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Topic: Memorable Drives

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Cincydawg

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Memorable Drives
« on: February 18, 2020, 10:36:18 AM »
Sparked by the comments on I 10 in Texas.

I drove my three kids in a minivan with a five speed from Cincy to Wyoming.  That was pretty epic driving across Iowa and most of SD in one day.

847badgerfan

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Re: Memorable Drives
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2020, 10:37:49 AM »
Driving through Iowa is brutally boring. Illinois too. The trip from here to UNL for a game was exhausting. If I make it back there, it will be by plane.
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NickSmith4Three

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Re: Memorable Drives
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2020, 11:09:00 AM »
I drive almost the entire length of Illinois at least twice a year with my wife's family in the south.  It takes forever and I am from there.

Christmas break we did Madison to Savannah to Orlando and then back to Madison.  This summer we will do Madison to Yellowstone/Grand Tetons with stops in Badlands/Black hills.

NorthernOhioBuckeye

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Re: Memorable Drives
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2020, 11:42:23 AM »
Driving through Iowa is brutally boring. Illinois too. The trip from here to UNL for a game was exhausting. If I make it back there, it will be by plane.
Yes, Iowa is a boring drive. But it is like Disneyland compared to driving through Kansas. 

GopherRock

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Re: Memorable Drives
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2020, 12:05:38 PM »
I drove to Regina, Saskatchewan a few years ago. North Dakota west of the Red River Flats actually wasn't too bad. Not only was Saskatchewan board flat, the roads were in terrible shape. 

A drive that is schizophrenic is I-90 across Washington State. Westbound you can see the Cascades, and you feel like you're getting somewhere. Eastbound the only thing visible once you leave the Columbia River is scrub trees, and you feel like you could get out and walk faster despite going 80 MPH. 

The last 20 miles of Wisconsin on westbound I-94 is always a bear. So close to home, yet so far. 

ELA

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Re: Memorable Drives
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2020, 12:28:36 PM »
Oh, this isn't what you mean? :57:




TyphonInc

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Re: Memorable Drives
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2020, 12:58:31 PM »
85 yards through the Heart of the South was really epic. 

Brutus Buckeye

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Re: Memorable Drives
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2020, 12:59:11 PM »
When I was a kid we took some sorta Canadian rout from Idaho to Vermont.
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bwarbiany

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Re: Memorable Drives
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2020, 01:33:04 PM »
When I interviewed for a job in San Jose my final semester, they hooked me up with a rental car. By about 1 PM on the interview day I was done [and they'd already said they were planning to offer; woo!] and figured I should sightsee since it was the first time I'd ever been to California.

So I drove up to San Francisco, didn't really do much [didn't have time and had no clue where I was], then drove PCH south and saw on a map a road called Highway 84 which connects the coast back to Redwood City, which would get me back to San Jose and my hotel. I didn't recognize that I'd be crossing the Santa Cruz Mountains, which although they're more like foothills, are a lot bigger than anything in the Midwest. 

It was getting dark. It started raining. I'd never even SEEN a twisty mountain road like this before in my life, much less driven one. I was freaking terrified pretty much the entire way, just hoping I'd make it in one piece. I didn't have a cellphone, didn't have anything other than a super-basic rental car map. 

After white-knuckling it the whole way back to civilization, I took a deep breath of relief and made it back to the hotel. 

When I ended up taking the job and moving to CA, then got a motorcycle, I spent a LOT of time up on those twisty roads through the Santa Cruz Mountains. But I'll never forget the feeling of just trying to survive it in a crappy poor-handling rental car, at night, in the rain, and wondering what the F I'd gotten myself into...

bwarbiany

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Re: Memorable Drives
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2020, 01:54:30 PM »
Another one, just barely after that experience. 

I graduated Dec 2000. Purdue was in the Rose Bowl on Jan 1, 2001. I was moving to San Jose and many of my fraternity buddies were flying out to CA for the game. So, I got tickets and arranged it all so that I could meet up with them.

I left my parent's house in Chicago right after Christmas with my 1985 Chrysler LeBaron Turbo all loaded up, and my sister and her husband in their big truck with a bunch of my other belongings. They needed to head to the West Coast to check out a boat so they were going to caravan and help me. We drove from Chicago to Lake of the Ozarks MO where they had their house, spent a day or so there taking care of their marina, and then got on the road to CA. We planned to split the driving duties between two cars and the three of us to make it through in one shot. 

So, first things first... We leave midday, head west on I-70 to the Missouri/Kansas border, and then north on I-29 to meet up with I-80. Well, by this time it's dark, and snowing. Snowing HARD. Whiteout conditions as the snow blew over the highway. I'm sitting there, again just white-knuckling in my Chrysler LeBaron watching my brother-in-law's taillights thinking "if he goes off the road, I'm going right behind him". 

