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  1. Default Recommended routes Detroit to Palm Springs via Phoenix after October 31?

    I am driving for the first time from Detroit to Palm Springs, with a stop in Phoenix to visit relatives (as well as other stops, of course) in a Ford Focus. Can any snowbirds accustomed to driving south in November, when the risk of snow increases, recommend a route for a lone driver? Looking for safety, rather than speed, although scenic would be good too. Thanks for advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    The "safest" route would be the most direct, fastest route using Interstate highways, avoiding the lake effect snow belt south and east of Chicago. In this case, there would be an 85 mile stretch of US highway.

    Look at I-75 to Toledo, US-24 to Fort Wayne, I-69 to Indy, I-70 to STL, I-44 to OKC, I-40 to Flagstaff, and I-17 to Phoenix. This is just over 2000 miles and would be a 4 day drive. Look at overnights around STL, OKC. and ABQ. It would be best to stay on the western side of the cities to avoid morning rush hour when you leave.

    A scenic shortcut if the weather is good would be to get off I-40 in Holbrook AZ, take AZ-77/AZ-377/AZ-277/AZ-260/AZ-87 to Phoenix. This cuts off 40 miles and adds no time to the trip.

    PHX to Palm Springs is an easy 4 hour drive, I-10 all the way.

  3. Default

    I have heard that Indiana is one giant speed trap. Some suggest Chicago to St. Louis as long as I time the trip when snow isn't forecast for the area. Comments, anyone?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Simple.

    Quote Originally Posted by coachellacanuck View Post
    I have heard that Indiana is one giant speed trap. Some suggest Chicago to St. Louis as long as I time the trip when snow isn't forecast for the area. Comments, anyone?
    Don't exceed the speed limit and you'll be fine. I criss crossed IN five times this year and never had a problem.

    Lifey

  5. Default

    Are you Canadian? My concern is that "speed trap" states like to pull over cars with Canadian licence plates even if they are not speeding because they know it is easier for us to pay the fine that fight it, as we are travelling through.

    Fact is, I am usually a nuisance because I travel under US speed limits. They are so much higher than ours, they make me nervous in some states.

    Thanks for the input.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    I've been pulled over in Illinois more than I've been pulled over in Indiana. Admittedly, it's a 1 to 0 score, but the premise that 1 entire state is worse than others for speed traps is a bit silly. If anything, my experience is that Indiana is a state where the "flow of traffic" tends to be quite a bit over the posted limit.

    As long as you aren't drawing attention to yourself, either by going 10+ over the limit or by being the fastest car on the road, you aren't likely to run into many problems in any state.

    Plus, going via Chicago means you'd have to deal with Chicago traffic, which can mean significant delays, especially through the I-80/I-94 corridor through NW Indiana/Southern Suburbs.

  7. Default

    Thanks to you, as well, MM. I have driven through Chicago on a Sunday with few delays so I guess if I timed it for a Sunday departure from Detroit on a day when no snow is predicted, it could work out.

    I think the original route suggested makes a lot of sense, though. Thanks to all!

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

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by coachellacanuck View Post
    Fact is, I am usually a nuisance because I travel under US speed limits. They are so much higher than ours, they make me nervous in some states.
    Have you ever driven between Windsor and Toronto? I have to laugh a bit because while the posted speed limit on the freeways of Southern Ontario might be 100 km/hr (60 mph), There have been many times where I've been doing 130km/80mph and been passed like I am the slowest car on the road!

  9. Default

    That's one of the drives on which my driving appears to be hazardous, too, because I actually go the speed limit! And between Edmonton and Calgary on QE2 I can't bring myself to drive 110 km/h! I feel like I should have a bumper sticker that says: "I drive the speed limit. Deal with it!"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Nope!

    Quote Originally Posted by coachellacanuck View Post
    Are you Canadian? My concern is that "speed trap" states like to pull over cars with Canadian licence plates even if they are not speeding because they know it is easier for us to pay the fine that fight it, as we are travelling through.

    Fact is, I am usually a nuisance because I travel under US speed limits. They are so much higher than ours, they make me nervous in some states.

    Thanks for the input.
    I am not Canadian, but our speed limits are similar to yours. When driving in the US I never drive faster than 110kph/64mph, no matter what the stated speed limit is. I have just completed 27000 miles without a problem, just let the fast ones fly past..

    You won't be a 'nuisance' if you keep to the right hand lane on interstates and stay aware of what is behind you on two lane roads, making room for them to overtake at the earliest opportunity.

    Lifey

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