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  1. Default North Carolina to Los Angeles

    I'm moving from North Carolina to California next month. My plan is to take interstate 40 for the most part, in order to minimize the gas costs (I will be driving a penske truck). However, I will be going with my girlfriend, and we want to have some fun along the way. We want to make stops along the way and also maybe drive along historic route 66 when it parallels I-40 (from what I've read, this would mostly be in Arizona and New Mexico). Hopefully we can make the trip in 7-8 days.

    Can anyone recommend any good maps/guides for I-40 and route 66? Again, we don't want to stray too far off I-40, and only take route 66 when it parallels the interstate. Also, Does anyone have experience driving a truck across the country? If we make stops to sightsee, will we be targets for thieves? Any other concerns worth mentioning?

    Thanks so much!

  2. #2

    Default Been there, done that

    Hello wei1,

    I did that trip in the last few days of October 2007--Raleigh to Ventura, CA, on the far side of the LA Basin. My son and I co-drove his late model full-size Chevy pickup truck.

    I've driven many a rental truck but have not a clue as to security issues whilst on the road. Every one I've seen has a place to put a padlock on the cargo door, which will at least keep "honest people honest". For highly sensitive items, I suspect you'll want to "bury" them in the front of the load and/or just keep them in the cab with you.

    Your rental truck will likely be fairly slow, but that's OK since you're not in a hurry. We ran 80+ most of the way and did it in around 41 hours of drive time spread over 4 days, including fuel and rest stops, but not including the sightseeing times, for an average of around 68mph during our travel segments. Average travel speeds for rental trucks will vary greatly with the size and load, but it would surprise me to average much over 50 mph, including fuel and rest stops.

    The 7-8 days you suggest should be plenty, even with some sightseeing. There is a wealth of info here about Route 66, and from my recent experience the old highway parallels I-40 for much of western OK (from about OK City westward to TX), and through much of TX, NM, and AZ. In AZ, west of about Williams, Route 66 swings to the north of I-40 and doesn't rejoin it until about Kingman, I think. The point is that there are many places west of OK City where you can jog over to Route 66 easily, and at least one lengthy stretch where Route 66 loops well away from I-40. I am not aware of guidebooks for I-40, per se, but there sure could be some out there.

    My son and I enjoyed about a 1/2 day side trip through the Grand Canyon National Park (GCNP). We departed I-40 on the east side of Flagstaff, drove north to Cameron, AZ, thence west to the East entrance to GCNP. The highway (AZ 64?) goes by the major overlooks and on to the GCNP main entrance, and from there you can drop back south to I-40 at Williams.

    We also enjoyed a 1/2 day sidetrip to the Hoover Dam. We'd started early in the am from Kingman, AZ, so the 1 hour drive to the Dam put us there in time for the first "inside the dam" tour of the day at around 9am. We were done with that and the museum by 11:00 and took the short drive to Las Vegas, thence south down I-15 into California.

    We were on a military timetable (he had to be back to his CA base on a certain date to report back for duty following post-deployment leave) so we hurried early and slacked off late. Given a more liesurely timetable, I would want to stop in Memphis to see Graceland and some other music/food attractions and would also want to stop in OK and TX for some music attractions (birthplaces/museums related to several country music stars, past and present), and stopping in Amarillo would seem to be fun. I'd also want to stop and see the "Blue Hole" spring in Santa Rosa, NM and probably stop at the continental divide near the AZ-NM border, all of which we blew by in the early am hours or late afternoon/early evening hours before we were comfortable easing up and taking in some sights.

    Best wishes on your trip.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    The Great Midwest, Illinois to be precise

    Default Definitely Route 66

    One nice thing is that Route 66 is always near I-40, and sometimes under it.

    A good guide is Jerry McClannahan's "E-Z Guide to Route 66."

    Spend a night at the Blue Swallow in Tucumcari and/or El Rancho in Gallup, NM. Stay in a teepee in Holbrook, AZ, Stand on the Corner in Winslow, and spend a night in Williams, Arizona.

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