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  1. #1

    Default From Atlanta Ga to Denver to Seattle to Bakersfield to Atlanta

    My best friend and her 3 kids and two dogs are moving to Seattle. She decided to drive;making it a scenic trip with stops at whatever oddball attractions we can find. (Or ones you can suggest.)Neither of us have ever taken a trip like this in our adult lives. Can you believe she was gonna try to do this on her own??? We are renting a 15 passenger van, packing light as safely possible and heading out the end of Sept '16. We want to go by way of Denver to visit friends, rest up and see some stuff. From there its on to Seattle, her stop. I will be then going solo to California to meet with family and pick up my hubby(hes doing work in Bakersfield) and then the trek back to Georgia for the both of us....another new undertaking. I guess the point of this first time post is to get some feedback, advice, anxiety counseling lol or tips for making the most of this highly anticipated 6000 plus mile journey.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Tell us more.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You haven't mentioned how much time you are planning to take for this adventure ? It's a full 5 days of driving to Seattle via Denver, another 2 days to Bakersfield and another 4 days home. You need to treat each leg of your journey as a marathon and not a sprint or else you have a real chance of fatigue setting in. So do you plan to do some sight seeing ? What are your interests? How much time do you have ? Is there anything in particular making you anxious and is there anything in particular you need advice about ?

  3. #3

    Default

    Hi! And thank you. We have 16 to 18 days total. (Nine of those are budgeted to the Atl to Seattle leg of the trip. Sights are imperative! The kookier the better. Also some iconic Americana and historic landmarks. My friend and I certainly agree on this. She; from the skeptics pov and I of more of the "tin hat set". Are we doomed? Ha Ha. Im most anxious about my solo jaunt Two days to Bakersfield?? Ive never done this much solo. Im confident in my skills, I drive a car for a living, and Im excited about the trip, the things I will see...but then there is a creeping quiet apprehension of the unknown. Im so stoked and spooked at the same time! Whats a good drive to rest/stop/sightsee ratio for a trip like this? Should I reconsider scenic stops on my solo leg? Are some rest stop safer than others?

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

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    On the solo travel thing -- use good common sense. If you stop someplace and it doesn't feel "right", it probably isn't. If you're along I-5 or other busy interstate, and need to use a rest area, it's probably safe. When I travel solo (which is usually a couple of times per year), I always make sure there are several other cars in a rest area. Travel centers (ie truck stops) are usually safe for pit stops and fuel. I like to stop every couple of hours to stretch my legs, go to the bathroom, get something to drink from the cooler or a snack from the snack bag, walk around.

    Generally, it's a good idea to drive around 500-550 miles per day and then stop for the night. You'll find your own travel rhythm, but my husband and I find ours in getting on the road by 6 or 7 am, and getting off the road by 5 pm. If we want to sightsee along the way, we'll cut down the mileage accordingly. Or sightsee during a full day and drive on the next day.

    As for scenic stops for your solo leg -- well, IF you can devote more than 2 days to the drive from Seattle to Bakersfield. That's about 1050 miles, meaning two 500 mile days in a row. If you want to stop and see anything other than outside of your windshield, you'll have to add time. Offhand, I can think of Mt Rainier, Mt St Helens, Crater Lake NP, Valley of the Rogue State Park (great place for a picnic lunch), Castle Crags State Park, Shasta Lake, just to name a few. But with limited time, you might want to stick to one.

    Last question from me ... are you taking this 15-passenger van for the round trip?



    Donna

  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks Donna! I like your "rythym". Those are times Im used to being out and about at home and the refresher stops will be pretty key. I hope to catch sight of MtSH then, if I had to choose. Id rather have more time to visit family in Bakersfield. The van situation cant really be helped. One of the main reasons I agreed to this trip is to save my friend about a grand on the rental return. ( Shes giving me about half of that savings for gas.)

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

    Default

    Your friend actually found a place that would have let a 15-passenger-van go one way? Wow, so unusual. The specialty vehicles like that are usually local or round trip usage.

    Mt St Helens will really depend on the weather. If it's cloudy, it might not be worth the extra mileage to drive over to it and back to I-5. Rainier might even be visible from Seattle, IF the weather is cooperative and clear.


    Donna

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default A few to consider.

    Rather than us aimlessly mentioning some of the thousands of possible routes and attractions, it would pay you and your friend to sit down and look at a map together and see what appeals to you and decide on how much time you have before you arrive in Seattle, then you can work on how much time you have with hubby for the journey home and whether that is a sight seeing trip, or more or less 'straight home'. Once you have got that far we can make meaningful suggestions. A few things I would mention is first, leave Denver on I70 and head into southern Utah. You could do a small detour on US6 and drive over the Continental divide at Loveland pass. The drive is a bit of a work out but the views from almost 12000ft are wonderful. Near Fruita you will find the rim drive along the Colorado National monument very scenic and you could spend a night in Moab which is home to Arches and Canyonlands NP's. You could then up to Salt Lake city and Twin Falls towards Seattle. Near Twin Falls are Shoshone Falls ' aka 'Little Niagara of the west'. The Snake river runs through Twin Falls and there is a nice Riverside park with lovely views of Perrine bridge. Another lovely drive is through the Historic Columbia drive with it's many waterfalls just east of Portland. From Hood river you could then head south through Bend to Crater Lake. On the way home from Bakersfield the Grand canyon South rim would top most lists.

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