Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Preparations: Choosing the route

Which way do I go? An easy way to plan a travel route is to use Mapquest or a similar routing program that will give the shortest way to drive. If I am going to visit a place for the first time, I find it beneficial for me to do a little research as to the attractions available in the area. For example, if I travel from Cleveland to Los Angeles, I find the quickest way to reach my destination is to take I-71 to I-70 to I-44 to I-40 to I-15 to I-210. I do not encounter as many mountains on this route and the speed limit in Arizona and New Mexico is 75 mph. However, if I want to visit Las Vegas or see the Rocky Mountains, then I would want to take the I-70 route to I-15 instead of driving I-40. The lower speed limits and the mountainous area will make for a longer trip, but the beauty of the scenery will more than make up for it.

I plan my route around what I want to see, but I am also sure to take the weather into consideration as well.  I may want to see the mountains in a particular area, but if the forecast calls for rain, I will not enjoy the view.  I either change the timeframe of my trip or take another route. The weather always has an impact on my return trip from California. I love to take I-70 through Utah because the scenery is just amazing, but if snow is making roads hazardous in the Rockies, I would then choose to take I-40. If my trip is in the spring during tornado season, I sometimes have to opt to take a route that is more to the north to avoid any severe weather in Texas or Oklahoma. Scenery is important, but safety is more important. I always take a lot of time to plan my vacation routes. Since I travel by myself, I want to know as much as possible about the highways I travel. Every trip presents challenges and careful preparation helps me to deal with them.

(Photo taken in 2011)
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