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Old 05-02-2008, 10:14 PM
195 posts, read 379,001 times
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My cousin and I will be driving from Pennsylvania to California. We both will take turns driving. About how many miles will it be possible to travel in a day? And how many days do you think it will take to get there? We are coming from Northwestern, PA, near Erie, and will be going to San Diego.

I was wondering also the best route to go. We want to avoid as many toll roads as possible.
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Old 05-02-2008, 10:44 PM
Location: Southeast Idaho
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The number of days totally depends on the two of you. Do you plan on stopping and sightseeing or is your goal to beat across the States to your destination?

Are you planning on driving back to back or getting a room at all?

Drop me a PM and I have a site I use to avoid the toll roads
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Old 05-02-2008, 10:49 PM
Location: Houston, Texas
10,425 posts, read 44,642,603 times
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I did it and what a wonderful trip it was. I left central NJ and headed west on 78 somehow finding finding 70 and stayed in Columbus, Ohio the first night. Then found my way to 65 on to Nashville which I found to be a beautiful city from what little I saw. Picked up 40 from there. Some where before Memphis I stayed in a place that was across the street from Loretta Lynns restaurant and motel. What a great southern fried catfish I had.

Then through Arkansas on the 3rd day. Not a very nice place at all. Stop for gas in Tenn. because when I stopped for gas I was carefull not to open my mouth so anyone can hear my accent. They all had rifles in their windows. The swamps on 40 stunk too.

Stopped in a rain monsoon in Oklahoma for the night. Made it all the way to Albuquerque and stayed for the night and into the afternoon because I lost my muffler in Ok durning the monsoon the night before. Next day I made it to Flagstaff Az and stayed there. By the next day I was in Las Vegas. 10 years later I hate this cesspool like you will never know. Most people here do.

Anyway it was 2900 miles total and took me 5 days averaging about 600 miles a day.

It was the best ride in my life. I would do it again in a heart beat. Of course gas was about $1.40 a gallon then.......

Good luck !
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Old 05-03-2008, 06:28 AM
Location: Silver Spring, MD/Washington DC
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My brother and I drove across the country in summer 2004 from Las Vegas (visiting relatives) to south central Pennsylvania. The trip took 5 days, but would have been 4 days had my brother not needed to get his car adjusted and buy new tires in southwestern Virginia after we hit rain in Tennessee and felt like we were driving on ice. (He had an internship in southern California for the summer and it basically never rains during the summer in southern California, so he didn't know he had a problem.) I'll note we stopped along the way to check out a few sites (the meteor crater and Petrified National Forest in Arizona, Hot Springs in Arkansas, Mud Island in Memphis). We basically just used I-40 and I-81.

To travel between the Erie area and San Diego while avoiding tolls, some of the most direct routes would include:

A) Take Interstates 90 and 71 (or 79, 80, 76, and 71) to Columbus. In Columbus, get on I-70 west and go all the way to central Utah (you'll pass through the Indianapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City, and Denver areas) where I-70 ends, intersecting I-15. From there, take I-15 south to the San Diego area (you'll pass through the Las Vegas and Inland Empire - San Bernardino/Riverside area - metro areas, as well as pass by the oddly-named Zzyzx Road near Baker, CA in the Mojave Desert).

B) Take the aforementioned interstates to Columbus. Unlike the previous alternate however, stay on I-71 through Columbus and go to Louisville (passing through Cincinnati). In Louisville, take I-65 south to Nashville. In Nashville, take I-40 west to Little Rock (passing through Memphis) and get on I-30 in Little Rock. Take I-30 west to I-20 in Fort Worth (passing through Dallas). Then take I-20 west to I-10 in west Texas and follow I-10 to central Arizona where it intersects I-8 (passing through El Paso and Tucson). Finally, take I-8 west to San Diego.

As a partial alternate to route B above, when you get to Little Rock you could just stay on I-40 west. If you do that, travel on I-40 to one of the interstates that connects with I-10 or I-8 (those would be I-25 in Albuquerque, I-17 in Flagstaff, AZ, or I-15 in Barstow, CA). If you do I-25, drive south to I-10 to Las Cruces, NM and drive west on I-10 until you hit I-8 between Tuscon and Phoenix and then take I-8 west to San Diego. If you do I-17, drive south to Phoenix and then drive west on I-10 to I-15 in San Bernardino (or take AZ 85 south a little west of Phoenix to connect with I-8; two lane roads in the rural parts of the west are much different than their counterparts in the east in that you can really fly on those roads due to a lack of traffic). If you go across I-40 or I-10 to connect with I-15, just go south on I-15 towards San Diego once you hit that road.

Hope the above helps and isn't too confusing.

Last edited by CHIP72; 05-03-2008 at 06:50 AM..
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Old 05-04-2008, 09:17 PM
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Thanks for all the good advice/tips.
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Old 05-05-2008, 12:10 AM
Location: Assisi, Italy
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It sounds like this is your first cross country trip. Do not miss out on all there is to see just to save a few bucks on tolls. You are going to spend 95% of the time, money and driving to get across. You might as well see and experience as much as you can. There is much to see and most of it is free.
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Old 05-05-2008, 06:38 AM
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All interstate... no tolls.

79 south to 70 west.
70 west to 71 south.
71 south to 65 south.
65 south to 40 west.
40 west to 30 west.
30 west to 20 west.
20 west to 10 west.
10 west to 8 west
8 west to San Diego.

79 south to 70 west.
70 west to 71 south.
71 south to 65 south.
65 south to 40 west.
40 west to 25 south. (Albuquerque)
25 south to 10 west.
10 west to 8 west.
8 west into San diego
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Old 05-06-2008, 11:34 AM
710 posts, read 2,943,292 times
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Done that trip twice, once on a motorcycle. Left MA on a Monday and got to AZ on a Wednesday. With two of you sharing the driving you can get it done in three days.

No toll roads at all if you go PA - OH - IN - MO - OK - TX - NM - AZ - CA.

Stay on the 70 from PA to St. Louis, then the 44 until you get to Amarillo TX. Follow the 40 through NM to AZ, then go down to Phoenix and pick up the 10 West until you see signs for San Diego (8)
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:57 PM
Location: 2 miles from my neighbor.
462 posts, read 1,698,536 times
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One time,without stopping except for gas and food we drove from San Francisco to the mountains in North Carolina in two and a half days. It's better to take more time, and see the country. I would drop down and take 70 to Utah then hit 15.
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Old 05-08-2008, 05:04 PM
Location: West Michigan
12,084 posts, read 34,155,973 times
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It all depends on how the two of you like to drive. I have gone from Caribou, Maine to Los Angeles, CA in 3 days by myself, but that is a killer pace I wouldn't recommend to anybody. If you are not pressed for time, take some time and enjoy the trip. I have met some great people in some rather nice small towns all the way across country by taking time and actually looking around. I would think with two of you sharing driving, the trip could be made in a few days if need be, but DON'T push it if you are not used to it. It is too easy to nod off, and either kill yourself or that family in a mini-van on vacation. This is a great country, explore it a bit whenever you get a chance, and this is a great chance if you have a couple of extra days.
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