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  1. #1
    roadtripper_nat Guest

    Default Blues Highway Roadtrip over Christmas and New Years

    My husband and I (both southern California natives) were thinking of doing a week long road trip over a part of the Blues Highway from Nashville, TN to Austin, TX ( We'll be starting and ending in Dallas, TX and would like to be back in Dallas by New Year's Eve. Here's our tentative itinerary -

    12/25 Day 1 -
    Drive to Nashville, TN (leave early'ish)

    12/26 Day 2 -
    Stay in Nashville

    12/27 Day 3 -
    Drive to Memphis, TN

    12/28 Day 4 -
    Drive to Tunica, MS for breakfast
    lunch at Clarksdale, MS
    by night reach Jackson, MS

    12/29 Day 5
    Enjoy the day at Jackson.
    Drive to Vicksburg, MS for dinner
    drive overnight to Austin, TX

    12/30 Day 6 -
    *edited* Stay in Austin.

    12/31 Day 7 -
    back to Dallas, TX in time for New Years hopefully.

    I have the following questions:

    1) what will the weather/road/driving conditions be like at that time of year?
    2) Is it advisable to take a road trip (in a rental car) in that area at that time? (Yes, bad things happen all the time but is it unsafe / difficult / icy to drive on I-66 during the holidays?)
    3) Does the itinerary look good to you? Any places we could add/skip?
    4) Will places enroute be open during the holidays?

    I'd much appreciate any advice / suggestions / opinions on this plan.

    Thanks in advance,
    Last edited by roadtripper_nat; 12-08-2013 at 02:12 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Unpredictable.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    1] Unfortunately not even the weather forecasters will be able to tell you what the weather will be doing at the time you travel. The fact is you won't get a good indication until about 3 days before your trip starts and then you would need to keep up to date as you travel. You can look at historical data but to be honest it means little with regards to what is going to happen on any given day in the future.

    2] Locals have to go about their daily business every day so yes it's safe to take a road trip at anytime, but this will depend on the good judgement of the driver. For example, making the right decisions if the weather turn nasty and knowing when to say enough is enough and get off the road and into a hotel if needed and let the road crews do their job before continuing. This is where you need a 'cushion' and not put yourselves under pressure to get somewhere such as on day 1.

    3] Your trip looks doable although I think the first leg is going to require an early start and you would have to hope for good weather, it's gonna be a long day and you might want to consider stopping earlier and continue for a couple of hours the following morning.

    4] I think chain hotels and diners will be open but someone else will have to chime in here.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    My husband (a former commercial driver) says that on Christmas Day, you can expect some services to be closed. However, if you are on the interstate highways, you will find that the truck stops will be open, and generally they have most essential services (food, fuel, showers) open 365/7/24.

    Via interstate, that first day passes you through Memphis on the way to Nashville. That's about 660 miles to Nashville -- via I-30 to I-40. Whew.....long day!!!! That would be about 60 more miles than my husband and I would do.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Too Much Two Times is Too Much Too Often

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There are two sections of your itinerary that really stand out: your plan to drive 675 miles from Dallas to Nashville in one go; and your plan to drive from Jackson to Austin 'overnight' after a full day in Jackson and with the expectation that you'll be able to spend a full day in Austin.

    Neither of those plans is realistic.

    In fact, both border on criminally negligent. Note that professional long-haul truckers are limited by law to no more than 600 miles per day precisely because trying to do more leads to fatigue, highway hypnosis, decreased reaction time, and increased accidents and deaths. Your plan to be awake for nearly 40 hours straight between when you wake up in Jackson and bed down in Austin is simply beyond the pale. The fact that the law may not apply to you does not mean that human physiology does not.

    You need to alter those two portions of your plan before any other advice makes sense. You've already got ten pounds of potatoes in your five pound bag. You really shouldn't be seeking ways to add more.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Agreed.

    I actually missed the 'overnight' part of the journey to Austin, that's a days drive and not something to be done overnight while planning to sight see the days either side of it. If you are now based in Dallas then you could easily visit Austin at another time.

  6. #6
    roadtripper_nat Guest


    Thank you for the suggestions / advice.

    The trip itinerary isn't meant to be carved in stone and of course we plan to take enough breaks as required... We will both be driving so no one single driver will be driving 675 miles or testing physical limits. We're pretty laid back vacationers and not out to prove anything.

    Also by "see Autin" I think I meant more like check into a hotel, get some sleep and then see the city if / when we wake up.

    I also understand no once can predict the weather but those local to the area or familiar with road tripping generally know what the road conditions are expected to be at particular times of the year. I was only looking for information from someone in the know.

    To be more to the point, if the road conditions are likely to be icy/snowed in and driving the distance can be expected to be scary/problematic then we'd rather not go. But since we're not local we don't know what to expect.

  7. #7

    Default ???????????????????

    Is it just my imagination or did the initial post in this thread disappear??

    [Mod Note: As far as I can tell it is still there. What are you seeing? Or not seeing? or Something?]
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 12-08-2013 at 04:47 PM. Reason: addes Mod Note

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Nope it wasn't your imagination.

    The Original Poster edited it after getting several responses, and that edit caused it go to into moderation.

    Yet another reason why editing a post after someone has responded to it is really a bad idea. (The fact that others generally won't notice that you've changed it, is among the others.)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default That will just be a part of the adventure!

    Quote Originally Posted by nattinutty View Post
    4) Will places enroute be open during the holidays?
    Actually one of the nicest days of the year to be on roadtrip is Christmas. Roads will be less busy and in most places, all traveler services will be open. Whenever I can arrange it, I try to be on the road on holidays.

    Oh.... I will check the editing period and reduce the time if it's too long. (adjusted to 2.5 hours instead of the 16.7 hours.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default That doesn't help, at all

    You're still planning to be awake all day long touring Jackson and then get into a car and drive nearly 10 hours overnight. That's still reckless beyond belief. You're going to be putting countless lives in danger with such a plan, not the least of which are your own lives.

    Ever try to check into a hotel in the morning? Typically you can't check into a room until early afternoon, at best.

    Having 2 drivers does not solve this plan, at all. Both people need to be AWAKE at all times to do speed-run type drives safely.

    On top of that, if you're not going to spend time in Austin, why take a huge detour - driving right past Dallas in the process - before during around and heading back for home? If you want to see Austin, then go there on a weekend when you'll have time to enjoy it, and don't have to endanger your safety to do it!

    I just don't see how a plan like this at all matches with your statement that you are "pretty laid back" and not trying to prove anything. If either of those things are true, scrap this foolish and dangerous idea and go back to the drawing board.

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