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  1. Default Lower 48 State capital trip

    As a frequent visitor to the USA who has in the past visited all the individual states, I have decided its time to do a single trip taking in all the State Capitols.

    I have 24 driving days and the route I have worked out is approx 13,500 miles. For me this should be fine as driving an average of 600 odd miles per day is perfect. I intend starting in North Carolina and finishing in the fine State of Tennessee. Not really interested in visiting the scenic locations as seen most if not all already, all I need is a picture of myself outside the Capitol building.

    I am pretty sure somebody here has done similar so any advice would be most welcome. I will be doing it on my own as my wife is not one for long distance driving (well as a passenger).

    Please excuse my Scottish spelling.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,195

    Default Quite the challenge !

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    That's quite a challenge you have set yourself and you probably already know that it's a challenge, rather than a relaxing trip. 600 miles per day is at the upper limit of what would be considered safe for a solo driver on a multi day trip and to do it for 24 days on the trot is going to see fatigue set in at times where you will need some downtime. Going by your numbers you have a little time for that, but getting to the State Capitols will add mileage and time and even that could disappear.

    I haven't done anything like this [I get it, but it doesn't appeal] but I would say treat it as a marathon and not a sprint and pace yourself sensibly, especially at the start when you feel fresh, it's easy to push too hard early on only to suffer later on. If you could [should] add an extra 2 or 3 days so you could have a day off from driving somewhere relaxing each week, I think it would be hugely beneficial. Imagine being at work for over 3 weeks for 10-11 hours per day without a day off, it will start to feel like that at some point during the trip.

    If you have any questions on specifics then ask away.

    Have a great trip.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    12,474

    Default

    Many years ago, there was a lengthy discussion on this forum about a 48-state capital challenge, however, it does appear that with all the changes google maps has made since then, many of the links no longer are working/accurate.

    I will say that I'm a bit concerned when you say you plan to average 600 miles a day. 600 miles should really be your maximum in any single day, because of safety concerns, and even doing that for 24 straight days is going to be extremely fatiguing. At 600 miles a day, You're talking about 10-12 hours of work behind the wheel every day, and working 10-12 hour days every day for 24 straight days isn't much fun even when you love your job.

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Many years ago, there was a lengthy discussion on this forum about a 48-state capital challenge, however, it does appear that with all the changes google maps has made since then, many of the links no longer are working/accurate.

    I will say that I'm a bit concerned when you say you plan to average 600 miles a day. 600 miles should really be your maximum in any single day, because of safety concerns, and even doing that for 24 straight days is going to be extremely fatiguing. At 600 miles a day, You're talking about 10-12 hours of work behind the wheel every day, and working 10-12 hour days every day for 24 straight days isn't much fun even when you love your job.
    Thanks for the safety concerns but I have a love of driving that not many other people have. 4 years ago I did Vancouver - Halifax - Miamai - San Diego - Vancouver, a total distance of over 11,000 miles in 21 days. No extreme fatigue and was feeling very fresh at the end of it.

    Last year I rode a motorcycle from Scotland to Kazakhstan (and back) with zero issues so you can tell I enjoy a challenge.

  5. Default

    13,000 miles in 24 days!?! You are a roadtripper! Would make a nice photo album with all the capitol buildings. So far I have 2 :)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,195

    Default You are in the majority here not the minority.

    Thanks for the safety concerns but I have a love of driving that not many other people have.
    Trust me when I say that there are more regular members here that share the same feelings than not. This is a Roadtrip forum after all ! That doesn't mean to say we can just ignore possible safety concerns though.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,621

    Default You could not have known.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek H View Post
    No extreme fatigue and was feeling very fresh at the end of it.
    The operative words here are 'extreme' and 'feeling'. Fatigue is the insidious enemy of the long distance driver. It does not need to be 'extreme' for it to affect your reflexes and ability to control a vehicle at top speeds. Fatigue creeps up on a person without their being aware of it. (A good test is to play some electronic game at the end of six days driving 600 miles, and see if you can beat, or at least equal your top score. I have never seen it done.)

    Fatigue is as bad as driving drunk, and just as dangerous/irresponsible. So far I have never heard a drunk driver, even just over the legal limit, admit that he/she was an impaired driver. On this forum we have had many deny the same about fatigue. Just because there is not a legal measure for it, does not make it safe.

    So far you have been lucky. Thank your lucky stars, but just don't tempt fate.

    .... so you can tell I enjoy a challenge.
    As do I! I have done many long trips which I have thoroughly enjoyed. But I prefer to err on the side of safety.

    Lifey

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,082

    Default

    Frankly, I can see why your wife doesn't really want to go with you. I love road trips -- driving, or as a passenger -- but 24 days at 600 miles per day does not appeal to me one iota. My hubby and I are on a road trip right now, and so far we have had four days of over 500 miles driving. After each day, we were both tired! Granted, we are probably a bit older than you, and that does factor in. But when we were younger, three days of 500+ miles in a row was our self-determined limit.

    My husband used to drive commercially. They were limited to 10 hours on the road (whether you only traveled 250 miles or 600, you stopped at 10 hours) and they HAD to do 10 hours in the bunk after that. Sitting in the passenger seat is just as fatiguing, so commercial drivers have to count any time sitting in that seat, as driving time.


    Donna

  9. Default

    Just to give an update on this post from a few months back. The plan has been modified and flights and (some) of the hotels booked.

    Due to a reduction in the amount of days I have available to me, I am not doing the State Capitals now. Still going to visit all 48 states but time available is not enough for the detours to the Capital cities.

    I fly into Charlotte on the 26th and have the following hotels booked-

    26th - Rock Hill.
    27th - Biloxi
    28th - Hardy, Arkansas.
    29th - Guymon.
    30th - Cortez.
    31st - nothing booked, will stop when tired.
    1st - Eureka, Ca.
    2nd - Walla Walla.
    3rd - nothing booked, will stop when I see something I like.
    4th - Billings.
    5th - Deadwood.
    6th - nothing booked, will stop when I see something I like.
    7th - Minneapolis.
    8th - nothing booked, will stop when I am tired.
    9th - Kingston, ON.
    10th - nothing booked, will stop when tired.
    11th - Atlantic city.
    12th - Front royal (for the Skyline drive)
    13th - Blowing Rock (for Blueridge Parkway)
    14th - Gatlinburg (to relax)
    15th - Gatlingburg (to continue to relax)

    A few miles to be driven but I forsee no problems. A few early mornings too (I like to leave approx 04:30) but I do not intend to drive in evening darkness. Not sure what average fuel cost is just now, last time I was across was paying approx $2.15 per gallon.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,082

    Default

    Just a word of caution: Front Royal to the other end of Skyline Drive, Waynesboro, is 105 miles, but (like the Blue Ridge Parkway) very, very slow. When my husband and I drove it, it took us 5 hours, and we did not stop at every single viewpoint nor did we take any hikes. Stopping for coffee and souvenirs is about the only real "stop" we did.

    The other thing that jumped out at me:
    30th - Cortez.
    31st - nothing booked, will stop when tired.
    1st - Eureka, Ca.
    Cortez CO to Eureka CA is 1300 miles, much of it not on interstates. This is not a "will stop when tired", because the halfway point is 650 miles. On non-interstates, it means you will be on the road for 14-15 hours, and you will be past the point of tired. Please rethink this one, for your own safety, as well as the safety of others who share the road with you. Even if you start at 4:30 am, 10 hours on the road is plenty.

    Donna

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