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  1. Default Seattle to DC with sightseeing and coronavirus?

    After threatening to do so for a couple of years, I'm seriously thinking of driving my rising junior to her college in Washington DC, from Seattle, WA. The thought of us being on a plane is really stressful, in this time of masks and disinfectants. Of course, I'd have to balance staying in hotels/motels.

    In any case, we'd probably pretty much drive 7-9 hours/day, to not have the trip take too much time. We've been across the country several times, most recently last summer with a drive that took us as far as Montreal, Quebec. So, we're veteran roadtrippers, as a family. But what I am really asking, what would be some good, lesser-known, less popular sights to see, that we can use to break up the trip along the way.

    Anyone done a cross-country recently? Hotels/motels? I don't think we could camp....but I'd consider it if we felt that was the safer option.

    Thanks for any thoughts/advice/input!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,970

    Default We Have Lists

    ...of just such places, both embedded in the workings of our own mapping software and as stand alone of quiet attractions every couple of hours along the major cross country Interstates. If/once you have a route we'll see if we can offer some specific sites to match your taste[s].

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,543

    Default Good pace.

    In any case, we'd probably pretty much drive 7-9 hours/day, to not have the trip take too much time.
    It is good to pace yourself evenly on a cross country route, it is a marathon and not a sprint. Do not be fooled by electronic mapping programs time estimates though, as they don't belong in the 'real world' where construction and congestion can cause delays and us mere humans need to use the bathroom, have some rest and stretch our limbs and the need to refuel ourselves and the vehicle. With this in mind you should think of 7-9 hours as between 400 and 500 miles with those appropriate stops and thats the distance where you should be looking at places you like the look of to spend the night. (Adjusting accordingly if you want to spend a bit more time checking out an attraction on any given day) That will mean 5 overnight stops and 6 days of travel and that could become a nice adventure for you both to share.

  4. Default

    As far as hotels go, here are some suggestions. Note that contamination risk from Surface contact still has not been proven to be a significant way to get infected. Nevertheless, decontaminating a room can be done in about 30 minutes. These precautions might be a bit extreme, yet doable.

    Get a ground room floor to avoid elevators or having to touch handrails in stairwells.

    Bring your own sheet, blanket and pillowcase. You might want a change of sheet and pillowcase for every night. Throw the hotel stuff in a corner.

    Bring slippers or whatever to avoid walking barefoot.

    Not all disinfectants kill Covid! Check yours with the EPA
    https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-regist...cov-2-covid-19

    Remember, surfaces MUST remain WET for the appropriate amount of time! Alcohol 60 seconds, bleach 5 minutes! Simply wiping something down and walking away might be a waste of time. Follow the DISINFECTING directions on the product.

    Wipe down the room keys. Then the outer door lock and surrounding area.

    Inside, wipe every light switch AND immediate surrounding area you are likely to touch when turning on the lights. Same goes for door knobs, drawer pulls etc.

    Wipe down sink and countertops. Clear off all tabletops. You don’t need the TV guide etc.

    Put the tv remote control in a zip lock bag. With all the crevices, you really can’t decontaminate it well, but it still works fine in the bag.

    Thoroughly clean the heat/ac unit. Maybe wear gloves when handling it. You should be using gloves fueling up as well.

    Imagine that every single surface in the room is covered in wet paint, or honey, or superglue.

  5. #5

    Default

    After reading these guidelines I would certainly opt for camping where possible! It certainly won't take longer to pitch a tent and cook a meal. The only area of concern would be in the bathroom and showers, just take the necessary precautions and always after exiting wash your hands with disinfectant. Obtain some N95 masks if possible for self-protection in the restrooms. Rest of the time you can wear standard cloth masks.

    Quote Originally Posted by travelingman View Post
    As far as hotels go, here are some suggestions. Note that contamination risk from Surface contact still has not been proven to be a significant way to get infected. Nevertheless, decontaminating a room can be done in about 30 minutes. These precautions might be a bit extreme, yet doable.

    Get a ground room floor to avoid elevators or having to touch handrails in stairwells.

    Bring your own sheet, blanket and pillowcase. You might want a change of sheet and pillowcase for every night. Throw the hotel stuff in a corner.

    Bring slippers or whatever to avoid walking barefoot.

    Not all disinfectants kill Covid! Check yours with the EPA
    https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-regist...cov-2-covid-19

    Remember, surfaces MUST remain WET for the appropriate amount of time! Alcohol 60 seconds, bleach 5 minutes! Simply wiping something down and walking away might be a waste of time. Follow the DISINFECTING directions on the product.

    Wipe down the room keys. Then the outer door lock and surrounding area.

    Inside, wipe every light switch AND immediate surrounding area you are likely to touch when turning on the lights. Same goes for door knobs, drawer pulls etc.

    Wipe down sink and countertops. Clear off all tabletops. You don’t need the TV guide etc.

    Put the tv remote control in a zip lock bag. With all the crevices, you really can’t decontaminate it well, but it still works fine in the bag.

    Thoroughly clean the heat/ac unit. Maybe wear gloves when handling it. You should be using gloves fueling up as well.

    Imagine that every single surface in the room is covered in wet paint, or honey, or superglue.

  6. Default

    Thanks for the thoughtful replies!

