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Road Trip Post Mortem - California Coast

Started by TheHighwayMan3561, May 15, 2023, 07:49:12 PM

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About a month ago I completed a trip to the California coast and back.

Day 1: Minneapolis to Wichita, KS
This day was mostly for marathon driving of roads I had covered before, although I did clinch I-335 in Kansas.

Day 2: Wichita to Albuquerque
I clinched I-235 in Wichita and drove a bunch of the US 54/400 Kellogg Ave freeway, then headed southwest on K-42. I flipped to K-2 and clinched that route, so far the only TM user to have that route. It started to get very hot as I got into Oklahoma as I traversed the northwest part of the main body, then headed into Texas on US 60. I really enjoyed the US 60/83 duplex scenery, then caught up into a dust storm as I reached Amarillo. I found Amarillo to be a very depressing and run down city.

I departed on I-40 and headed into NM, where things cooled off very fast and it was in the 30s by the time I got to ABQ,

Day 3: ABQ to Flagstaff, AZ
I took I-40 into Arizona, with a swing through Winslow to see the Eagles monument. AZ seemed to have done a much better job of upkeeping its old US 66 segments and towns than NM or TX. I liked the mountain and forest scenery around Flagstaff, where I ended up being forced to stop for personal reasons.

Day 4: Flagstaff, AZ to Pasadena
I got sick of I-40 and followed old US 66 (clinching AZ 66) from Seligman to the CA border, which included a trip over Sitgreaves Pass. I felt it was one of the more challenging passes I had done due to the less modernized nature of the pass and the high amount of curves. After rejoining I-40 at the CA/AZ border I followed 40 to its terminus in Barstow, then took 15 to the LA area where I stayed in Pasadena for the night.

Day 5: Pasadena to San Jose
I clinched CA 110 as I took I-10 to its western terminus at the tunnel in Santa Monica. From there I took CA 1 north along the PCH, switching to US 101 where 1 deviates to go to the military stuff. I spent some time at the ocean in Morro Bay, then followed CA 41 to CA 46 heading back to US 101, which then I took to San Jose for the night.

Day 6: San Jose to Winnemucca, NV
I went into San Francisco and drove the Golden Gate Bridge before heading to Oracle Park for a Giants game against the Kansas City Royals. Afterwards I headed up I-80 out of the Bay Area into the Sierra Nevada which I thought were beautiful in their heavy snow appearance of the late afternoon/early evening. I-80 beyond Sacramento was a rough ride due to truck damage. I didn't see much in Nevada because it was dark, which I regretted the next morning when I came out of my hotel to see the mountains I had largely missed.

Day 7: Winnemucca to Rock Springs, WY
It was Easter Sunday and I was pleasantly surprised to find the local diner that shared a parking lot with the hotel to be open, so I had an Easter breakfast there. From there I continued on I-80 eastward. Nevada allows 80 MPH but uses it somewhat sparingly, some places there seemed to be no difference between a stretch kept 75 and one allowed to be posted at 80. I pushed through Utah which was very quiet around SLC because of the holiday and into Wyoming. The western half of I-80 in WY is in atrocious shape and the state seems to have fallen so far behind on keeping it drivable that they just kind of gave up.

Day 8: Rock Springs to Kearney, NE
I clinched I-80 as well as the interstate systems in both Wyoming and Nebraska.

Day 9: Kearney to home
The day I expected to be the least memorable ended up very memorable for all the wrong reasons, as outside Omaha I was targeted in an obvious pretext traffic stop and harassed by police. I'm still feeling the effects of it and it has definitely dampened my enthusiasm for future road trips for the time being.
self-certified as the dumbest person on this board for 5 years running


Once you cross the CA/NV border I-80 is pretty much 410 miles of same-ness.  Yes there is range after range of mountains, but you really didn't miss anything before Winnemucca that you didn't see between there and Wendover except maybe a better sense of the Truckee Meadows (Reno).

Between Fernley and West Wendover, the stretches posted for less than 80 MPH are mostly grades where trucks are going a lot slower than 80 and there's thought to be too much of a difference between them and 80 MPH cars.

Max Rockatansky

I once got a Camaro up to 138 MPH on Oatman Highway east of Sitgreaves Pass where the terrain flattens out.  Definitely far from most the intelligent thing I've done but it definitely was easier to pull over a decade ago before Oatman became a favored tourist destination.  Oatman Highway was freshly paved the last time I drove it during 2016.


I actually really liked I-80 across Nevada. Rural, sure, but it was the right kind of desolation for me.

Max Rockatansky

I-80 in Nevada has some underrated scenic value given how mountainous it is.  The Truckee River Canyon east of Reno is one of my personal favorites.  There is a lot of weird town charm along some of the surface segments of old US 40.

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