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Driving from NY to Grand Canyon in 5 days - feasible?

Driving from NY to Grand Canyon in 5 days - feasible?

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Old Jul 16, 07, 9:10 am
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Driving from NY to Grand Canyon in 5 days - feasible?

Hi all,

Before everyone shouts out a resounding "NO!", let me explain.

My girlfriend and I (both from Sydney, Australia) are doing a 5 week US trip in Sept-Oct. Starting in NY, then planning to drive to Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, then doing the West Coast (San Diego, LA, San Fran, Yosemite etc...). Then onto Honolulu for a relaxing last few nights. NY and HNL are planned, but the rest is fairly flexible.

It's always been a dream of mine to drive right across the US, and while I'd like to do a huge 2 month trip, stopping everywhere and seeing everything, it's just not feasible right now. So instead, I figured we'd do the trip, but cut out the sight-seeing, and stay out of major cities (where possible). The road trip will be purely an "A to B" trip, and nothing more. I actually really like the mid-west (have a client in Kansas City I've visited twice now), so I'd be keen to see more of it.

Now as for the drive itself - here in Australia I do an annual road trip with my dad, usually covering anywhere up to 4,000km in 4 days. Our last one was 2,454mi in 4 days, including quite a bit of sight-seeing. The trip before that was ~1,860mi in 3 days. So as you can see, I love a bit of highway driving.

Having only ever driven around Kansas City and LA though, I'm not really sure how good/fast the roads for the majority of my planned route.
(The planned route, by the way, will probably be something like this:
http://maps.google.com.au/maps?f=d&h...=UTF8&z=5&om=1)

Is just under 500mi/day for 5 days, split between two drivers feasible between NY and Grand Canyon? As I said - I love to drive long distances, but have never done this drive before. We don't have anywhere specifically we want to visit on the trip...so we'll probably just stop at a small town when we get tired.

Ideally, we'd like to do the following:
Leave NY Friday morning
Drive Friday
Drive Saturday
Drive Sunday
Drive Monday
Drive Tuesday
Arrive Grand Canyon Tuesday night
Sight-see Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam Wednesday
Leave Grand Canyon Wednesday evening, arrive in Las Vegas very late Wednesday night.
(I realise this plan may make me look like a maniac. I can deal with that. )

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
- Febs.
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Old Jul 16, 07, 9:24 am
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Very possible. Probably not that much fun, but not difficult to do it. Plenty of little towns to spend the night.
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Old Jul 16, 07, 9:38 am
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Thanks JeremyZ.

Originally Posted by JeremyZ View Post
Probably not that much fun
Ahhhh..I beg to differ. One of my favourite road trips is doing NSW (Sydney) to South Australia (Adelaide) to Victoria (Melbourne) and back. That involved a lengthy stretch of this stunning (:lol: ) stretch of road:

http://users.bigpond.net.au/febs/oca...ng/highway.jpg

Love it...great fun.

Cheers,
- Febs.
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Old Jul 16, 07, 9:55 am
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Okay - clearly you like punishment.

The neat thing about the drive is that you see the incredible variation in terrain across the country. I've done the drive from NY to Colorado, and the thing you really notice is that Pennsylvania and Nebraska are really long.

Fun drive, though - I'm sure lots of people will have strong opinions about north vs. south routing.
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Old Jul 16, 07, 9:57 am
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I'm getting sick just thinking of how painful that is. Yes, it's doable.

FLY!!!
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Old Jul 16, 07, 10:08 am
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Just fly. You won't see much. You'll be on the highway so it's mostly signs you'll see. and maybe you'll see a cow farm or two but it's not worth the driving. I am wondering about your gf, did you agree to this? I don't know what sane woman would enjoy a 5 day drive. I don't even like driving from Ny to NJ lol

If you do it..... find some games. Australia and every other part of the world may be nice since it hasn't been concreted over... but the us... eh. I can tell you nj, ny, pa aren't too nice with the highways. With construction and the planted trees (of course to beautify the highway) and broken down cars and whatever else is on the road... eh. I am not sure past nj or pa, I've always flown. You do know the price of gas isn't kind either?
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Old Jul 16, 07, 10:12 am
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Portions of the post that previously appeared in this space have been deleted. I would provide you with a reason why, but doing so would likely be against the TOS.

