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  1. #1

    Default Cross Country Back Roads Travel

    Hey all,

    Two years ago my boyfriend and I drove from California to NY via Route 66 and the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was the best trip ever. Now I'm planning a road trip from NYC to California and back again. I'd like to stay off the major interstates and hit the backroads, explore small towns, do a lot of tent camping.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I'm leaving mid June and have about three weeks. I'd like to spend at least a week in Cali visiting family. I've been looking at the Lincoln Highway (but I know a lot of it coincides with 80 now) or US 20.

    Thanks so much,

    Angie :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Three weeks is a bit thin

    Angie, welcome to the Trip Advice Forums. Traveling along the Lincoln Highway coast to coast is a long-term dream of mine. There are sections of the original road that have never been paved and never been conscripted by any major highways.

    WRT to your journey, it takes every bit of 10 full days to travel at full interstate highway speed to go from NYC to LA and back -- Since you want to spend a full week in California with family, you probably don't have sufficient time to really mosey. That being said, there are side trips along the general speed path you can take. Where in California will you be?

    Mark

  3. #3

    Default

    Mark,

    Thanks for the welcome and thanks so much for the response. The time spent in Cali is really up in the air. This time around it's more about the journey than the destination. Most of my family lives in the SF bay Area so I'll go there first. I might hit SoCal if I have time and then take the trip back to the East Coast from there.

    Is it possible to switch from back roads to main highways easy? Are there things I can't miss? I'm no good at map reading so my goal is to find a really good one and practice practice practice. This is what happens when you rely on your stupid GPS all the time.

    Angie

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Maps

    Quote Originally Posted by Angie Brooke View Post
    Is it possible to switch from back roads to main highways easy? Are there things I can't miss?
    That's the beauty of paper maps you can see the alternate roads that are running parallel to whatever major highway is your planned route and see if there are ways to travel along the Blue Highways a bit. The coast-to-coast map book I always carry is the Rand McNally Large Scale Motor Carrier's Road Atlas. I started using that kind of book when height restrictions were more of a concern to my road trip ride -- but now I just like the format. However, it's a bit of a $$ stretch for most non-professional drivers. And for that reason, here are some links to maps that are a bit more realistic.

    Without question the best maps for western roads is the Benchmark series. -- I have the complete set -- but here is an example -- Benchmark Arizona

    In general terms, you could follow some of the Lincoln Highway on the way to San Francisco and then zig zag your way east again. How many actual traffic days do you think you'd like to have on this adventure?

    Mark

  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks I'll check those map books out too. I'm watching a PBS special called "American Road Trips: Lincoln Highway", it's really cool, I'm almost convinced to give this road a try. :)

    I've got about 22 days. I'm thinking 9-10 days there a weekish in Cali and a 5 day race back to the east coast. haha That's when we take 80 all the way back.

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

    Default Maps.

    Are you a member of AAA? If not, it might be a good idea to join before you leave. As well as the roadside assistance, they have excellent maps, which are free to members. I like to carry the AAA maps and a Rand McNally road atlas - standard version.

    Sit down and study them. You will soon see where the roads go, which are scenic routes etc. Your gps will be invaluable for finding the hotel address, but don't be tempted to just follow it on the wide open road.

    Sounds like a great trip.

    Lifey

  7. #7

    Default

    Thanks Lifey. I am a AAA member and I'll be sure to call them before my trip and let them know my trip plans. :)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Angie, just go into the office and ask for the maps to cover your trip.

    Each time I visit I go in and ask for dozens of maps, as my old ones have usually expired.

    Lifey

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