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  1. Default MD to Cali...clueless!

    Hi!!! This is a multi-faceted posting, please bear with me!

    Driving from DC metro area to Southern California. My friend and I are leaving Aug. 6th and I'm flying out of Phoenix August 15th. I want to adventure and sightsee along the way obviously. I really wanted to make my way to Colorado but I'm SUPER nervous about tornados if I take a northern route. I don't know if I'm being unreasonable. I tried looking at a tornado map and I was concerned enough that I am leaning toward a southern route. Maybe my concerns are completely unfounded...hopefully someone can tell me.

    So, what are some suggestions you have for getting cross country? Best or most interesting routes? Things to avoid or watch out for?

    I really want to see the Grand Canyon, other than that I want to do fun things/outside of the box activities/ silly tourist attractions. I don't mind any cliche things...I just want a memorable experience!

    Thanks for any help you can offer!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Tornadoes are everywhere.

    Hi Meggie, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    When it comes to tornadoes, the simple fact is that every part of the US has seen a tornado at one time or another. Staying north or south is not going to keep you out of tornado country. That said, the chances of seeing a tornado when on the road, is almost like winning the lottery. It should not have any great bearing on your route decision. Keep your eyes on the weather, listen to the radio and generally keep yourself informed. [Only last week I was in CO when there was a tornado warning for east of I-25, right where I was west of I-25. My plan had been to head east for the night. Instead, I chose to stay west, and continue my way east in the morning.]

    With eight days to cross the country and get back to Phoenix for your flight, you do not have a great deal of time to wander too far off the direct route. The Grand Canyon is definitely possible. Your best approach there is to head up 89 from Flagstaff, to 64 and enter the Canyon via the east entrance, along the Colorado River. This route has an abundance of overlooks and viewpoints as you head to GC Village. You would exit via the south entrance to Williams, and maybe even drive one of the last bits of Historic Route 66 between Kingman and Seligman.

    Check up on the green bar above at the roadside attraction where you are bound to find some which interest you along and not too far off your most direct route.

    Lifey
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 07-03-2014 at 04:33 AM. Reason: typo

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Concentrate on where you want to go.

    I agree with Lifey, you need to study the map and look at the routes that take you to where you want to go, that's the beauty of the road trip ! Once you have a few dots on the map we can certainly help fill in the blanks, but at the moment you have thousands of options. Colorado is a beautiful State and not one to miss and as you make your way into Southern Utah you will be astounded with the beauty and contrast of nature !

    Plan on driving no more than 500-550 miles a day to stay safe and sane which would equate to 9-10 hours of travel with breaks and to fill with food and fuel etc. Do not pay to much attention to the rive times given by a mapping prgram, computers do not cater for the needs and flaws of us humans, things like eating sleeping, construction and congestion delays. As a rough guide add 20% to those times and you will be much nearer the truth.

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

    Default

    I'm currently on a road trip across country and have been in the "tornado zone" for much of it. If you have a cell phone, keep it ON, charge it when necessary. The cell companies release weather warnings in the form of a very obnoxious sound followed by a text message, even to those who do not have text-messaging enabled on their phone. These can be dust storms, flash floods, tornado, hurricane watches or warnings. There is no such place as utopia, and it's all part of the adventure.


    Donna

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

    Default Ditto.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    ... warnings in the form of a very obnoxious sound followed by a text message, even to those who do not have text-messaging enabled on their phone. These can be dust storms, flash floods, tornado, hurricane watches or warnings.
    These are the same as the warnings you will hear on your radio, no matter to which station you are tuned at the time.

    Lifey

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

    Default

    Hmm, I didn't know that, Lifey! That shows how much we do NOT listen to the radio while we are traveling in our vehicle. Normally, we are chatting or just sitting quietly, taking in the surroundings. I don't think we've turned the radio on ONCE in the 4 weeks (almost) that we've been gone. We only turned on the TV in the motel room once, and that was on Day 3. When at family, they had the TV news on. Otherwise, we have begun to rely on our laptop for news at the end of the day. If bad weather looks likely, we also use the CB that's in our vehicle, as it has NOAA weather channels.

    I will concur with the above posters: don't let weather possibilities dictate the route that you want to take. If you have to take cover or sit out for an hour or three, your phone or radio will let you know. The extreme southern route can bring dust storms and flash floods. My parents just had a good dust storm blow through their area -- Phoenix.


    Donna

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