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Old 08-02-2008, 06:29 PM
 
9 posts, read 37,435 times
Reputation: 12

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I did the drive in 2003, in a rented cargo van, doing the speed limit or just under. Took me 29 hours. I drove over to Kerrville, then caught I-10 all the way out to LA. I did it in one shot, and I wouldn't recommend it. I used to be a bit of a "road warrior" and did lots of long-distance runs - Austin to Orlando FL, Austin to the Black Hills of South Dakota, Austin to Moab, Utah - all were done without stops other than for gas, food, and bathroom breaks.

I'm not as young as I used to be.

Mike
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Old 08-02-2008, 10:36 PM
 
Location: Dallas, Texas
485 posts, read 1,769,052 times
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We do the Austin-Phoenix-Austin drive about twice a year...usually with a dog. In fact, we just did it three weeks ago.

LA to Phx is about 7 hours.
Phx to Las Cruces is about 6 hours - 45 more minutes to El Paso.
El Paso to Fort Stockton is about 3 hours.
Fort Stockton to Austin is about 7 hours.

Our times are based on stopping for a few doggie potties and to eat somewhere and let the kids stretch their legs...although I also have a lead foot. I normally go about 8 miles over depending on where we are.

If I were doing your trip, I'd probably stop in Phoenix and Fort Stockton. If you do stop in Phoenix, go all the way through on I-10 to Mesa (Southeast quadrant of Phx past the airport)...that will be the safest area. The drive from Phx to Tucson is dangerous - two lanes and cars flying by and lots of trucks and busy. Tucson is going through a huge interstate redo so pretty much you can't get off for about five or eight miles right through the middle of town. I'd suggest skipping Tucson because once you get off the interstate, it will be a pain to get back on with all the construction.

Fort Stockton has a gorgeous Hampton Inn that doesn't take pets (damn!), but there are a few other tolerable La Quinta - Holiday Inn Express types that do take pets. The most exciting thing to eat in Fort Stockton is Subway...so we usually stop in El Paso for dinner.

We don't usually stay in Las Cruces because it smells like a feedlot (smelly cow urine mud) and if the wind is blowing just right...ick.

East side of El Paso is a pretty good place to stay with easy on/off and lots of restaurants and La Quinta type places.

If you are traveling on a Friday or Saturday night, make a reservation in advance for Fort Stockton or Van Horn (about in between El Paso and Ft. Stockton). Since they are the only towns out in the boondocks, you might end up with a really disgusting room - or no room at all - depending on when you get into town.

The DPS troopers will pull you over in West Texas for going not that much over the speed limit (more than 3 or 4 miles over), which is 80. They are sneaky and sit just below hillcrests, so they'll clock you before you can slow down.

Time changes...you're going to lose an hour when you cross the Arizona/New Mexico state line. You'll lose another hour just west of Van Horn. So keep those in mind when you are planning dinner and arrival time at hotels.
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:50 AM
 
4 posts, read 9,463 times
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Default Just Did The Drive

Hey, we just got back from a trip to LA. We stopped in El Paso/Las Cruces, Phoenix then Long Beach. Go to Dog & Pet Friendly Hotels & Pet Travel - TRIPSwithPETS.com for a full listing of hotels by city.

I recommend the Towne Place Suites in Las Cruces. Very pet friendly with a kitchen and refrigerator. Super clean and easy to get to the room from the parking lot.

The longest stretch was between Austin and El Paso. The traffic in EP sucked but cleared up until we hit Phoenix. It was scorching in Phoenix; 110!

Gas was $3.90ish until you hit AZ. It started at $4.09 then reached $4.50 by CA.

Hope this helps...
NewCitizen of Austin
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Old 08-03-2008, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Republic of Texas or The Land of Enchantment
550 posts, read 1,402,452 times
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Question Pool anyone???

Let's start a pool on the actual drive time. It seems we are all over the scale because we drive so different, But a lot of it can have to do with when you catch traffic going through the bigger cities. How about it Readymade, You should take a shot first. and stops don't count just drive time.
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Old 08-03-2008, 01:54 PM
 
Location: SoCal
2,262 posts, read 6,403,188 times
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Wow, these responses are GREAT! This is fantastic information. Thank you so much!! "They" should make this thread sticky, in my opinion.

Maybe I'll take a stab at documenting everything, Pipeweld. That's not a bad idea, actually! Speed, rest stops, etc...
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Republic of Texas or The Land of Enchantment
550 posts, read 1,402,452 times
Reputation: 779
Thumbs up Safe trip!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by readymade View Post
Wow, these responses are GREAT! This is fantastic information. Thank you so much!! "They" should make this thread sticky, in my opinion.

Maybe I'll take a stab at documenting everything, Pipeweld. That's not a bad idea, actually! Speed, rest stops, etc...
Yeah it would be great if you could let us know. But mainly ya'll have a fun and safe trip!!!
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Old 08-04-2008, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Austin TX
1,584 posts, read 4,098,262 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewCitizen View Post

Hope this helps...
NewCitizen of Austin
Welcome to ATX

Great thread, I think a time/#stops poll would be inorder
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Old 08-04-2008, 09:49 PM
 
24 posts, read 77,833 times
Reputation: 15
The secret to these trips is to enjoy the ride...even with pets (or maybe BECAUSE of the pets...they force you to stop and look around.) Take your time and stop frequently. I have done the trip from CA a few times and contrary to popular opinion, it's fantastic! Especially the ride across West Texas...it's almost like driving across Mars. Plenty of places take pets nowadays (even 3 dogs and a cat). But have your AAA book on traveling with pets handy to prepare.
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Old 08-04-2008, 10:10 PM
 
609 posts, read 1,909,257 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanmiguel View Post
Depends on how fast you drive and how much time you like to spend at rest stops. Ventura to Phoenix is about 6 1/2 hrs. After staying there overnight, I would suggest you spend the next 9 boring hours driving to Fort Stockton where there are plenty of motels (don't know about pet friendly) from there it is a little over 5 hours through the hill country to Austin.
We just made the drive and no rooms available in Fort Stockton. They are all rented monthly to the oil patch workers. We got there at 11pm and had to continue for another 3 hours to find a room.
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Old 08-05-2008, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Dallas, Texas
485 posts, read 1,769,052 times
Reputation: 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregandvicky View Post
We just made the drive and no rooms available in Fort Stockton. They are all rented monthly to the oil patch workers. We got there at 11pm and had to continue for another 3 hours to find a room.
As I said...if you know you're going to be there that night, you need to make a reservation. If you arrive late, you'll end up with a gross room or no room and there's no other option b/c you're out in the middle of nowhere.
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