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Driving N. Virginia to S. California

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Am planning to drive from northern Virginia to southern California.

It will be me and my car with a couple of suitcases of clothes and stuff in the trunk. Leaving September 12 or 13 and arriving in the L.A. area on Sept. 24. Maybe I could leave a day or two earlier.

I could use some advice on how to do this. The longest driving trip I have done was Milwaukee to Pittsburgh and I stopped overnight in Dayton! Am wondering if a CB would be useful. Maybe a radar detector if it would be legal, after leaving Virginia?

The obvious route is I-66 west to I-81 south to around Knoxville and then I-40 all the way to Barstow and I-15, etc. Stops in Knoxville, Memphis, Hot Springs AR, Oklahoma City, Amarillo, Albuquerque, Flagstaff.

Would like to stop in Shreveport LA (Bossier City) to visit Louisiana Downs. A Rangers game in Dallas. This route would be Knoxville, Memphis, Hot Springs, Shreveport, Dallas, OK City, etc.

I have never been to the deep south, so the other option I am considering is: Knoxville, Birmingham AL, Vicksburg MI (maybe), Shreveport, Dallas, OK City, etc. The reasoning for this is that I probably will make it to Memphis and Nashville some day, and the trip to Arkansas would best be done in the spring when Oaklawn Park is open (e.g. to see the Arkansas Derby).

I don't have any good reason for driving through Alabama and Mississippi except for the fact that I have never been there and would like to see what it is like.

I suppose there are two ways to go about driving with sightseeing. First would be to drive in the morning, check in to a motel on the interstate, go sightseeing and return to the hotel, then be right there at the interstate the next morning for the next day's drive. Second way would be to drive in the afternoon into the city arriving at 6PM or 7PM, then sightsee in the morning. Or some other routine?

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