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Old 01-28-2015, 08:04 PM   #1
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Bend,OR to Tampa,FL

Picking up my Sportsmobile in OR and driving it back to FL. Looking for suggestions on the best route back during the month of Feb.
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Old 01-29-2015, 08:38 AM   #2
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Re: Bend,OR to Tampa,FL

Man you've got the whole country to pick from! February could take out half of it at least though. What kind of time do you have to make the trip? I essentially did that trip in reverse this past summer and many here will be full of great ideas. My first piece of advice is to stay off interstates if at all possible, at least until you get to the flat, boring middle of the country.

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Old 01-29-2015, 09:01 AM   #3
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Re: Bend,OR to Tampa,FL

We fly helicopters to FL from Bend for contract work and do a SW route twice a year. Bend to Reno to LV to Phoenix then down to NM and accross northern Texas. Another good route would be Bend to Bosie to Salt Lake to LV to AZ and on to NM but the weather in Feb. on this route could be a bit more challanging to start out. But we are in the air and don't have 4x4! Did you buy the 2008 RB 50 that was for sale in Bend? If so congratulations really nice looking SMB.
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Old 01-29-2015, 10:59 AM   #4
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Re: Bend,OR to Tampa,FL

so funny how far we will go for these rigs. we picked ours up in augusta georgia and drove it back to boise idaho a few years ago. main regret was not being able to spend time back east. i saw a lot of things on our drive i wanted to check out but just didnt have the time

if you come through the boise area, feel free to contact me for places to camp/stay. ill help however i can

have fun with your drive and treat it as a trip report if you can...and post pix for us
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Old 01-29-2015, 10:23 PM   #5
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Re: Bend,OR to Tampa,FL

[photo][/photo]

Thanks for the feedback. I'm hoping for nice weather. I have seven days planned for the adventure back. I will be taking plent of pictures and keep a log.
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Old 01-30-2015, 02:12 AM   #6
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Re: Bend,OR to Tampa,FL

I can't tell you which way to go, but I can tell you which way NOT to go. I-40 between Amarillo and Memphis. Amarillo has Cadillac Ranch, which is good for about 30 minutes of fun, and Memphis has great ribs. Everything in between is pretty boring unless you are interested in the old Route 66. (Apologies to the people that live in that corridor, but that's my opinion.)

Try to wander through southern Utah and hit some of the great National Parks there. From west to east, you've got Zion, Bryce, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Arches. Plus Goblin Valley State Park is in between Capital Reef and Canyonlands on Highway 12. You can hit all those if you route to Las Vegas, NV and aim for Moab, UT and then pick up I-70 again and go through Grand Junction and Denver.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old 01-30-2015, 05:28 AM   #7
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Re: Bend,OR to Tampa,FL

It would be a shame for you to miss Southern Utah if you have never been out West. But it's not the fastest route. You'll also want to see wonderful areas in Colorado. Once you hit the great plains set the cruise control on 80MPH, put on some tunes, and wiz past it as fast as you can. Then when you hit Kentucky, Tennessee, etc, slow down again and enjoy the scenery. The plains are pretty, but it's the same scene for hundreds of miles.
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Old 01-30-2015, 02:40 PM   #8
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Re: Bend,OR to Tampa,FL

We recently drove San Francisco - FL & back. Managed to get over the Sierras (Tioga Pass Rd before it closed) without snow issues and kept to non-interstate highways through Nevada, Southern Utah and Arizona. That was definitely the right move - the roads were good, scenery was great and minimal traffic with essentially no trucks. Texas was a slog on the interstate then went back to secondary roads in LA, MS & AL. We wanted to go along the Gulf Coast in FL, but the roads had a lot of traffic with traffic signals all along the way. We bailed & went interstate for the last of our trip.
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Old 02-01-2015, 11:18 AM   #9
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Re: Bend,OR to Tampa,FL

From Bend, I highly recommend spending a night at Summer Lake Hot springs. This will bring you through LakeView, OR. From here, you can head south into Susanville CA and into Reno. This route is the lowest volume heading south, so its the least likely to get shit-down by wrecks (common on I-5 and I-84 this time of year). Do make sure you have chains though, because the low traffic volumes means you very well could get first tracks in the morning, before the plows make it that far.
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Old 02-01-2015, 11:19 AM   #10
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Re: Bend,OR to Tampa,FL

PS - congrats on the new van! I saw that van for sale, and was awfully tempted myself
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