Last edited by uncertaintraveler; Dec 19, 08 at 11:11 am
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Old Jul 16, 07, 10:12 am
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If you're not going to take your time to see the country, what is the point of doing this? Just to say that you did it?
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Old Jul 16, 07, 10:15 am
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Originally Posted by ecq
I can tell you nj, ny, pa aren't too nice with the highways.
Pennsylvania's actually *really* pretty along Route 80, and there's very little travel in NY and NJ.

Febs2 - it's not that bad. I've done the round trip from NY to CO about a half dozen times. It's kind of fun, and you really do get a great sense of the country. The roughest part can be the weather across the plains (thunderstorms, tornados), but you're traveling late enough in the year that you should avoid the worst of it.
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Old Jul 16, 07, 10:18 am
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Originally Posted by JeremyZ View Post
Pennsylvania's actually *really* pretty along Route 80, and there's very little travel in NY and NJ.
One can spend a great deal of time admiring the view as the construction is mindboggling. What is it with PA? Whether it's 80, 78, 76---it's a mess.
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Old Jul 16, 07, 10:22 am
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Originally Posted by Analise View Post
One can spend a great deal of time admiring the view as the construction is mindboggling. What is it with PA? Whether it's 80, 78, 76---it's a mess.
76 doesn't do anything for me, and I don't remember if I've done 78, but 80 is pretty, and I don't remember the construction being too bad. It does have pathetic rest stops/service areas, though.

At something like 400 miles, I remember 80 being long, but construction wasn't ever the issue for me.
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Old Jul 16, 07, 10:42 am
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I agree that it's definitely possible, but questionably enjoyable. You're talking about roughly 8 hours a day on the road (assuming you drive at the speed limit by the most direct route), after which your butt may hurt.

The midwest can be beautiful, and I think many visitors to the US (as well as plenty of otherwise-well-traveled Americans) miss out on the charms that the middle of our country offers. But if you're rushing through it, you don't exactly have much time to enjoy it. And US interstates can get pretty monotonous, particularly once you get to the Great Plains.

With gas and NYC car rental prices rather high, you might want to consider buying a one-way plane ticket from NYC to somewhere closer to your destination that has cheap airfare and rental cars, and then driving the rest. You'll probably break even on cost, and by cutting the drive in half, you'll give yourself more time to enjoy the remaining drive.

Whatever you do, I'd recommend getting a rental car with low mileage, comfy seats and satellite radio (broadcast radio in the US can get even more monotonous than the landscape). And enjoy!
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Old Jul 16, 07, 10:43 am
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Of course,what our US friends forget is that for an outsider driving a car across the States can be a really enjoyable way of seeing the country.
I've driven NY-West coast three or four times using auto-driveaway ( Febs2 - that's a way of driving other people's cars cross-country for the price of just the gas ).
You're normally given a week to get from coast to coast and it's quite possible for two people to cover 800-1000 miles a day sharing the driving doing all the boring bits in the middle leaving you time to do both Las Vegas and the Canyon.
The cars are normally in good condition and for a stranger to the States just driving along listening to the radio and looking at the scenery can be very relaxing.
www.autodriveawaydc.com will give you an idea ( you can either start in New York or train it to Washington/Pennsylvania ) and www.roadsideamerica.com has some interesting diversions along the way.
Good luck.
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Old Jul 16, 07, 10:53 am
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That's what the midwest looks like. (from the road).

I used to be crazy like that and do ultra long drives. It can be done, but I no longer think it's worth it.
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Old Jul 16, 07, 11:06 am
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Originally Posted by Showbizguru View Post
Of course,what our US friends forget is that for an outsider driving a car across the States can be a really enjoyable way of seeing the country.
I've driven NY-West coast three or four times using auto-driveaway
Nope.. took it into effect. Maybe it's exciting because it's somewhere new but really the highway is all the same after the first 30 miles. Maybe a little cow here or there but that's it. There's lots of construction and lots of potholes and lots of traffic and lots of rest stops. So the point is that there are lots of things that aren't joyful to the eye.

I've gone to Scotland quite a few times and loved driving (ok really being driven around) there. Everywhere I looked was different scenery. Then again lived in NY all my life and all i've seen are trees that are planted in the middle of nowhere. Even Central Park irks me. The name says it all. You walk towards Central Park and you think... eh? A park in the middle of the city? How odd. Though inside is nice but still... very irkful.

It's really up to the OP. Just update us on the drive.and as themicah said, your butt will hurt.
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