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Roadtrip!!! Chattanooga to Portland, Oregon in two weeks


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Roadtrip!!! Chattanooga to Portland, Oregon in two weeks
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2012-06-30, 13:19

Been years since I've taken a multi-day, cross-country driving trip. Can't wait. Never been north of San Francisco, or Interstate 40, so I'll be adding a fee new states to my "been to" list: Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho and, of course, Oregon.

2,480 miles. Gonna try to do it in four days, around 620 miles a day (10 hours or so, at typical highway speeds and being smart/efficient with my gas/restroom/meal stops). Got a buffer of five built in, just in case.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tidewater Virginia
 
2012-06-30, 15:36

Cool! Work or pleasure?

One of my dreams is to get an RV and drive the Northern hemisphere.
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BlueRabbit
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Denver, CO
 
2012-06-30, 16:19

In Wyoming I would highly recommend taking a detour north toward Yellowstone to get to Idaho. It's a little bit farther, but is way more interesting than staying on I-80 the entire way.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2012-06-30, 16:21

Pleasure, basically. Helping a friend with a move and animal (kittycat) transport.

She had some time and money, I'm in a position to work evenings (so I'm going to put Illustrator on her MacBook and take my current projects along with me and can do any new drawings or revisions in the motel at night.

Should be fun. I don't do this sort of thing enough anymore. It's pretty much an expenses-paid sort of deal, so I'd be crazy not to do it, especially if I can still do a little work in the evenings and e-mail the files back east. It'll do me good, 4-5 days out of town and somewhere new and different. I've never seen that part of the country, so I'm excited. And maybe it's not as $#$^@! hot?

I figure I'll see some mountains and gorgeous scenery, throughout Wyoming and Idaho? I'll be taking pics. And then I'll have about 2-3 days in Portland to visit (and help set up a wifi/Time Capsule thing, maybe assemble some furniture, etc. The usual stuff I do for friends.

We're leaving on July 11 (the title makes it sound like we're taking two weeks to do it, but that's misleading). We're leaving in about two weeks (well, a little less).
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Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2012-06-30, 18:51

Dude that is awesome! I was thinking of a big Chicago-to-Chicago loop via ATL, Memphis, Route 66, Grand Canyon, Jellystone, Badlands later this year.
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Dorian Gray
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
 
2012-06-30, 19:15

I'd love to do a road trip in America. But even if I had a spare $3k to get there and try it, I'd need to rent a car, and rented cars ($0.20 a mile, insurance this, excess that, deposits) are antithetical to road trips (freedom!).

It should be a lot of fun, but 620 miles a day for four days sounds punishing. Will you have enough time and energy to enjoy the scenery? I find I don't average much more than 50 mph on long drives; the faster I drive, the more frequently I need to take a break. And there's always something interesting along the way that ends up adding an hour to the day…
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2012-06-30, 19:38

Well, it's kind of a "mission". We won't be alone (two kitties), so it's kind of a "get there as quickly and efficiently as possible", and the options for rambling won't be present. But this is a very close friend and we don't see each other as much these days as we used to, so I'm looking forward to just driving and catching up with her and we'll talk and enjoy the drive and the time. And I know we'll still see some beautiful sights.

Figure I might Tweet my journey, with pics and location markers throughout? I'll post a head's up on the day we leave in case anyone's just really bored...

We've got five days blocked out, so we might pull back on the 620 and just shoot for an even 500 a day and not kill ourselves. I'd like to not be completely wigged/wiped out by the third day. I recently made a 700-mile trip, solo, in one day. It was just over 12 hours and those final two, from Nashville to Chattanooga, were really rough. I was just about to go completely bonkers and zone out from the tedium, the flat, straight interstate and lack of contact/talk.

And due to my saved up Southwest points/miles, I get a free plane trip back home when I'm done out there.

Last edited by pscates2.0 : 2012-06-30 at 19:53.
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Dorian Gray
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
 
2012-07-01, 05:38

If you've done 700 miles solo, I guess 620 are easily doable with company. It depend greatly on the roads, too, of course.

It looks epic. Have you got an in-car GPS or are you using your iPhone? I love planning this kind of trip. Routes, provisions, back-up plans, tech gear (batteries charged, etc.). I always feel like I'm Shackleton for the day.
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AWR
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: State of Flux
 
2012-07-01, 07:12

Sounds fantastic. Envious! I've never been to Wyoming, Utah, Idaho or Oregon despite seriously dreaming of these places for years!! Have to do something about it. I look forward to some pictures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
And then I'll have about 2-3 days in Portland to visit (and help set up a wifi/Time Capsule thing, maybe assemble some furniture, etc. The usual stuff I do for friends.
As for this bit, um, err, wanna go to Europe? DG probably doesn't need the help, but me...forever I have been putting off synching a couple of Macs, phones and Touches, whole iCloud whatever, and I would love some company on that! If only knew where to start.
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Kickaha
Likes his boobies blue.
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hell
 
2012-07-01, 19:55

I'd suggest diving onto I-70 at Denver, and heading into Southern Utah, spending the night at Bryce Canyon, and getting up to watch the sunrise over the terrain.

