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Old 03-01-2013, 12:28 AM   #1
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Route to New England from California?

What route would you suggest to go from So. California to New England states in the fall? Probably leaving mid-Sept due to a family obligation. Might be taking off from the Fresno area also. Want to take a northerly route. Any ideas? Need inspiration/suggestions! Thx!
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:02 AM   #2
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Well, from SoCal to NE, the most direct, least mountainous (and avoiding the Chicago area), assuming you are travelling and not really sight-seeing (although ther would be tons of sights to see) in my humble opinion would be thus:

I-40 to Oklahoma City
I-44 to St. Louis
I-70 to Columbus, OH
I-71 to Akron, OH
I-80 to PA
I-81 to I-84 to wherever your destination is.

We have personal experience travelling these roads and recommend them for economy of time and distance.

However..... If you must leave from Fresno and prefer a northern route, take the 99 up to Sacramento and head east on I-80. Going over 80 toward Truckee will be the most climbing you will do, but nothing you cannot handle. I-80 crossing the Rockies in WY is a gradual climb. After that, it is literally all downhill as you go East. When going through the Chicago area try to do it between 10 AM and 2 PM - it's a volume thing.

Safe travels.

Frank F.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:57 AM   #3
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If you are looking for a truly scenic northern route ... with maximum scenery ...

I-70 & I-76 through Colorado
I-80 through Nebraska to Des Moines, IA
I-35 to Duluth,MN
US 2 through WI and Upper Michigan to Sault St. Marie
Trans Canada highway to Ottawa
Cross back into the US at Cornwell
proceed eastward on US 2

On the plus side: this route gives you moutains, great lakes, forests that will be turning color, avoids Chicago. On the negative side: this route is much longer, gives you higher and steeper climbs crossing the rockies and higher fuel prices in Canada

If you want faster, shorter, barren landscape of WY on I-80, lots of harvested corn fields and feed lots full of tomorrow's prime rib then go across nebraska, iowa, illinois, and indiana ...
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:06 AM   #4
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Just for thought! Be reminded that many campgrounds in New England, especially the northern-most states, begin closing down around the middle of October.

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Old 03-01-2013, 11:09 AM   #5
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I will be going to NE in september, From NM, I-40, I-81, I-84
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ding-a-ling View Post
Well, from SoCal to NE, the most direct, least mountainous (and avoiding the Chicago area), assuming you are travelling and not really sight-seeing (although ther would be tons of sights to see) in my humble opinion would be thus:

I-40 to Oklahoma City
I-44 to St. Louis
I-70 to Columbus, OH
I-71 to Akron, OH
I-80 to PA
I-81 to I-84 to wherever your destination is.

We have personal experience travelling these roads and recommend them for economy of time and distance.

However..... If you must leave from Fresno and prefer a northern route, take the 99 up to Sacramento and head east on I-80. Going over 80 toward Truckee will be the most climbing you will do, but nothing you cannot handle. I-80 crossing the Rockies in WY is a gradual climb. After that, it is literally all downhill as you go East. When going through the Chicago area try to do it between 10 AM and 2 PM - it's a volume thing.

Safe travels.

Frank F.
I think this is a great route. The only change I would make is I would go a little farther North then East:

I-71 to I-271 (Cleveland ByPass)
I-271 to I-90 Medina, OH
I-90 to I-86 Northeast, PA
I-86 to I-88 Binghamton, NY and then to I-90 and the rest of the NE is open from there. At that time of year, trees should be changing and the traveling should be gorgeous.

Which ever route you choose, have fun and be safe in your travels.
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:08 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the great replies! This will definitely help in our planning. Yes, we're aware that a lot of the campgrounds close down by mid-October. We should be in the northernmost states by mid-late Sept, so hope be ok in that regard. We just want to be flexible, no reservations, and meander around at our will.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:42 AM   #8
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FYI, if you are going for the Fall Colors "mid-Sept" might be iffy as the color change is driven by weather conditions. Sometimes they will be changing by "mid-Sept" but don't count on the beauty of the brilliant colors to be anywhere near peak at that time. Since you said you are flexible you will probably be OK if you can stay an additional weak or two.

Assuming you will have time on your return trip, I suggest you plan on spending at least a night or two going to the Shenandoah National Park in Northern VA. The colors there are also beautiful in the fall and you are on the top of the mountains looking down into the valleys, but again driven by weather conditions.

Another idea if you haven't thought of it, on your way out be sure to plan a stay at Niagara Falls as it is also an awesome sight. Stay on the Canadian side or at least go to the Canadian side of the Falls as they are more spectacular than the US side. A note, if you go into or thru Canada be sure to have a Passport, the days of crossing the border with just a photo ID/drivers license are over.
Have a great trip.
Tom and Barb
2000 Bounder 39Z
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:45 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by chief02 View Post
I will be going to NE in september, From NM, I-40, I-81, I-84
I would concur - this is the least complicated route. Probably similar mileage to the one I proposed above.

Frank F.
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