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Discussion Starter #1
I will be relocating from PA to CA for another job in about 3 weeks. So this massive road trip is no joke. Since the airlines industry is all messed up, why fly when you can drive. Anyways, this will be my first cross country hike.

My plan.
Day 1: State College, PA >>>>> Chicago, IL(Sleep)
Day 2: Chicago,IL >>>>>> Omaha, NE (sleep)
Day 3: Omaha, NE >>>>>> Rapid City SD (sleep)
Day 4: Visit mount rushmore (sleep summore)
Day 5: Rapid City, SD >>>>> Yellowstone Park,WY (sleep)
Day 6: Visit Old faithful (sleep)
Day 7: Yellowstone, WY >>>>>> SLC, UT(sleep)
Day 8: SLC,UT >>>>> Reno, NV (sleep)
Day 9: Reno, NV >>>>> American Canyon, CA

Sounds simple enough? just a rough plan. This will definitely put the Cali to the test. I am planning to travel a light a possible. just clothes and laptop

If there is anyone who has done a cross country hike, I would really appreciate any feedback or advice, such as safety measure, good routes.

Any Cali members with empty room? Just me and my gf. no pets :p
 

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Keep plenty of water, food and some blankets with you when you get out here in the west. Sometimes if you have a breakdown (fingers crossed) you may have to wait a long while for a tow.
 

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Take some extra water & some sandwiches. You'll probably be on the freeway, but things can be quite open, free & lonesome in the west if the car stops. Take some binoculars & a camera with zoom lens. Don't be like so many people without optics that can't see grand sights better with binoculars or have no way to capture memories except for their brain cells. You see already the trip is a big deal. So capture the Big Deal.
 

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its great no cops, traffic and the speeds in iowa ,nebraska ,wyoming are more or less 70 mph or more. its a very scenic trip and one that not a lot of people get to see, but it sounds like a fun one.

1- you'll love the salt flats west of SLC just get some good sunglasses.
2- things start to get crazy when u hit western nebraska/ wyoming the slow rise to the continental divide is pretty cool.
3- i can make it from my place to san diego in just over 2 days, if needed to..whats takin ya so long...lol
 

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Hey, JOJOCHINTO....He's got to take pix, breath the fresh air of the west & see what real life is all about. No need to hurry. Got to make every point he passes by, a destination.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Jojochinto from Toronto to San Diego? U sure you did not speed? :p

Yeah take the pix, breath the air, swim the water ...heck even fly sky...I am so excited about this trip.

Breakdown?(touch wood) I really hope not. AAA will save the day ...

Thats true, since graduation I have been working hard and this will be a golden opportunity for me to take a break. I have seen much of the east coast and little of the mid west. Not many ppl get this chance so I plan to make the best out of it though it will cost my arm and leg.

How far should I push for the leg? I did a 13 hour run from my place to NY JFK airport to pick up my gf on a winter storm. The human can take it but will the machine stand the heat?

How should I prep the car for this kind of long trips? tire-pressure, change oil? have a mechanic inspect it?(is it necessary?)

Any recommendation on hotels? Do local B&B or just stick to generic quality inn type of deal.


I will try to upload the pictures if I can even on the road. Wonder how the Cali would look with an Old faithful back drop lol.
 

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I went thru Yellowstone 3 times. & on the fourth trip I found I hadn't been on 1 of the main roads. So carefully plan your trip thru Yellowstone to get all the main sights. Take not only binoculars, but a spotting scope! Once I pulled over at an overview of rolling mountains & grand vistas...very sweet. Then my binoculars spotted Elk a mile away on one of the near ridges. Then I barely saw more elk on a ridge 2 miles away. Then I pulled out my spotting scope & saw elk 4 miles away. Then I swung the scope to view ridges 5, 6 & 7 miles away. I spotted elk dotting the ridges to the horizon! For an hour I scanned the far ridges, counting 500 to 1000 elk. Other tourists drove up to the vista next to me looking for animals. I told & showed some people what I was seeing. But most of the people were in such a hurry, I never got to tell them anything & away they drove, never seeing any animals at all!
 