Can. Not. Beat. It.

Seriously.

Then do a final long push through Utah on I-15 north, and reconnect with the route Dorian posted.

But yeah, do the Bryce sunrise if you can wing it *at all*. My wife and I did a three week cross-country-and-return trip in 2003, (Raleigh, NC -> Seattle, WA and back,) and that one morning was the highlight of the entire trip.

My other brain is hung like a horse too.
#IRC isn't old school.
Old school is being able to say 'finger me' with a straight face.
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Brave Ulysses
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
 
2012-07-01, 21:36

I'm leaving for Oregon tomorrow from NYC.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2012-07-01, 21:56

As of two hours ago, things got pushed back a week. We're now leaving early in the morning on Tuesday, July 17. But that's good...gives me two full weeks to catch up on revisions or any new illustrations, plus I've got a housesitting gig that fell close to the time we were supposed to leave and there was just a tightness to the schedule that I wasn't liking, so this works out, gives everyone some breathing room and means I can come through, and honor my commitments in full, to two separate parties.

You going to Portland as well, BU? I won't have a lot of time there (a couple of days, at most).
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Brave Ulysses
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
 
2012-07-02, 06:56

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
As of two hours ago, things got pushed back a week. We're now leaving early in the morning on Tuesday, July 17. But that's good...gives me two full weeks to catch up on revisions or any new illustrations, plus I've got a housesitting gig that fell close to the time we were supposed to leave and there was just a tightness to the schedule that I wasn't liking, so this works out, gives everyone some breathing room and means I can come through, and honor my commitments in full, to two separate parties.

You going to Portland as well, BU? I won't have a lot of time there (a couple of days, at most).
Moving to Corvallis actually. (Wish it was Portland).

But I will be close by (and temporarily unemployed) so if you have some downtime and want to meet up or grab a drink let me know.

I'm much nicer when not hiding behind the safety and anonymity of a computer screen
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2012-07-02, 08:56

Ha, aren't we all.

On a future trip. On this one I'll probably be there less than 18 hours (my flight home is at 10:30am Sunday), and I know I'll be helping with some AirPort and furniture stuff. About the only fun/normal thing I foresee is dinner with my friends Saturday evening, and the downtown nickel tour.
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Brave Ulysses
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
 
2012-07-02, 10:59

Try Santeria in Portland.... excellent little (and cheap) mexican place. Very good food.

And a trip to the bathroom is an interesting experience there.....


(the bathroom is in a strip club with the stage literally right next to it. Very weird when you don't expect it.)
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2012-07-02, 11:33

Thanks. May give that a shot, as I love Mexican food and can eat it 5-6 days a week (in fact, there have been times where I have). I see they have fish tacos, so that's already a plus for me. I got on Google Maps and saw how it's laid-out, and around the corner from Mary's...

Looks to be 1.0 miles/6 minutes from their downtown apartment on SW 3rd Avenue...
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2012-07-02, 12:16

Here's a dumb question (I'll go Google later if I need to, but I figure there are enough travelers here who may already know): is there an app or even a website (Mac OS and/or iOS) that lets you put in your start/end destination (no biggie), but then you simply tell it to take you a certain number of miles, give or take, each day and it'll pick out the nearest town/exit to that figure?

I'm familiar with traveling throughout the southeast and I know how long it takes to get to certain places, and what sort of distances I'm dealing with.

But this trip is different in that it'll be all new, heading in that direction.

I can kinda manually do this on Google Maps, just guessing/re-trying.

Basically, I was trying to easily break up the trip into, say, five 500-mile chunks and see where each of those runs puts us at the end of the day? And then to be able to tweak those distance (or time...say we didn't want to drive more than 9-10 hours or whatever) and have it recalculate.

I suppose a dedicated GPS device, which I don't have, is good at this sort of thing?

Or some sort of trip-planner app or site that lets you tweak things times/distances on-the-fly and recalculate?

And, ideally, when it puts you into a town or exit, list the hotels found there?

I assume there's something like this out there.

Any suggestions or ideas?
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709
¡Damned!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory
 
2012-07-02, 14:42

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
Or some sort of trip-planner app or site that lets you tweak things times/distances on-the-fly and recalculate?
You can kind've do that with AAA's TripTik Planner. I've only ever used it online, but apparently there's an app as well.

Basically just put in multiple destinations, and it calculates the travel time / driving directions between each.

For the hell of it I put in Chattanooga > KC > Cheyenne > SLC > Boise > Portland, but those first two stretches may be a bit much (600+ miles). Easy enough to tweak the individual destinations though.

So it goes.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2012-07-02, 14:47

I'll check that out. Thanks!
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RowdyScot
Ice Arrow Sniper
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Great Bay Temple
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2012-07-05, 11:08

I see the 5-600 mile chunks, and I'm just sitting here thinking if only I'd been able to do that when I went to get my stuff back from the PNW. I did 800-900 chunk days. I don't suggest them. Ever.

Authentic Nova Scotia bagpipe innards
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2012-07-05, 11:47

Damn, how many hours of driving was that? 12-13, I'm guessing (averaging ~70mph). No, I can't do that. Not solo, anyway, for multiple days.