I don't recall whether we started heading west in Omaha or whether we took some lesser road to Lincoln to meet up with I-80, but eventually we got on I-80 and by that time there was no snow and the roads were clear. And straight. And level. And there's NOTHING ANYWHERE. I swear I could have put The Club on my steering wheel, set the cruise, and gone to sleep. We had walkie talkies and I think when I hit the Wyoming border and the road finally curved I recall mentioning it over the walkie talkie because it was the first curve we'd seen in hundreds of miles. 

The rest of the trip was fun. I got a little shuteye and my sister drove across the Nevada desert, and then picked up again over the mountains through Reno/Tahoe. We eventually got to CA, crashed at a hotel overnight, and then they helped me load everything I owned into a storage unit (it was still a week before I could get into my new apartment) and they headed North to WA while I headed South to LA. 

I got to drive the beautiful 101 from San Jose to LA, in daylight, which was absolutely gorgeous scenery and a terrific drive. 

And here's where we get to the part of the story that astounds me to this day that it worked out. 

I'd never been to LA. None of my fraternity brothers had ever been to LA. I believe ONE person had a cell phone (it wasn't me) at this point. I had managed to get the cell # before we'd left, so that was my only lifeline to my friends in a metropolitan area of millions of people. And I'm trying to find them.

Luckily that day Purdue was having some sort of pep rally off Wilshire in LA. 

Mistake #1 was that when I was getting gas in Ventura, I asked the guy at the gas station how to get there, thinking someone in Ventura would know their way around LA. That didn't work. But I figured out I was about 2 hours out, called my friend from a pay phone, and we figured we'd find a way to meet at the pep rally. 

I continue the rest of the way. I get off the 405 at Wilshire and immediately pull up in my 1985 Chrysler LeBaron Turbo next to a Ferrari 360 Spyder, and believe me I felt a little out of place!

Somehow I managed to find the pep rally, and after calling from another pay phone managed to find my buddies among the few thousand people at the rally. It's not like they could say "we're the ones in black and gold" lol... I guess it helps being tall to survey the crowd!

I look back on it, when we all have smartphones, text messages, Google maps, etc, and I wonder how in the hell we pulled that off. We could do things like that back in those days, because we had to. But today I feel like some of those skills have just atrophied from society and I don't know if it could ever happen again... 

grillrat

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Re: Memorable Drives
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2020, 02:06:49 PM »
I've driven in about 44 of the 50 states.  I think I'm only missing two states that I have never been in (Alaska and Maine).

With that said, I can think of four drives that have just blown me away at just how beautiful the scenery was.

1)  I-70 between Vail and Grand Junction in Colorado has to be tops of my list, especially in the springtime.  It's a somewhat twisty road weaving between tall purple / green mountains with the Colorado River just to your side and train tracks on the other side of the river with occasional steam locomotives chugging down the tracks.  in the springtime, half of the snow has melted off the mountains so the river is fast moving but the mountains still have their white peaks.

2)  I-77 between Charleston WV and the WV / VA border.  I've always been fond of that particular stretch of road.  Lots of hills and tunnels and seeing the different strata of the rock that they had to blast through to route the roads through the mountains.

3)  Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) from Monterey down to Pismo Beach, CA is quite honestly one of the prettiest drives in the world.  Especially if you can get there in April / May before the summer heat turns the hills brown.  Green hills to the east and ocean crashing on rocks to the west.  What's amazing is that there are very few houses / businesses along that route, for as picturesque the view is.  Usually the traffic isn't too bad because of that.

4)  Coming out of the Yosemite tunnel into the Yosemite valley is just awe inspiring.  You just feel.....tiny.

Honorable mentions:  If you like deserts, the badlands in SD are pretty cool to drive through and the desert areas around Lake Mead in Nevada are high on my list.

bwarbiany

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Re: Memorable Drives
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2020, 02:45:22 PM »

3)  Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) from Monterey down to Pismo Beach, CA is quite honestly one of the prettiest drives in the world.  Especially if you can get there in April / May before the summer heat turns the hills brown.  Green hills to the east and ocean crashing on rocks to the west.  What's amazing is that there are very few houses / businesses along that route, for as picturesque the view is.  Usually the traffic isn't too bad because of that.
Yep, the drive through Big Sur is astounding. It's one of those drives that should be on everyone's bucket list if they've never done it. 

Big issue can be weather though, as it's quite often that area is socked in by fog, which not only makes it not very picturesque, but makes it treacherous to boot. 

847badgerfan

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Re: Memorable Drives
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2020, 02:57:49 PM »
The Southern Road to Hana (Piilani "highway") was.. scary. Took me 4 hours. 

I should have taken the North Road, like I did on the way back.
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medinabuckeye1

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Re: Memorable Drives
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2020, 03:05:33 PM »
My favorite drive ever is the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park.  I've driven in about as many states as @grillrat and I just love this one.  

The road goes from St. Mary on the East side of the Park (and East side of the Continental Divide) to Apgar on the West side of the Park (and West side of the Continental Divide).  It crosses the Continental Divide at Logan Pass (6,700 ft) and has just absolutely amazing scenery.  

I've also hiked in Glacier and that was even better but obviously takes longer.  

 

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