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500 km / day for 9 days.. that's taking it easy and comfortable, you should be able to shave a few days off even with detouring around. Personally I push it a little harder, even with scenic pit stops.
Going through small towns, try to tank up during the day, I've hit stretches where they just about roll up the sidewalks after 6 (especially week-ends)
People wise, water, some food, first aid kit + basic drugs (asprin, pepto etc) comfortable driving shoes and a driving pillow... any car is comfortable, but on a long drive, you might want to change your sitting position every so often.
Car wise, basic fluid check-up, tire pressure, spare fuses, basic tools (screwdriver, vise grip, socket set) zip ties and jumper cables.
Hotels.. super 8, comfort inn, they are all about equal. If you get your route/timing down exactly, you can prebook and save a few bucks.

Thats all that comes to mind for now... great trip
 

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Jojochinto from Toronto to San Diego? U sure you did not speed? :p

Yeah take the pix, breath the air, swim the water ...heck even fly sky...I am so excited about this trip.

Breakdown?(touch wood) I really hope not. AAA will save the day ...

Thats true, since graduation I have been working hard and this will be a golden opportunity for me to take a break. I have seen much of the east coast and little of the mid west. Not many ppl get this chance so I plan to make the best out of it though it will cost my arm and leg.

How far should I push for the leg? I did a 13 hour run from my place to NY JFK airport to pick up my gf on a winter storm. The human can take it but will the machine stand the heat?

How should I prep the car for this kind of long trips? tire-pressure, change oil? have a mechanic inspect it?(is it necessary?)

Any recommendation on hotels? Do local B&B or just stick to generic quality inn type of deal.


I will try to upload the pictures if I can even on the road. Wonder how the Cali would look with an Old faithful back drop lol.

well i have my tricks...i have a governor on my truck so i cant even go 80 mph... unless im on a downhill with my 80,000 lbs doing the work for me. my record is actually scary high.

personally i stick to interstates... for obvious reasons.

make sure your vehicle is well maintained before you try to tackle the tougher terrain, ive had trucks overheat climbing mountains when carrying large loads, you'll probly be carrying quite a bit with you.

if youve got cruise control, you wont have to push your leg very hard at all. but i wouldnt push more than 6 hours in a caliber- you dont have the wheelbase

your trip is different than mine tho so stops will be a big part, choose em wisely-- I cant rilly help u there its kinda my job not to stop.

you should get your car fixed/ checked out somewhere in the midwest at a dodge dealership(chicago maybe) if you do it before you leave you run risk of breaking down before you get to cali or running on bad oil for the home stretch.
travelling the 80 thru iowa, nebraska and wyoming would be a tough place to break down, i dont get very good cell phone signal there. and probly would get worse in the wilderness or sumthin.

hope any of that helps
 

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My small 1.3 liter cars & 450cc motorcycle had no problems with traveling 9000+ vacation mile trips. Even the Rocky Mtns to 14,000+ foot altitudes is easy in even small vehicles. So bigger vehicles should have no problems at all. But treat the vehicles well & don't race them. That is good advice for yourself too. Don't overschedule & push yourself....that's why they call it vacation.

Do the Bed & Breakfast stops. I've never had more elegant accommodations as the B&B's. The B&B's have better chances that you'll meet sweet people to converse with & get advice to the local interests.

I've hiked 10,000+ mountain miles & never ran into any dangerous wild animals. So you should breeze thru any hike. I always went light in my hiking, except for camera gear which were the lightest SLRs available. Fortunately, I lived in Washington State where if you know how to pick your water sources, you are pretty safe drinking water. I drank out of 5000 streams & never got sick. The water was the best I ever drank too. But, as I said I knew what to look for & how to drink. Most often on day hikes I would drink like a fish BEFORE the hike. When I started my hike I would slosh. But I found it more comfortable than carrying water in a container.
 

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Being an over the road truck driver for 13 years, I will tell you that even this time of year I-80 does get shut down due to the extreme snow and ice. I see you want to take in some attractions, so the route you have would be the one to do.

