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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Panama City Beach, Florida, United States
    Posts
    1

    Default What route should I take from Panama City, FL to Eugune, OR? 8 Days

    I am moving to the Pacific Northwest this summer (Mid-May) and on the way I am doing a road trip with my mom and border collie. I will have everything I own packed inside of my Prius. I will have a tent to camp in some nights and will have to get a hotel sometimes as well.

    My mom is along for the ride and wants to see as many attractions as we can. We also would like to hit as many states as possible. I am hoping to have around 8 days to do this and we'll drive over night sometimes.

    What route do you suggest taking?

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

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    By the most direct routes, your drive will be around 3000 miles, which is a good 6 days just to do the driving (figuring 500 miles a day with a dog along). The good news is, if you have 8 days, you'll have a couple of days to play with. Since you haven't told us what types of things appeal to you, we'd have to do a lot of guessing.

    My suggestion: get a map of the USA or a road atlas, and see what's between FL and OR that looks interesting. You don't have a lot of extra time to go way out of the way. Just looking at one of the more direct routes, I see that Vicksburg (Civil War site), Oklahoma City (think the bombing and memorial), up past Rocky Mountain National Park, Salt Lake City and all of its sites, and the gorgeous ride across the Cascades through Oregon. RMNP and SLC would each be worth a full day, though RMNP's Trail Ridge Road may or may not be open.

    That's just a few ideas. Take a look around this site. With the map center, you will be able to find a lot more things (those were just off the top of my head).


    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Several Good Ideas, and One Killer

    You've basically got all the ingredients for a great RoadTrip, a bona fide reason to drive cross country, more than enough time to accomplish it, good traveling companions, and a desire to see something of the country you'll be driving through. It's easy enough to hit fourteen states without too much trouble by taking US-231 up through Florida and Alabama to Montgomery, I-65 to Montgomery, US-78 through Mississippi to Memphis TN, across Arkansas and Missouri to US-60 and Springfield MO, then MO13/MO-7/US-71 will get you to Kansas City. Working north from there, you can cross the Missouri River a few times while using US-73 on the west bank and I-29 on the east bank to pick up both Kansas and Iowa while getting yourself to Nebraska City and then NE-2 to Lincoln. From there I-80 west (which follows the old Oregon Trail in western Nebraska) will bring you close enough for a short detour into Colorado while taking you through Wyoming and Utah to Salt Lake City. You could then stay on I-80 into Nevada before using US-93 north to Twin Falls ID and I-84 to Ontario OR and US-20 to Sisters and then US-20/I-5 or OR-242/OR-126 on into Eugene. Such a route would bring you within visiting distance of the Ozarks, the Missouri River and Lewis and Clark sites, the Oregon Trail, Rockies Mountain National Park, Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, the Great Salt Lake, Bruneau Canyon, and other sites.

    Now for the Killer. You say that part of your plan entails "driv[ing] over night sometimes". No. Bad Idea. And potentially a killer (literally). You have the time to do this trip properly, getting to a goodly number of states without too much trouble, being able to visit a number of great scenic and historic sites, enjoying seeing a large chunk of this great country, all at a pace that allows you to enjoy it and get a good night's sleep each night. So what would drive you to drive over night? Seeing nothing? Pushing yourselves to the point where you are sleep deprived and a danger to everyone who shares the road with you? Spending the daylight hours of the next day in a groggy daze, again seeing nothing? Please, do yourselves a favor and forget that idea.

    AZBuck

  4. Default

    If you're happy with diverting off the straight line a bit, I'd very highly recommend Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks (northwestern Wyoming). Beautiful country. There's a temptation to drive past the Tetons on the way from Jackson to Yellowstone but if time allows try to go via the park road and if possible do the boat trip across wonderful Jenny Lake and the hike up to the top of Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point for the reward of one of the best views in the west. Also, there's far more to Yellowstone than just Old Faithful, but it's a gigantic park that takes a long time to explore.

    FWIW I agree with the previous advice - unless you absolutely have to travel through the night, don't do it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Making memories.

    The route laid out above from Panama City to Memphis and then through the Ozarks is a wonderful trip. I have now driven it several times, including last month. Take a moment in some of the smaller towns. Most of it is highway speed road with limited access, so should leave you a little time to savour sights along the route.

    Make sure you have good maps with you. Maps such as AAA (free to members) and Rand McNally have the scenic routes marked on them. Especially in the Ozarks, take the chance to drive some of these routes. Don't rely solely on electronics. Make sure you have good maps for your primary navigation. (At the end of each day I like to hilight on the map those roads which I drove. It makes a great souvenir.)

    As mentioned above, don't be tempted to drive through the night. The consequences simply are not worth it.

    Enjoy.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    When I first read the message, I didn't see the part about driving through the night. Like others here, I highly discourage it.

    Yes, my husband and I have done it. Two or three times, as a matter of fact, we've driven through the night and lived to regret it. One time, I drove across country with 3 classmates, non-stop, from MO to CA. I got off in Flagstaff and was so tired that I slept for 14 hours straight. Another time, hubby and I drove nights and tried to sleep during the daytime, to avoid driving in the heat (no A/C in the car). Bad idea, motels didn't want to rent us a room at 7 am! Another time, we drove straight through from AZ to MO, and when we got there, we were so tired we weren't very good company to the family we were visiting. So when we say "don't", several of us are speaking from experience!

    BTW, the Missouri Ozark region along US-60 is beautiful!

    Donna

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