A lot of people have an aversion to road trips because they don’t like riding in a car for hours on end. On any long route, there is inevitably a day or two of long hauls between destinations. We’ve found that if we limit the time spent driving in a day, it makes the experience much more tolerable. About eight hours is the sweet spot for us. We both grew up in families that took long road trips in the days before in-car DVD players (travel bingo anyone?) so neither of us has a problem with long drives. Your results and patience may vary. We may have been known to break into song around hour seven, but that’s a rare case.
It’s no fun rushing out of a hotel, sitting in a car for 14 hours and then eating some fast food and going to bed. By limiting our drive times to 8 hours it creates a nice day schedule of a leisurely breakfast, drive four-hours, stop for lunch, drive four more hours and then arrive at a stopping point in time for a little sightseeing, a nice dinner and a couple drinks before resting for the next day. We also generally trade driving duties every 2-3 hours.
For example, on our 2009 Western Loop, we took two days to get back to Chicago from Denver, stopping overnight at the halfway point of Omaha, Nebraska. We were able to use the hotel pool, check out the riverfront and Heartland of America Park, followed by a great meal at Twisted Fork and drinks in the Old Market neighborhood. We were glad we stopped and explored a bit of a new city and by the time we got back to the hotel we’d forgotten we’d spent eight hours in the car that day. The next morning we were refreshed for the final eight hour roll home. Last year, Memphis also worked well as an approximate halfway point on the way to and from New Orleans. Why drive yourself crazy going all-out in one 15 hour day, when you can make a much more pleasant two-day jaunt?
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- 07.22.21 : Explored a secret little permit-only area of Vermillion Cliffs National Monumenr. No, it’s not “The Wave” but it’s similar and we were the only people to be found for miles around, so it was even better.07.21.21 : Hiked 10 miles round trip down the North Kaibab Trail to Roaring Springs. The 3,300 feet of elevation gain in the heat was tough, but it’s an incredible trail. This is the Redwall Bridge about 2.8 miles and 2,100 feet down from the rim.07.20.21 : Saw some crazy rain and thunderstorm action while at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Second pic was later that evening with clear skies.07.18.21 : The Zion Canyon Narrows hike was even cooler than anticipated. We hiked nearly 4 miles up the canyon through water ranging from ankle to waist deep.07.17.21 : Zion Canyon viewed from Observation Point. We got there via the 3.5-mile East Mesa Trail from the east edge of the park. Angel’s Landing is the point at the center right.07.17.21 : Thor’s Hammer viewed from the Navajo Loop trail at Bryce Canyon.