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Thread: 8500 mile rt

  1. #1
    Mike M Guest

    Default Any ideas

    Hi all, im new here. Me and 2 friends are taking a 8,500 mile rt trip this summer and were doing it more or less as quick as we can. we figure about 6 days total driving time, meaning 144 hours in the car. Ready for the shocker? were gonna try and do it in about 3.5 weeks, and were going as cheep as we can, stayin mostly at koas, relitves, or youth hostiles. Any suggestions? The reason for the trip is to see the country and relax, so we have a general idea of where we wanna be when and how long itll take us from place to place but not how long well stay at each place. Were traveling from Rochester/Buffalo NY to Mt Rushmore& badlands, denver, san francisco, vegas, new orleans florida, dc, nyc, boston and back. There are more stops in there but those are the biggies, would love any advice. thanx all

  2. #2


    Wow! That's a whirlwind tour if I ever saw one! I thought my trip of 10,000 miles in 2 months went by too quickly. I wouldn't count on a lot of relaxing with the itinerary that you have set out for yourselves if you are going to explore at each stop. One of the challenges that I find when planning a road trip is determining how much to drive and how much to stay in once place. If you drive long days, you pass by more stuff (stops, places to explore, etc) on the road, but you have a day or two to explore the places you really want to see. If you drive short days, you get to see a lot more, but your time for exploration isn't as long. You sort of have to find that balance yourself.

    Camping is always a great money saver, but the trade of is in the ammenities, obviously. Staying with family, friends, friends of family, and family of friends is always a cheap way to go! You can usually get two or three meals out of the deal as well! I camped out in friends' yards several times, but I still got a hot meal and shower and plenty of hospitality.

    I plugged your rough road trip itinerary into my DeLorme Street Atlas software to see what it would look like. Here's a screen shot:

  3. Default I doubt it!

    I agree -- it's going to be a driving kind of trip. Your estimate of 144 hours is optimistic and I doubt you'll achieve it -- this drive is more in the neighborhood of 163+ hours. This means 6.6 hours in the car every single day of the 3.5 weeks. You can do it, but it's very ambitious and I hope you guys all get along really well... Bob

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Ontario Canada

    Default Crazier than Me!

    1 day seeing Boston
    to NYC - 3.5 hrs minimum / 216 miles
    1 day seeing NYC (take a bus tour hop on/off - there's no way you'll have time for more)
    to Washington DC - 3.5 hrs minimum / 226 miles
    1 day seeing Washington

    21 hrs / 1300 miles to Orlando FL
    1 day seeing Orlando

    11 hrs / 640 miles - Orlando to New Orleans
    1 day in New Orleans

    (8 days have been used up already)

    New Orleans to Dallas - 9 hrs / 495 miles
    to Oklahoma City - 3 hrs / 208 miles
    (at least see the bombing memorial)
    to Grand Canyon - 15 hrs / 962 miles
    1 day at Grand Canyon
    6+ hrs / 360 miles to Las Vegas

    9 hrs / 575 miles to San Francisco
    1 day in San Fran
    19 hrs / 1270 miles to Denver

    (19 days minimum used up already)

    You mention only 3-1/2 weeks to do the entire route? Hate to burst your bubble, but it's not looking good.

    Anyhow - to quickly carry on...

    Denver to Mt. Rushmore 7 hrs / 400 miles
    to Badlands NP 2 hrs / 78 miles
    to Niagara Falls 23 hrs / 1500 miles
    to Boston 7 hrs / 470 miles

    All of the above is estimated fastest driving time only. Realistically, you can add a few hours to EVERY leg of the journey. There is no time consideration for fuel fill-ups, pit stops, road closures, delays & detours, & traffic back-ups around all the big cities. It does not include TIME to SEE anything.

    Why not leave off the outer limits - Boston, Florida, & San Francisco ? You could even skip New Orleans if that was the only place you are interested in down south. Head straight across from Washington DC to Grand Canyon.

  5. #5


    I suppose anything is possible. I went at my own pace and covered 20,000mi in a little more than three months.

    Just make sure you enjoy yourselves and don't get caught up with "making miles".

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Ontario Canada

    Default Wow!

    That would have been GREAT! Wish I had the time / holidays from work to be able to go for 3 months at once.

    You did 20,000 in a little more than 3 months (average 6,666 miles per 4 weeks). Our original poster wants to do 8,500 in 3 1/2 weeks!

    'Tis possible, but I think they'll need some recovery time when they get back (ha!).

  7. #7


    If they keep to interstate highways they're looking at about 6hrs/day driving (a conservative figure). Keeping that pace for 3.5wks is definetly possible.

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