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Old 06-19-2012, 12:40 PM   #1
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Question Big trip, have questions.

I don’t normally ask questions like this but I’m questioning my reasoning and motives (I should be used to it, my DW does that all the time ).

I’m planning a trip from Southern California to Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and then back home. It will be right around 6,000 miles give or take. I’ll be loaded to the maximum with five people, (forgoing all but a few gallons water, no firewood, no extra chairs and anything else I can jettison) and pulling a light toad.

At first I was going to take I-40 on the way there and back, but then thought why not see a little more.
Now I’m thinking of taking the I-15 to the I-70 going east and taking the I-40 back west. A big loop as opposed to straight there, small loop, straight back. According to the maps it adds less than 100 miles to the trip. There is nothing I must see or do up there… just kind of want to do it because I can. I'm guessing (never been there so I don't know) it will add 2-4 hours to the trip climbing and descending all the mountains.

1. Am I crazy to cross the Rocky Mountains through Colorado or should I stick to the I-40?

2. I know we don't all travel at same speeds etc... but with a new V-10 gasser, can anyone give me an educated guess (been there, done that) how much more time the north route will take vs the south route?

3. Would you take the north route?

Thanks for the input!
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:51 PM   #2
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We've taken it many times only in the reverse order that your traveling being we come from out East. If you have the time and enjoy driving I wouldn't consider anythig else. The scenery in itself is just fabulous going thru the Rockies. Now when you get to flat land thats another story but if you have the opportunity to take that Northern route I sure would. Hope you have a great trip, take your time and enjoy the sites.

If your a little leary of driving in the mountains, they do sell a book on mountain driving both West and East coast. It's probably worth having to ease you mind on what you can expect for grades and hazards. I have both copies and have found that it may be a little over the top and get you a little nervous on reading some of the areas but when actually going thru them it didn't seems anywhere near as bad as it was described. Just a thought you may not have a problem driving it at all.
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:55 PM   #3
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I-70 will take you through some beautiful Colorado mountain scenery. Since it's an interstate, there are always two lanes each direction, with additional "climbing" lanes where necessary. Take your time on those sections (there really aren't a lot of them) and enjoy the scenery.

We've been through both I-40 and I-70 across the country, and - given a choice for mountain or desert scenery (we live in SW Colorado and love the desert AND the mountains) - we'd opt for I-70. Perhaps the best option, as you considered, take them both to get a bigger view of the country! I-40 will take you through some beautiful areas as well. Dang, now I'm starting to feel a bit envious! Enjoy your trip!
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Old 06-19-2012, 01:08 PM   #4
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I-70 Thru Glenwood Canyon Colorado is one of the most beautiful sections of Interstate highway in the US. This is a two tiered highway snaking around bends in the canyon... a true engineering marvel!
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Old 06-19-2012, 03:25 PM   #5
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Awesome, I appreciate the replies.
I might as well see as much as possible so I-70 it is!

Thanks everyone!
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:50 PM   #6
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We were in Forest City IA in May and came back via Denver across I-70. It was a beautiful drive - elevation gets to about 11000 feet at the Eisenhower tunnel so the hills can test the cooling system of your vehicle. I wouldn't hesitate to do it again.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:08 PM   #7
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Stop in Fruita, CO off I-70 for some great farmer markets. (right afte the UT line).

And your reward for seeing all the beautiful scenery in western CO is driving through....Kansas. Beware of the cross winds. Lost a slide out topper one year.
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:00 PM   #8
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Tom:

Your comment about Kansas reminded me of a comment overheard by my daughter while at the top of the Space Needle. Someone nearby with a disticntive mid-west accent commented "There'd be a really fabulous view if it wasn't for those damned mountains".
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:12 PM   #9
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the drive from southern ca. on interstate 15 is also a faboulous drive. especialy when you get to Utah. when you think it can't get any better it DOES. if you have the time check out some of the national parks in Utah. some are are on the way before you get to I70.
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Old 06-20-2012, 06:00 PM   #10
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I-70 is a very scenic drive through western Colorado. Keep your RPM's up on the pulls ... and down shift on the descents to keep your brakes cool ... and when you do use your brakes do it definite bursts (do not "ride" your brakes)

I have travelled I-70 eastbound across Utah and Colorado several times in a gasser ... there are a couple of places where you will be in far right lane with your flashers on but you will make it ... and your passengers will be oohing and aahing at the scenery ... it is worth it ... there may even be some snow near the summit of Vail Pass (there is a rest area there where you can enjoy the scenery and maybe even have staged snow ball fight for some picturees)

I-70 will take right past the Eisenhower Presidential Library about 50 miles west of Kansas City ... it is one of our premier Presidential Libraries ...
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Old 06-20-2012, 06:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ciderdog View Post
We were in Forest City IA in May and came back via Denver across I-70. It was a beautiful drive - elevation gets to about 11000 feet at the Eisenhower tunnel so the hills can test the cooling system of your vehicle. I wouldn't hesitate to do it again.
... And the downhills will test your brakes! Keep it slow & under control.

So many nice side trips also... from I-70 east of Green River take US 191 south and visit Arches NP... take Utah 128 out of Moab north along the Colorado River (some nice camping here) and rejoin I-70 at Cisco.
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Old 06-20-2012, 06:45 PM   #12
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We thought I70 throughout Utah was really great. The trip through the mountains was equally as good. That is the way I would go.
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:06 PM   #13
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You will be just fine. We have done it twice heavily loaded and it was not bad at all. It is an amazing stretch of road.
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:14 PM   #14
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It's well worth doing! Depending upon your time you might want to think about taking 395 to US 50 across to the 70 and experiece "The Lonliest Road in the World"

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