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BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/26/22 11:17 p.m.

Say you had to get one of Prof Dr Porsche's finest overpowered Bugs from Fresno across the country to almost DC. You're wearing sunglasses, have a couple of full tanks of gas, but you can't get the good E36 M3 that Kowalski was popping on his trip from Denver anymore. We also know how that trip ended, and this one should not involve bulldozers.

We only have about six days to make the trip (with some contingency and some time to get out of the car and at least have a look around).

Google Maps suggests two possible routes - both have me go down to Bakersfield and turn East, then it's either I-15 to Vegas and beyond to I-70, then I-70 all the way across or I-40 all the way across and then up I-81.

I've not driven either route, both take approximately the same amount of time and distance-wise are within 50 miles of each other.

Which one should I take and why?

jr02518 HalfDork
5/26/22 11:43 p.m.

I would vote for the I-40 Route.  Both routs starts you on Hwy 58, but the 40 lets you make the jog the the Grand Canyon in Williams and you can make the loop back to Flagstaff then back on the 40 East.

After that, its lots off stuff that builds up on the front of your car.

paddygarcia Reader
5/26/22 11:48 p.m.

You might still run into snow in the Rockies. Other than that, for bombing across I'd pick by what I wanted to see and eat :)

You don't have enough time to do the Southwesty things that 40 gets but there's good BBQ at Rudy's in Albuquerque, then you can stop in Memphis and Nashville, and maybe some of the whiskey country in TN.

Go 70 and there's different styles of bbq, maybe that's my real theme. Boulder and Denver are pretty, good eats in St Louis, and stop at the Speedway in Indianapolis.

BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/26/22 11:49 p.m.

Should've mentioned - we've been through that part of I-40 to Williams before eventually turning South towards I-10. It's the parts further East like Northern NM that I've not been to.

paddygarcia Reader
5/26/22 11:53 p.m.

Take 40 and fill up at Rudy's. And Pietown, if you get off the beaten track.

buzzboy SuperDork
5/27/22 8:42 a.m.

I've done both plenty of times. As a skier I prefer 70 for the views through the rockies and then I live with the boredom that is Kanorado. Good Q in St Louis!

Sonic UberDork
5/27/22 9:31 a.m.

What things do you or your wife want to see that are generally between central CA and the mid Atlantic?   That determines the route. 

BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/27/22 10:10 a.m.

As to what I would like to see - everything?

More seriously, I haven't been in the Rockies in Colorado, and I like proper mountains. Then again, we were hoping to go on a vacation to NM next year, and I haven't been there either so this might be an opportunity to see if we really want to make this trip.

I'm hoping the Rockies got more snow than the Sierra Nevada, because based on what I saw there last weekend, I'd be more concerned about the lack of snow and not its presence. OTOH I've lived in proper mountain areas before and am very aware of the fact that it can and will snow at any time of the year.

Is there anything more interest in the flat middle of the country along I-40 than I-70? I kinda assumed that it was mostly flat and boring either way until you got to the hilly parts on the Eastern side.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/27/22 10:16 a.m.

Oy... you had to ask about two of my favorite roads.  Very hard to pick.

I-40 is remarkably fun.  You're basically following Rt 66 and I strongly recommend getting off the interstate on certain stretches of the old road.  Some parts of 66 have just disappeared and it now follows the interstate anyway.  Stop at all the joints.... Rock Cafe in Stroud OK, Round Barn, just do it all.  So worth it.

I-70 takes you through Utah and Nebraska.  They are kinda polarizing.  I personally love those states and think they're beautiful.  Others get bored.  Vail Pass up through Denver is lovely, and one of the finest places in the world is Grizzly Creek.  You'll feel like you're driving in Germany.

Don't discount I-10 either.  It only adds a few hours in a 48-hour drive and you'll get to see some iconic geography.

This is a hard one.  I would say I-40 for the never-ending entertainment and kitchy roadside stops, I-70 for the mountain and prairie scenery, I-10 for the unique, iconic, and indegenous scenery.  You ever watch the Pixar Cars movie where the race rig is rolling down the desert highway into the sunset?  That's inspired by I-10.


BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/27/22 11:54 a.m.

In reply to Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) :

Thanks Curtis. We've actually driven from CA to Florida on I-10 before, and while that was an interesting drive and I wouldn't mind revisiting some of the places again, I think that's too much of a detour for the time we have if I want some additional time buffer.

I love the high desert, which is why I-70 appeals at least all the way to the Rockies, but I have to say that the I-40/Rt 66 combo appeals a lot, too.

boulder_dweeb Reader
5/27/22 12:50 p.m.

If you choose I70, try to budget a day or so in Glenwood Springs CO.

Lotsa relaxing hot water and many good restaurants.

Sounds like a fun trip!


californiamilleghia UltraDork
5/27/22 1:11 p.m.

May I throw in....

Fresno to Yosemite area to Hwy 395 ,  yeah it's a little out of the  way , but it's a chance to see an area you probably will not be close to again.....


John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
5/27/22 2:23 p.m.

Is the Porsche in question of the air cooled variety?  How is the AC?  

