Planning a round-the-country this spring (or mebbe fall) - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

Spring RoadTrips Hottest destinations, routes and "what's cool" right now!

 
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#1 Old 04-29-2010
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Planning a round-the-country this spring (or mebbe fall)

I'm taking some time off this year, so was going to hit the road in the SLK and visit family and friends, and see a lot of the tourist stuff I always just usually fly over (Grand Canyon, etc.). Planning to go either in May/June (i.e. real soon now) or in Sep-Oct.

If I go now, I'll head down Cali to LA then over to Vegas and then through AZ and NM, into Texas, maybe hit NO, then head sorta NE up through the Smokies to the DC area, then up the east coast, and then back the northern route.

If I go in the fall I'd probably do it in the other direction, to make sure I got through the passes before any surprise snowstorms hit.

I am going to try avoid interstates as much as possible. Anyone have any particular scenic/fun-to-drive stretches? Or anything that is too cop-laden, or too treacherous (given low clearance, etc.) I should avoid?

I'm a seasoned traveler, but fitting everything for a road trip in an SLK will challenge even my packing abilities. Thanks to all for the roadtrip hints in the other subforum!
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#2 Old 04-29-2010
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Wow - sounds like a fun trip!! We did Louisiana (New Orleans) to Vegas last year for the SLK World Retreat, and was absolutely great. We did "lower" route out, with a slight detour up to Austin to enjoy the hill country and see family, then out across west Tehas on the I-10 raceway, up through Roswell, NM to see the aliens, and across to Sedona where we based ourselves for a couple of days rooting around the Grand Canyon.

Other than I10, we tried to stay off the interstates and onto the state highways, etc - basically picked what looked like cool routes - and you gotta drive US66 just to say you've done it!

Didn't really notice much in the way of outrageous LEO presence, but I was running near the speed limit most of the time, and with a nice Escort 9500ci to keep me awake. The backroads tend to have the usual locals with speedtraps - some dropping from 65 to 35 in the blink of an eye. AZ has some type of mobile speed camera / trap looking thing strapped to the top of a van, but they got detected a decent distance away - seemed to be pretty low power transmitters.

I pack light, wife not so much so, but we did fine with a couple of duffelbag sort of bags "stuffed" under the roof divider. We are planning a jaunt across Europe late this summer, early autumn, and will more than likely just stage (ship) some stuff over to the various stopping points along the way - we've done that before, and it works pretty well - DHL to the place you are going to stay, with a pre-filled way bill included in each box for shipping dirty laundry and "picked up/must have" items back home.

Only worry on both trips is really having a flat - but with MobiLife on the '55 for Europe, and MB Assistance in the US, I guess it's no better / worse than anything else. There was an accident in the UK where a person was killed when the flat tire was put in the front seat with the passenger and it exploded and killed the passenger - so be careful if you had to do that.

Goal is to *never* have the roof not able to be lowered in an instant! 'Vegas got iffy on the way back as the wifey collected things...



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#3 Old 04-29-2010
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"when the flat tire was put in the front seat with the passenger and it exploded and killed the passenger - so be careful if you had to do that."

It was a fully inflated tire with a bulge on the sidewall, IIRC.


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#4 Old 04-29-2010
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Have a look at THIS thread by Brian (Easty) - a Brit in the US and one of our founding members. He drove his SLK all over the States, and there are some interesting tips/anecdotes in his posts.

Good luck with your trip, enjoy it and post plenty of pics here.






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#5 Old 04-30-2010
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Thanks Wooly, Nakulan7, UK-C200 for the tips! Useful stuff. Will drop some notes here when I hit the road...

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Have a look at THIS thread by Brian (Easty) - a Brit in the US and one of our founding members. He drove his SLK all over the States, and there are some interesting tips/anecdotes in his posts.

Good luck with your trip, enjoy it and post plenty of pics here.
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#6 Old 04-30-2010
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I see you are located in Portland. Is it safe to assume you have done the coast road from Astoria down to Santa Barbara, US 1? I just drove that 3 weeks ago and it was the best road trip I have ever taken. The Pacific coast is spectacular and the road itself is perfect for our cars. If I lived in the Pacific Northwest I think I would have to drive this at least once a year.

For anyone driving this route, it is best if driven North to South so you are on the ocean side of the road. Your passenger will appreciate it.

Other great places to visit are Northern New Mexico, Taos and Santa Fe are really interesting and the country side is beautiful. Lots of good non-interstate roads too.

Have a great tirp, I wish I were going.

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#7 Old 04-30-2010
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If you do New Oleans then go Northeast I highly recommend the Natchez Trace Parkway from Natchez Mississippi to near Nasville TN...about 420 miles of the most pristine road you will ever drive. We saw 2 LEOs in that distance...one was napping!Not really a road for high speeds...but lots of great places to stop and gaze!


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#8 Old 05-01-2010
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Agreed, stunning. Looking forward particularly to that part (if I can get on the road before Memorial Day and avoid the hordes of RVs...)

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I see you are located in Portland. Is it safe to assume you have done the coast road from Astoria down to Santa Barbara, US 1? I just drove that 3 weeks ago and it was the best road trip I have ever taken. The Pacific coast is spectacular and the road itself is perfect for our cars. If I lived in the Pacific Northwest I think I would have to drive this at least once a year.
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#9 Old 05-01-2010
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Saw that recommended in another thread (maybe by you <g>) - looks like it's right in my way, assuming plans don't change.

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If you do New Oleans then go Northeast I highly recommend the Natchez Trace Parkway from Natchez Mississippi to near Nasville TN...about 420 miles of the most pristine road you will ever drive. We saw 2 LEOs in that distance...one was napping!Not really a road for high speeds...but lots of great places to stop and gaze!
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