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  1. #1
    whimseysgirl Guest

    Default Suggestions for Victoria to Phoenix (and back) in January

    Heyla all,

    I'm so thrilled to find this site- its been a few years since my last road trip, and I wasn't sure where to start my planning - here seems like a perfect spot. If anyone has any suggestions for the following, it'd be much appreciated!

    I'm heading down to Phoenix for a gathering of friends, aiming to arrive there for Dec. 29th, leaving on Jan.1. In order to make the most of my time in a part of the world I've never explored I thought to bomb my way down there (given seasonal committments at home, I can't leave before the 27th), but then meander a bit back over the course of a week, aiming to be home on Dec. 8. I'll be travelling with a 6 year old co-pilot, who is exceptionally well behaved and easy going, so the length won't be a difficulty, though I want to be sure to hit places that he'll enjoy coming back (anything science focused especially). And I have to keep a ferry schedule in mind for departing and returning times, as they only run from 7:00 am through to 9:00 pm to and from Vancouver Island (and therefore home!)

    That's about it...I was thinking I-5 down through to LA, then over from there to go down...definietely working the Grand Canyon at least a bit into the return trip, and I don't yet know what else.

    If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know!
    With many thanks,

  2. #2
    RoadTripper Brad Guest


    Sounds like you'll have a nice trip ahead of you. Assuming you don't hit much bad weather, the PNW to Phoenix is nearly a guranteed 2 day trip for a speed-run... although you'll surely want to sleep for 2 days after that. If you leave VERY early on the 27th, and I mean prior to 2 AM... you should be able to reach Phoenix late evening, possibly 9-10 PM, on the 28th, or early morning on the 29th..

    If the weather goes good, the 4 or 5 passes you'll cross through Oregon and down into So. Cali. will be a breeze. I would definately recommend taking a look at your map and locating contengency routes just in case, primarily because of the tight time frame.

    I've made the speed run several times from Washington to AZ, and it is a bear... Be sure to make frequent stops. I figure you might be able to get to Medford, OR or Yreka, CA before dark, and I would advise you stop in one of the cities in those areas... I thought I could make it once to Redding, but not a chance.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Roadside Science

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America forum.

    Three days (the 27th through the 29th) should make for a relatively comfortable drive down. You won't be able to dawdle too much anywhere, but if you keep up a steady pace, you should be able to stop 2-3 times a day for some time out of the car. No matter how well behaved your co-pilot is, he'll appreciate the time to stretch his legs and to see something besides the inside of the car or the view out the window. One stop you might want to look into on the way down is a tour of JPL. This is the place that operates most of our interplanetary spacecraft, and it's right off I-210 in Pasadena - on your way.

    On your way back, when you have a little more time to explore and leave the main roads, you might want to look at Mitchell Caverns off I-40, as well as Edwards Air Force Base where they test planes and the Space Shuttle. Certainly, if you head up the coast on your way back, plan to stop at San Fancisco's Exploratorium. From there a meander along the coast up CA-1 and US-101 would let you watch for whales off shore and seals and sea lions on the beach, see the Giant Redwoods, and then swing inland to observe some active geology and scenic beauty at Crater Lake and Mt. St. Helen's. Anyway, those would make a great start, I think, to a science filled trip back


  4. #4
    RoadTripper Brad Guest


    My last run from Washington to Phoenix via Utah I only stopped about 2-3 times... that was what made that trip so much more exausting than my trip in 04 where I stopped 5-8 times each day for atleast 15 minutes or so... even if it was just long enough to go in to a AM/PM and get a bottle of water/etc., it kept the blood flowing. I've never done the whole trip in winter time, but I am sure snow will be even more of a factor further inland, especially around St. Hellens, Crater Lake.

    I wish I had known of the JPL tour though... that might have been worth having to get a motel room in Blythe for on my 04 run!

    Oh, and a word of warning on the I-210... when I drove it, my plan was to take I-210 down to I-10 before it turned into CA-210... this route, in my opinion, is poorly signed, so watch very very closely (I had a 15 year old passenger with me doing sign lookout and we both missed the exit!)

  5. #5
    whimseysgirl Guest


    Thanks so very much! I can't get off the Island before 7:00 am (and have to add the 1 3/4 hour ferry trip plus border waits to my travel time), but it still sounds very do-able, which I wasn't completely sure of. And yes, my wee co-pilot will need stimulation and breaks - and so will I - so those suggestions are great. Mind you, so long as I bring all 6 Harry Potter books on cd (95 hours total), and some small toys to keep his hands busy he should be very long as I keep the stops in mind.

    Another quick question - do I need chains or anything for the passes, or are they mostly fairly clear (or completely shut)? Thanks again - this is a grand forum to stumble across. Hopefully I can contribute my 2 bits worth in return at some point!

  6. #6
    RoadTripper Brad Guest


    Another idea to go along with Harry Potter books on disc and toys, make him part of the trip... have him hold the map or some other important duty... It might mean a lot to him!

  7. Default Chains

    The interstate system in the USA is always kept as open and clear as possible. I have gambled without chains for many, many years -- and not had too many problems. However, when you need them, you need them, and it won't be at a time and place where they'll be easy to come by. I don't think anyone would be doing you a favor by saying you shouldn't have a set at hand, along with the knowledge (and prior experience) of how to put them on.

    In Phoenix, you might take the little guy to the Arizona Science Center downtown. It's a place just made for kids his age, with lots of hands-on stuff to do. Bob

  8. #8
    whimseysgirl Guest


    Thanks for the tips - I'll bring the chains along (I have the room anyways), but I'll also plan an alternate route, just in case. And we have a reciprocal pass for over 200 science museums in North America (which was a steal of a deal at the Ottawa Museum of Nature, for people living more than 200 km away...$35 for an annual family pass). I hadn't gotten around to checking out all the possibilities.

    And I'm definitely including Xander (small co-pilot) in the planning, mapping, distances, recording and so on...we homeschool (in a pretty structured way), so this is our curriculum for the next while...Although, never having been to Disneyland, I'm thinking of visiting for a couple of days - he loves museums beyond belief, but this would truly round out the whole memorable road trip with mom deal...Still pondering the very rich number of possibilities! Thanks again for your info!


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