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  1. Default Emergency due to covid 19

    My wife is 90 I'm 88 we cannot fly back to MI. from Tempe Az where we've been on vacationing. What is the best route for driving back. I never driven this trip before. I'm in good shape and not on any meds. Sure could use some help. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,681

    Default Someone will be along real soon.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    I'm sure someone will be along soon with a detailed response as I do not have first hand knowledge of possible routes. It would help if you were to mention your hometown location to aid with routing. It does look to me like you will need at least 3 overnight stops (depending on how comfortable you are with long drives)and keeping to Interstate where possible will be your quickest and safest choice.(I-40/44/55 possibly) Have you your own vehicle or will you be renting ? I'm not sure the current state of play with being able to rent, Hotels etc. I wish you the best of luck in getting yourselves home.

    Dave.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,178

    Default For what it is worth......

    Right now, I would not be driving anywhere. There are limited services available in most places, and you don't know who you will meet. Are you able to extend your holiday and wait until the stay in place emergency is lifted? I am glad you are both in good health, but you want to take all care to stay that way, and not take any risks. You have a decade on me, and there is no way I would take an almost border to border trip in the current climate.

    Lifey
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 04-12-2020 at 06:44 PM. Reason: clarification

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,122

    Default

    If you must do this, it's really not that bad. Gas stations and most hotels are open, and food is available for drive through or curbside pickup. These services are essential to serve the truck drivers delivering goods. I would stock up on non-perishable foods for the trip that you can eat in the car. Restaurants offering takeout are limiting their hours. Note that Michigan is on a very strict stay at home edict, only things essential to life are available. Even Walmart has closed sections of their stores that sell non-essential items such as clothes and shoes.

    We do need to know where in Michigan you are going, this will affect the recommended routing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,123

    Default Limited Options

    First, just to be clear, we cannot offer medical advice and we don't know your exact situation, so whatever suggestions we might offer have to be filtered through your own judgement. Personally, having already canceled two trips for this spring and summer because they entailed flying, I understand your absolute reluctance to take that mode of transport. Also, I agree with Lifey that if postponing this trip is at all an option, that's what you should do. If you decide that you must make this trip there are rules you must keep in mind AND be aware that each state is in charge of closing it's roads, services, and other facilities. At least check each state's web pages for shelter-in-place orders and other decrees that might simply make your trip illegal if not impossible.

    Let's start with some general travel rules. I would stay away from major Interstates. Not because those roads themselves are more dangerous, but because they are the main traffic arteries and the essential thing you want to do is to stay away from people. Much of the 'old' US Highway system is still out there and while slower than the Interstate system, that relaxed pace may be just what you want. Using those roads means that you can stop for gas and other essentials in small towns that otherwise have less contact with the rest of the 'world' and as noted, minimal contact is what you're after.

    Like other accommodations, motels on these roads will have seen reduced occupancy, and will not only be happy for your business, but might have rooms available that haven't been used for several days. Ask for that. I'd also make sure I had a mask (check the CDC website for instruction on how to make your own) and rubber or latex gloves for handling anything, including gas pumps, on your trip. Remember to turn them inside out when you take them off - i.e. touch only one side (the inside) of the gloves.

    As to a specific route, here's just one possibility: Leave Tempe on AZ-87 to Payson and then take AZ-260 to Show Low and US-60 east. At Hooker OK switch over to US-54 and stay with that to Pittsfield IL. At this point you'll be getting into a more congested area so staying on 'back' roads will become more difficult. So from Pittsfield to Kalamazoo, you can use a few Interstates, indeed you almost have to, but I'd still swing well around Chicago by using I-72 to Champaign, then I-57 to Onarga. 'Finally' use US-24 to Logansport and IN-25/US-31 to South Bend, US-20 and IN-15 to Michigan and then MI-103/US-131 to the Kalamazoo area, which I used as a 'destination'. Once there, you'll know better how to get to your ultimate goal than I do.

    Again, the above routing is just one possibility. The main idea is to find a route that keeps you as far away from everyone else as possible. Because you'll be using slower and less direct routes, the drive will take a bit longer than normal and a lot longer than on-line mapping routines will tell you is possible. If your 'home' is in far southwest Michigan, you might be able to make it in four very solid days of driving, but plan on five at least.

    And the best of luck to you.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 04-12-2020 at 03:18 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,122

    Default

    I'm going to disagree with Buck here - I would stay on the Interstates, taking appropriate bypasses around large cities. I just wouldn't leave the car near any large city, I'd stay and obtain services at smaller towns along the Interstates. The traffic will be way down except for trucks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,178

    Default Really?

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    ... it's really not that bad.
    Ask the thousands of families and friends in NJ, NY, MA and numberous other places, who have lost loved ones. Their inconsolable grief at not being able to have been there to comfort them in their last moments, and in many cases not being able to have a planned send off.

    All over the world it has now been proven that staying at home and not mingling in public is the one and only way to beat this scourge - until a vaccine is available. Even then it is debatable as to how safe we can be.

    Those who work in essential businesses which are still open are heroes; they put their lives on the line each and every day. It is difficult in those places to keep up physical distancing. Wearing masks and gloves helps to an extend, but are no secure way of not getting the virus. Just look at how many doctors and nurses have now died - even those who had all the PPE they needed.

    It is a very bad thing, and needs to be treated as such at all times.

    Lifey

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, CO.
    Posts
    397

    Default

    Michigan is presently a hot spot. I don't think it's a good idea to go there.

    My parents are about the OP's age and their facility has them staying in their apartment and no visitors are allowed. (Seattle). My 91 year old friend is similarly confined to her facility - no visitors. (Loveland, CO.)

    Colorado has several counties that have prohibited non-residents on their roads. I'm pretty sure that doesn't apply to the interstate but it suggests that travelers might not be welcome lately.

  9. Default

    I don't have a route for you but just a heads up. I know that Utah is not on your route but I just read that Utah is going to start making people who enter the state complete a travel declaration form. I wonder if other states will follow.

    https://www.abc4.com/news/drivers-en...arting-friday/

    Utahtea

  10. Default

    Stay out of Michigan until it’s well past it’s peak. I have relatives working in the hospitals and their ICUs are packed. God forbid, you DO get sick, you don’t want to be there now.

    As a retired healthcare worker, let me warn you about masks.

    To protect yourself, you need an N95 mask, which you probably will find impossible to obtain. All the other masks are to protect OTHERS from YOUR cough and spit. Furthermore, these N95 masks must bu professionally FIT TESTED to your face to ensure that you are provided with one that fits you. I know. I fit tested thousands of employees! An improper mask or an improperly fitted mask may only give you a false sense of security and offer little protection. If you have dentures, it may be impossible to get a good fit with any mask.

    If I had to travel over such a distance, and you don’t, I would consider flying. Check with your airline. From what I gather, the planes are flying 90% empty in order to promote social distancing within. You’re only in the plane for several hours six feet or more away from the closest passenger. Check if this is true for your flight. But again, I would stay put.

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