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  1. Default Need advice on Baltimore - San Francisco Roadtrip

    Hello everyone,
    My girlfriend and I are planning to start our roadtrip on August 6th (that in 4 days!) . A few things that we need help on
    - We will largely take the northern route (IL,IA,NE,UT,NV) rather than the southern one , just to avoid the heat in the NM,AZ and the southern states.

    Our current plan is
    Aug 6 Pittsburgh (4 hrs) Chicago (7 hours)
    Aug 7 Des Moines ( 5 hrs) lincoln , nebraska ( 3 hours)
    Aug 8 Denver ( 6 hrs) - and a stop in Colorado Springs
    Aug 9 salt lake city ut
    Aug 10 Reno
    Aug 11 San Francisco

    What do you think?

    - I'd love recommendations on family-owned restaurants,unique stopovers,things not to miss (we dont mind taking detours or stretching our trip if its worth it)
    - Is a detour through Wisconsin and South Dakota (Mt. Rushmore ) worth it?
    - We haven't booked a single motel - coz we are trying to keep the trip as flexible as possible (is this a good idea?)

    Please help us out!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Pacing Will Be Critical

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    If you need to get from Baltimore to San Francisco in 6 days, that is certainly possible. But it won't leave a lot of time for detours, and you will need to far better spread out your days. For example, you plan on starting out your trip with a nearly 700 mile drive. That is significantly more than will be comfortable, and will put you behind on the amount of sleep you will need to continue this trip in a safe and enjoyable manner. You should probably not plan on getting farther than the Ohio-Indiana state line on the first day, and similarly cut back on each day's drive. You simply can't take the driving time estimates that you get from mapping routines seriously. As a rule of thumb, plan on about 550 miles as a full day's drive, NOT 700+. Limiting yourself to more reasonable days means that you don't have time to take the detour via I-90. In fact you don't really have time for any significant detours. But do take a close look at which attractions, that are near the route you'll be driving, appeal to you and which of those you'd like to spend some time at. Just remember that you only have about a half day of 'spare time' to spend at them. And no, you don't need to book rooms in advance. There are many, many motels all along the major Interstates and you are not really in any danger of ever being far from one with a vacancy when you decide to stop for the evening.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 08-02-2009 at 09:59 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Needing more time.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Unless you stretch the time for your trip, detours are not really an option. It looks as though your travel times have come straight from a mapping program which are known to be unrealistic in the real world. They do not consider such things as stopping for Gas, food or bathroom breaks never mind sight seeing. They also presume there will never be any delays due to heavy traffic or construction works. In reality a long days drive will see you averaging 55 - 57 mph and between Baltimore and Reno in 5 days is 2900 miles, which equates to being on the road for 10 hours plus every day.
    Is this a return or a one way trip ? You will need to find extra time to do this trip if you want to do anything but look at the scenery through the windshield of your car.

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