Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/18/21 11:10 p.m.

As seen in this thread I came up with the wacky idea of buying a random car in Florida to drive back to Washington as our honeymoon trip. Not only did the GRM hive come through, but Danny Shields gave us an Ace of Diamonds with a gorgeous PCA Concours-winning 944 S2 in Guards Red. It just so happens that my brother from another mother ThunderCougarFalconBird lives right by Danny and was able to test drive and facilitate getting the car and preparing it for the trip. So yeah, this is really happening! We bought the 944 from Dan and mailed the plates off to TCFB this morning. We have 7 days to make it from New Smyrna Beach, Florida to vaguely the Pacific Ocean in WA/OR.

Starting Monday August 9th literally at the beach with our toes in the water we're thinking of running north along 95 through Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina to end up in Deals Gap:

Day 1 Route

Tuesday morning we'll drive the Tail of the Dragon a few times and then head west through Tennessee and Arkansas to end up at Crater of Diamonds State Park:

Day 2 Route

Wednesday will have us start off digging for gemstones and then heading west through Oklahoma and Texas to see Cadillac Ranch:

Day 3 Route

Thursday we start off somewhere hopefully west of Cadillac Ranch, but we slog west s'more through New Mexico to Arizona and hopefully catch sunset at the Grand Canyon:

Day 4 Route

Friday starts getting muddy. Sunrise at the Grand Canyon and then we turn north through Utah. This is probably the most exciting day of driving as far as scenery goes and I'l likely want to stop a bunch or take detours, so for now the plan is stop over at Hill AFB north of SLC:

Day 5 Route

The reason why that gets muddy is the final big travel day becomes a big stretch to go through Idaho and get all the way to the coast and end up in Seaside, Oregon. This is important because we're going to pass our house and if we stop we won't make the coast and I want to finish with toes in the Pacific Ocean.

Day 6 Route

Sunday gives us a leisurely trip home.

So, that's the rough idea for now. I'm worried about time on a couple of the days, and general route if fire season/heat waves happen. We are also driving a 30+ year old Porsche with 200K+ miles as well, so...

Any thing I'm missing? Great driving road? Scenery? Places to stay or see, things to do? This is a once in a lifetime trip, so I want to get it right.

And yes, of course we'll be YouTubing it so you can follow along!

dyintorace
dyintorace PowerDork
6/19/21 8:23 a.m.

We routinely have to travel from Gainesville FL to Winston-Salem, NC. I went to Wake Forest and our first born attends Salem College.

As a result, we spend most of the trip on I-95 and I-26. In FL and GA, I-95 is at least 3 lanes. Once you get to SC, it narrows to 2 lanes and is beyond awful. I-26 is also 2 lanes between I-95 and Columbia. Terrible as well.

Granted Atlanta traffic can be horrible but I'd take that route 100% of the time. 

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
6/19/21 8:56 a.m.

I think the planning - at least out West - is a bit tight, like you're stuffing a 10-14 day trip into a week (presumably because you have to). While the Grand Canyon is, well, grand, on the way to Hill AFB you're driving more or right by Zion NP which is definitely also worth a visit.

I think the driving distance is mostly doable although some days are really long, but I think trying to combine that with sightseeing might make the trip feel more like you're trying to stay ahead of the law than a holiday.

Slippery
Slippery UberDork
6/19/21 9:45 a.m.

I agree with Tim, you are going to be beat up by day 3. 

I did Fl to Cali a couple of times and 10 hr driving days kills you. Any chance you can get a couple more days in there? 9-10 days would allow you to enjoy much more. 

 

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/19/21 10:17 a.m.

In reply to Slippery :

The one thing I can't get more of is time. 7 days is the max. I can change/shorten the route though.

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/19/21 10:54 a.m.

In reply to dyintorace :

Thank you! That's the kind of advice we need. Route changing!

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/19/21 12:12 p.m.

In reply to Javelin (Forum Supporter) :

While I agree the Grand Canyon is something everyone should see, it's not worth rushing to see it. Instead I'd suggest Meteor Crater which is right along your route, an amazing site & museum, and can easily be experienced in an hour or two. 

Purple Frog (Forum Supporter)
Purple Frog (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
6/19/21 6:02 p.m.

A very aggressive schedule.  How long do you plan to stay married?

