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  1. Default Denver to San Fransisco - sort of I-80

    My mom is meeting me in Denver on September 14 and we are driving to San Diego via I-80, sort of. Last summer, we drove I-70 and cut down to Flagstaff, Grand Canyon and Vegas. This year, I want to take a more northerly route to San Fransisco, then south, but what to do in between Denver and SF is the question.

    My mom has said she is up for five days and four nights. I should also let you know that my mother is a drive-by sight seer. In other words, she is not much for spending chunks of time at a site, but would rather see it and leave. For example, she asked if we can see Hearst Castle from the road. If not, lets skip it. This means we can cover more ground.

    I will be shooting south from SF on Friday on I-5. This means 4 days to SF. Here is what I'm thinking so far:

    - Day 1 - Denver to Yellowstone area. See a bit of the park and maybe the Grand Tetons. Stay in Jackson. What roads and sites do we take?

    - Day 2 - South to Salt Lake City then west to either Reno or Sacramento. Maybe catch Tahoe. What else, what roads?

    - Day 3 - Catch the Jelly Belly Factory (in Fairmont?), then north of the Bay area. Do a bit of wine country, then south to Muir Woods. Stay north of SF. What roads here?

    - Day 4 - Spend it in the city. All the normal tourist traps. Head south a little ways. Maybe Highway 1. Maybe 101. Maybe I-5.

    - Day 5 - Blast to San Diego. Peddle to the middle - no site seeing.

    Thanks, Joe

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

    Default pushing boundaries

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I've certainly taken my share of "out the window" sightseeing trips, so I know what you are going for here. However, even when that is your approach, you do still need to accept that even that kind of trip does take a little time.

    You're just being to agressive with your first two days.

    Yes, you can drive from Denver to Jackson in a day, but you're looking at a solid 10 hours of driving just to get Yellowstone. That really isn't going to give you time to see any of Yellowstone or the Teton - especially when you factor in that you can rarely go more than 30 mph inside the parks, with lots of stop and go sections for both human and animal traffic.

    Jackson to Reno via Salt Lake City is nearly 800 miles and even if your only stops are at gas stations and highway rest areas, you're going to be on the road for at least 14 hours. Sacramento would add another couple hours on top of that. Simply put, there is no way you should be looking at driving that far in one day even in a speed run situation.

    You've got some time on your next two days, as it looks like you are planning just to explore the greater Napa/Bay areas, but I think you need to borrow some of that time just so you can get to California in a more reasonable fashion.

    If you could get down to say Salinas, then you'd be in a better position to at least take US-101 down to San Diego on day 5. Otherwise, you're really looking at having to take I-5 to cover the distance in a day.

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