Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lazy Wednesday

So instead of doing the piles of work I have to do today, I've decided it's time to map my route back to the V-A for my December move.

I know "Google maps is the best" but I prefer MapQuest, and from what I hear, it's a good one too.

Did you know MapQuest had a new feature, the draggable route? I sure didn't. So if you don't like the route it selected, now you can grab and drag the recommended route on the map to incorporate cities, towns, or other sites without having to re-enter all your data. Don't want to drive the interstate and prefer to drive along the coast? Now you can change your route in seconds. Awesome! I've wanted this feature for so long and now it's finally here.

Anyway, I'm probably asking the wrong audience, but does anyone have any routes to the East Coast that are tried, true, and loved? All the routes will end up in the 1400-1700 miles range it seems like, and I'm planning to take 3 days for the drive.

Last time, from Richmond to Austin, we took I-95 South from Richmond to I-85 around Petersburg, cut down to Atlanta, where we saw a Braves game and spent the night. Day 2 we took I-20 west to Vicksburg, Mississippi and looked around at Civil War stuff, put my feet in the Mississippi River (nerdy right?), and we spent the night somewhere in Louisiana. Day 3 we continued westward to Austin via I-20 for a bit and then took mostly back roads through east Texas until we got to I-35.

Anyway, the stops were decent on I-85 (plenty of good BBQ haunts in NC to choose from), but I-20 seemed like the dullest, most uneventful stretch of highway I've ever driven. Alabama's section of the interstate was laden with construction zones and speed limits in the 30s and 40s. So frustrating.

So for the ride back I'm loosely debating one of two routes (though I'm open to other suggestions and variations of those below):
  • Texas - Arkansas - Tennessee - Virginia. This route is the fastest, but how much does that matter to save two hours on a three-day trip? I'm unsure. This route takes I-35 to Dallas, then winds through a long stretches of Arkansas and Tennessee before reaching the Old Dominion. It's a 23 hour, 15 minute ride covering 1500 miles. (Compared to my Richmond to Austin trip in 2007, which was 23 1/2 hours, but about 15 miles shorter -- wowww.)

  • Texas - Louisiana - Mississippi - Alabama - Florida - Georgia - South Carolina - North Carolina - Virginia. This 25-hour route crosses through nine states and would essentially use I-10 East from Houston to Jacksonville and then 95 North, back to Virginia. It would cover 1640 miles.
Any thoughts? Are Little Rock, Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville better for stops or Baton Rouge, Biloxi, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, (and a bunch of NC/SC/GA places I've been to before)? Anyone?

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