I would definitely go I-10, I-75 route to deals gap.  Faster.  And you would sail thru Hotlanta after rush hour.

Cadillac Ranch should take 30 minutes tops.

I suggest skipping Grand Canyon and aim at Salt Lake from Amarillo.  You are going to start being wasted by then.  It's not like you are driving a luxo touring car.

OBTW, if you are a car guy, this is not a "once in lifetime trip"... it's just one of your first adventures.  I suggest you make it easier on your co-pilot so you can take many more trips in the future.

As always... YMMV

Bent-Valve
Bent-Valve Dork
6/19/21 7:17 p.m.

As a former truck driver* I would plan 500 - 600 miles with a good rest stop.

Plan an alternate stop in case Murphy shows up.**

Have good tires, heat and speed blow many tires this time of the year.

Try going old school, get a map of America, lay a straight edge across it from start to finish point. See what roads you can afford to drive and what you can see in that time. A good quality side trip is better than many rushed ... I almost saw .... trips. A trip forbidding a gps with only  a map can be fun. Think of it as rally of a sort. Stop at each state welcome center, grab their complimentary map and materials. Keep the phone put up, but charged for emergencies.

If you go new school, use Google Earth, look at actual pictures of the planned route / roads. Have a few alternates. As a truck driver I used the heck out of satellite maps. Seeing how to get into where your going is invaluable.

 

* A 700 mile is day possible, at 800 miles your about the same as driving buzzed / drunk. Even for professional drivers there are limits, I don't care what "Bob" says. I was conditioned to drive 650 miles a day, safely. Its hard to do that starting off.

** In the early 90's I lucked out, I coasted into a hotel parking lot out in the vast, sparse western USA. The only car dealer / parts source had the ignition coil that had cooked in the heat. I walked a mile there and back, fixed the car. Packed my family back in and finished the trip to the west coast without any other incident.

Jerry
Jerry PowerDork
6/20/21 8:00 a.m.

Well, looks like you're skipping Ohio so I am not much help.  (Good choice.)

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/20/21 3:23 p.m.

In reply to Purple Frog (Forum Supporter) :

Good points. The honeymoon part and the coast-to-coast are probably (hopefully?) only once, but there will be many epic road trips together. We're looking at cutting across Colorado and skipping the SW alltogether. Just trying to figure how to tie it all together.

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/20/21 3:27 p.m.

In reply to Bent-Valve :

Thanks! We've done map travel before and actually ended up in a town that fell in to the ocean recently: https://anthonyallison.com/blog/2017/1/2/the-disappearing-town-in-washington

It was wild to see the street grids all laid out over the ocean on the Audi's un-updated NAV from 2011.

We are trying to keep it to 8-9 hours a day on the road, that's right in that 500-600 miles range. We are planning on morning drives, a good lunch/exploration break and then an afternoon/evening drive to the destination. We luckily have time zones on our side and will "gain" three hours going west.

We're looking at cutting across Colorado now and skipping the SW. Just trying to figure out the route.

Slippery
Slippery UberDork
6/20/21 6:50 p.m.

I did this route and it was insane. Denver to GJ is really fun for driving. US50 is great also.

Denver to Ely 

Was driving to SF, but if you can jump on that stretch I guarantee you will love it. 

The route took two days driving at a really good clip. Leg one was Denver to GJ and leg two was GJ to Truckee in Cali. The first leg we started late. 

Map in case the link above does not work. 

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/20/21 7:35 p.m.

Having done a bunch of 1200-mile/day drives, here's a few things I've found that work for me.

  1. Having a vehicle that's comfy to drive helps, although if it's one you're excited to be driving that can have the same effect. 
     
  2. A vehicle that blends into traffic is a major plus. 
     
  3. Drive fast. I strive for an 80-85mph average. Not only do you get to your destination quicker, having to retain higher situational awareness puts me into a groove & it just becomes a flowing rhythm. 
     
  4. Put thought into your pit stops. You don't need to plot out every stop, but when you stop top off fuel regardless of the level, hit the bathroom, pickup any food/drink/snacks you might need, and get back on the highway. 
     
  5. If you feel your focus fading, slow down! Pull off & stop if you need to. 
Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/20/21 8:38 p.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

Unfortunately a Guards Red Porsche is about the least inconspicuous thing out there.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/20/21 9:45 p.m.

