Driving Phila to Colorado Springs on Saturday

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662
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PA
And Sunday and Monday. Friend at work driving daughter out to Colorado Springs starting Saturday. 1800 hundred miles, 600 miles a day, taking route 70. Plan is to drive Phila to Dayton OH first day, Dayton to maybe Topeka,KS the second and arrive in Colorado Springs late Monday. Any tips, suggestions, warnings, detours that you are aware of? Daughter is starting a new job and friend is flying home so this is a one way trip.Car is a later model Ford Focus with all of its fluids up to date I hope. I suggested joining AAA tomorrow.
 

Astro14

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600 miles is a long day. I've done that drive several times. Keep an eye on the weather. It's OK to wait out a good snowstorm instead of trying to press through.
 
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4,967
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Lima, Ohio, USA
yeah, 600 mi is about an 8-10 hr drive. but very doable. I've Driven the 1100 to my brother's place in Dallas in a single shot several times.(then back a week later) I don't know if I'd recommend that trip to anyone, but I can assure you I'll do it again.. also, keep an eye on the news re: the situation in Ferguson, MO. it's Looking to possibly flare up again if the grand jury returns a decision. and Ferguson is right off 70 on the north end of St.Louis. and Yes, esp right now, keep an eye on the weather. you are going right through the heart of the Current storm.
 

Nick1994

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600 miles in a day is do-able. I drove last summer 1,100 miles in one shot to Montana. I was getting pretty tired needless to say. Took I believe 18-19 hours. Lots of hills. And this was in my old 97' Camry with just shy of 200,000 miles. At least it'll be 2 people who can swap off driving too, piece of cake.
 
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Lima, Ohio, USA
From Dayton, you should be able to get to Effingham,IL before needing to fill up, and that's where i recommend filling up(about an hour or so east of St Louis) which will put you well past the Cluster **** that is St Louis before need gas, and hopefully before needing a potty stop.
 

JHZR2

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There are a few Skyline Chili restaurants in Dayton, I always like to eat there. Not much on the rest of the trip. Some long,,lonely roads, but at 70 MPH, you can cover 600 miles easily. Probably best to do 3 hour shifts. Always smart to stop and stretch your legs, exercise, drink water, more often than schedule dictates. You won't miss the 15 minutes lost, but you'll be happier and more comfortable. Give the tires a little extra pressure.
 
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Basehor, KS
If you can, check gas buddies for current pricing. Missouri gas is cheaper than Illinois gas, generally speaking. Get west out of Saint Louis and then stop for gas. Prices aren't that much different. Eastern part of Kansas City (Oak Grove, Blue Springs, Independence) provide some of the cheapest gas in KC area. For the Kansas run, Salina and Colby are good stops. If you overnight in Topeka, fill up and go to Colby. I use the Pilot or Flying J's since they are convenient. Fill up at Colby because the gas goes up about 20 cents per gal in Colorado. If you have a Kroger loyalty card, it provides two or three cents per gal discount at Dillons food stores & KwikShops in KS, and King Soopers & Loaf n Jugs in CO. There is a toll for the KS turnpike between Bonner Springs and Topeka.
 
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Be sure your emergency kit is up-to-date. I record football games, strip out the commercials, download to a Sansa player and listen to them on long, boring stretches. Sure makes the time go faster. Further, not having the game constantly interrupted by commercial breaks is very satisfying!
 
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VA
Lawrence would be a good place to stay if you can't make it to Topeka. Things get pretty sparse after Topeka. Don't be fooled into stopping for the "World's Largest Prairie Dog" out near Oakley.
 
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Colorado Springs
I'm from the Springs; I70 gets NASTY during blizzards; and US 24 from Limon Colorado to Colorado Springs, the 60 mile treck from the turnoff from I-70, gets heavy snow during storms because the elevation is deceivingly high. We're getting snow currently, so even if it's not snowing, blowing snow from the ground along the interstate can make it very icy in spots. Keep track of the forecast and like Astro said, if the conditions are iffy anywhere along the journey, it's better to park and wait. Don't let the fuel tank get under a 1/4 tank because there are a few spots in western Kansas/eastern CO where it's 50 miles between fuel stops and some of them are pretty crummy unless you stop at a place meant for interstate travelers. Link for CO Road conditions: http://www.cotrip.org/roadConditions.htm
 
