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Old 06-08-2015, 03:42 PM   #1
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Virginia Beach to Sacramento - fewest interstates?

I've loaded Allstays on my phone, got tentative google maps laid out, but as always YOU are the people with "wheels down" experience.

I want to avoid as many interstates as I can, but I don't want to do hairpin 2 lanes through the mountains or take a barge across the Mississippi, so any route suggestions or warnings of major construction would be welcome.

I'm set for 300 miles per day with a spare day or two if needed - so nice little historical, pretty or unique stopovers would be great too.

Paula
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Old 06-08-2015, 03:50 PM   #2
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When you leave Virginia Beach head north to Ocean City, MD. In OC get on US50 and take it all the way to Sacramento. I've done it.
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Old 06-08-2015, 05:01 PM   #3
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When you say you don't want to do "any" hairpin two lanes through the mountains, that sort of eliminates all of the interesting side routes other than US 50 and US 80 through California to Sacramento. But since you would be doing some hairpins on US 50 anyway, without adding too much more excitement, you could take Hwy 395 south from Carson City to Hwy 88 west from Minden. By doing this I avoided taking you over the more interesting, but decidedly more hairpin Monitor Pass. For great food, stop at Sorensons Resort. Linger at the top of Carson Pass for a spell. Perhaps spend the night at one of the lovely campgrounds near Caples Lake or Silver Lake. Prowl around in Jackson for a while. Then take Hwy 49 to Hwy 16, and on in to Sacramento. When you pass through Sloughhouse, you can pick some of the famous Sloughhouse white corn on the cob, if it's in season.


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Old 06-08-2015, 05:16 PM   #4
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I tried to find the tread a while ago…..Failed

The tread was about the best non interstate routes across the country.

Rte 50 and Rte 30 were the most popular

Rte 6 goes cross country but is maybe to far north of you.

There was another good one that I can't remember.

There are a few like Old rte 40 and 66 but so much of them were taken up by the interstates.
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Old 06-08-2015, 05:42 PM   #5
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Paula, you might want to get the Mountain Directory West for Truckers and RV drivers. It covers over 400 mountain passes and steep grades in 11 Western States, and can help you choose your routes. I don't mind curvy roads as much as steep grades, and it's nice to know when to expect 12 miles of 7% downhill. You can have those adventures on the Interstates, too. The directory often gives good advice on switchbacks, hairpins, etc. with recommended speeds. Have a great trip!

Welcome to Mountain Directory
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Old 06-09-2015, 10:04 AM   #6
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Route 50 is under close consideration, though I wouldn't go to Ocean City (directly north and the $25-$30 toll on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel). I can certainly catch it west of DC.

I've been through the southwest a bit, but am not at all familiar with the more northerly states.

There aren't too many alternatives across the Mississippi are there? Any suggestions or is it just St. Louis?

Paula
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Old 06-09-2015, 10:25 AM   #7
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Rt 50 from Winchester through WVa is a lot of hairpins. I like the style of traveling you are considering, but I wouldn't do that part again by choice.

Once you get into Ohio you might consider the remnants of the National Road. Or take I-64 to help you past the mountains then take US33 up to Jackson Center. 33 also heads up to Chicago - and was a classic route for the gangsters to raid banks in nearby cities. Goshen even build a blockhouse complete with machine-gun ports to guard a city square - it is still there.

For diversion, camp at Indiana Dues SP and ride the train to Chicago for a day at the Field Museum.

We have taken a number of the US highway routes and had a grand time on each of them. Through Kansas you can go the northern e-w highway and follow the Pony Express route. Or take the southern route and follow the Santa Fe Trail route. Dodge City, to boot.

I don't think you can go wrong. Happy trails.