Could it be possible that in these summer months, the more northern route might be better for vehicle and driver?  Or, is hot just hot anywhere in summer?  

octavious Dork
5/27/22 2:41 p.m.

I'm of no help, but if the Porsche is an air cooled one and you take 40-81 let me know when you come through Knoxville and I'll bring mine out for a pic. 

Safe travels

BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/27/22 11:36 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

Porsche in question is a 997, and based on yesterday's temperature in Fresno, the a/c is working. 

BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/27/22 11:40 p.m.
californiamilleghia said:

May I throw in....

Fresno to Yosemite area to Hwy 395 ,  yeah it's a little out of the  way , but it's a chance to see an area you probably will not be close to again.....

I've been to Yosemite fairly regularly so the idea appeals. OTOH you now need to pre-register even to drive through the park, and it is a detour. 

Not to mention that we'll be setting off just before the weekend of 4th of July, so I probably would want to skip Yosemite. 

CyberEric Dork
5/28/22 3:25 p.m.

If you're in Fresno, I suggest going to Sequoia/King's Canyon. Even just for a day, it's worth it.

I just did I-40 across the country last summer/fall. I took I-70 about 10 years ago. 

Between the two, I think I like I-40 a bit more, but honestly, I much prefer getting off the interstates. The nice thing about 40 is you can get on R66 for periods of time, sort of as much as you want. 

I-70 does give you a more beautiful pass through the Rockies though. 

frenchyd MegaDork
5/28/22 3:38 p.m.

In reply to BoxheadTim :

If high altitude bothers you, 70  west of Denver will get you sick.  Altitude issues ( low Oxygen above 8500 ft)  go away as you get back down into Denver.   The pass through  is beautiful and absolutely marvelous in a Sports car.   Go through during daylight. 
  40 isn't as interesting but not as winding.  More of a sit back and cruise road.   Nor do you have any issue with altitude sickness. 

BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/28/22 11:43 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

That's a very good point - high altitude is not generally an issue for me, I just made a trip into the High Sierra to a couple of 8000-9000 feet passes last weekend. But something I didn't consider, thanks for pointing it out.

BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/28/22 11:51 p.m.

Discussed the idea with my wife this morning now that I'm back home, and we quickly made the decision to take I-40 over I-70.  The rough plan looks a bit like this right now:

  • First couple of days, fly out to Fresno, pay the balance and pick up the car, then have either the local Porker dealer or a trusted independent take care of some preventative maintenance
  • Third day - Fresno to somewhere between Kingman AZ and Flagstaff AZ. Exact location also depends on hotel availability
  • Fourth day - from wherever we got a hotel to probably Santa Rosa, NM
  • Fifth day - Santa Rosa, NM to Oklahoma City, OK
  • Sixth day - Oklahoma City, OK to Crater of Diamonds State Park, AR
  • Seventh day - Crater of Diamonds State Park, AR to Nashville, TN
  • Eighth day - Nashville, TN to White Sulfur Springs, WV
  • Ninth day - White Sulfur Springs WV to home

All of the above are very much "ish", but that plan gives us a couple of days' contingency before my wife has to return to work, and another day until I have to return to work.

frenchyd MegaDork
5/29/22 1:17 a.m.

In reply to BoxheadTim :

It's over 11,000 feet through the Eisenhower tunnel out of Denver.  And you stay pretty high for a while.  9000 feet doesn't affect me  but prolonged above 10,000 I start feeling pretty punk.   It's just great to get back down.  
Having said all of that I still go through there occasionally because it is so interesting and beautiful.  

 40 well, it's boring.  In comparison. 
           Realize that I tend to drive straight through, 20 + hours at a time. By myself.  
    Flying though as a former pilot is really tough.  Not knowing or trusting the guys up front my anxiety is at astonishing numbers. Not even a full hit of Zanax  makes it comfortable. Hence even when I got free tickets I  rarely flew anyplace.   So I've got a lot of miles under my belt.   

CyberEric Dork
5/29/22 11:36 a.m.

Kingman AZ is kinda cool with the old 66 shtick. If that's your thing. 

There is a Oaxacan Mexican joint in Fresno, called Oaxaca Restaurant, that I really love. The owner is a super nice young guy who was stoked about our conversion van. I recommend checking it out if you like that sort of food.

BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/29/22 11:43 a.m.

In reply to CyberEric :

Ooh, we love proper Mexican food. Thanks for the recommendation!

CyberEric Dork
5/29/22 8:10 p.m.

You bet. It is VERY proper. Not another white person, besides myself and my wife, in there and I even felt a little like I was trespassing, being that I'm gringo. The staff, especially the owner, were beyond warm. They stayed late and closed the gate to the parking lot so our van wasn't messed with and then opened it back up when we were finished.

Ask them to recommend you something, too. Oaxacan cuisine has some specialty options that I wasn't familiar with.

Fresno gets a bad rap, but I enjoyed my time there. 

yupididit PowerDork
5/31/22 5:57 p.m.

Highway 40 is boring as hell between Memphis and California. Its scenic between Flagstaff and through northern NM. 

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