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Author Topic: Absolutely flatest way to West Coast then north  (Read 2279 times)
Dave Siegel
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« on: July 11, 2006, 01:36:50 PM »

Hi everyone, Well this is my first real post on this board, please excuse any mistakes I might make.

Jan and I have our house for sale here in Naples and when it's sold we plan to full time for at least one year , maybe a little more Then settle down somewhere. (Not sure where yet) We have made a list of places we would like to see in this country and most of them are on the West Coast. That trip is OK for you guys with the bigger more powerful buses , but as most you who know us, we have a 1948 GMC Silversides. (I'd put a picture in, but I have no clue how to do that.) Jan is terrified of hills and I am worried that we would have some problems also. So my question is to get to the West Coast what is the absolutest flatest way there?  Even if it takes us hundreds and hundreds of miles out of the way. We will have the time, and the last thing I want to do is scare us both into not wanting to go anywhere in the bus.

I read a previous post about using Google Earth. How does one find roads and ways to go with that program? We have Delorme software and our laptop so we are covered with our computer stuff. I think.

Thanks, Dave Siegel   Naples, FL (Host of the h elp Assist Hotline on www.cruiser-magazine.com)


Dave, How's This?
Nick Badame
« Last Edit: July 15, 2006, 11:20:37 AM by Nick Badame Refrig. Co. » Logged

Dave & Jan Siegel    1948 GMC  "Silversides"
               Naples, Florida
   Dave is Host to the "Help Assist Pages"
  (Free roadside help for Bus Conversions)
         www.help-assist-list.com
akroyaleagle
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2006, 01:51:07 PM »

The flattest is I-10 to LA, then US 101 North.
Good Luck, Joe
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Joe Laird
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2006, 01:52:40 PM »

Unfortunately, the continental divide is in the way.  You must mountain drive.  Passes are normally lower than peaks but the divide also crosses all passes.  I guess that I 10 to Los Angeles "may" by the flatest.  It will take you 3-4 days to traverse to LA and then go north.

Godd Traveling!

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bernie
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2006, 01:56:52 PM »

hi dave
if you go across 10, do it in cool weather, it seems to take a week to cross texas.good luck with your trip
   Bernie
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Buffalo SpaceShip
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2006, 02:58:31 PM »

Hey Dave:

Yep, I-10 will be flat and hot, until you get to Indio, CA (near Palm Springs). Then it will be even hotter, but you'll have a bit of a descent to worry about also. My Mountain Directory (third time I'll mention it today) lists: 13 miles of 3-5% grades. No big deal, sounds like.

Once you're on the west coast, you'll become familiar with mountain driving, because they're everywhere out there. I used to worry about mountains and busses, too (and I live in Colorado). I took it easy on my first trip to the west coast. We went a few hundred miles out of the way to avoid I-70 (and the Ike Tunnel and Vail Pass). I finally worked my way up to it, and now it's no big deal. Now... we have a road going up to our local ski resort with 10% grades and hairpin turns (Hwy119 between Boulder and Nederland)... and that will always be a big deal to me, but I'm still able to descend it safely by being in the proper gear, watching my speed, and making sure my brakes are adjested and cool.

I was at Camping World today and saw that they're selling the Mountain Directory there. Less than $10, I think. It's the best ten bucks you'll spend.

Hope this helps,
Brian Brown
4108-216
Longmont, CO
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Brian Brown
4108-216 w/ V730
Longmont, CO
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2006, 03:01:29 PM »

Dave, I just saw your bus that Nick uploaded.

She's awesome!  Roll Eyes

More pics, more pics.
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Brian Brown
4108-216 w/ V730
Longmont, CO
Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
1989, MCI 102C3, 8V92T, HT740, 06' conversion FMCA# F-27317-S "Wife- 1969 Italian/German Style"
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2006, 03:11:24 PM »

Brian,

Go to Dave's web site  Southeast Cruisers.  He has alot of construction pics of his silver side.

Click on the pic of his bus.

www.cruiser-magazine.com

Nick-
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Dave Siegel
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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2006, 03:25:38 PM »

Thanks Nick for putting our bus pic in. How can I learn how to do that? Thanks Brian for the nice words about our bus. As Nick said you can go to www.cruiser-magazine.com and click on any photo album and you can see what we are doing. I need to put in some updated pictures, because most of the interior is now done.

Thanks everyone for the helpul advice about traveling the mountains. This old girl of ours used to travel for Graylines and it's route was from Denver to Portland to San Fransisco then back to Denver and start over. Of course tha was a time when everyone was traveling 50-55.

