Hi! I will be driving from Arizona to Lancaster, PA in late April and returning in mid-late September. I am currently in the process of trying to choose a route . . .
AAA.com's online TripTik recommends taking I-40 to Oklahoma City, then I-44 to St. Louis and catching the I-70 from there. From what I understand, that's the shortest (and therefore probably fastest) route, but I am open to other suggestions. I would definitely like to take a different route coming home than I took going there. One idea is to continue on the I-40 from Oklahoma City to the eastern side of Tennessee and then using the I-81 along the Appalachians. I have not spent much time in that area of the country (other than visiting my ex in-laws in WV!) and I am interested in going there. Has anyone driven the I-81 between Tennessee and Pennsylvania? How recently? Do you recommend it? I was wondering if that might be a good route to take in September, as maybe the leaves will be changing?
I asked for advice on the Trip Advisor forums, and so far no one has told me anything about I-81. One person said they drove from Philly to NV and took the I-95 to the 66 to the 40 and liked that route, but I don't know if that's best for me.
As I am driving to and from a job, I don't have a lot of time to go off the beaten path (I intend to make the trip in five days, arriving the fifth day) but I would like an interesting/scenic route as much as possible. I also would like to avoid bad spring weather (tornados!) if I can.
Another question regarding the I-40--I have heard that it's very rough going through Oklahoma. Has anyone driven it recently? What's the verdict?
Thanks for your suggestions!