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689
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us
The tricky part about traveling east to west is that the storms will be moving west to east. They usually take several days to get from the west coast to the middle of the country, so while it might be nice when you leave philly it could change by the time you get to Colorado. I wouldn't worry too much about fuel prices, they are down nationwide. 10 cents a gallon difference is only a buck or two per tank. You definitely don't want to run out of gas in a snow storm. I-70 is the most direct route, but I second the opinion about avoiding St. Louis. It's always a pain to get through. Definitely look for a bypass. My routing software recommends I-270 from just north of Troy, IL thru Hazelwood,MO. I-70 through MO is pretty bad in general. I-80 is better if you can do it, but you end up a ways north of Colorado springs. My cousin told me he found US 36 is all four lanes and quicker across MO. Your friend could take I-72 from Indianapolis. Following 36 thru MO and most of KS to Norton, KS, then south to Colby. My software shows this route only a few miles longer. Although you will find the major chain motels right on I-70, most towns out there will have some kind of ma and pa type motels, sometimes they are surprisingly better than the chains. I stayed in a small motel in Burlington, CO (near the KS border off I-70) and they had 42" flat screens!
 
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Virginia
Find someone with a Triple A (AAA) membership, ask them to get you a TripTicket (book showing route), and some maps. Look along your route for cheap gas using Gas Buddy or Gas Tracker. A savings of 50 cents a gallon or more is possible. Air up the tires, look on the sidewall for max PSI, I put in about 3-5 PSI less than that amount. Ride is rougher, but better mileage, and may drive better. Check the oil each stop. Check the spare tire before leaving.. A blanket or two, hat, gloves, heavy coat, two pair heavy socks, bag of cat litter, some food, and water... A cell phone... A folding shovel is nice... Get a bottle of gas line antifreeze, pour half into windshield washer tank with one or two drops Dawn dishwashing soap. Put the other half in your gas tank. A Slime Spair kit (around $25) is nice, has the green tire seal goo and an tire inflator. A tire plug kit is nice, but requires mechanical (car repair) know how...
 
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2,804
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Michigan
I would avoid I-70 I have done that drive few times and I like I-80. 1. Get an easy pass transponder for toll booths 2. figure out where you want to stay overnight. 3. Drive. Warning, Don't take a route that has you switching hwys every few miles, one mistake and you will be remaking dumb n dumber, ask how I know, Day1 Just stay overnight in Youngstown, OH, the hotels are cheap there, I have stayed there many times. Very safe. Day2, Drive to Denver, start early like 8 am est and you can make it to denver by late night.
 
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us
I wonder if there is a web site that has information on the various highways and routes. Maybe some truckers web sites have info like this. I think it is best to travel with a GPS. If the OPs friends' daughter doesn't have one, this is a good time to get one. She will use it a lot getting accustomed to her new home area.
 
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Da Swamp
Originally Posted By: PhillyJoe
. . . Plan is to drive Phila to Dayton OH first day, Dayton to maybe Topeka,KS the second and arrive in Colorado Springs late Monday. Any tips, suggestions, warnings, detours that you are aware of? Daughter is starting a new job and friend is flying home so this is a one way trip. Car is a later model Ford Focus with all of its fluids up to date I hope. I suggested joining AAA tomorrow.
That long long stretch from Kansas City to Denver is, did I mention this, long. Kansas is flat, yes, but not level: You'll be going ever so slightly uphill all the way, 1000 feet elevation at Kansas City and 4000 when you cross into Colorado. There are long gaps between exits on I-70 in Kansas, and not all of them have gas stations -- but with a Focus you should be fine.
 
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22,187
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Colorado Springs
If you take I-80, the only real place to get on I-80 is in Pittsburgh; every other spot to get to 80 adds an hour, plus you'll be driving through the south side of Chicago. I70 is a straight shot through in 26 hours according to Google maps. We're getting another storm with snow over the weekend so keep track of the weather.
 
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4,118
Location
Olathe, KS
600 mi day is pretty low in a passenger car, but it would be too far to do it in 2 days. I've done 800 mi/day with wife and 2 small kids. It was already stated, but stay clear of Ferguson. Also do not stop in East St. Louis. I wouldn't stop between the stadiums and downtown KC either. Watch the weather. We have some snow coming this weekend also. I70 is a toll between KC and Topeka. They'll be able to make real good time driving through KS -- as long as the weather is fine.
 

PhillyJoe

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PA
Thank you for all of your suggestions. I have printed them and given them to my friend. While it was 0 degrees this morning in Colorado Springs, it has warmed up to 3 degrees so I told them to put the shorts back in the suitcase.
 

Astro14

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Originally Posted By: PhillyJoe
Thank you for all of your suggestions. I have printed them and given them to my friend. While it was 0 degrees this morning in Colorado Springs, it has warmed up to 3 degrees so I told them to put the shorts back in the suitcase.
Was in Denver over the weekend. A bit chilly (single digits) and a dusting of a few inches... How did they make out?
 
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