Thanks again, everyone.

Dave Siegel
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Dave & Jan Siegel    1948 GMC  "Silversides"
               Naples, Florida
   Dave is Host to the "Help Assist Pages"
  (Free roadside help for Bus Conversions)
         www.help-assist-list.com
Lee Bradley
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« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2006, 03:37:29 PM »

I would go west on I-10 and then go north to Nebraska and take I-84 west. Pick up US 20 West at Ontario, Oregon; this will take you to Bend via Burns. Do have breakfast at the Black Bear Cafe in Bend. Take US 26 north from Bend to US 35 and follow 35 north into Hood River then west on I-84 into Portland. This is much of the Oregon Trail; settlers crossed the continental divide on this route and did not realize it until they noticed the rivers were flowing west. I go through Bend to avoid the Pendleton hill.
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2006, 06:42:26 PM »

Dave,

I sent you a personal message on how to post pictures. Look at the top of your page.

If you figure it out, we would ove to have pictures of your bus in [Post your bus picture here] thread!

If not e mail me and I will help you out.

Nick Badame
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Clarke Echols
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« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2006, 09:53:10 PM »

Reminds me of a story my mom told me of her youngest brother, my uncle who was driving his
farm truck through the Colorado mountains somewhere when a  flat-lander flagged him down and
said (this was back in the 1940s or 50s), "Mister, I'll give you 200 bucks to drive me and my family
out of these damned mountains so I can go home."  Smiley

You haven't lived until you take the west side of Wolf Creek Pass in SW Colorado on US 160.  It's
10 miles of 7% grade with very tight turns and an 18 mph speed limit for buses and trucks.  I drove
it a few years ago and I ran down and pulled the guy in front of me over and told him to shift his
car into a lower gear (he had a standard trasmission).  He was trying to take the entire hill, using
only his brakes!  I could smell the brakes a quarter mile behind him.  He was upset until his wife
agreed that she could smell them too.  He put 5 years wear on those brakes in a half-dozen miles...

The trick is to learn to "sense the horizon".  If you pay attention to what the vehicle is doing
on mild grades, the work up to steeper grades, you'll be able to figure it out.

I was in AZ when I was 16 years old with my dad, and I was driving a Ford F-250 3/4-ton pickup
with 2 tons of potatoes on board westbound near Globe, down-hill into a tunnel.  They guy in
front of me in a car must have had one foot on the throttle and the other on the brake.  His
lights were on the whole way down the hill, and I had no problem coming down that same hill
on compression with an occasional press on the brakes.

I learned to drive on ice by skidding, spinning, fish-tailing, and anything else fun I could think up
as a kid in the alfalfa fields at age 14-15 or so.  In 1992, coming across Kansas on I-70 the day
before Thanksgiving, I had close to 500 miles of ICE (not snowpack).  Three people *tried* to
pass me (1978 Cadillac) but couldn't pull it off.  There were jack knifed semis, U-Haul trailers
upside-down in the median and all sorts of problems.

The only way to develop driving skills is practice, practice, practice.  If you can find safe areas with
little or no traffic, or open spaces with nobody around, try some stuff you'd encounter on the road.
Put the vehicle "out of control", then bring it back into control.  Try little things, then a bit braver
things until you become familiar with how the machine behaves.  It's time well spent.  Nothing's
worse than a driver behind the wheel in a vehicle he or she doesn't know how to handle in an
emergency.  I came close to being killed by a 40-yr-old famale driver doing 80-90 in a 280-ZX in
1991 who lacked the skills to make a simple maneuver to prevent a collision, (speed limit 55) but
instead she apparently closed her eyes and hit the brakes.  She was speeding and was out of sight
on the other side of an overpass when I pulled out to the right, safely I thought, into the eastbound
lanes of a 4-lane divided highway, then made a turn from the outside lane into the median
cross-over.  She mis-judged, thought to make a change to the inside lane to pass me when
I made my turn.  Instead of pulling back to the outside lane and continuing onward, she hit
me and destroyed two cars.  I got minor injuries.  She spent a week in the hospital with
reconstructive facial surgery.  I was in a 1978 Cadillac.  In a collision, the big guy wins, but had
I been 1/3 second later, I'd be dead today.  As it was, she T-boned the left rear axle and spun
the caddy 300 degrees and into the ditch.  My rib cage mashed against the driver door so hard
it bent the metal at the bottom of the window nearly 2 inches in the middle from normal.
Her name on her drivers license appeared to be SE Asian, probably Vietnamese.  Fast car,
slow skils = death or severe injury...

