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  1. Default First Road trip,Looking for advice. Pa -LA

    I'm taking my first road trip this February. I'm starting from Pennsylvania and heading west to Los Angles. I am planning on swinging south as to avoid most of the bad weather. I would love some suggestions on scenic routes and places to camp/ stay. anything you can offer as an experienced road traveler would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The experienced traveler will tell you that your plan to head south to avoid winter weather is a fools errand based on myth. The fact is, you can't go far enough south to avoid winter weather - even I-10 sees snow and ice every year. Even worse, by going south there is a real chance you would actually see worse conditions or run into a storm that you'd miss by staying farther north.

    I'll also say camping in February will be a real challenge, as many campgrounds will be closed, and even the ones that are open will require serious cold weather gear to be comfortable.

    Beyond that, we ned to know more about you and your plans. How long do you have? is this a round trip? what are your interests and what kinds of things do you hope to see and do?

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

    Default Not That Simple

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Quote Originally Posted by
    SucktheMarrow
    I am planning on swinging south as to avoid most of the bad weather.
    'Swinging south does nothing to guarantee you good, or even slightly better, weather compared with staying north. Every one of the major cross-country Interstates sees some snow or ice every winter, even I-10. Your best defense against having to drive in winter weather is not latitude, but having enough 'spare' time built into your schedule to simply sit it out, let the road crews do their job, and then (and only then) resuming your drive. And the best way to have that spare time is to take the shortest possible all-Interstate route rather than adding hundreds of miles to your drive.

    So, since this drive is going to take you five days if the weather is good all the way, you should schedule six days and just stick to I-70 to St. Louis, I-44 to Oklahoma City, I-40 into southern California and I-15 for the final leg into Los Angeles. If you were to swing south trying to use I-81/I-55 into Mississippi and then I-20/I-10 to Los Angeles, you'd have to schedule five and a half days (You'd be adding 250 miles to your drive.) and still wouldn't be assured of any better weather.

    AZBuck

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!



    'Swinging south does nothing to guarantee you good, or even slightly better, weather compared with staying north. Every one of the major cross-country Interstates sees some snow or ice every winter, even I-10. Your best defense against having to drive in winter weather is not latitude, but having enough 'spare' time built into your schedule to simply sit it out, let the road crews do their job, and then (and only then) resuming your drive. And the best way to have that spare time is to take the shortest possible all-Interstate route rather than adding hundreds of miles to your drive.

    So, since this drive is going to take you five days if the weather is good all the way, you should schedule six days and just stick to I-70 to St. Louis, I-44 to Oklahoma City, I-40 into southern California and I-15 for the final leg into Los Angeles. If you were to swing south trying to use I-81/I-55 into Mississippi and then I-20/I-10 to Los Angeles, you'd have to schedule five and a half days (You'd be adding 250 miles to your drive.) and still wouldn't be assured of any better weather.

    AZBuck

    ok thank you so much, I am really ignorant as to the weather conditions I guess. so if I was to stay north what would be the most scenic and beautiful routes to take? I'm trying to really enjoy my time on the road alone and soak up as much beauty and humanity as I possibly can. also considering that camping may be out of the picture I would love some recommendations of hostels to stay at. I'm willing to give my self extra days, probably make the trip in 7-8 days.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Wait and see. [?]

    I would recommend you look at the maps and do a little research into your options and as you mark places of interest you can start to form a route. Travelling in February means that you should have no problem in finding available lodgings without booking in advance, so you can have a plan A and B, and even a plan C and then decide based on weather forecasts a few days before departure. I don't think anyone is saying don't go south if you want to go south, just don't do it based on the myth that the weather will certainly be better, but it is a possibility that it might be.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

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