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Old 12-03-2011, 04:09 PM   #1
c214dick
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route needed for trip to California & Texas

Next fall we are planning a trip to visit our son in Highlands Ranch, near Denver, Colorado, than to see our youngest in La Grange California. From there we are heading to Texas for my niece's wedding the first or second week in October. Finally we will be heading for Florida. The trip will start in Illinois unless we have sold our house. We plan on heading west around the first of September.

Because I had high altitude sickness I am restricted to less than 6000 feet though I can tolerate a higher altitude for short periods. I know I can make the trip to Colorado w/o a problem but I am concerned when I head to California. Is there a route that will keep me at less than 6000 feet to California? If I need to, I can avoid Colorado on the way west by taking I 80 almost all the way but I'm not sure once I get to Wyoming.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 12-03-2011, 04:30 PM   #2
helmick
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Dick
I-80 between Cheyenne and Larammie hits 8,640 Feet.
Ron
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Old 12-03-2011, 06:45 PM   #3
c214dick
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Thanks Ron. Which route do you take when traveling east?
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:42 PM   #4
HamRad
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Dick and Louise,
Once you get to your CO address you will be at elevations around 5600. If you go north to connect to I-80 you will climb to 6196 at Cheyenne. As you head west on 80 your highest point on the trip will occur at or near Laramie at around 8626. Further west at Rawlins you will be around 6900 to 7000. Once you get over this area you will be lower for the rest of the trip. Even crossing the mountains near Salt Lake City you are in the 6000 to 7000 foot range.

Next highest as you continue west on 80 you are more in the range of 4000 to 5000 foot range. Even getting over the Sierra Nevada west of Reno only gets you back up to the 5000 to 6000 range.

Of course once you are over the Sierras it is flat land sailing in the San Joaquin Valley. Take 99 south out of the Sacramento area and then take 132 east to La Grange down near Modesto area.

To exit the Valley stay on 99 south or go over to 5 and head south. Since you are already on 99 I think I'd just stay on it even though it has a lot of traffic. At Bakersfield make a left onto hwy 58 and head toward Barstow. The Tehacahapi range you go over only gets you up to about 4400 feet or so. You drop down the east side and into the Mojave Desert. Take 40 East at Barstow and head for Needles. Again all this area is well under the 6000 foot level.

At Needles make turn south on either US 95 on the CA side of the Colorado River or go to the AZ side and take AZ 95 south toward Lake Havasu. Keep going on 95 till you come to Parker, AZ. At Parker take 72 / 95 east bound. If you've never been to Quratzsite then take the 95 south directly into Q at the intersection of I-10. If you come thru that area in mid to late Oct. you will start seeing early arrivals for the Q season. If you don't get there until January then you will be part of the annual migration to Q.

Dick you did not say where in TX you want to go. If it is south then you will want to simply keep going east and south on 10. If you wish to avoid driving in the Phoenix area I'd recommend you take the Buckeye cutoff or the Gila Bend cutoff as it is also known. Not a freeway but a very good 4 lane / 3 lane / 2 lane road. They've just redone the road and it is very nice. This brings you further south into a little town called Gila Bend. Some good RV parks there and they are on the very $$$ reasonable side. You also hook up with I-8 at this city. Take 8 east to Casa Grande where it reconnects to 10 and will take you directly into Tucson. Tons of places to stay there but more expensive than was Gila Bend.

Then just stay on 10 till you need to take something different in TX. If you'd like info about the NM crossing and some of the TX just drop a line. Lots of folks take this route.
Please note that even as far south as you are on 10 you still will be in the 4000 to 6000 foot range while crossing NM. While not as dramatic as the northern crossing the Continental Divide is still up around the figures just given.

You've got an ambitious trip outlined. Should be fun! Enjoy and if we can help drop us a line. Of course if and when you come thru Bakersfield let us know and we'll share a cup of coffee or whatever! Remember we do have a FHU for a rig in our driveway. Not the best in the world but gets the job done. Ask Steve and Vicki Reigle. Travel safely, Dennis and Mary Kay
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Old 12-04-2011, 04:35 AM   #5
helmick
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Dick
We have went both I-70(11,158') and I-80 (8,640')
Looks like Dennis has given you a lot of imformation.
I`m not sure of any easy way for you to go.
Ron
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:14 AM   #6
Capt Kidd
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If you take I-80 iver Donner Summit it is 7200 feet. If you go north from Reno to Hyw 70 and go over Beckworth Pass it is only 5,212 so it is the lowest pass over the Sierras. Also Hyw 70 is a much smoother road than I-80. It will bring you into Oroville, Ca and then it is a straight shot down the Sacramento and San Jouquin valleys. You will have to go over Ft. Tejon Pass to get to Southern Calif. but it is only 4,175. Have a good trip.
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:04 AM   #7
c214dick
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Thanks for all the info. FYI, we will be in the D/FW area of Texas before heading east to Florida. Looks like we will be taking 10 all the way east from Texas. The trip is almost carved in stone though it means we would miss the rally again in Goshen. I may still be able to talk Louise out of the California part of the trip and do it separately once we move to Florida. That way I could take the southern route and avoid most of the mountains.
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Old 12-04-2011, 04:11 PM   #8
Art-n-Marge
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I-10 is probably the only route that does not go above 6,000 ft at any point. Other routes westbound from I-40 and other westerly Interstate routes (I-70, Hwy 50, I-80, I-90), north of it all have some elevation at some point above 6,000 ft.

Hamrad touches on most of the routes and most of these exceed your altitude requirements at some point. You'll be crossing over the Rocky Mountains which include all the mountains ranges up to and including the ones in California (or Denver, Utah, or northern Arizona). Trying to avoid the 6,000 ft altitude means it will be a very slow trip looking for routes that avoid significant altitudes. The key is to head back to the great Plains, then head south to I-10, which makes for a long trip, too.

On a recent Amtrak trip, I met a passenger whose daughter had a similar medical requirement when we boarded in Chicago on our way back to Southern California. I was using my GPS and my laptop to track our location, speed, altitude, etc. and was able to warn them (or they hunted me down) when we were over her daughter's altitude level requirements in parts of Colorado and New Mexico. The mom was scared for her daughter at these altitudes but knowing these locations she made sure her daughter rested as much as possible during these times. She was grateful I had this information since she couldn't get any help from the Amtrak persons since they didn't track this information readily. Since her daughter did so well, she stopped asking because it seemed she did well the whole trip. Everybody was fine, but they weren't driving a rig.

Take care and best of luck.
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:10 AM   #9
padredw
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Note to Dick: You refer to taking I-10 all the way East to Florida from DFW area. Unless you need to go to Houston, you could stay on I-20 East to I-49 (South) at Shreveport (assuming you wish to stay on Interstates). There are several alternate routes to the southeast from I-20 to I-10 in Mississippi which are good roads and which we use all the time.

One other point, you probably know that, unless you wish to go to New Orleans, if would b better to take I-12 at Baton Rouge rather than staying on I-10.

You probably know all of this, but just thought I'd mention it.
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:50 AM   #10
c214dick
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I can spend a short period of time above 6000. My original problem developed when we made two back to back day trips to an elevation of 9000-10000 ft. for quite a few hours each time. If I drive through w/o spending any time I should be OK. I will be hauling the Montana so are there any section(s) where I would be spending more than a couple of hours ?

Thanks Dave I will follow your suggestion and avoid New Orleans.
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