We've been finalizing everything, and we're doing it in four days now. But she's laid it out in such a way that each day is a decreasing amount of miles/time. She just wants to get back home by Friday (I can't blame her...she's kinda been in limbo for over a month, with part of her stuff here, some of it there, the rest in Portland, etc.). She's about to go nuts and just wants everything, including her baby cats, in Portland with her, finally. So I told her we'd make that happen, and that I'd help make it so.



So we're pulling out on Tuesday the 17th of July. Driving 12 hours that first day to Kansas City (I've done it before, coming the other direction, solo, and this time I'll be with someone and it shouldn't be as rough or boring.

Leave the next day, driving for 10:30 to Laramie, Wyoming on July 18.

Leave there and drive to Twin Falls, Idaho (just under nine hours) on the 19th.

Drive the final 500-ish miles to Portland, getting there by 5:30pm, give or take, on Friday the 20th.

She's already got the Motel 6 reservations made at each stop, etc.

Saves one night of hotel, we both get to crash out at her place in Portland on Friday night, the cats are in their new home.

Turn the rental car back in Saturday, I get shown around the city and enjoy a new place I've never been (and enjoy a nice break from this heat ...looks to be a solid 15-20 degrees cooler in Portland than it is here, every time I check), eat a good dinner Saturday evening.

I get taken to airport (ha...I actually spelled it AirPort out of habit) Sunday morning, where my flight departs at 10:30am and I'm back in Chattanooga later that night. So six-days total...Tuesday-Sunday. Four on the road, one in Portland, one in an airplane/airport (a 90-minute layover in Vegas...I'll grab lunch and find a slot machine).
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Yontsey
*AD SPACE FOR SALE*
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Cleveland-ish, OH
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2012-07-05, 11:55

Several years ago, myself and a few buddies drove back non-stop from Phoenix to Columbus, OH, then to Cleveland. It was about a 36 hour drive. We were at the Ohio State vs Miami FL national championship game, which was a saturday, and then had to be back at class that monday. The professors made attendance mandatory, which I thought was bullshit considering the circumstances.

Die young and save yourself....
@yontsey
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2012-07-05, 12:14

I love highway/open road driving (preferably with someone, but I'll go it alone if needed).

I just hate being in my car, or anyone's car, here around town (traffic lights every 20 feet, stop signs, rush hour or mall area craziness, distracted drivers, residential areas, radar/ticket-happy cops, tailgaters, slowpokes, lane-straddlers, nobody using their signals, people ignoring lights and signs, bright-lighters, people driving while texting, etc.). Seems that's all I ever encounter anymore...

But put me on a highway, give me an 88oz. Mega-Gulp™ of icy Dr. Pepper and some of those little white powdered donuts (or a Butterfingers bar), find a good station (or load up my favorite songs/podcasts) and turn me loose. I'll drive until my head falls off.

I'm actually looking very forward to this trip. I love getting out of town and will do just about anything to make it happen...including escorting two kittycats cross-country in a rental car.
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RowdyScot
Ice Arrow Sniper
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Great Bay Temple
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2012-07-05, 12:28

It was 13-14 including food stops. Done it twice now. Will never do it again.
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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
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2012-07-05, 12:58

Long road trips are great, but tiring. Longest day of driving was from Modesto California to Vancouver, did it in 15 hours (including gas and food stops).
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Xaqtly
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2012-07-05, 13:07

Hey Paul, you swinging through Vegas on the way back?
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2012-07-05, 13:45

I am indeed. I thought about you (Robo used to live there too, I think...he's in Portland now, believe it or not).

Checking my itinerary, I have a layover in Las Vegas from 12:35pm until 2:25pm on Sunday, July 22 (in the Southwest terminal...Terminal 1, according to mccarran.com).

Probably not enough time to go somewhere off-premises and make it back, re-do security check-in, etc.

But if I had 3-4 hours to kill, I'd hit you up for tour through town.

I am going to try and step outside somewhere, just to see what Las Vegas is like in mid-July in the early afternoon.

You're certainly welcome to meet me at the airport for lunch and a cold one. A mini (two-person) AN meet up!
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Kickaha
Likes his boobies blue.
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hell
 
2012-07-05, 15:09

Quote:
Originally Posted by RowdyScot View Post
I did 800-900 chunk days. I don't suggest them. Ever.
LOL yeah, done a few of those myself. Longest was Limon CO to Nashville TN in one day - over 1000 miles. Do not like.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2012-07-05, 15:26

Holy crap...

17 hours, according to Google Maps. There's no way I could do this.
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Kickaha
Likes his boobies blue.
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hell
 
2012-07-05, 18:12

We almost didn't... I made it about 15 hrs on my own, then I almost went off the road, and my wife took over for the last bit. We had the windows down, the radio blaring, and were singing at the top of our lungs just to stay awake. It was brutal.

10-12 hr trips solo between NY and NC though? Pfft. Cakewalk.

My other brain is hung like a horse too.
#IRC isn't old school.
Old school is being able to say 'finger me' with a straight face.
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