In reply to Javelin (Forum Supporter) :

Yeah, you're not sneaking past too many speed traps in that!

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/27/21 10:16 a.m.

Okay, some changes have been made!

Day 1 is still New Smyrna Beach, FL to Deals Gap, NC; but is now via Hotlanta:

Day 1 Route

Day 2 still brings us through the Tail of the Dragon to Arkansas, but now it's to my Grandpa's house in Newark:

Day 2 Route

Day 3 remains going to Amarillo because I just can't fathom any other route that's going to be less hellish.

Day 3 Route

Day 4 is where the changes really pick up. We turn due North in Amarillo and head into Colorado to Grand Junction, specifically driving Route 92 through Black Canyon:

Day 4 Route

Day 5 now takes us from Grand Junction to either Mountain Home AFB or Boise, ID via Utah depending upon lodging options:

Day 5 Route

This makes Day 6 a much easier final stretch to Seaside, OR:

Day 6 Route

These changes lop over 400 miles off of our total run and make the longest day the 660 mile Newark to Amarillo run, which in reality is all dead flat and straight highway so hopefully we can hammer down that part. We also have the option to stay with my cousin in Jacksonville, so we can potentially leave on Day 0 and cut Day 1 down by 100+ miles/2 hours.

How's that looking now?

Purple Frog (Forum Supporter)
Purple Frog (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
6/27/21 10:57 a.m.

Much better IMO.

One time I did 775 with the motorhome across the Great Plains, so you are correct that the 660 is doable without too much strain.

Jumping up to Jax early may make Deals Gap more enjoyable.  Just saying.

Bent-Valve
Bent-Valve Dork
6/28/21 7:04 p.m.

In reply to Javelin (Forum Supporter) :

Atlanta, watch out if you use 285. I drove trucks, that route was where I saw an accident or watched one happen, routinely, once I ran over the hood that had flown off the car, while dodging the car, which was wrecking. For a while they patrolled more and it got better but then it went back to being crap.

Jim Pettengill
Jim Pettengill HalfDork
6/28/21 11:48 p.m.

You should be OK taking 92 to Grand Junction, but be aware that route 50 a little west of the junction with 92 has SERIOUS road construction - like, weekends are OK, but Monday through Friday the road is open 1 hour each day, from 12:30 - 1:30 pm, period.  So avoid that at all costs.  But 92 should be fine, and it's usually pretty empty, good quality 2-lane, after running along Black Canyon it turns north and runs through ranchland.  550 is gorgeous, but you can't make any time on it, be sure to come back someday, though, all of SW Colorado is gorgeous.

Bent-Valve
Bent-Valve Dork
6/29/21 8:37 p.m.

 

As I reread all this advice we have given my guess is Javelin will either

a) Lock himself inside and never come out again cause the whole world is jacked

b) Say M34 E40 it and drive without a care in the world and have a great time.

 

I vote for b.

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/29/21 11:02 p.m.

In reply to Bent-Valve :

Oh definitely b. Car is bought and paid for and already at Goat's house, place tickets are bought and paid for, kids are scheduled with exes and on their own trips all bought and paid for. This trip is happening at the beginning and end, it's just deciding what middle stuff to do. I'm really happy with the driving roads focus. I think I can start making reservations at the stops.

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/7/21 11:46 p.m.

Updates!

TCFG and the 944 survived Elsa. Cousin moved away from Jax, so we're just starting in NSB as scheduled. First night lodging in Deal's Gap booked! Second night at Grandpa's is in stone as well.

Working on lodging in Amarillo, Grand Junction, and Boise as well as the coast. Changing up the last day to not be Seaside because there's ZERO accommodation (most hotels in that town have switched to a 2-night min).

Bent-Valve
Bent-Valve Dork
7/10/21 9:40 p.m.

In reply to Javelin (Forum Supporter) :

Yeah, what is up with the 2 night minimum thing everywhere? We have been looking for camper spaces and have run into the same thing. 2 day minimum on camp spaces.

mdshaw
mdshaw Reader
7/12/21 9:16 a.m.

Also if you do wind up staying in/near large population areas, stop on the west sides. That way in the morning you aren't part of the rush hour, you're past it & headed the opposite way. Seems simple but when you're tired late at night, it's easy to forget, for me anyway.

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