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Thread: Driving Cross Country. Alone. I'm Crazy, right?

  1. #1
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    Default Driving Cross Country. Alone. I'm Crazy, right?

    Edit: Post your solo road trip stories!

    I'm moving from Los Angeles to New York next week. I'll be packing up my car and doing the drive myself. My girlfriend has to stay in LA until the end of January to finish up a project she is currently working on. I've asked friends to come along, but none can take the days off work so close to the holidays.

    I could always ship my car and fly home, but I've seemed to romanticize this journey as a time to reflect on both the past and the future. I kind of see this move as the end of my youth, as for the first time in my life I'll be putting down real roots, with this coming year bringing me marriage and home ownership (well, co-op ownership).

    Am I crazy to do this drive alone? Have any of you done this before? I've done this drive a few times before, but never on the solo tip. I'm hoping some of you can recommend a route and number of days on the road, or convince me that I'm crazy and just fly home.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Cities; 11-04-2009 at 01:01 PM.

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    As long as you have a reliable car and a cell phone, go for it!
    Mark

  3. #3

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    That is an adventure many people want to make and only a few actually do.

    It will be long and it will be slower than the interstate, but I suggest driving Route 66 and getting pics of all the old tourist traps along the way.

    If you get tired of the music your brought, truck stops typically have books on CD you can rent at one stop and drop off at the next. Ditto for Cracker Barrel.

    Be sure to let other people know what you're planned route is and check in often.
    A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, and die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. - Robert A. Heinlein

  4. #4
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    While it is not as far as you are going, I used to make the trip from Waco, TX to Freeport, IL (16-18 hours) by myself when I was in still in school. I used to really like the drive. I would make a couple mix tapes and scan the different radio stations as I moved north. It was cool being able to check out my restaurants, and I would make sure I would stop at different exits each trip. Just make sure you do not over do it when driving that far by yourself. Stop when you need to and do not make your driving day longer than 8-10hours long.

    You are definitely not crazy.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkchaser View Post
    It will be long and it will be slower than the interstate, but I suggest driving Route 66 and getting pics of all the old tourist traps along the way.
    Route 66 is a great idea, especially since I'll be stopping in Chicago for a couple of days to visit friends and recharge.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonwings View Post
    You are definitely not crazy.
    Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkchaser View Post
    That is an adventure many people want to make and only a few actually do.

    It will be long and it will be slower than the interstate, but I suggest driving Route 66 and getting pics of all the old tourist traps along the way.

    If you get tired of the music your brought, truck stops typically have books on CD you can rent at one stop and drop off at the next. Ditto for Cracker Barrel.

    Be sure to let other people know what you're planned route is and check in often.
    +1 to good books on CD, time flies by.
    "Please do not print this post and staple it to a baby seal." Will.

  7. #7
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    I've driven from Cape Cod, MA to Denver stopping through Virginia when i moved to Denver--I wasn't exactly alone, but the only driver; I had 2 dogs and 2 cats with me. That made for an adventure.
    [SIZE="1"]~[FONT="Comic Sans MS"]Chris
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  8. #8

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    I've done about half the country in one trip and lots of smaller drives. You're not crazy. I love driving and love driving alone. Be aware of your limits and don't try to push it when you know you should stop. That's my only advice. Should be a good time.

  9. #9
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    Do it.

    If you don't know, you'll curse yourself the rest of your life for not doing it.

    I did a third of the country route from Boston to Wisconsin (22 hours) during college alone several times, and although huge parts of it were boring, the serenity of feeling that you're existing "outside of time" can be very relaxing.

    As long as you've got the phone, the coffee, good emergency tools and tunes, it will be great. You will probably find, however, that once you leave the western part of the country and hit that huge, endless flat expanse of midwest, that you'll to redouble your caffeine. If you have the time, do as people said and take off-interstate routes.

    Jeff in Boston

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    I moved from North Georgia to Montana last January by driving. You'll get to see a lot of cool stuff. Be sure to plan to see some of our country's unique sights (national parks, cities along the way, etc...). Have fun, man.

