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Old 05-10-2020, 07:09 AM
Dinsdale is offline
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Driving interstate these days


Has anyone driven interstate lately?

We are considering a 14 hr drive at some point over the next few months, which will take us through 3 states other than our own. We'll do it in one stretch, and at the destination, we'll be staying in a private home. I'm wondering what I ought to do/what others have done in terms of checking other states' restrictions, availability of bathrooms, and such.
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Old 05-10-2020, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Dinsdale View Post
Has anyone driven interstate lately?

We are considering a 14 hr drive at some point over the next few months, which will take us through 3 states other than our own. We'll do it in one stretch, and at the destination, we'll be staying in a private home. I'm wondering what I ought to do/what others have done in terms of checking other states' restrictions, availability of bathrooms, and such.
Coming into Montana (and staying) requires a 14 day quarantine as of now.
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Old 05-10-2020, 08:19 AM
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Coming into Montana (and staying) requires a 14 day quarantine as of now.
We thought about taking a trip and decided against it for that reason. You have each state to consider. How much they're enforcing it may vary as well.

FWIW, I was at Costco the other day and got gas. The employee kinda lurked nearby. As I got into my car he said, "Thank you, sir!" I closed the door and watched the rearview: he sprayed the pump handle and wiped it off. It's the only place I've been where they do that.

And you're not getting into our store without a mask. And they're out there wiping down the cart before they give it to you. OP, if you're a member it may not be a bad idea to research where the Costcos are on your path.
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Old 05-10-2020, 09:19 AM
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There is a sign over the roadway on I-80 near Bethlehem, PA reading:

NY CITY TRAVELERS
SELF QUARANTINE
14 DAYS

I got coffee in a gas station convenience store; masks were mandatory to enter the store but that is the only thing I am aware of regarding enforcement.

I was only in PA -- did not leave the state.

Last edited by Turble; 05-10-2020 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 05-10-2020, 09:24 AM
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Gas stations never closed since they were considered essential, same for grocery stores.
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Old 05-10-2020, 10:03 AM
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Gas stations never closed since they were considered essential, same for grocery stores.
Yeah, I assumed as much, but I was wondering about their bathrooms.

Just checked on-line. Seems like rest stops in the 2 states we'll be driving through (Iowa/Nebraska) will be open - tho Nebr closed some in March after a rash of TP thefts!

I often wonder how states think they would enforce those quarantines...
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Old 05-10-2020, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Turble View Post
There is a sign over the roadway on I-80 near Bethlehem, PA reading:

NY CITY TRAVELERS
SELF QUARANTINE
14 DAYS

I got coffee in a gas station convenience store; masks were mandatory to enter the store but that is the only thing I am aware of regarding enforcement.

I was only in PA -- did not leave the state.
Couldn't such a traveler self quarantine before their trip? No outside contact no stores, not even gas in that area, thus would meet the requirement upon arivial.
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Old 05-10-2020, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Dinsdale View Post
Yeah, I assumed as much, but I was wondering about their bathrooms.

Just checked on-line. Seems like rest stops in the 2 states we'll be driving through (Iowa/Nebraska) will be open - tho Nebr closed some in March after a rash of TP thefts!

I often wonder how states think they would enforce those quarantines...
Note to self: Put roll of toilet paper in car.
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Old 05-10-2020, 12:54 PM
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Note to self: Put roll of toilet paper in car.
Addendum: put rolls, plural, in car, and make sure they are not in plain view
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Old 05-10-2020, 01:19 PM
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I drive a section of I-69, through FT. Wayne, IN 5 days a week at morning rush hour. I take a slightly slower but less stressful route home. Traffic seems exactly the same as always. Gas station/convenience stores doing business as usual except for new Plexiglas shields and 6 ft floor markings. I don't pass any on my commute but am curious if interstate rest areas are open.
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Old 05-10-2020, 01:37 PM
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FWIW to this discussion:

About 75 percent of my 54 mile round trip to work and back from my 'essential" job is on the interstate. My observation: Traffic does not seem even marginally lighter than it was, say, compared to several months ago, even at midnight. Exhortations from the lighted LED signs ( the ones that advise of accidents, construction etc ) telling us to "Stay Home. COVID-19" notwithstanding.