Pat
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Old 06-09-2015, 10:27 AM   #8
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As for the Mississippi - consider crossing at Hannibal, MO - and enjoy a bit of Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher.
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Old 06-09-2015, 11:35 AM   #9
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We live in WV and we are spending our summer traveling to all the state parks in our beautiful state. The only criteria we have for route selection is an attempt to find roads with painted center lines. The hills and curves in WV will be a friendly warm up to what you will experience in west U.S.
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Old 06-09-2015, 05:34 PM   #10
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Another option for ascending the Eastern slope of the Sierras is to take Hwy 80 over Donner Pass (which is the route taken by the wagon trains) then just past Cisco Grove take the turn-off onto Hwy 20 to Nevada City and Grass Valley. You can stay at the Nevada County Fairground campground and explore these 2 Gold Rush cities . Tour the Empire Mine State Historic Park, taste great wines, walk the 2 towns and shop if you want. When you leave, take Hwy 49 south thru Auburn back on to Hwy 80, and you'll be in Sacramento. It's just about 1.25 hours to Sac from GV. You'll be glad you did.
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Old 06-09-2015, 08:42 PM   #11
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VaBeach to Colorado

We are also headed west from VaBeach....to Aspen in Aug and then north to Canada. Thanks for the post, looks like a lot of good info....We will probably take 64 through WVa and then get off the interstates. 300-350 miles a day is what we have in mind. Would love some info on good places to stay as we cross the flat lands in the heat of the summer...This is a great site for info and thanks in advance for any suggestions.....Andy
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Old 06-10-2015, 04:59 PM   #12
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Crabpot Andy - one of the most miserable stretches of towing road in the USA is Route 64 west in the summer. Busch Gardens turns most of the road into the world's fastest moving parking lot. AND hot impatient drivers on the edge of road rage look at anything they can't see over or around with positive hostility.

So here's some alternatives:
- go west on state route 460, or 58, or route 10 - SOUTH of the James river, Cross I-95 then hook up with route 64 west of Richmond.
- Going Route 10 gives you the option of crossing the James at Jamestown on the Ferry (It's free, but don't try it at peak hours for work shifts) It's a pretty little diversion. Just use the beltway around Williamsburg to catch 64 WEST of Williamsburg.
- get across the James onto the Peninsula using either the HR tunnel, the Monitor Merrimack or even the James River Bridge, and endure 64 until you can make the Yorktown Exit. ... then look at 17 from Yorktown on
- Or look at route 30, and 33 around Richmond.

All pretty rides, all trailer safe.
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Old 06-10-2015, 05:42 PM   #13
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I know you want to avoid interstates as much as possible, but much of 70 west is pretty beautiful. When I fly into Denver to go to Justin's place in Grand Junction I drive 70 all the way and it's beautiful. It's also got several tunnels so the up and down grades are somewhat better. I recommend it through Colorado and into Utah. You could stop in Grand Junction and see Justin, Ali and Justin II. If you want their number let me know.
There are nice wineries on the way into G.J. too.
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Old 06-10-2015, 05:46 PM   #14
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The Robert V. Droz list of U.S. Numbered Highways at

www.us-highways.com

The direct route is 2,900-miles with an estimated drive time of 41-hours which assumes an average speed of 70-mph. Towing on that route I'd estimate at 57-mph, or 51-hours of drive time.

The back roads are more like 47-mph overall; lower in the east, higher in the west. And the likely increase in miles is more than ten percent. So, closer to 70-hours of driving.

Ten days with a two day margin added; 12-days to be comfortable with a roughly 300-mile/day. (267-mile average at 12-days). Can't see needing more than this even at a turtle pace. 6-hrs/day average drive time.

As reference to the HOS rules for big trucks, a 3000-mile week is genuine work. 70-hours in eight days to include all hours of work, not just driving. The assumption here is that the truck will average -- rest breaks and all -- about 50-mph for Interstate.

But the driver legally would not be able to average 640-miles/day on US highways. Not for purposes of planning. It would drop down to the low forties depending on route and truck load plus truck spec.

For big trucks and RV trailer towing the Interstate System is a night and day difference versus the non-limited access roads.
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