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  1. Default Cross Country through the South-ish

    Hi Y'all-
    I'm moving from San Francisco to Connecticut in August. I have a: week to do the trip, a prius, a husband and a dog.

    I would LOVE some suggestions of places to go, things to see, places to stay/camp, places to eat, etc.

    Our general itinerary is:

    Day 1- SF to Sedona, AZ (12 hours). Overnight in Sedona.

    Day 2- Sedona down to the 10 in Phoenix (stop at Oak Creek Canyon), then to Deming (camp in city of rocks or spend the night in T or C). See Hatch along the way. Drive time: 8.5 hours.

    Day 3- Leave NM, see White Sands on the way out. See funny TX stuff along the way, spend the night in Austin. Drive Time: 10 hours.

    Day 4- Austin to NO. Try to do a nice, natural activity along the way, like South Llano river or something. Or enjoy Cajun country along the way. Drive Time: 8.5 hours. Whoop it up in New Orleans.

    Day 5- NO to somewhere along the Natchez Trace Pkwy (tbd). Drive time: ?

    Day 6- Natchez Pkwy to Lexington KY (Shaker Village or whatever cool hillbilly town in KY we choose). Drive time: 9.5 hours. Drive through Smokey Mntns.

    Day 7- Lexington KY to Westbrook, CT. Final push. Drive time: 13 hours.

    Thank you!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default not based in reality

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I'm sorry to tell you that you've made a very common, but significant error. You've assumed google's times are accurate.

    The fact is, you're going to be on the road for much longer than you are currently planning.

    San Francisco to Sedona is a absolutely brutal 800 mile day that will put you on the road for at least 14 hours. That's just not the way you want to start a long roadtrip, as you're going to be exhausted by the time you get to day two.

    Deming to Austin is a solid 12 hours, and that's before you detour to White Sands. Just the extra miles and off interstate driving to get to White Sands means you'd be on the road for nearly 15 hours before you even set foot in the park.

    Your final day is yet another 800+ mile killer that's going to be closer to 15 hours.

    And I will mention, that all of the times I am talking about are best cases, where you are stopping only for food and fuel, and probably way too optimistic if you are traveling with a dog.

    Really, you should look at limiting your travel days to 600 or so miles, and 500 if you want to stop and see things along the way. With just 7 days, it really would be tough to take the big detour you are talking about and still have time to see things along the way. If you want a trip with the kinds of stops you are talking about, you really should look at either adding some additional days, or take a more direct route via I-80, which will allow you to make reasonable drives with time to stop and see things along the way.

  3. Default Not based in reality

    Whoa. That's bad but crucially important news. I totally relied on google. I would rather modify what we have than re-route to the 80 (which I've heard is boring). Can you suggest some changes to the itinerary that would make it less crazy?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default boring is what you make of it

    Well, first of all, I-80 is only boring if you decide that it will be. The same could be said about going south, or taking any other route. A trip will be as exciting as you want to make it out to be.

    The biggest problem with your current itinerary is that you really are just trying to do too much in too little time. As I mentioned, just driving a direct route via I-80, you're looking at 3,000 miles which is a solid 5-6 days on the road. Going all the way south like you've proposed adds about 700 more miles, which is more than another full day on the road.

    If you want a trip where you just see things as you drive by, you can go the route you are talking about in 7 days, but you will have to be on the road for 10+ hours a day and will have almost no time for any stops. If that is what you want for your trip, then you can take the same basic route, but change your stops so you are traveling 500-600 miles a day on the interstates, or less if you move onto 2 lane roads (which you're not really going to have much time for.)

    You've got 3 basic options: take a shorter trip with time for stops, take the same route and spend all day in the car every day, or add more time to your trip.

  5. Default Revision

    Hey Guys-
    Okay, based on what Midwest Michael said, I am revising the first two days of our roadtrip.

    Day 1- Leave the SF Bay area. Take the 5 down to Bakersfield. Take the 58 from Bakersfield to Barstow. Get on the 40 in Barstow until Ludlow. Once in Ludlow, take the old route 66 down through the ghost towns all the way to Fenner. Once in Fenner, get back on the 40 until Needles. Spend the night in Needles.

    Day 2: Needles to Sedona.

    Any thoughts? Is day 1 too hard?


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    That may be pushing it, it's close to 600 miles from SF to Needles. You could wait till after rush hour to get out of SF and spend the first night in Barstow. Barstow to Sedona is doable in a day with detours to old 66.

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