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Scoundrel

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Jan 6, 2006
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106
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Corona, California
I am beginning to plan my trip from So.Ca to Detroit MI.

My trip will take me north to Zion and Bryce canyons then East through Denver CO. then to Omaha NE on my way to Ecorse MI which is just south of Detroit.

Some of you have done allot of traveling in the US so I thought I'd ask when the best time of year is to do a trip of that magnitude. I plan on doing the round trip in 14 days.
 

Carl L

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Mar 14, 2005
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west Los Angeles
May, June.  Earlier and you hit snow on the Colorado Plateau and Rocky mountains.  Later and the middle west is miserablely hot and humid.  I remember driving into  Grand Rapids one August day and finding it wast 95? and +90% humidiity -- literally  hot fog!
 

Ned

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Feb 1, 2005
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USA
I would go in the summer, no earlier than May. ?I-70 can be closed at times even in early May or you can take I-40 to Albuquerque and I-25 to Denver, but even that route has some higher elevations. ?June would be better month.
 

Mike Goad

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Feb 7, 2006
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307
Another option can be later in the year ? after the heat of the summer but before the major cold and storms of winter.  We've traveled across the high country in September with no problems and you would probably be safe in October or even early November. 

Another advantage for traveling outside of the summer season, of course, is there are fewer folks on the road because most of the kiddies have to be school.

My understanding is that even during the winter, I-70 is normally open, except during very inclement weather.  Currently it is dry all of the way across the state, except for wet patches.  The Colorado Department of Transportation has an excellent website at http://www.cotrip.org/.  (It does look like it probably does best with Internet Explorer.) It even has live cams where you can check the current status.

I can remember years ago waiting for Loveland Pass to be cleared in June before we could go through.  That was before I-70 and the Eisenhower Tunnel construction was started ? and I was only 5 years old.  ;D
 

Scoundrel

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Jan 6, 2006
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106
Location
Corona, California
I was considering mid to late May but no later then early June because of work scheduling issues.

Mike, The web site was very helpful with multiple link to every state in the union.

Any particular places to stay along the I-76, I-70 or I-80 that anyone would think to recommend please do so, I'm still in the planning stages.

Thanks.
 

rhmahoney

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Feb 9, 2005
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1,405
Sounds like a rush to get there/rush to get home and maximize the time with relatives sort of trip. Therefore consider overnighting at truckstops and walmart rather than pay for a campsite just to sleep in.

Remember that I-80 has high traffic density.

Des Moines Iowa. FlyingJ is on west side 2-3 miles N of 80 & 35 merge. take the bypass N then E. DO NOT go through town on 235... major reconstruction.
adventureland CG is on I-80 at NE end of Des Moines

Oxford (eastern IA) sleepy hollow CG
Coralville walmart N side of 80 at first exit
 

Wendy

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Colorado
Nice state park on the Colorado River, off I-70 in Fruita, just west of Grand Junction.

Flying J in Julesburg, Colorado, off I-76, safe, lots of RVs but very, very noisy.

Plenty of Corps of Engineer campgrounds in Nebraska, especially around Omaha.

Very, very nice fairgrounds campground in Atlantic, Iowa, off I-80...was $5 a night with electric 2 years ago.
 

Scoundrel

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Corona, California
rhmahoney said:
Sounds like a rush to get there/rush to get home and maximize the time with relatives sort of trip. Therefore consider overnighting at truckstops and walmart rather than pay for a campsite just to sleep in.

VERY good. You are exactly right. I'm taking the trip with my wife and Father-in-law. He can't travel on his own ( bad back and can't see at night) and has never been out of the state! So I thought we could kill two birds with one stone by taking him to see his other daughter who lives in MI. & at the same time give him a chance to see a portion of the country. We were going to try to see Zion and Bryce canyons then head to Leadville ( I heard it was a nice place to visit) Then we were planning to shoot up to SD to see Mt. Rushmore. Then head east on the I-90 to Sioux Falls and continue through Chicago and around up to Michigan to visit my sister-in-law for, oh I don't know maybe 3 days. Then we were going to head South to Springfield Illinois and then on to Yogi Bear's Jelly-stone Park Camp-Resort off the I-44. Then stop at the Lincoln cemetery on our way to the outskirts of Oklahoma City to catch the I-40. We will head further south to Carlsbad Caverns New Mexico. After which we were planning to head west to Sedona and Jerome AZ and then to Prescott where we will stay with a friend. And lastly head home tired and ready to sell the RV...... :-[




 

rhmahoney

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Think about a small shift in return route.
West out of Wichita on us54 connecting to I-40 at Tucumcari. Traffic density much less than freeway.
 

Scoundrel

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Jan 6, 2006
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106
Location
Corona, California
rhmahoney said:
Think about a small shift in return route.
West out of Wichita on us54 connecting to I-40 at Tucumcari. Traffic density much less than freeway.

Good idea. In fact it lead me to find some caverns in Missouri that we can check out....Didn't even know they had any....

Thanks.
 

Wendy

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Colorado
Wow, sounds like a 3- or 4-week trip to me. Zion and Bryce deserve at least a full day each as does Carlsbad. You can probably skip Leadville since the best parts of that area are out 4-wheel-drive roads near the town. Also, if you're a born-and-raised southern Californian (as I was), you're probably going to be wiped out with the altitude in Leadville (9000+ feet above sea level). Maybe you should downsize the trip a bit and keep the RV to use the next year for another trip so you can see all the things you missed on the way out?

What ever you decide, have a great trip.
Wendy
 

Mike Goad

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Feb 7, 2006
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307
I was going to comment much the same as Wendy. 

Leadville would take you a bit off your route and the elevation is quite high.

Rushing through a lot of different places on a long trip in a short period of time is OK when you're young and full of vinegar.  It can be very tiring and end up being not much fun when you're older, more so if anyone in the party has health problems.

When we are traveling, we generally try to limit ourselves to no more than eight hours in a day.  Even then, we stop frequently to get out, walk around and loosen up our stiff muscles and joints.
 

Lorna

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Mar 7, 2005
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1,181
Don I agree with Wendy and Mike especially with someone that has back problems.  Too many miles in one day will not be fun.  Your trip sounds like two or even three trips.
 

BernerGran

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Jul 25, 2005
Posts
108
Location
Albuquerque, NM
Hi - Just a bit of input on your trip. I agree with the others in that the travel time is great. If you have the time to do it and truly enjoy yourselves, go for it. But it won't be a fun trip if you are all exhausted from pushing yourselves.

My husband and I have just retired and on our first long trip last year from Albuquerque to the east coast, we discovered we really didn't like driving more than 4-5 hours a day, and so unless we had a deadline, we didn't.

One other thing - Colorado and it's fabulous mountains is just too incredible to rush trough. Personally, I'd save it for another time. But, if you don't, be sure to take into account the altitude. It is very important that you consume lots and lots of water. It will help prevent some of the discomforts that one can experience at altitude. Mountain driving can be an adventure in itself.

We're heading to Michigan in late April for the National Bernese Mountain Dog Specialty Show. We raise and show Bernese.

Oh, Carlsbad is great, as is White Sands National Monument, also in southern NM.

Half the fun of a big trip is the planning, so do enjoy!

Berner Gran (Libby)
 

Scoundrel

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Joined
Jan 6, 2006
Posts
106
Location
Corona, California
Thank for all the information and recommendations. I'm sure I planned more to do then we will have the strength to do but I figured we could pick and choose where we would stop based on how everyone felt. The only must is to get to Ecourse MI to spend a couple of days with family. The rest of the trip was purely entertainment.  ::)
 
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