    I may be moving back down south this Jan. If I do, I plan to travel west to Seattle (friends there), south through California (friends there, too), and then east toward South Carolina. My hope is, if I get to do this, I'll get to see roughly ten more national parks and several cities and states I haven't been to before. My goal is to visit all 50 U.S. states and all of our National Parks before I die. I'm well on my way. Keep us posted on how the journey turns out for you, as I may be tracing some of your steps this winter!
    -Adam

  11. #11
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    Do it. One of the posters mentioned taking 66 if possible, alot of I-40 is the old Route 66. Some of it is still there though, about 1/4 mile from the interstate. Make sure you have all the tools in your kit for changing the spare tire. Car charger for cell phone. Small cooler for sandwiches and beverages. Thermos for coffee. Finally, pics or it didn't happen. I did most of that on my motorcycle this summer. Unfortunately, I broke my digital camera on the first day. So it didn't happen.
    1958 Gillette Super Speed
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  12. #12
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    I would love to do that drive.
    Steve.

    [QUOTE=pcullens;1430937]but remember that the steel of a man is tempered in the fires of adversity.[/QUOTE]

  13. #13
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    If you have the time, go for it. I've made a few 12 hour trips solo with no problems, and this was "back in the day" - late 1970s. AM radio only.

    Have a mechanic you trust give car a good check before you leave.

    Have a good trip!

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    If you don't have it, consider satellite radio.

    You don't have to do a serious install--the antenna is magnet mount or you can set it on the dashboard or back deck.

    - Chris

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    What a fantastic trip that would make! I suggest that you pack a small cooler with a little food and beverage so you can stop a neat places along the way for a quiet picnic and take in the sights. Maybe keep a journal of what you see along the way and what you think of the countryside.
    Dane -

    "Hey careful, Man; there's a beverage here!!" - Dude Lebowski

  16. #16
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    You should also tramp it wherever possible. I crashed at some rest stop in New Mexico, wound up being really cool. It was right next to an old farmstead, I spent over an hour wandering around looking at it, wondering about the people that lived there, what happened to them. Getting kinda late in the year for that though. It gets cold in some of those places even in the summer, I stopped at a free state campground in NV and had frost on the seat of my bike when I got up, in June!
    1958 Gillette Super Speed
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  17. #17

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    Also go buy a cheap CB radio and install it. If anything it will provide hours of amusement.
    A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, and die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. - Robert A. Heinlein

  18. #18
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    It occurs to me, what kind of car are we talking? Very reliable, reliable, efficient, at least somewhat comfy? Two seat race car? Sxxxbox that never fails to break down when inconvenient?
    1958 Gillette Super Speed
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    2009 $10 Lord 3 Piece

  19. #19
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    I made the trip back and forth once with my folks when I was a kid. We drove from PA to CA to visit relatives. My dad had a '66 convertible GTO and I remember it as a heck of a ride. We took Rt. 66 and I thought that everything was so cool. We even went to a roadside reptile farm.

    Since then, I've done it a couple of times on my own when I moved from coast to coast. It was a lot of fun. The first time, I went from Virginia to San Diego in my old Toyota Land Cruiser. Those old FJ 40s were pretty bumpy and my radio also broke as soon as I left. I just bought an old portable stereo (the now-forgotten boom box), plopped in on the passenger seat and kept going. Had a great time, but air conditioning would have been nice in the desert.

    I did it again a few years later in the opposite direction. That time, I drove from San Diego up the CA coast for a few days then turned east, running a lot further north than I did the first time. I had a better car and a functioning car stereo so the drive itself was more fun. I also tried to plot alternate routes to the interstates. I had time to drive and I wanted to see something of the country.

    I really enjoyed the solo drive both times. I still remember driving at night up in the mountains in Colorado and all I could get on my radio was an AM station playing old time broadcasts. I listened to a couple of episodes of Dragnet driving along roads that were largely deserted. It was a little eerie, and a memory that has stayed with me for twenty years. There were a lot of other interesting experiences too.

    I've been meaning to do it again with my whole family--preferably in a camper--but we've wound up doing other things. Something like Rt. 66 would be very interesting--I wonder if any of the old sites are left?

  20. #20
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    Go for it! I've driven the northern route several times and enjoyed every minute of it.

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