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  1. #1
    Lufraf Guest

    Default New Jersey to San Diego

    Hi, I'm planning to move from my hometown in Princeton, NJ and move to San Diego County in early July. I would have just flown over, except I bought a brand new Honda Civic (1700 miles on it right now) assuming I'd be staying here in New Jersey forever. But I must get out of here and move to sunny sandiego!

    I was wondering if anyone could help tell me what I could to make my move more enjoyable. I'm planning to go to Chicago first, and take Route 66 to California. If anyone has any other suggestions, it would be very much appreciated. I would also like to know if there are certain key areas of interest I should be stopping by to take a look around, and any particular places on the way that are good for spending the night.

    Basically, any suggestion and help would be very much appreciated =)

  2. Default Making it more enjoyable

    The quickest way to make it the most enjoyable is to not get in a hurry or to try to stick to a schedule. Start driving at an early hour so you can enjoy the warmth of a morning drive. Make regular rest stops. And quit in the early evening -- take it easy and have a swim in the motel pool before getting a good night's sleep.

    For Jersey to San Diego, you have the choice of three main routes - I-80, I-70 or I-40. All have their recommendations -- for I-80, I'd cut south on I-76 and I-70 to I-15, and that into San Diego. It would be my last choice.

    Second choice is using I-70 -- go west to Chicago as you'd planned, then pick up I-70 at Kansas City and stay on it until it ends at I-15. I-70 across Colorado and Utah is one of the most beautiful highways you'll see ANYWHERE. You can't go wrong.

    My FIRST choice would be to take I-81 down to I-40 at Knoxville, TN, and follow I-40 all the way west. I recently drove this route and I was amazed -- I had forgotten just how beautiful I-40 was across Tennessee and also in Eastern Oklahoma. Again, in the southwest states, I-40 is a beautiful drive. In addition, I-81 down through Virginia is gorgeous.

    All of these routes are homogenous in terms of lodging -- you'll find the same chains all across the country, and at regular intervals. No problems there.

    Once you decide on a route, then we can help with some places to stop and gawk along the way. Bob

  3. #3
    Lufraf Guest


    Hi Bob, thanks a lot for your reply!

    I've never really taken a road trip anywhere, so thanks for all your helpful suggestions. Luckily, I don't have a time contraint so I can take as much time as I need to take my trip. The way you talk about I81 and I40 has convinced me to taking that route.

    A little more about my plans. I will be picking up a friend of mine, whom I will be staying with until I can find a place to live in San Marcos, CA and who is generous enough to loan me her time to prevent me from going insane on a long lonely road trip, from the Philadelphia Airport in the wee early dawn of July 4th. So that is when the two of us will start our cross-country drive. While neither of us normally do anything spectacular to celebrate July 4th, if anyone knows anything somewhere down along I81 (Washington DC mayhaps?) let me know =)
    And of course, nice scenery and touristy places to visit whilst on I81 and I40!
    Last edited by Lufraf; 06-16-2005 at 03:02 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Unusual Fireworks

    Since you asked.....

    In the early morning of July 4th UTC (late night, July 3rd in the US) NASA will be crashing a spacecraft into a dormant comet - Link. This will instantaneously 'turn on' the comet. Unfortunately, the exact moment of impact will not be visible from the US (We'll be on the wrong side of the planet), but do go out the night of the third and familiarize yourself with the look of the sky in the constellation Virgo, particularly the area around its brightest star, Spica. Then go out the next night and enjoy the new addition to that region of the sky.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Sounds like a Hollywood Script!

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck
    This will instantaneously 'turn on' the comet.
    Wow! That is cool. It certainly sounds like a movie script...


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Route 66... is a lot of work

    Quote Originally Posted by Lufraf
    I'm planning to go to Chicago first, and take Route 66 to California.
    I love visiting Chicago, but unless you really need to go there and I would suggest exploring the mid-range of the country. And following Route 66 -- although an epic journey and worthwhile -- is a great deal of effort and work that might be better spent elsewhere. There are sections of US-66 that I really like (but I have a short attention span for slow-moving two-lane highways) -- to get an idea of what you can expect -- Guy Randall's site is just about the best for a pictorial study. Plus, the work is a fairly recent documentation of what is still around. In addition, we spend a goodly amount of time building our links pages and the Route 66 page has some good resources for planning such a trip.

    My favorite section of US-66 is found in Arizona between Williams and Needles and Moderator Bob has traveled much of this route, many times.


  7. Default Interested in Civil War stuff?

    Some of the most significant Civil War sites are right along I-81's corridor -- Gettysburg, Antietam, Harper's Ferry, even Appomattox C.H. is not too far off the track.

