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Driving to California - Page 2

post #16 of 38
My cousin just emigrated from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. He and his friend decided to spend the least possible time on interstates. They sent me a photo, posing in front of giant tractors in Gallup, N.M.

It sounded like a lot of fun.
post #17 of 38
You San Diegans will not tempt me. I am breathing. I am focusing on my breathing. There is nothing but my breathing. In. Out. In IHATEYOUALL Out.

There, all better.

Arethusa, my fiancee and I did the San-Francisco-to-Philly drive two years ago, when we moved out here. Honestly, and no offense to any of the good people from the Midwest, but really, I didn't see any reason to stop in Ohio/Iowa/Nebraska/etc, except sleep. Wyoming was beautiful, though. Really majestic. We just took the 80. That got us out here pretty quickly, and on the western end of the drive it's pretty nice--Reno and the mountains, out into the salt flats, through Salt Lake City, eventually into southern Wyoming. If you decided to reverse those directions, you could head south along the California coast once you hit San Francisco, and THAT would be beautiful. Hwy 1 all down the coast... so good.

BUT if you want to take a real road trip, you'll probably want to take a route that doesn't have you driving 100mph in a straight line for days to start with.
post #18 of 38
As your attorney, I advise you to rent a very fast car with no top.
post #19 of 38
Drive a vintage Alfa Romeo at top speed with Iggy Pop's "I Am A Passenger" on.
post #20 of 38
if new orleans were still intact, i'd say you have to stop there. but since the big easy still hasn't recovered, i suggest taking a northern route. driving thru texas, new mexico, and arizona is not a trip worth taking.
post #21 of 38
Originally Posted by j
As your attorney, I advise you to rent a very fast car with no top.

You just inspired me to start reading again.
post #22 of 38
If you are driving through Nevada, watch out for state troopers, or the highway patrol.
post #23 of 38
Originally Posted by Brian SD
You just inspired me to start reading again.
Eh, rent it. Reading is so last millenium.
post #24 of 38
if you smoke on long drives, remember to bring along something to put in your cigarette butts THAT DOESNT BURN.
post #25 of 38
And watch out for crying Native Americans.
post #26 of 38
Originally Posted by Tokyo Slim
And watch out for crying Native Americans.

post #27 of 38
The community college route is an excellent way to gain your residency in California (1-year) so you can attend a UC school at the resident tuition.

I like the bring a tent idea.

Arches and Joshua Tree are my favorite places to stop on the way out west.
post #28 of 38
For the true taste of Americana, your trip must include stops at:

Mt. Rushmore
Wall Drug
The Corn Palace

There is nothing else to do out there (SD and Iowa) so you may as well take pictures of goofy stuff. Well, not that Mt. R is goofy--it's quite cool I think--but Wall Drug and The Corn Palace are definitely goofy.

Isn't Car Henge somewhere along the route also?

I've driven across country three times (WA-NH, VA-WA, WA-MD) and on none of the occassions was it excatly fun.

The last trip did involve a stop in Chicago for the 4th of July though, which was pretty cool. As well as stops at the places above (and Little Bighorn, Devil's Tower, and a few other places). The first two trips were just straight-out drives and that is fine. Get it over with.

10 hours/day should get your there in what 5 days?

It's not absolutely necessary, but I would recommend booking a couple hotels before leaving just to make sure. That way you have gauranteed lodging and you have a goal to aim for. You would be surprised where you find booked hotels (the middle of nowhere Wyoming as an example).

post #29 of 38
From Connecticut, I guess it'd be easier to take the northern route, but from I understand from others who've done it, the northern route isn't particularly interesting driving until you get to South Dakota or so. The southern route, on the other hand, is interesting driving as soon as you get past Tennessee into Arkansas (then Oklahoma). I agree with the tent suggestion -- I slept in my tent about 1/2 the nights I drove cross country. There are lots of campsites out there if you find the websites/books that list them. Sleeping in your car is very bleak if you've been in it all day already, so I'd plan to stay the night occasionally in a Super 8 motel, which are everywhere and are very cheap ($45/night or so as long as you're not near a metro area).

Anyway, unless you have to be out in CA in a hurry, you really, really ought to plan a route so that you meander through the parks in Utah (Zion, Bryce, Grand Canyon, and Lake Powell you'll remember forever), go to Yellowstone and spend at least 2 days there (pay $12 to get your own private campsite on the shores of a one of the lakes -- incredible experience), and get up to Montana if you can (go trout fishing in Ennis).

When I drove cross-country, I found that a 10-12 or even 15 hour day of driving wasn't nearly as gruelling as it sounds -- you set the cruise control on 78, and the scenery is so good (on the Route 40 route anyway) that the miles and hours just fly by.

Good luck. I'm envious.
post #30 of 38
Depending upon your sense of adventure or unquenchable thirst for Americana at its best, either of these two volumes might serve as a rough roadmap to a trip of a lifetime:
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