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Old 10-24-2011, 11:40 AM   #1
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Travel from Texas to Carlsbad, CA

This may have been covered somewhere else before, and if I can be pointed in the right direction, it would help.

Looking for information on what route to take in December to travel from say Houston, TX to Carlsbad, CA. I know I-10 would most probably be the fastest and direct route, but what about I-40, or other options.
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:14 PM   #2
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Wayne,

I don't know how much time that you have, but including Fort Davis and the McDonald Observatory is interesting. They are a little South of I-10, but are great places to stop and tour. The Observatory has a great Star Party at their visitor's center. We did it in January, 2008.

Big Bend National Park is another interesting place, but is somewhat off of your route. Adjoining the National Park is Big Bend Ranch State Park which is beautiful. With the border problems, it might be worth checking with the Texas Department of Public Safety or the Border Patrol about traveling in and around Big Bend. By the way, the road through the State Park has a short (about two or three tenths of a mile) - (if I remember correctly) 16% grade up and back down. I remember a rusty sign at the beginning of the road in Terlingua about the grade. We had two diesel motorhomes and had no problems with it.

Rte. 285 goes to Carlsbad from I-10, and we traveled it with our motorhome many years ago - easy drive - somewhat tiresome, but most of West Texas in that area can get tiresome. I used to travel that area extensively in the 1970s.

Odessa has some intersting sights including some museums about the oil industry and the oil boom in West Texas.

Hope this helps.

Enjoy the trip.

W8RLM - Bob
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:19 PM   #3
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Wayne,

I just noticed that you said Carlsbad, California - not Carlsbad, New Mexico. I guess I saw Carlsbad and didn't go further.

The comments about Fort Davis, McDonald and Big Bend still apply - but would make your trip longer.

We just came back from Northern Arizona to Ohio using I-40 for that part of the trip. The road was very good.

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Old 10-24-2011, 12:29 PM   #4
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I'm just wondering about the "December" time frame and weather conditions.

Fort Davis and Big Bend are "Texas Day Trips" for us. We have not been yet, but it's on the down the road list.

DW has stated an interest of the I-40 route, but I just don't like the possibility of freezing temperatures. I walk the dog.
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Old 10-24-2011, 04:47 PM   #5
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As I mentioned, when we made the trip in January, 2008, the weather was beautiful. The nights were in the 30s, but the daytime highs were in the 60s. One morning, we had a frozen water hose - should have unhooked and drained it before we went to bed - but the ice melted by noon. Daytime travel was beautiful. We needed a jacket for the star party at the McDonald Observatory.

Understand the daytime trip. It was a little far for us from Cleveland, Ohio!

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Old 10-24-2011, 06:31 PM   #6
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Wayne, I've been both ways, I10 and I40. About eight years ago we got caught up in a heavy snowstorm mid December on I40 in Flagstaff AZ. We had to overnight there two nights waiting for clear weather and road. I have also been over the same route in early January, and it was beautiful. All depends on the weather systems. To be really safe from foul weather that time of year, I would select I10. Not too much to see, but you won't be pushing any snow either.

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Old 10-24-2011, 06:33 PM   #7
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Wayne
We travel from Oregon to Kerrville at least once a year, some times two or even three times. If weather is good we often travel inland a bit and pick up I-10 near Phoenix. If weather is bad we keep towards the coast and pick up 10 near LA. We used to live in San Diego and would take I-8 and pick up I-10 near Casa Grande. We have also traveled the I-40 and dropped down through Amarillo or Lubbock. If memory serves me correctly you can hit bad weather in the winter on any of those routes. Not knowing the weather I'd suggest I-10 and then south on I-15 to Escondido and across to Carlsbad. Again if memory serves me correctly they may close I-40 in the mountains near Flagstaff and they will close I-8 east of San Diego if snow conditions exist but I do not remember them closing I-10. I know you'll watch the weather.
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Old 10-24-2011, 06:39 PM   #8
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Our kids live north of Phoenix so we travel from just north of Dallas to Phoenix four or five times a year. We travel both 10 and 40 depending on the time of year. Our rule of thumb has been May-October we go 40, November-April, we take 10. I have run into snow around Flagstaff as late as April both in the RV and on a motorcycle so we stay south during the winter months.

Have a fun trip and be careful in Kalifornia. I am determined to stay out of that state in our coach.
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:38 PM   #9
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Thanks all. Now I need to have DW read the thread. I'm for the Southern Route of I-10. Not the best scenic route, but it will get me there.

Son is stationed at Camp Pendleton with I-MEF, so it's an "opportunity" visit. Now I just have to find an inexpensive CG i the area. (ha!)
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Old 10-24-2011, 09:52 PM   #10
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Wayne,

The weather could well be a factor. Here is another factor.

IH-10 has 100,000 trucks per mile. I-40 has 800,000 trucks per mile. Enough said.

Safe Travels,

Don
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Old 10-25-2011, 02:08 AM   #11
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Wayne,

Enough has been said about the route. Now, for the campground I have some advice for you. Everything near the beach will be expensive, even the state campgrounds. The best kept secret in San Diego are the County parks. They are very nice, very well maintained, and half the price of any other campground. I reccommend Guajome County Park, its just south of Pendleton off route 76. Its beautiful, I recently went to a friends wedding there and was amazed at how nice it is being that it's not really that far from civilization. After the wedding a few of us camped and had tons of fun. I believe the partial hookup sites are $24. Check it out, you wont regret it.
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Old 10-25-2011, 02:14 AM   #12
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Umm duh, forgot to mention... I dont know how familiar you are with Pendleton but the base has two or three beach campgrounds (full hookups ect.) and your son can get you in there. Very nice and very private, only military and family.
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