Also keep in mind that Donner Pass can still be a bear this time of year. I-80 and Donner are known for being shut down for days. Last year at this time me and another driver both left northern IL at the same time going to San Fran. He took the northern route, I took the southern route (more miles), but I beat him by 2 days due to road closures. We had drivers just last week shut down for a day in WY due to the interstate being closed.

Just my 2 cents
 

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Being an over the road truck driver for 13 years, I will tell you that even this time of year I-80 does get shut down due to the extreme snow and ice. I see you want to take in some attractions, so the route you have would be the one to do.

Also keep in mind that Donner Pass can still be a bear this time of year. I-80 and Donner are known for being shut down for days. Last year at this time me and another driver both left northern IL at the same time going to San Fran. He took the northern route, I took the southern route (more miles), but I beat him by 2 days due to road closures. We had drivers just last week shut down for a day in WY due to the interstate being closed.

Just my 2 cents
tis true... the interstate gets closed just west of cheyenne. its the reason im stuck runnin the I-40 in winter.. ive had freezing rain in the higher altitudes in august or april.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I went thru Yellowstone 3 times. & on the fourth trip I found I hadn't been on 1 of the main roads. So carefully plan your trip thru Yellowstone to get all the main sights. Take not only binoculars, but a spotting scope! Once I pulled over at an overview of rolling mountains & grand vistas...very sweet. Then my binoculars spotted Elk a mile away on one of the near ridges. Then I barely saw more elk on a ridge 2 miles away. Then I pulled out my spotting scope & saw elk 4 miles away. Then I swung the scope to view ridges 5, 6 & 7 miles away. I spotted elk dotting the ridges to the horizon! For an hour I scanned the far ridges, counting 500 to 1000 elk. Other tourists drove up to the vista next to me looking for animals. I told & showed some people what I was seeing. But most of the people were in such a hurry, I never got to tell them anything & away they drove, never seeing any animals at all!
Thanks for sharing your experience. I hope I am not too early in the season to drive through yellowstone park. I will most definitely try to get my plans up and running. much much appreciated
 

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Discussion Starter #16
wickster : Are the road closures for I 80 available from radio? if not where can i find more information about possible road closure? will the local rest stops like the welcome centers have these info?

I really appreciate everyone giving their thoughts on this. I just need to get someone to take over my lease and I am off to see Yogi Bear....
 

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Hi prinze18...Mentioned in the thread 'vacation places' that I-80 is not preferable to the more northern route I-90 to avoid snow. I-80 near Cheyenne is 8600 feet in elevation. Parts of Yellowstone are 8000+ feet. So have fun dodging snow drifts...take chains for sure. Now is a good time to visit Yellowstone to avoid the crowds. For good reasons the crowds aren't there. Our Cascade mtns have deep snow down to 3000 feet & present snow falls down to 1000 feet are still occurring.
 

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This sounds like a GREAT trip. Will you be able to log on and keep us updated as you go? That would be awesome, and a ForumZ first I believe! What will you be doing in American Canyon?:)
 

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wickster : Are the road closures for I 80 available from radio? if not where can i find more information about possible road closure? will the local rest stops like the welcome centers have these info?

I really appreciate everyone giving their thoughts on this. I just need to get someone to take over my lease and I am off to see Yogi Bear....

you can try the DOT website here
http://dot.state.wy.us/

it has webcams that show the roads updated frequently, but more than likely... you'll have a good idea whether or not it'll be closed before you hit cheyenne, WY where you can always ask a local...in any case the 90 is better for avoiding snowfall.

edit: cant find the webcams on the newly designed site... they used to have em,
but on the home page it has a 1-888 number you can call to get road info for WY
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Litesong: Chains? Now thats food for thought. I will most definitely check the conditions before heading out.

Found the webcams: http://www.wyoroad.info/Highway/webcameras/webcameras.html
Looks good today ... I will scour the internet for more webcams like this.

Interesting to know that I90 could be a "safer" route...check it out.

I got a job in marketing/sales for a medical gloves distributor. You want to get some gloves? keep your hands nice and clean from the dirt and grime of motor oil ...special price ...just for forumz member ....*snicker*
 
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