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  1. #1

    Default A Catchy Road Trip Forum Title

    My cousin is moving from San Clemente, California, to Queens, New York. He needs to take his car so me, him, and another friend decided to make a road trip out of it. We are driving from San Clemente, California, to Queens New York. We are leaving December 28 (8 days from today), and we are planning on getting back January 5. He is driving a Dodge 1500 which is going to suck on gas. I made up a little itinerary for the trip but we are leaving it extremely flexible. Please, if you have any tips, ideas, places we should/shouldn't see, please let me know. Thanks! -Eddie

    • San Clemente- Grand Canyon= 7 hours of driving
    o Arrive in afternoon, set up camp, spend day Day 1
    o Spend a day at Grand Canyon, leave when sun goes down Day 2
    • Grand Canyon- Santa Fe= 7 hours of driving
    o Spend night of day 2 and leave in afternoon Day 3
    • Santa Fe- Amarillo= 4 hours driving
    o Arrive day 3, spend night, leave early morning Day 4
    • Amarillo-Louisiana border (Shraveport)= 9 hours of driving
    o Arrive in evening of day 4, spend night, leave next morning Day 5
    • (Shreveport?)- New Orleans= 5 hours
    o get into New Orleans on day 5, spend night, leave noon Day 6
    • New Orleans-Knoxville= 9 hours
    o Spend night in Knoxville, leave next morning Day 7
    • Knoxville-New York= 12 hours
    o Get to New York Day 8

    The Grand Canyon is a must and we have a family member in Amarillo where we could spend the night. All the other destinations are subject to change except for, of course, our ending point in Queens.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default The first one! It will be great.

    Eight days give you time to make the trip with a bit of leeway for some exploration.

    Your right seems fine to me. With eight days, you don't need to make a straight shot. You can definitely visit a few places that you've always wanted to see.

    However, your driving time estimates are low. Where did you get them? You need to know that most computer-mapping/trip-routing aren't very accurate.

    San Clemente-Grand Canyon is 500 miles. The chances of you averaging the 70mph you would need to drive the entire way is pretty slim. You've left no time for traffic congestion, weather-related slowdowns, or any other incidents that will slow your speed. Add to that, you are not factoring any time for food/fuel/bio breaks. So, even if you can average driving 70mph, you need to add time for those things.

    We generally recommend that you figure 55mph to estimate travel time. This means the San Clemente-Grand Canyon leg would be closer to 9 hours. Now, you might make it in 8 if you really fly. But wouldn't you rather estimate a bit longer driving times that are more realistic? This way you're not disappointed when 7 hours comes along and you're not even to Williams yet. Hope that makes sense.

    Another example: Amarillo-Shreveport is 551 miles. So you could conceivably do it in 10 hours. However, this is also somewhat dependant on what time you go through Dallas. Traffic can get crazy there so try to avoid any kind of rush hour period or you could easily add an hour or so to that day's drive.

    The Knoxville-NYC leg is particularly troublesome, I believe. At 700 miles, you're probably looking at more like 12-13 hours, not nine. And it might even be a bit longer as you will be driving through some of the most congested roads in the country. I'm not familiar enough with driving here to give you a better guesstimate of your travel time, but I'm confident that your 9 hour estimate is way too optimistic. I hope someone who is more familiar with driving in the area will pop in and give you a better estimate.

    Anyway, you need to combine some lower, average speed expectations with some common sense about the types of traffic you might encounter in the areas you'll be traveling through.

    I think you can see most of those places but I think you might have to adjust where you'll be spending the night some of those nights and not stay as long in the areas you'll be visiting to make this work.

    When traveling in winter, you also need to monitor the radio for weather forecasts. Sometimes it's best to tweak your route due to weather conditions. Other times, it's just best to lay over for a day or so until the roads clear.

    I hope you have warm sleeping bags. Camping at the GC is sure to be dang cold right now!

    Don't let any of this discourage you. Your trip is very do-able. You just need to tweak things a bit.

  3. #3


    Thanks for the heads up. I got all my driving estimates from Mapquest, but I now see that Mapquest does not seem to be very reliable. Do you have any advice for staying warm while camping or is it just bundle up in a lot of blankets?

    And between Amarillo and New Orleans, Shreveport was one of the main cities along the way, but does anybody have any suggestions on where to stop and stay for the night? Maybe some type of attraction along the way? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    The Netherlands


    I think Mapquest is reliable and we've been on this subject before but in this case I think Judy is right. No way to drive in 7 hours from SC to GC in this time of year. You can expect snow near Williams and count on at least 9 hours. From GC to Santa Fe in 7 hours is doable. We did drive it faster BTW but again, not in this time of year. I suggest to take 64 from GC Village and drive 89 to I40. You might drive 64/180 to Flagstaff but you have to drive through Flagstaff then not to mention snow and traffic to Snow Bowl. Also near Santa Fe chances on snow. Santa Fe is great in this time of year though.
    Same goes for Santa Fe-Amarillo. Maybe see Cadillic ranch just west of Amarillo on your right hand side. 9 hours again to Shreveport? Don't count on it. I30 traffic can be horrendous.
    If I were you I would decide in Amarillo what route to take. It will be quite a detour through New Orleans.
    Between San Clemente and Amarillo, other than GC, there are many sights along the road but many of them take much time. This will be easy:
    Coming from GC I would make my first stop in Winslow and see the statue (Standing on the corner re the old Eagles song) and have a cup of coffee. Then exit 311 and take the overlooks on Painted Desert. Just off interstate. In Gallup maybe have a Doris Day special or something like that at the El Rancho restaurant. Great place and hardly a detour (just take the old R66 route along the traintracks.)
    Have a great and safe trip. Boys dream!!
    Last edited by Mass Tim; 12-22-2007 at 03:18 PM.

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