Seattle to Raleigh - PLEASE HELP

Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 12:00 PM
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Thanks, Barbara.

Gretchen, I am more concerned about theft of vehicle contents than murder. LOL

You guys won't believe it - but I have traveled extensively abroad. I lived abroad too. I would have planned this trip a lot differently if the country was not under lockdown. Lots of places I want to see, but not when everything is closed.

I am thankful for everyone's input. I feel good and have learned new things.

Take Care.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Annadeg
Gretchen, I am more concerned about theft of vehicle contents than murder. LOL
You are so overthinking this. Take any real valuables in with you. Park under a light in the parking lot. But the risk for theft is so small, it's really not worth worrying about. If you have your grandmother's pearls, take them in with you. If you have a laptop, take it in with you. If you have a custom made bike on a bike rack on your car, take that in with you. Otherwise, if you stay in a decent hotel anywhere along the interstate, the risk of someone breaking into your car is slim to none. If it happens, that's what insurance is for. Not worth the worry.
Where is "home" for you originally? Is it likely for cars to be broken into and things stolen from them where you are originally from? Your route is nothing like the I-95 NE corridor, in traffic and/or crime.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by starrs
You are so overthinking this. Take any real valuables in with you. Park under a light in the parking lot. But the risk for theft is so small, it's really not worth worrying about. If you have your grandmother's pearls, take them in with you. If you have a laptop, take it in with you. If you have a custom made bike on a bike rack on your car, take that in with you. Otherwise, if you stay in a decent hotel anywhere along the interstate, the risk of someone breaking into your car is slim to none. If it happens, that's what insurance is for. Not worth the worry.
Where is "home" for you originally? Is it likely for cars to be broken into and things stolen from them where you are originally from? Your route is nothing like the I-95 NE corridor, in traffic and/or crime.
Philadelphia. Theft from vehicles is somewhat common.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 12:58 PM
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Gretchen asked earlier about the angst. This thread has been illuminating in reading things that you are very worried about that I really never worry about. I've driven back and forth from the SE to the mountain states since I was in my 20s. I've never had a mishap, on the road or in a parking lot. I've traveled the US by car - my own if within 6 hours of Atlanta and/or rental car after flying to another city for the past 30 years. I've never had anyone break into my car nor have had a co-worker have a car broken into. I don't rent cars in NYC but have driven out of NYC. In cities like Philly, I do valet park but because self-parking is not an option.

This is said from a very respectful place - I hope you can lessen your worry and I hope this road trip gives you an insight into what non-urban areas of this country is like. If you have AAA in case of car trouble, a road map to see where you are if there's a gap in your cell phone connection and keep snacks and water in the car in case you get hungry before the next stop, you are going to have a safe and happy trip.

And I'm going to make a point of staying in a Paducah hotel and do a review about it - after this darn shutdown is over! Safe travels!
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Old Apr 24th, 2020, 02:29 AM
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Anna, I have stayed in Motel 6 with a car loaded. In fact I never travel to or from Denver without my car being loaded to the gills. Starrs is correct==park under a light, etc.

We lived in NYC and our car was broken into reppeatedly!! AND there was nothing in it!! Finally left the glove boc OPEN so they could see there wasn't anything! LOL
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Old Apr 24th, 2020, 05:48 AM
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Since Annadeg has been out here in Seattle maybe she is aware that vehicle prowls are not rare here. I never leave anything in my vehicle, even to go to the grocery store, and we live in a very safe area. But it is everywhere around here. We don't even leave the vehicle registration in the vehicle (yes, that is legal here). We have moved cross country a handful of times and did have an issue once many years ago in San Diego with our car being broken into. Thankfully we had taken everything into the hotel room, and yes, we were parked in a lit location and very close to the entrance. Here though, whether it is a suburb, in the city or at a trailhead, nope, I won't leave anything in the vehicle. I know numerous people whose vehicles have been broken into, even with nothing left inside.
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Old Apr 24th, 2020, 06:09 AM
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Well, that's so very helpful.
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Old Apr 24th, 2020, 12:23 PM
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As a travelling nurse doesn't your company pay your way by air both ways? Seats should be cheap right now, planes mostly empty, and planes likely exceptionally clean, and pets usually are no obstacle. But if you must drive...
I have some general thoughts based on a few cross-country driving trips from the PNW.

From Seattle, although it would be 50 - 100 mile further for the total trip, I always use I-90 to Ellensburg, WA, I-82 to apx. Umatilla, OR, I-84 to east of Ogden, UT, thence I-80 *either* through Omaha NB to Davenport, Iowa, thence I-74 and east, *or* I-80 & I-25 to Denver, thence I-70 to St. Louis & I-64 east. (Note: those cities are NOT where I'd stop, they're just to give sense of the route.

Why that route? Especially through the rockies that route is the "flatest" with less mountain driving (though you so have some), hence faster, and less tiring (though less interesting)

I would NOT make advance reservations to give you flexibility to adjust to how you're doing driving miles/day, weather, road conditions, etc. I WOULD make reservations each night for where you think your next stop would be. Each night watch the weather ... but doing a quick look right now, that doesn't look to be much of a problem, at least, out west. But watch the weather, you can hit freezing temps. and even major snow sometimes almost anywhere in the mountain west or the great plains.