    As to route, I've done I-80/I-90; did a route that dipped into ID to Craters of the Moon last year; the southern route is the one we've not really done yet. I'll play with the mapping software and get some thoughts going.

    Yup, I know the "rules" about mileage, etc. :-)

    The problem with camping is...I haven't done it in years. Like many years. We have a decent tent, sleeping bags, pads, etc. Need a Coleman stove. But it's a big unknown for me, to find camping spots along a route. I know about KOA spots, and, theoretically, that there are spots in the state and national park areas. But it's intimidating. Now, is it MORE intimidating than sleeping in a hotel in the midst of a pandemic?

    Again, thanks for the replies. I'll post some potential routes soon.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,515

    Default

    If you need public camping spots along the Interstates or US highways, we have an entire forum for that purpose! There are some public campgrounds who are closed to tenters who require restrooms and showers, only opening to those units that are self-contained. That's probably not because they're trying to discriminate, but because they've closed their restrooms and don't want folks leaving human waste around.

    We are currently on a trip ourselves, just for the purpose of seeing family. A lot of stuff that travelers need, such as hotels and fuel stations, are open. We brought our own Clorox wipes, but more importantly, our own pillows! I am relatively comfortable with sheets of beds at motels being clean, but not so much pillows that many heads have laid on (and drooled on). That's normal for us, though, not just in this pandemic. We also brought masks, and wear them whenever we are around other people and/or inside -- especially in rest area facilities.

    One of the states we are planning to travel through, has many counties that are reverting to "take out and drive through" for their restaurants, closing the dine-in. But we just came through three states that has dine-in open (CA, UT and CO), at limited seating/capacity.

    As for whether a hotel or tent is more intimidating in a pandemic, is certainly your decision. If we'd still had our RV, I think we'd be traveling in it this trip. Tenting? We gave up sleeping on the ground a long time ago, even with air mattresses trying to cushion the ground. BUT it may be a choice for you.

    The other thing to consider, taking a child to college, is how much stuff she is going to be taking. If you have to add that to tents, sleeping bags, and cooking equipment....well, something to think about.


    Donna

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    629

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by travelingman View Post
    As far as hotels go, here are some suggestions. Note that contamination risk from Surface contact still has not been proven to be a significant way to get infected. Nevertheless, decontaminating a room can be done in about 30 minutes. These precautions might be a bit extreme, yet doable.

    Get a ground room floor to avoid elevators or having to touch handrails in stairwells.

    Bring your own sheet, blanket and pillowcase. You might want a change of sheet and pillowcase for every night. Throw the hotel stuff in a corner.

    Bring slippers or whatever to avoid walking barefoot.

    Not all disinfectants kill Covid! Check yours with the EPA https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-regist...cov-2-covid-19

    Remember, surfaces MUST remain WET for the appropriate amount of time! Alcohol 60 seconds, bleach 5 minutes! Simply wiping something down and walking away might be a waste of time. Follow the DISINFECTING directions on the product.

    Wipe down the room keys. Then the outer door lock and surrounding area.

    Inside, wipe every light switch AND immediate surrounding area you are likely to touch when turning on the lights. Same goes for door knobs, drawer pulls etc.

    Wipe down sink and countertops. Clear off all tabletops. You donít need the TV guide etc.

    Put the tv remote control in a zip lock bag. With all the crevices, you really canít decontaminate it well, but it still works fine in the bag

    Thoroughly clean the heat/ac unit. Maybe wear gloves when handling it. You should be using gloves fueling up as well.

    Imagine that every single surface in the room is covered in wet paint, or honey, or superglue.
    This little "to-do" list falls somewhere in between sobering and terrifying, but the crazy thing is, even if you do take your precautions to this extreme, there are still no guarantees. Travel of any kind during this pandemic is a calculated risk; we can reduce the risk to some extent (see above), but we can't eliminate it. Personally? I plain and simply wouldn't enter a room full of wet paint or super glue, much less sleep in one. I can't even imagine a circumstance where I'd willingly do that to myself--but that's me.

    This staying at home business is most certainly getting old. But (with any luck at all), it's not gonna kill me!

    Rick

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Quinn View Post
    This staying at home business is most certainly getting old. But (with any luck at all), it's not gonna kill me!

    Rick
    I hear you! Our family had several planned air and road trips that we had to cancel:-(. I am really torn on her going back to school, but the school plans to be open for a shortened in-person semester, and my kid wants to go back. Most of the gear/winter stuff was left in storage in DC, since said kid was actually on a semester abroad in Ireland when the pandemic hit.

    Everything I've read suggests that the biggest risk factors are being in close contact with other people's exhalations. Surface transmission is considered less of a risk. Of course, it's all just a balance of risk. Flying versus driving even without a pandemic is a risk.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    629

    Default There are some things can't (or shouldn't) be postponed

    If I was still a kid in college, wild horses couldn't have held me back, much less a mere pandemic, so I can definitely relate. I think it's great that you're supporting your daughter's decision, especially under these circumstances. If her school does go forward with their plan to open, do what you've got to do to keep your family as safe as possible.

    Then again, there are a lot of "open" signs flipping back around to "closed" these days, so I don't think I'd be too surprised if that in-person semester gets further postponed.

    Rick

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