Anyone driven across the USA?

sikkinixx

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jul 10, 2005
2,062
0
Rocketing through the sky!
i was just wondering if anyone here had drived across the US before? My girlfriend lives out on Ottawa, Ontario and I live in Vancouver, BC. But in Janurary she is moving here but we have to drive as she needs her car. I would prefer to wait till spring but the job starts in January for her so...

I don't wanna drive across Canada in the winter as the praries are a little insane what with the snow and all, so I figure a longer trip thru by dipping down midway through the US then back up near the west coast is the way to go.

Problem is, I don't know anyone who has done this so I'm not really sure how far south to go to avoid the crazy weather (well, as much of it as possible)

Anyone ever driven across in the winter? or at any other time? any places that should be avoided?
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,777
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Mmm, two observations:

1) you will have to dip fairly far South if you want to avoid snow in the Midwest. It's going to add a LOT of distance to your trip.

2) Once you do that, any trajectory that puts you back into Ontario is going to involve a significant drive North up through the Midwest (e.g. I-75 back up through Ohio and SE Michigan to Detroit to cross into Windsor and then up to Ottawa).

Considering that you're going to cross a lot of snowbelt regions in that leg of your drive anyway, I really wonder how much snow you'll avoid with this tactic....
 

spicyapple

macrumors 68000
Jul 20, 2006
1,725
0
I'm just wondering about fuel prices. I'd make it into an extended road trip to visit all the small towns and get in the flavour of US and Canada along the way. Might be the only chance you get! :)
 

KingYaba

macrumors 68040
Aug 7, 2005
3,416
12
Up the irons
Um furthest drive would have to be either Dallas to DC, DC to Holland Michigan, or DC to Beaufort SC then onto Florida. =/ long drives.
 

d wade

macrumors 65816
Jun 27, 2006
1,046
0
Boca Raton, FL
i have.... twice.

started in the southeast, and ended up in northwest. i will say that these two trips were some of the greatest experiences of my life.

we stopped in many hot spots around the country to drink. atlanta, memphis, denver, etc. it was so cool experiencing all these new places.

driving 10+ hours a day does kinda suck.. but the experiences along the way will make it all worthwhile.
 

sikkinixx

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jul 10, 2005
2,062
0
Rocketing through the sky!
hey thanks all!

Being from Vancouver, we get like 4 inches of snow a year so im not used to it hence the reason i wanna avoid the damn snow so bad! My gf gets tons in Ottawa so she will be better at driving thru it than me. My main worry is getting away from the east coast once we leave from ottawa and then getting through the rockies.

should be fun! and we have about 8 or 9 days to do it so we shouldn't have to rush TOO much :)

Leaving on December 27th or so and gotta be back by January 8th at the latest.
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,979
3
Gone but not forgotten.
I've driven across the U.S.A. and back twice, once in 2005 and another trip in 2006. I live about 45 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean and it took 5603 miles the last time, round trip.

It's bad enough in the rain, but driving while it's snowing is utterly miserable. I once drove about 600 miles/1000 km, starting out as a small blizzard was forming. It increased my maximum of 10 hours to a 15 hour drive, though I didn't dare stop for possibly being stuck in the middle of nowhere for days.
 

sikkinixx

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jul 10, 2005
2,062
0
Rocketing through the sky!
bousozoku said:
It's bad enough in the rain, but driving while it's snowing is utterly miserable. I once drove about 600 miles/1000 km, starting out as a small blizzard was forming. It increased my maximum of 10 hours to a 15 hour drive, though I didn't dare stop for possibly being stuck in the middle of nowhere for days.

thats what i don't want!
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,979
3
Gone but not forgotten.
sikkinixx said:
thats what i don't want!
Since you have quite a bit of time, it shouldn't be a problem, though. It seems to me that most of Canada is flat with the Rockies and parts of Eastern Ontario and Québec being the exceptions, right?

It would be a great ride, though.
 

Tanglewood

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2006
942
2
San Diego, CA
I did once as a family roadtrip. From San Diego we drove all the way to Atlanta for the 1996 Olympics (went to a field hockey game the night of the bombing) and then up to Washington DC and then back though Indiana and Colorado be fore getting back to San Diego. All in all it took about a month with all the stops we did. One of the greatest experience of my life.
 

sikkinixx

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jul 10, 2005
2,062
0
Rocketing through the sky!
Skeeball236 said:
Yeah, in a snowstorm you're in "very alert" driving mode all the time....it takes alot out of you. No chance to really relax, but once you're out, a clear road feels like winning the lottery.

It's stressful no doubt, but also a good way to see what you're made of....I think Canada would be a kickass drive, maybe someday.:)

i think canada would get boring through the Prairies since it is flat and nothing but wheat fields! but it would be a nice summer drive!
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,979
3
Gone but not forgotten.
sikkinixx said:
i think canada would get boring through the Prairies since it is flat and nothing but wheat fields! but it would be a nice summer drive!
I'm sure it's no worse than driving through Iowa and Nebraska in the summer, unless you don't have tornadoes there.
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,910
41
Andover, MA
bousozoku said:
I'm sure it's no worse than driving through Iowa and Nebraska in the summer, unless you don't have tornadoes there.
It could not possibly be worse than that.

I grew up in the midwest, so I'm not insulting it out of ignorance. It's the most boring place on Earth to drive through, except, possibly, the southwest.
 

ham_man

macrumors 68020
Jan 21, 2005
2,265
0
bousozoku said:
I'm sure it's no worse than driving through Iowa and Nebraska in the summer, unless you don't have tornadoes there.
Corn corn corn corn corn corn corn maize corn corn corn corn corn corn corn corn corn corn corn corn maize corn

Or something like that... :rolleyes:
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,979
3
Gone but not forgotten.
ham_man said:
Corn corn corn corn corn corn corn maize corn corn corn corn corn corn corn corn corn corn corn corn maize corn

Or something like that... :rolleyes:
Something like that...or this.

Then again, Arizona and Texas were more interesting looking...sometimes.
 

Attachments

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,910
41
Andover, MA
bousozoku said:
Something like that...or this.
That first pic is far too hilly to really qualify. Why, the midwesterner in me would have to call it practically mountainous.
 

sikkinixx

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jul 10, 2005
2,062
0
Rocketing through the sky!
jsw said:
That first pic is far too hilly to really qualify. Why, the midwesterner in me would have to call it practically mountainous.

:eek: thats how FLAT it is?! good lord.... im used to Whistler and big mountains! big ones! not those wimpy east coast ones ;)
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,910
41
Andover, MA
sikkinixx said:
:eek: thats how FLAT it is?! good lord.... im used to Whistler and big mountains! big ones! not those wimpy east coast ones ;)
It is mind-bogglingly flat in places. Really.

I strongly recommend you drive the shortest path and don't dip down to the southern US. Just drive as far as you can each day, because even though you have 8-9 days, a blizzard or two could knock out half of that. Better to get home sooner than you planned than a week late because you got hit by two blizzards on the latter part of the trip - when you could have already been there.
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,979
3
Gone but not forgotten.
sikkinixx said:
:eek: thats how FLAT it is?! good lord.... im used to Whistler and big mountains! big ones! not those wimpy east coast ones ;)
That's almost as flat as it gets. Southern Indiana is far more hilly and Northern Indiana has sand dunes.

Nebraska is part of what they called the plains states. If something reaches a few feet higher than anything else, it's unusual.