Holidays 2019 Cross Country Roadtrip Planning

EyeMWing

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I've decided I need to take a fucking vacation. A quiet, contemplative vacation. By myself.

I had another much more boisterous vacation planned but things fell apart and shit sucks, so now I have this giant 2-and-a-bit-week hunk of space to fill.

Resources:
1 - driver with an iron butt and an uncanny ability to sleep in the car
1 - Quarter million mile Subaru BRZ that is fucked in every single cosmetic way, on all season tires (I am not doing snow tires this year)
1 - Big wad of gas money
A couple but not nearly enough - hotel comps.

Theoretically possible but vastly unlikely resource swaps:
- BRZ for Legacy. That thing still needs its engine transplant, and that's going to require engineering. In theory if I bust my ass that MIGHT be done in time, but it's unlikely. Especially with 7 tons of New Project Coming Soon.

Constraints:
  • Depart no earlier than 4PM, December 20th 2019 from Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
  • Return home no later than 6PM, January 5th 2020 in Baltimore, MD.
  • Spend ~3-4 days in Los Angeles in the middle.


Route suggestions? Places to see? Things to do?
 

GRtak

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You need to go to Hell. It should be frozen over that time of year.

The only reason to go there is to get a picture of the sign frozen over.

Oh, that is Hell, Michigan by the way.
 

EyeMWing

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Outbound leg....

Thinking I might want to take the evening of the 20th and reposition near the head of Skyline Drive, VA.

Then on the 21st, drive the entirety of the Blue Ridge Parkway in the light. This means stopping off somewhere in North Carolina, probably.

Start off at astronomical twilight, that's 13 hours and 46 minutes of light. At 35mph (which I suspect MAY be the speed limit), it would allegedly take 13 hours, 30 minutes for the Blue Ridge, and 3 hours for Skyline. Add in Scenery Meditation, bathroom, munchies stops (15m each every 3 hours)

Wrap the Parkway on the 22nd. Maybe stop for an hour or two in Cherokee to Tourist a little. follow it through to Tail of the Dragon.

That leaves us in... Approximately Chilhowee, TN, sometime on the 22nd. I have driven the length of TN several times for Lemons Rallies, and I have NEVER had fun doing it. This means it's a crossroads for how the entire rest of the outbound leg is going to go.

Three major routes make sense from there:
A) I-40 through TN, Arkansas, Ozarks, Oklahoma, the Texas panhandle, Albuquerque, Flagstaff, and then pick up the 15 commute into LA.
B) Cut down through Chatanooga to Birmingham AL and pick up I-20, Jackson MS, Shreveport, Dallas, The Vast West Texas Nothing, pick up I-10, El Paso, Tuscon, Phoenix, into SoCal.
C) Chatanooga, Birmingham, Mobile, New Orleans, Houston, San Antonio, join up with route B in the Vast West Texas Nothing.

I could also detour down through Mexico, but I know little Spanish and I suspect that groping across a highway system I don't know with no language, sleeping in the car, would be a VERY BAD PLAN




Return leg: I'd kind of like to do the full length of I-70.
 

CraigB

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I-40 sucks through Arkansas, well most states actually, you won't really see much of the Ozarks unless you take I-49 or one of the many Arkansas highways.

I've not been on most of I-20 to the east, but I have driven through the west Texas nothingness. It is what's on the tin...

I-10 is busy, busy, busy in and out of Houston, but I avoid Houston (if at all possible) because I don't like it.

Look into US 412. My brother and I picked up a section of it in Tennessee and really liked it compared to I-40. It'll also take you through some more interesting parts of Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Speaking of Oklahoma, be prepared for tolls. They don't do pay by plate, so look into their PikePass. Small sticker you put in your windshield and it deducts tolls from your prepaid account. I think it's $40 to start.
 

EyeMWing

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412 looks to be very interesting properties in that it also hits Missouri and completely avoids Texas apparently out of sheer spite.
 

CraigB

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I never noticed it avoids Texas. Looks as if part of the shoulder for the east bound side does just touch the northwest corner of the state though. 🤣
 

EyeMWing

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Completely routed all the way to Dec 23rd, where I encounter the first actual city transit.

In Tulsa, OK.
Where I will sleep in a hotel.

That's right. Halfway across the country without entering a city.
 

CraigB

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Well, as a former resident (birth to the age of 19) of that particular town, I could make an argument for it being an armpit rather than a city.
 
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