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  1. #1

    Default Los Angeles to Columbus--Route 40?

    Hi All,

    I have lived in California for 10 years, moving from Sacramento to Santa Barbara halfway. My girlfriend and I have decided to move back home to Columbus, OH. The plan was for me to drive there in 2 weeks with my car and sundries while my girlfriend locks up everything here, I would fly back out to make the drive with her and our cats. For me, my drive would have taken me 3 days on blast.

    HOWEVER! My younger brother has decided to fly out to LAX so he can take the drive with me. We have never taken a road trip together, and his longest road trip is 5 hours at best. I love driving, and want to show him as much of America as possible in a 4 to 5 day trip. We are both in our 30's so chances like this are fleeting.

    I have been pondering jumping north to Utah and trying to take US 40 (Broad Street in Columbus), but can't find any map showing a whole route. Does anyone have ideas for good routes that would take us 4 days (5 max) and also show some of the glory of Highway America? (side note--I like nice neon signs for motels)

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default One Route - Two Old Roads

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    First off there is one, and only one, route that will let you drive safely from Santa Barbara to Columbus in four days. That's US-101 into L.A., the Ventura Freeway (CA-134) to I-210, the Foothill Freeway (CA-210) to I-15 north and then I-40 to Oklahoma City, I-44 to St. Louis, and finally using I-55 to connect to I-70 and Columbus. The good news is that between Los Angeles and St. Louis that routing follows the old alignment of Route 66. Although long since decommissioned portions of the old road bed are still out there variously marked as 'Historic Route 66' or numbered as a state highway (e.g. AZ-66 from Kingman through Peach Springs to Seligman, and OK-66 between Oklahoma City and Tulsa). Similarly, east of St. Louis I-70 follows the route of the old National Road (pre-dating even US-40). Various organizations maintain its memory - do a search for "National Road statename" for more details.

    If you're going to spend any time on the slower highways from the past, you're going to need a full five days for the drive to Columbus, even with two drivers. We strongly recommend on these longer drives that you split up the driving as evenly as possible between the days you have available. Remember that such long drives are far more akin to a marathon than a sprint. If you can only take four days then just stick to the Interstates and your overnight stops would be roughly Flagstaff AZ (many old motels along old route 66 in downtown), Amarillo TX, and Rolla MO. If you want to take a bit more time (five days) and travel some of the slower roads, then your overnight stops would be roughly Seligman AZ, Santa Rosa NM, Oklahoma City OK, and St. Louis MO.

    AZBuck

  3. #3

    Default

    AZBuck, that is EXACTLY what I needed. I have been trying to dig in further to figure my route selection from the Google Maps choices and going from basic history in my head. 66 would be AWESOME to hit. My original plan had us hitting Denver, but I would rather classic road (if in name only) and wonderful motels/restaurants. Routing thru StL also has the Arch.

    If we were to do the Flagstaff route (4 day) do you have any personal sites of interest?

    Also, thank you for the heads-up on driving. I will definitely try and keep that in mind. I usually drive solo (Sactown to Seattle, various trips from Sacto to SB and back) but that can definitely cloud judgement, especially when you are all the sudden given a brother as a co-pilot. I'm not competitive, don't look at me like that!

    Again, thank you so much!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Four Days

    I only outlined a single route in my initial response. It's just that with five days you can take some time to wander the older roads that are running parallel to the Interstates. With only four days you don't; you'll be hard pressed to complete your journey safely as is. But in either case, I would encourage you to make use of relaxing short stops that don't require a lot of extra driving.

    AZBuck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    A suggestion to keep you out of LA: Take CA-126 like you are going to 6 Flags, then Soledad Canyon Road through Santa Clarita to CA-14, then Sierra Highway/Pearblossom/CA-138/CA-18 to I-15. If you get a very early start, you may want to push the first night to Holbrook and stay in the Wigwam Motel. Hop off I-40 at Winslow and go stand on the corner.

    On your way into Amarillo, take a cruise by the Cadillac Ranch. Spend the night at the Big Texan and have a great steak dinner. The motel is Old West decor inside and out. Last time I stayed there, they gave me a voucher for a free breakfast buffet the next morning.

    On your way into MO, get off at Exit 1 and head up to Galena to stop by Cars On The Route. You can use old 66 through Joplin to get back to I-44.

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

    Default

    Routing thru StL also has the Arch. If we were to do the Flagstaff route (4 day) do you have any personal sites of interest?
    The Arch is a great place to stop. I will warn you, though, that unless they've changed things in the renovation, parking is hard to find and at a premium. Click here for recent information regarding the Arch.

    I'll also tell you that LA to Columbus, OH, even via 15/40/44/70, is four full days of driving, without sightseeing, as AZBuck suggested. That fifth day will give you breathing room and the ability to stop to actually see something that isn't flying past your windshield. I've driven this route. Among favorite places: Petrified Forest National Park, the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History in Albuquerque. Someday I'd like to stop at the Stafford Air and Space Museum in Weatherford, OK, but it was closed the last time we went through there.


    Donna

  7. #7

    Default Been there, done that

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    A suggestion to keep you out of LA: Take CA-126 like you are going to 6 Flags, then Soledad Canyon Road through Santa Clarita to CA-14, then Sierra Highway/Pearblossom/CA-138/CA-18 to I-15.
    On our one Road Trip to Southern California, we exited I-15 at Victorville and took this route, in reverse, to Santa Clarita and continued through to Ventura. It was a joy to avoid the entire LA Basin and the long commuter haul out US 101 to Ventura from there.

    Foy

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