    You could drive portions of the Blue Ridge Parkway/Skyline Drive.

    Also, at Lexington, VA, Stonewall Jackson had a home that's now open to the public, and MOST of the General is buried nearby. South of Lexington, you might check out the "Natural Bridge."

    In Tennessee, near Greenville, you could stop for a visit at Andrew Johnson's home. Across TN, there are a multitude of state parks to visit -- maybe picnic in. At Nashville, you could check out Music Row, and visit The Hermitage -- learn a little more about Andrew Jackson, the first "common" man to become a U.S. president.

    There are also a couple of important Civil War battelfields along the route in TN, including Shiloh. Closer to Memphis, in Jackson, you can find the Casey Jones Home and RR Museum -- presumably, he still has "his orders in his hand." Then there's Graceland, of course. Memphis also has the Natl Civil Rights Museum -- and some of the best barbecue this side of heaven.

    In Arkansas, state parks practically line the interstate, plus I'd have to make a side-trip to Hot Springs Natl Park. Also, Ft Smith Natl Historic Site would give you a glimpse into the frontier history of the Indian Nations and the role old Ft Smith and Judge Isaac Parker played in that area.

    Oklahoma: The National Cowboy Hall of Fame in OKC, the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial Site and the Washita Battlefield, where Custer attacked Black Kettle's village in the latter 1860s (north of Elk City).

    Texas: The Big Texan for a steak dinner (Amarillo) and the Cadillac Ranch, just west of town.

    New Mexico: Most of what I'd recommend would involve some serious side-road tripping -- if you have time to do that, let me know and I'll add some things to the list.

    Arizona: Hubbell Trading Post near Ganado; Petrified Forest National Monument (don't take any with you); Meteor Crater, Walnut Canyon (an early culture ruin); Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon; Arizona Snowbowl (near Flagstaff), take the chairlift ride up the mountain for magnificent 100 mile views; GRAND CANYON; drive old Rt 66 from Seligman to Kingman for a change of pace and a little highway nostalgia, be sure to stop at Delgadillos Sno-Cap Drive Inn in Seligman; Hualapai Mountain Park near Kingman; and Oatman, also on old 66 WEST of Kingman. Or the real London Bridge at Lake Havasu City.

    For California, Mark's forgotten more about I-15 than I ever knew, so I'll let him or another poster give you tips for that.


  8. Default

    You know what I was impressed with, Austin, TX. The capitol there was pretty nice!!!! The caverns were cool too, and the longhorn cows are an American Icon.
    Anytime and everytime I plan on using the I-40 I will definitely stop in Sedona, AZ. Beautiful, just beautiful...
    Whatever you do, stay away from the I-10 between Texas and California.
    I went to the websites of every state I was planning on visiting and most sent me maps and magazines about their state, best of all,,,it was FREEE.
    Good luck on your journey.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-16-2005 at 10:11 PM. Reason: "Yuck" is one of those "play nice" rule violations

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Ignorance isn't always bliss

    Quote Originally Posted by amukia
    Whatever you do, stay away from the I-10 between Texas and California.
    How much time have you spent in this area? This is one of my favorite roadtripping roads in the country, full of more natural and historical wonders than the sum of many other areas in the country. It is also home to some of the most diverse weather patterns in the hemisphere and there are animals and flora along this route that exist only here in the world. Since you are about to embark on a cross country trip, perhaps you would like to read some of the scores of posts and theads about this area, which you can pass on to your family.

    We have adopted a roadtrip Maxim to cover this: If it seems boring, look again.

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-18-2005 at 11:17 AM. Reason: adding A RoadTrip Maxim

  10. #10
    Lufraf Guest

    Default Decisions!

    Okay, unfortunately, I am at a loss, and don't know what to do!
    I have three options.
    1) Take I-81 to TN then I-40 west. Arkansas and on sounds very exciting from your description of what to do (okay, so maybe I'm not all into Civil War and history, but more into nature)
    2) Going to Chicago and then taking I-70. I reconsidered this option when a friend of mine living in Evanston (right near chicago) said that I could stay there for free; I can't complain about free lodging! So I guess what I would like to know is, why is it that Bob recommended option 1) over option 2)?
    3) Take I-81 and keep giong southwest until I reach New Orleans, then take I-10 west. I most likely won't do this option because it seems like a much longer drive, and hotter weather, but the reason why I list this as an option is because my friend wanted to visit New Orleans for no particular reason (and won't be all that upset if we don't stop by New Orleans)

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