This year, I would also look each day at one of the coronavirus reporting maps like at https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...-us-cases.html - especially their list of counties sorted by % of population affected,.and try to void stopping for gas or lodging in any of the latest hot spots. (Mind you, those are usually related to testing in some way; an area that doesn't test much will show as less affected than it is.) Be sure to handle gas pumps with a disposable paper towels or disposable gloves and take the usual precautions like taking something with you to clean surfaces, especially door handles, at places you stay.
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Old Apr 25th, 2020, 05:31 AM
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I think this ship has alreacy sailed and many of your ideas were floated. But you also offer other good ideas.
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Old Apr 30th, 2020, 11:33 AM
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Late to the party but just had to comment on Paducah. I stay there frequently and feel very safe. There are several nice motels just off the first exit as you enter KY. Pre-Covid 19, there were lots of places to dine-I am sure many are open for carryout and all the chains (McDonalds, etc.) are represented. Lots of places to get gas. I am guilty of not carrying everything into my hotel at night and my SUV has never been bothered there. I dare say I have spent over 50 nights there over the past 5 years.
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Old Apr 30th, 2020, 05:45 PM
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Glad you spoke up. It's never occurred to me to completely avoid a city / town based on idle chatter. I rely on reviews - both on TA and the hotel chain's website. I don't stay in hotels that get bad reviews and will drive another 30 miles more to stay in "better" hotel. One of my last trips was to a small town in coal country in KY. It didn't have a Hampton Inn or a Holiday Inn Express, by moderate standbys. The local person recommended a hotel in a chain that I never use. It was that or drive 30 miles on very curvy roads in early morning. The hotel was fine; older but very clean. I parked under a light in the parking lot. I've driven with a FULL van for over 20 years and no one has ever bothered my vehicle and there are a few hundred of people like me on the road almost ever night (my company and competition) and I don't remember anyone ever having a break-in. I am a firm believer that if one does their research and chooses a hotel with good reviews, the odds are excellent the experience will be a good to satisfactory one. I take in my laptop and a suitcase, and sometimes just my hanging clothes (for the next day) and a small bag of things I need overnight. Would I do this in downtown Chicago, Philly, NYC, MIami, etc? No. But I do it in the Miami area at Hampton Inns or Homewood Suites with self-parking. IMO it's not about the name of a particular town but where you choose to stay in that town. Works for me. I couldn't travel for a living if I were stressed about my vehicle each night. IME that's unneeded stress. I DO think one's first cross-country trip is a great way to see not only the geography of the rest of the country, but the differences in the rest of the country. They are probably already on their adventure and I hope it's going well.

Last edited by starrs; Apr 30th, 2020 at 05:48 PM.
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Old May 1st, 2020, 03:31 AM
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I'll offer this other possibility of a review--booking.com has reviews of the hotel you choose and that has been helpful to me

But for the eclipse a couple of years ago we stayed in N Charleston, and area we would NEVER choose and even that was fine.
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Old May 1st, 2020, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Gretchen
But for the eclipse a couple of years ago we stayed in N Charleston, and area we would NEVER choose and even that was fine.
A funny story. My place was in the path of full eclipse, but is very wooded. We bought tickets for the eclipse event at a nearby winery. The afternoon before, a lot of us were at a neighbor's cabin, just hanging out and talking when one interrupted the conversation, pointed at the sundeck (built by the previous owner) and asked what time it was. 2 pm. Direct sunlight on the sun deck. Total silence as we stared at the beam of sunlight. Months of planning with different arrangements made, and the sun deck next door was in a perfect location! Then we all shrugged and decided to keep with the plans. The winery/ vineyard really did the day up right and it was nice to be in the midst of a large (uncrowded) group for the eclipse. Fun to listen to everyone's reaction.

Back to the topic - Gretchen, I agree. No matter how one vets the particular hotel, I think it's smart to use THAT kind of info vs just crossing off an entire city due to hearsay. Paducah KY has a population of 25K. Is it really reasonable to say there's NO hotel that's a viable option in Paducah KY? Reviews on any travel site says otherwise.

I do hope their trip is going well. Wish they would check in!

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Old May 1st, 2020, 08:13 AM
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Well, that eclipse day was the day we started our beach week in Litchfield, north of Charleston. But Charleston was to be the longer time, etc. Prices at hotels for that Sunday night (eclipse onMonday) were $500+ !! N. Charleston was $120 or so. BUT then guess what--it rained in Charleston so cloudy.
We headed on up to Litchfield, unloaded our stuff and went a few miles south to Georgetown and found a perfect place to watch!! Memorable time.
Next one is 2024 and my home town in southern Ohio is right on the path for about a 5 minute eclipse. Road trip.
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Old May 1st, 2020, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Gretchen
Next one is 2024 and my home town in southern Ohio is right on the path for about a 5 minute eclipse. Road trip.
I didn't realize that.

Off to research! Thanks!
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Old May 2nd, 2020, 03:06 AM
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It is a wide path from Texas to Ohio. And really wide.
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Old May 2nd, 2020, 06:29 AM
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Thanks! I checked it out. Considering MO or Little Rock. Maybe even Paducah.
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Old May 2nd, 2020, 07:30 AM
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Interestingly Columbia MO was the epicenter of the last one. They opened up the stadium at the University for watchers.
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