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Old 12-21-2014, 05:51 PM
 
Location: ATL & LA
927 posts, read 1,394,747 times
Reputation: 1403

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I am planning on driving cross-country (Stamford, CT to the Los Angeles area) either the week of January 19th or the last week in January. I will be driving with a friend, and even though I'm moving, I'm only taking what will fit in my small Fiat.

We plan on taking about a week to do this trip, so we don't need to take the fastest/most direct route. We need a route where snow will be less likely to impact our journey at that time of year.

What do you think of this route? The cities listed would be where we stay a night:
- Asheville, NC (stay in hotel)
- New Orleans, LA (stay with friends)
- Austin, TX (stay with family)
- Marfa, TX (stay in hotel)
- Santa Fe, NM (stay in hotel)
- Phoenix, AZ (stay with friends)

What do you think?
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Old 12-21-2014, 06:22 PM
 
16,507 posts, read 20,906,955 times
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I've always wanted to visit the southwest area of Texas, particularly Big Bend National Park and the McDonald Observatory! (Marfa area)

Santa Fe is a nice place to visit but as you are coming up from southeast New Mexico from say Carlsbad and Roswell--about 40 miles north of Roswell don't be surprised if you run into snow. I've had to stay in Vaughn a time or two in my traveling days because of road closures. Vaughn's elevation is 5900 ft. and the snow can stack up at times!

As you are heading west out of Albuquerque you can run into snow by the time you get to the Grants/Gallup area. But what rolls in between Gallup, Holbrook, and Winslow isn't so much lots of snow but lots of wind. Now Flagstaff? Heh heh, here's a story for ya. I live in western Colorado and know a lot about driving in the snow. March 20th 2 years ago I rolled into Flagstaff wanting to stay in Phoenix and watch a few days of exhibition baseball. I planned on getting a 5 a.m. start out of the motel as there was a storm rolling in. My mistake was not going further and staying in Cordes Jct. instead. Two days and 3 feet of snow later I was able to get out of Flagstaff. A squirrelly storm because if you could get out of the town itself, say 10 miles north of town, you would see no snow. That's NORTH of town. The good thing about Flagtown is that it has a ton of motels as it's a Route 66 town. Not that I dislike the area, in fact I LOVE Flagstaff! Just know what ya run into.

I know my way around Interstate 10 pretty well. A more favorable route would be to stay on 10 all the way. In my traveling days I've stayed in Ozona, Van Horn, El Paso, Las Cruces, Deming, Willcox, Tucson, and Phoenix. Plenty of accommodations, and decent restaurants.

Last edited by DOUBLE H; 12-21-2014 at 07:02 PM.. Reason: addition, spelling
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Old 12-21-2014, 08:50 PM
Status: "On The Lookout" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,396 posts, read 61,782,091 times
Reputation: 31955
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKiwi View Post
I am planning on driving cross-country (Stamford, CT to the Los Angeles area)
either the week of January 19th or the last week in January.
Weather is the biggest concern.

Plan to go SOUTH (I95 to I85) then WEST (I20)
http://goo.gl/maps/gvuhX
It's over 3000 miles btw

YOUR route is more like 3600 miles
http://goo.gl/maps/udB2Y

Quote:
We plan on taking about a week to do this trip
You need to have more time.
You'll need a week just to do the straight run slab driving part.

3600 miles = 60 hours = 8 days
That allows 8 hours behind the wheel. Even with two drivers it'll get old fast.

If you want to stop and do or see anything... those hours are extra.
Let alone any 300 mile side trip.

otoh... if you have TWO weeks you can plan a trip that hits all those spots you listed.
Trying to hold a schedule in January though... is TOUGH.

Quote:
so we don't need to take the fastest/most direct route.
Yeah you do. And you can't do too many of those stops.
On a day by day (weather based) basis do a brief side trip.

Quote:
We need a route where snow will be less likely to impact our journey at that time of year.
Here ya go:
Attached Thumbnails
Moving cross-country... route questions-ct-la.png  

Last edited by MrRational; 12-21-2014 at 09:02 PM..
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Old 12-21-2014, 09:10 PM
 
Location: ATL & LA
927 posts, read 1,394,747 times
Reputation: 1403
Thanks so much for these insightful responses! A lot to ponder here... I think 8 days sounds reasonable.
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Old 12-22-2014, 02:21 AM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,199,644 times
Reputation: 14905
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKiwi View Post
I think 8 days sounds reasonable.
reasonable if weather and/or road condition delays don't come into the picture.

keep in mind that there are several situations which may be a factor on any given day:

1) a storm in progress where limited visibility and poor road surfaces makes for slow going or is difficult enough to justify finding a place to stay so you can wait out the storm

2) high winds causing blowing/drifting snow across the roadway, causing limited visibility and/or icy road conditions, again causing you to slow down and/or consider finding a place to stay so you can wait out the adverse conditions

3) icy/slick roads after a storm passage, causing you to need to slow down

500 mile average days aren't a problem in clear driving conditions, it's the potential for adverse conditions if storm passages present that may be a problem. Taking the furthest south routes may avoid that prospect, but can add substantial mileage to your cross-country trip. Be prepared to need to stop enroute to wait out weather. And consider stopping sooner than later ... many towns along your intended route may have limited motel accomodations and sell out quickly; you don't want to be in the position of pressing onward into a storm track only to find that the next town you've reached is sold out and even parking space at a truck stop is at a premium to find. Been there, done that more than a few times on I-80, I-70, & I-10 traveling in the winter months. Even I-8 has had it's moments with intense rainstorms creating inclement weather driving where progress was very slow due to limited visibility.

Best to keep your route options open until the last minute. Watch the storm tracks & forecasts in the week before and keep up with the road conditions reports for your intended route. It doesn't take a widespread regional storm to create localized conditions which may be trip stoppers for a day or so. As well, if the weather/road conditions look favorable for your trip for a more direct route, take advantage of the situation as you can. Consider, too, that just because a route is not closed in storming conditions doesn't mean that it isn't a difficult drive and you'll need to adjust your speed and distance expectation for a given day.

Last edited by sunsprit; 12-22-2014 at 02:30 AM..
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