternoon" on a Saturday means you won't be stopping in SLC until likely after midnight. That doesn't set you up very well for the 2 very hard days you'd need to make it from there to Dallas.

    Of course, if this is a thanksgiving trip, you can leave Sunday, take 3 full days, and still get there Wednesday, and not be so exhausted that you can't enjoy Thanksgiving dinner.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Quote Originally Posted by noFanofCB View Post
    An un-pressured trip like this would be fun. Under time pressure the chances of having a special adventure with a towtruck company and/or hospital along the way increase.
    I think that is a perfect summary and analysis of this trip!

  8. Default

    A point of clarification - I'm flying FROM Dallas TO Boise - I live in Texas, the Truck is in Boise. I'm driving HOME after Thanksgiving.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I forgot Thanksgiving was so early in November this year. In any case, it really doesn't change that 3 full days are still strongly recommended as the bare minimum for this trip. It you want to be back in Texas on Tuesday night, you should still plan on leaving relatively early in the day on Saturday. Remembering of course, that weather could still force you to take even more time.

  10. Default

    On the road shortly as we say family goodbyes. I'll take the slc/Albuquerque route- maps show roads being clear.

    She has new tires, windshield, plugs, fluids, battery and spare belt/ points/ etc, tools and the all important baling wire and duct tape.

    Let's see if I can post an img:

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