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  1. Default I-40 from North Carolina to Barstow and LA.

    Going to make this trip starting June 18. Might take 4 days, might take 10 days. 3 adults, little dog included. 38 straight-line driving hours.

    Targeted sites of interest:
    1. Memphis, Beale Street.
    2. Oklahoma City.
    3. Cadillac Ranch.
    4. Albuquerque.
    5. Flagstaff, Grand Canyon.
    6. Vegas maybe.

    How many hours per day is reasonable driving? I think if 6 hours, we better have something to do for the 18 hours we're not driving. Between Memphis and Albuquerque, not sure what else there is (not sarcastic, just unfamiliar, would like some ideas). First day might be 10 hours to Memphis. Could add Nashville and split it.

    I like odd, kitschy sits too. Suggestions highly encouraged.
    Thanks!

    Ben

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default A good formula to use.

    Hi Ben, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    A trip of this size is not measured in hours, but in days. The best way to approach this trip is to divide it in equal parts, and travel it like a marathon - steady to the end.

    As to how far to drive each day, that is a personal preference. The best way to calculate your driving distance is to figure around 55 miles for each hour on interstates, and 50 on the more minor roads. This includes normal stops such as gas, food, bathroom, construction, congestion and any other reasons for slowing down or being held up.

    If you got the 38 hours from a mapping solftware programme then be aware that it does not take any of those stops or slow downs into consideration.

    As to what to do on I-40 in the Middle States..... I have always found it interesting to stop at anything I have not seeing before, which I would venture to say in your case would be most of what is different to NC. There are some places in Western TX and eastern NM, where you will find the scenery quite wonderful, and will probably want to pull over and spend some time with the camera. Just that there often are not many places to pull over. In short, if you learn a little about the land through which you will be travelling, and take an interest in the folk who live there, ask them where their favourite sites/attractions are, I feel certain it will make your trip memorable.

    Travel safely.

    Lifey

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    South Central Orange County
    Posts
    249

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Matthews View Post
    I like odd, kitschy sits too. Suggestions highly encouraged.
    Thanks!

    Ben
    Welcome, Ben. You sound like my kind of traveler.

    I tried the Raleigh to So' Cal' trip once and only got to 13 miles east of Oklahoma City (the car I was driving had critical engine failure). I took a side trip through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Had I tried it more recently I would have stopped at the Memphis Belle museum instead of just the Steak N Shake in Memphis. What I wanted to see and didn't was the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, so I'm glad to see you have it on your itinerary.

    Another Route 66 tourist destination for the days of old is Meteor Crater between Winslow and Flagstaff. If you do go there, after you get off I-40 at Exit 233 and hang a left to head south on Meteor Crater Rd, you'll cross old Route 66 by the Mobil station. To the left along the old route you'll see what looks like a red rock Native American structure. It's the ruins of Harvey Nininger's old Meteroite Museum. He was an interesting character who was a pioneer in the study of meteorites.

    If you like old Route 66 sites, you can take the old road from Seligman around to Peach Springs and back to I-40 in Kingman. There are a number of places to stop, such as the Snow Cap Drive In and the old gas station in Hackberry. If you really want to take a detour on the old road, you can take it from just past Kingman to Oatman, an old mining town where descendants of retired burros still mill about the streets looking for hand outs from tourists. As you make the ascent toward Oatman you'll pass by a restored gas station in Cool Springs that now serves as a gift shop (no more gas).

    There are plenty of places to see if you have the time and the inclination!
    Last edited by shirohniichan; 05-23-2016 at 10:19 AM. Reason: typo correction

  4. Default

    I like your ideas - writings some of them down - Thanks!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Do you have an atlas, or set of maps? Not the kind that you see on a screen, but paper ones. Those maps are invaluable for a cross-country trip. Everything that the previous posters have mentioned, are on paper maps. You can get a decent atlas at a big box or book store. Maps can be had at your local AAA office -- free with your membership (which would be good emergency road service if you're driving your own vehicle that's out of warranty).

    Tucumcari NM and Barstow CA both have some interesting Route 66 history, if you're interested in that. Barstow has the old Harvey House and train station from those days, too.


    Donna

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

    Default

    Albuquerque is full of history dating way back to the Pueblo settlement, the early Spanish, the introduction of Christianity and much much more. It also has a lot of modern history like Rte 66.

    Save yourself the bother of writing all this down, just highlight them on your maps.

    If you go to the Visitor centres in MO you will find they have a whole collection of Rte 66 history and maps.

    Lifey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    209

    Default Near Albuquerque

    In the mountains just east of Albuquerque, about 10 minutes drive off of I-40, is the Tinkertown Museum. This is a fun place to visit - it’s easy to spend way more time here than you had originally planned. From Tinkertown you can continue all the way to the top of the mountain on the Sandia Crest Scenic Byway. The view from the top is pretty awesome.

    Have fun!

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