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  1. #1
    Christopher von Simson Guest

    Default 7 Day Thanksgiving Loop

    I know this is a lot, but I'm thinking of driving from DC in a huge loop to see some big country. One awaits the advice to say it is too long, wrong time of year, etc...
    Rough agenda:
    Wednesday - November 24, 2004
    Depart: 10:30 AM McLean, VA
    Arrive: 10:50 PM Birmingham, AL
    Thursday - November 25, 2004
    Depart: 07:00 AM Birmingham, AL
    Arrive: 06:23 PM Oklahoma City, OK
    Friday - November 26, 2004
    Depart: 06:00 AM Oklahoma City, OK
    Arrive: 02:35 PM Santa Fe, NM
    Arrive: 08:34 PM Denver, CO
    Saturday - November 27, 2004
    Depart: 06:00 AM Denver, CO
    Arrive: 07:36 AM Cheyenne, WY
    Arrive: 01:54 PM Salt Lake City, UT
    Arrive: 06:56 PM Boise City, ID
    Sunday - November 28, 2004
    Depart: 06:00 AM Boise City, ID
    Arrive: 10:01 AM Hermiston, OR
    Arrive: 01:17 PM Spokane, WA
    Arrive: 09:00 PM Billings, MT
    Monday - November 29, 2004
    Depart: 06:00 AM Billings, MT
    Arrive: 09:36 PM Madison, WI
    Tuesday - November 30, 2004
    Depart: 06:00 AM WI Madison, WI
    Arrive: 08:21 PM Arlington, VA

  2. Default I'd try it.

    Given the diversity of the different areas and landscapes, I figure there is a very good chance of your running into bad weather somewhere along your route, and probably more than once -- so you'll need to stay flexible and informed about what the weather forecast is and then pay attention to what it is actually doing WHEN you're on the road.

    Are you a "driver?" Meaning, is experiencing the vehicle on the highway the point of your trip? If so, you probably already know what your particular driving style is -- but if you don't have much experience in doing this kind of trip, be sure to plan EXTRA time for stops -- they always amount to more time than most people figure when planning. I have learned to figure on an average of 52 mph in good weather and conditions, and as I get older, I don't even do THAT well sometimes.

    That said, I'd do it. Bob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Going to need a rocket-powered booster

    Quite a schedule you have created for yourself. Bob's point is well taken -- in November unless you have a get-out-of-all-speeding-tickets-pass and you have only clean, dry roadways and you have custom-built rocket-propelled vehicle, you will never meet any of those time projections. If I were a betting man, I would give you +/- three hours on most of the route legs.

    That being said, that would be a fun road trip -- just make sure you have plenty of extra water, blankets and canned food along in case you hit some rough weather.


  4. #4
    Christopher von Simson Guest

    Default I'd try it - I'm also tempted

    Thanks for the advice. I am very good at a flexible approach to these trips - and very respectful of the weather: I'd be interested to know more about the potential chances of hitting a closed Interstate over the Rockies between Spokane WA and Billings MT. Perhaps the relevant state highway sites are best for that?
    I am a bit of a keen driver as well :) The main point of the trip is to just see the land a little - kind of a reconnaissance trip... This will be done most likely in a 1995 Jaguar XJS (in good condition, well serviced, etc). To give a little background: I did a 3.5 day drive from DC - Madison WI, - Fargo, ND - Columbia, MI - DC. This was kinda long but it was amazing just to be out there and see the land. My mantra is "if you don't go, you won't know".
    The stop timings here are just for the sake of argument. If I have to take an extra day - then work will be fine with that...

  5. #5
    Christopher von Simson Guest

    Default timings

    Thanks for the reply. The timings all come stright out of and Domestic software's trip planner - so they are taken with quite a pinch of salt. Hmm. Salt - something else to take along with the shovel perhaps :) The vehicle is a great XJS, but no rocket power. I tend to cuise at some speed, but am a very defensive driver (I read many of the tips on your site). Still in two minds on the whole thing, but as you say, it WOULD be fun! Come next Monday I will know. Now, time to check more weather data...

  6. #6

    Default FYI

    Acoording to my family in the Spokane area the local police are seriously cracking down on speeders on I-90 between the Idaho/WA state line and one of the B cities in Montana. ( I can't remember if they said Bozeman, Butte or Billings!!)My sis is in coeur d alene and she said they are all over I-90 there pulling tons of people over. I guess it is supposed to be a 6 month major crack down. anyway just be careful

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default One of the best

    The trip planning program used by is the one we rated the <a href = "">highest in our reviews<a/> -- that being said the the travel time stated in all of the trip planning software are based on "listed" posted speed limit on the highways -- but such conditions can not be relied upon during most winter driving conditions. It is possible that you could meet all of those times, but road trips are inherently biased in terms of the unexpected and there is always a good reason to slow down and check out something new.

    Cool that you have <a href = "">read the tips<a/>. I find that I have learned a few new tricks of the trade too and I have driven a few million miles at this point.

    Like many on this forum -- I am a "driver" -- I like putting the hammer down and cruising -- so on one hand I would alwasy say "go for it" on the other hand, I have driven in a number of icy near-white-out storm systems in the west where the absolute flat-out speed never exceeded 22 mph for hours and hours -- interesting in its own right -- but darn tiring.

    I hope you post a field report upon your return and let us know what you found!



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