My head went through the side window.  Obviously it broke the glass.  I had on industrial
safety glasses with stainless-steel frames.  An EMT showed up seemingly seconds after the
car stopped moving.  Asked a bunch of questions to see if I was mentally OK.  Then he saw
my glasses on the ground and picked them up.  I put them back on.  They fit as normal.  There
were two big gouges in the plastic lens over my left eye from the glass breaking.  That could
have been my eye.  Another time, I was trimming the edge on a hardwood board when my
table saw threw a splinter at me.  It hit my right ear and lodged.  When I pulled it out, I got
blood.  2 inches to the left and it would have hit me in my right eye and probably left me blind.

I'm a fanatic about safety glasses.

Life's what happens.  Prepare in advance.  Do what's right and your Creator can choose to
protect you.  If you're not prepared, don't be surprised if He leaves you "on your own".  I've
had a lot of close calls in life.  My escape from serious injury or death on numerous occasions,
I'm convinced, was not "accidental".

There are no atheists in fox holes, I'm told...

Clarke
« Last Edit: July 11, 2006, 09:59:34 PM by Clarke Echols » Logged
TomC
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« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2006, 07:41:10 AM »

I would come across I-10 the whole way.  Once you get to Tucson, AZ it'll get really hot (100+).  I would travel in the early morning hours from Tucson as far as you can go until the bus doesn't like it anymore.  Just stay on I-10 and if you don't want to go through L.A., take I-15 north to 210 west to the I-5 north, then take the 126 west out to 101.  You'll avoid the worst of L.A. and be on the flatest route possible (I've taken most of them).  Going north on 101 is all highway with no signals to San Francisco with one minor uphill north of Santa Barbara and another medium length hard pull just north of San Luis Obispo (be sure to stop at Madonna Inn for a meal-not cheap but really good-have the best Blue Cheese dressing I've ever had [do figure since they are Danish]. Afterwards walk around and be sure to see the men's restroom downstairs [when clear women go to look to]).  Once past San Francisco, just stay on 101 all the way up.  Any part of highway one will be slow going, lots of curves and minor ups and downs, but also very scenic.  Just take it easy and if the old gal starts getting to hot, just pull over for a half hour of down time.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2006, 07:46:09 AM »

I agree with Tom.
If you want to see all of California, you might want to drop down to I-8 in Arizona and go to San Diego. Lots to see there with a great zoo.
Richard

I would come across I-10 the whole way.  Once you get to Tucson, AZ it'll get really hot (100+).  I would travel in the early morning hours from Tucson as far as you can go until the bus doesn't like it anymore.  Just stay on I-10 and if you don't want to go through L.A., take I-15 north to 210 west to the I-5 north, then take the 126 west out to 101.  You'll avoid the worst of L.A. and be on the flatest route possible (I've taken most of them).  Going north on 101 is all highway with no signals to San Francisco with one minor uphill north of Santa Barbara and another medium length hard pull just north of San Luis Obispo (be sure to stop at Madonna Inn for a meal-not cheap but really good-have the best Blue Cheese dressing I've ever had [do figure since they are Danish]. Afterwards walk around and be sure to see the men's restroom downstairs [when clear women go to look to]).  Once past San Francisco, just stay on 101 all the way up.  Any part of highway one will be slow going, lots of curves and minor ups and downs, but also very scenic.  Just take it easy and if the old gal starts getting to hot, just pull over for a half hour of down time.  Good Luck, TomC
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Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, a good Reisling in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming:  WOO HOO, what a ride
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« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2006, 07:34:34 AM »

Richard- I-8 and San Diego are nice, but you have the very long pull into the Santa Rosa mountains that at this time of year will be very hot.  Then once at the top there are about 4 more downs and ups before actually in the San Diego area.  Still would stay on I-10 and if they want to go to San Diego, go south on I-15.  While there are a couple of minor pulls, much flatter.  Course, they'll go their way.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2006, 09:41:56 AM »

Thanks Tom. I only took it one time and that was many years ago so I did not remember the grades. Course they would probably not have bothered me much anyhow. With the 8V92 and Jakes, I never hesitated to go anywhere.
Richard

Richard- I-8 and San Diego are nice, but you have the very long pull into the Santa Rosa mountains that at this time of year will be very hot.  Then once at the top there are about 4 more downs and ups before actually in the San Diego area.  Still would stay on I-10 and if they want to go to San Diego, go south on I-15.  While there are a couple of minor pulls, much flatter.  Course, they'll go their way.  Good Luck, TomC
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Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, a good Reisling in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming:  WOO HOO, what a ride
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