I've been contemplating taking a roadtrip across Arizona. The catch is that i'd be alone for a good part of it. Has anyone taken trips solo before? Can anyone give me advice regarding traveling alone? Is it really as bad an idea as one of my friends thinks? Any advice will help greatly, thanks.
I almost always drive solo, have for over 20 years, and have never had a problem doing so. What are the major concerns expressed by your friends?
I would have to say you'd need to be a person that enjoys solitude in order to completely enjoy it, but it works for me. Plus, no one else has to listen to my abominable, yet enthusiastic, singing.
Do you have a route already in mind for Arizona?
The major concern is, since i'd be alone, i'd be a more inticing target for attack. Unlikely i know, but i've been hearing it alot. Also, they are worried about the reliablity of my truck, which i intend to take care of by having it inspected the sunday before i leave.
My route takes me along the stretch of I-8 from Yuma to I-10 to Tuscon, then along parts of 60 to holbrook then I-40 for the trip home back to Callie. How is I-8? What about the stretch of 64/180 to the Grand Canyon? Are there any areas that I should be concerned about if i have a break down or flat?
If your truck is in good shape, and reliable at home, it'll be reliable on the road as well. I don't see eye to eye with those who say travel in the USA is unsafe, solo or otherwise. No disrespect to your friends, but my opinion is those are irrational fears -- millions of people travel each year with no problems. You are no safer at home, than you are on the road -- there is just as much opportunity and luck in encountering a "bad guy" there as there is on the road.
Suggestions for your route:
I-8 is straight and flat, & follows the historical overland route across southern AZ. It is low desert. Somewhere between Wellton and Sentinel, keep your eyes peeled (to the right, or south side of the highway) for a round water tank (metal), stands about 50 feet high maybe. This is left over from steam locomotive days, when the Southern Pacific RR ran this route across the desert toward Tucson and points east. They had to have the water to keep the locomotives running -- no water, no steam. The prettiest time to drive this stretch is sun-up or sundown, when desert colors and shadows are the clearest.
From Tucson north, you'll really like SR77 up to Globe. It's desert, but is very scenic. As an alternative, you might try US191 from near Willcox, up to Safford and Eagar (be careful to check road conditions though, it can be closed by snow). There is a roadtrip report on this stretch of road here on RTA -- if you want to read it, use this <a href="http://www.roadtripamerica.com/drives/Coronado-Trail.htm">LINK<a/>.
Once you get up to Holbrook, be sure to visit the Petrified Forest National Park. Also, if you have time, continue up US191 to Chinle and Canyon de Chelly. It's one of Arizona's top attractions, in my opinion (and often stated on this board). You'd need an extra day for that, if you have the time. The Hubbel Trading Post Historic Site is on the way, near Ganado.
If you do go to Canyon de Chelly, try SR264 back to Tuba City, and go to the Grand Canyon from the east on SR64, then return south via SR64 to Williams, and on to California via old route 66 (Seligman to Topock) or SR89 south from Ash Fork to Prescott, and on to US60 at Aguila. Either of these routes is very scenic. After leaving the Grand Canyon, there is an extension of Chino's Planes of Fame Museum at Valle, which is at the junction of SR64 and US180 about 25 or 30 miles south of the Grand Canyon. If you like airplanes, they've got a great little display there. You can't miss it, look for Douglas McArthur's Lockheed Constellation transport on the right as you go through "town." (Don't blink)
"try US191 from near Willcox, up to Safford and Eagar (be careful to check road conditions though, it can be closed by snow."
How is the weather in Arizona at the end of March to the beginning of April. All the people i've talked to said that inless your really high up, snow that can cause problems is a real freak occurance.
You've been a huge help, thank you so much
Most places in Arizona, March and April are PERFECT for driving and living -- temps are typically 70s daytime, still cold at night in the high country. However, US191 near Hannagan Meadow or Alpine is about 9,000 feet MSL, so snow can be heavy up there. The road is not plowed frequently, if at ALL, so when it does snow, it can be closed for days. Do not attempt to take it unless you know for a fact it is open -- it is a remote area and if you get stuck, help can be hours away -- or days, depending on whether you are on or off road. If you want up to date current information, you could call the Lodge at Hannagan Meadow -- you can find them on the WWW.
I called the Lodge at Hannagan Meadow, and Diane told me that the road is usually open, although at times un-plowed. She says it rarely if ever "officially" closes, and locals driving it anyway, despite conditions, keep it "plowed" in that sense. She said in late March, it is very unlikely there'd be any trouble at all. (By the way, if you are looking for a place to stay in that vicinity, THIS is the place. The setting is perfect.) Bob
You shouldn't worry too much about potential attacks, Arizonans are usually very friendly. Of course, agressions are always possible everywhere, wether it's in your hometown or somewhere else, but you shouldn't make a paranoia out of it or you'll miss all the fun:-). I'm a 24 yrs old woman, I've been road tripping since the age of 16 through US and Canada and never ran into any kind of major trouble so you really shouldn't worry too much.
About your truck, well if it's a big concern of yours, you should get an AAA membership, have a cell phone in the truck and I assume you know how to fix a flat tire and other minor breakdowns that might happen. Just don't forget your tools!:o)
Have a fun trip!
thanks for the reassurance, i appreciate it
More about Traveling SOLO
Contrary to popular opinions, and this is an echo of what Bob and Gen have said, traveling solo is no problem. Just remember, about 89% of the people you come across are just friends you haven't met yet (yes, there are still good people in America). Just remember: Be aware, no hitchhikers, and don't hitchhike yourself (certain situations of course may dictate otherwise, but thats a personal judgement call).
My advice for your car is to have its routine servicing done on it just before the trip. Have the fluids checked and filled, oil changed, tires examined, brakes inspected, etc. That's the best to making sure your trip won't end up a call to me (for those who are familiar with RTA boards, I work with AAA road service).
Personally, I like driving solo, it allows me to just take what ever road I want and not have any "backseat drivers".
Just remember a few more things when on the road- 1) Know where you are. 2) Keep your cell phone charged (pack or buy a car charger, very important). 3) Know someone you can call if you do find your self in trouble.
But other than that, you really don't need to fret. You drive solo everyday when you commute don't you, driving long distance is no different.
Again, 89% of the people out there are friends you haven't met yet.