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  1. Default Planning an early Spring RT South East/ south west

    Hi all
    I am in the early stages of planning for a trip in March next year. I would value any input/ recommendations that may not come up in my research

    I am proposing a west-East trip starting from San Diego, ending up in Miami (via Houston/ New Orleans). I will have 4 weeks for this. Alternatively I could start in Houston if this is too optimistic (distance wise)
    . I consider myself fairly experience at this kind of trip, this being my fifth. I usually stay in half decent motels along the way. My interest are photography, linked with culture. I am not one for galleries or museums so tend not to spend a great deal of time in cities- a couple of days is usually enough. So a couple of questions I have: firstly how sensible is a SD-Florida trip in this time scale. What is the weather like in the south at this time of year (we found Florida warm but stormy last year). East of San Diego along the route I would take, how much is there to see (or would i be better flying if I am keen to see SD) Looking forward to your input

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,697

    Default Plenty of time.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Four weeks is a nice amount of time for a cross country road trip where you can afford to detour and still remain at a relaxed pace, so your time scale is more than sensible for this trip. As for the weather, well that will do as it pleases and there is just no way of knowing until close to your departure date when you will start to get accurate forecasts. Of course you can go on to weather sites such as Wunderground and get historic data to get a feel of the 'Average' and what to expect, but that still has no bearing on what will happen when you travel. There is always plenty to see no matter where you are, but it also depends on what you are looking for. With quite a bit of time ahead of you for the planning I would keep researching and going over the maps and as you start to list places that appeal to you, a route will start to form as will the 'what's worth it and what's not worth it', in added miles/detours to you personally. That's when you can decide where to start from, where to fly to and so on, but keep in mind that the more flights and one way rentals you make the costlier it will get. With a month you could even consider driving across the country and back again !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,505

    Default

    Bearing in mind that you can get from San Diego to Miami in about 6 days on the road, four Weeks will be great for being able to see things.

    For photography and culture -- near Coolidge, Arizona (not far off I-8/I-10) is Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. Near Tucson are the two sections of Saguaro National Park, and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (NOT your average "museum", this one is full of flora and fauna found only in the Sonoran Desert). Further along your way, and a little off the beaten track, is Fort Bowie National Historic Site. Going into New Mexico and western Texas, Carlsbad Caverns National Park isn't too far from the beaten track either. You would still have to pick and choose, but with your time frame, you have lots of possibilities!


    Donna

  4. Default

    Hello, and thanks for the warm welcome. You have removed any doubts i had about distance/ time: I had initially thought about a texas/ Houston to Miami trip but yes i think it's well worth starting in SD. we did the west coast a couple of years back but only got as far as LA, so for sure it would be nice to see the city. the One way rental charges are high, excessive IMO but I'm aware of them and factor them into the budget. It's unlikely i would take an internal flight, but it was an option. I'll take the weather as it comes. as I said, it was very stormy this year in Florida but it is what it is. I have made a note of your recommendations Donna, and will add them to my list!

  5. #5

    Default

    Hi and welcome to the RTA forum.

    your interests seem to be similar to mine, in that you are more interested in the rural culture and photo opportunities than city life. If so, it sometimes pays to travel the parallel roads instead of all interstates. Almost every interstate highway runs parallel to local highways with lots of culture. I-40 goes roughly the same route as old Route 66 from LA to Oklahoma City, and the scenery is much more interesting over portions of it, like from Kingman to Williams in Arizona.

    Here is a possible routing from SD to Houston. I-8 is a really neat interstate in itself passing through a weird mountain range and then over a sand dune landscape. It connects with I-10 south of Phoenix, and then you have Suguaro National Park, Karchner Caverns, Chiricahua National Park, and that's just in Arizona. At El Paso, exit I-10 at Canutillo and take the Transmountain Pass across the Franklin Mountains and then continue on it when it changes to Woodrow Bean Highway and it will bypass the city through the desert, joining with I-10 again east of El Paso.

    If you want to visit Carlsbad Caverns, you can leave the Woodrow Bean bypass when it joins Route 62 and that will take you there. Route 285 will take you south to I-10 again at Fort Stockton. then you have the Texas Hill Country ahead of you into Austin. and on over to Houston.

    I hope you understand that I am not planning your route for you. That is up to you, but I hope I showed you that there are lots of ways to make that crossing without using only the interstate highways. And with 4 weeks to do it, you have plenty of time to make those little side trips. It's the same from Houston to Florida using the coastal highways.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,505

    Default

    Harry, I had to chuckle a little -- a "weird mountain range"??? :-) I just came through that today, heading east, and to us, it's just a mountain range! Then you have a good 90 miles of ordinary desert flora and dirt, before you come to the Glamis Sand Dunes. (At the beginning of the Thanksgiving Week, that is starting to fill with RV'ers that brought their sand buggies along. By Friday it will be packed!)


    Donna

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,219

    Default

    Note that I-8 runs very close to the Mexico border, you can actually see the fence from the highway in several places. I recommend you turn off your data roaming if you have a smartphone because in a few places it will lock onto a Mexican cell tower. This also happened to me on I-10 east of El Paso. This cost me a couple bucks and I didn't even try to use the phone - the Mexican system sent me a text message welcoming me to Mexico.

  8. Default

    Harry: I have made a note of that suggested route, and I greatly agree with you with regards to avoiding the interstates. Fortunately, with time in hand, speed is not an issue, so that sounds like an ideal section of the route. I also have every intention sticking to the Gulf and whilst it doesn't look like there's a continuous Gulf HW (unlike East and West coasts) going off the map it seems I will be able to make my own route traveling East from Houston via new Orleans, Pensacola and Tampa.
    Incidentally, I've always wondered about the US-Mexican border: is it fenced along its length? Don't worry, I dont intend to pop across, just something I've wondered having not been this south before!
    Last edited by eeetee; 11-25-2015 at 05:29 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,505

    Default

    Most of the Mexico-US border is fenced. You can SEE the fence at the Glamis Dunes (mentioned above) from I-8.


    Donna

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,321

    Default Unique if not Weird

    It may be worth noting that as I-8 crosses Telegraph Pass east of Yuma it does something rather unique. The two portions of it (east-bound and west-bound) cross each other and for a stretch of about a mile and a half are on the 'wrong' side - you'd look to your RIGHT to see opposing traffic! Fortunately(?) the engineers hide this fact by having the two portions hidden from each other by low hills.

    AZBuck

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