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Author Topic: Virginia to San Diego and back  (Read 549 times)


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Virginia to San Diego and back
« on: March 02, 2019, 09:24:41 PM »

Completed an 18 day trip to San Diego in January (6100 mi)--

Lucked out on weather leaving Virginia this time around...no ice storm like last year.  Took the standard routing to Chattanooga via interstates.  Not much to report.  On day 2 we used I-59 and I-459 around Birmingham, then I-20/59 to Meridian.  Took US 11 from Meridian to Laurel which was wide open and few speed zones to slow you down.  Bailed off I-59 for good at MS 26 then west to LA 21 south to I-12 over to Baton Rouge.  Other than some downpours there was noting eventful about day 2.

Drove I-10 across the Atchafalaya Causeway for only the second time.  Not too bad but lots of construction leading into Lafayette.  Opted to use US 90 from Lafayette to US 165 then back to I-10.  US 90 here passes through moderately sized towns and is not as free flowing. Because we have not enjoyed Houston on our travels, opted to use TX 105 to US 290 to Austin.  TX 105 was really good until reaching Conroe and then it was a slog for quite a ways.

Spent a few days in Austin.  Drove a couple toll roads which still have not mailed me my bill...  Weather was not great in Austin so we didn't get out and explore much.  There is major construction converting US 183 to a freeway on the east side of the city.

Resuming our trip out west we used US 183 to TX 29 to US 377 to I-10.  This was to avoid having to drive through Austin's rush hour to pick up US 290 (which I'd already driven anyway).  Using this northern route to I-10 was pretty good...just a couple towns to slow down for.  I-10 to El Paso seems like it never ends, even at 80 mph.  It was VERY windy and dust was blowing around (not truly impacting visibility).  Though not in the desert per se, there are few services between Fort Stockton and Junction.  We used Loop 375 around the east and north of El Paso and spent the night in Las Cruces.  The next day was very straightforward - I-10 and I-8 to San Diego.  New Mexico and Arizona take dust storms very seriously and there are many dire postings about what to do in one.  I-10 from Tucson to I-8 had every other interchange under construction.   It was weird to see I-8 at AZ 84 have what looked like multiple services, all closed permanently.  But Gila Bend had lots of stuff.  I-8 just inside California passed fields of produce followed immediately by very tall sand dunes.

San Diego was lovely...we were there pretty much the only good weather week they've had this winter, it seems.  We went to Sunset Cliffs and La Jolla to see sea lions.  Went down to San Ysidro.  The freeways outside of rush hour were not bad and there is a fair amount of button copy around San Diego.  Also drove CA 75 along Coronado.  There is still an erroneous CA 209 shield in the Pt Loma area.

Coming back ended up taking only 4 days (trying to beat wintry weather in Tennessee/Virginia).  Used I-15 to Barstow, then I-40 all the way across.  I-15 was undergoing major construction in the CA 60 area but otherwise not bad through the LA exurbs.  I-40 across California is quite sparse.  The US 93 area around I-40 is a mess and it was hard to reach services and return to the interstate.  Spent nights in Flagstaff, Amarillo, and Memphis.  Took the I-840 bypass of Nashville but otherwise normal direct routing back home.  Not much to report though it was neat to see original concrete US 66 alignments in Texas and Oklahoma.

This was partly a repeat of a trip I took to San Diego from SC when I was 14, but as far as driving myself it was 80% new mileage from Austin back around to Little Rock.

New clinches:
Louisiana: US 90
Texas: I-40, TX 105, TX 290 Toll, TX 183A
New Mexico: I-10, I-40
Arizona: I-8, I-40
California: I-8, I-40, I-805, CA 75
Oklahoma: I-40
Arkansas: I-40
Tennessee: I-840

Picked up appreciable mileage:  US 11 (MS); LA 21; TX 29; US 377; I-10 (TX); I-10 (AZ); I-5 (CA); I-15 (CA)

New states driven in: CA and OK.  Leaves NV as the only state I've been to but not driven out of the 47 I've been to.
New counties clinched: just 8


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