Curiously, or not curiously, the sprawl-monster's insatiable appetite in this sprawl-crazed medium sized city has not abated. construction related traffic ( building materials, heavy equipment on big trailers, and gazzilions of dump trucks hauling away aparrently entire forests and ridge lines ) is about 40 percent of all traffic noted. The rest is about two thirds private vehicles and one third OTR trucks.
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Old 05-10-2020, 01:49 PM
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I have read that no state is preventing travel through the state - quarantine requirements do not apply. What I can’t find out is if I have a multi-day drive can I stay at a hotel overnight in a state without having to quarantine? Say checking in at 10:00PM and checking out at 8:00AM the next morning, out of the state a few hours later?
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Old 05-10-2020, 06:32 PM
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Addendum: put rolls, plural, in car, and make sure they are not in plain view
But don't get caught out, it can be confusing how open carry / concealed carry laws vary by state.
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Old 05-10-2020, 08:19 PM
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But don't get caught out, it can be confusing how open carry / concealed carry laws vary by state.
Not sure but I believe that if the rolls are in a locked case, not accessible from the passenger compartment, you should be OK.

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Old 05-10-2020, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Marvin the Martian View Post
I have read that no state is preventing travel through the state - quarantine requirements do not apply. What I canít find out is if I have a multi-day drive can I stay at a hotel overnight in a state without having to quarantine? Say checking in at 10:00PM and checking out at 8:00AM the next morning, out of the state a few hours later?
I guess it would depend on the state. Here in Maine, almost all the hotels in the state have been completely closed down since early April. Under the governor's emergency orders, the few hotels that remain open are only allowed to rent to certain classes of people: the homeless, people fleeing domestic violence, healthcare workers, workers maintaining and repairing critical infrastructure, and (with written permission from state agencies) people who are required to self-quarantine or self-isolate and who have nowhere else to stay. These restrictions are not expected to be lifted until at least July. I suggest you try doing a Google search for "lodging restrictions," "Covid-19" and the name of the state you hope to lodge in.
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Old 05-11-2020, 07:08 PM
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I guess it would depend on the state. Here in Maine, almost all the hotels in the state have been completely closed down since early April. Under the governor's emergency orders, the few hotels that remain open are only allowed to rent to certain classes of people: the homeless, people fleeing domestic violence, healthcare workers, workers maintaining and repairing critical infrastructure, and (with written permission from state agencies) people who are required to self-quarantine or self-isolate and who have nowhere else to stay. These restrictions are not expected to be lifted until at least July. I suggest you try doing a Google search for "lodging restrictions," "Covid-19" and the name of the state you hope to lodge in.
I just checked to see if I could book a hotel in Portland on the Choice site. Many hotels immediately showed "SOLD OUT" ...others allowed me to get further into the process without any kind of warning about the kind of traveller you had to be (see above). I was afraid to get further along in the proccess though.
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Old 05-11-2020, 07:44 PM
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As a side topic in a similar vein: Minnesota has allowed food trucks to operate at some of its Interstate rest stops. The reasoning is that restaurants and fast-food locations are closed, so truckers are having a hard time finding places to eat (it's hard to drive a big-rig truck through the drive-up windows). Better hurry though because it only lasts until 5/17. (We have a rest area close by, so it might be interesting bop over there to see if anyone is set up there; I assume it's not limited to just serving truckers.)
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Old 05-12-2020, 01:14 PM
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I had been planning to drive to Vermont to help my daughter move, just as things were getting bad (and in fact had I gone, I'd have been travelling through some rural parts of NY State after their shutdown). And my husband's parents live in Florida: if they needed urgent help, we'd have to drive a thousand miles to get there.

So I actually put a fair bit of thought into it.

1) Bring all our own food for the drive. The less we need to interact with others, the better.
2) Bring some kind of sanitizing spray or wipes for any necessary bathroom use on the drive (spouse could go behind a bush if need be; me, well, I am not that limber).
3) Bring water for handwashing.
4) Bring some kind of gloves for necessary contact such as bathroom doors, gas pump handles etc.
5) If at all possible, time things so that the drive could be done in one day (feasible for Vermont, far less so for Florida). Adequate pillows in the car would permit at least short rest stops to get some semi-real sleep if absolutely needed.
6) Rent a larger car than our daily driver (our "big" car is a CR/V) so that we have more legroom to reduce driving fatigue and make those short rest breaks more effective.
7) Find out about hotel availability at the destination or en route. In Vermont, hotels were shut down except where they were hosting medical staff. Had I gone up there, and had to quarantine with my daughter, chances are good I'd have wound up on an air mattress on her floor.
8) If you'd have to stay at someone's house vs a hotel, bring along sleeping needs if possible (cot, air mattress).

I'd have seriously considered getting some Depends to reduce the need for bathroom breaks.
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Old 05-12-2020, 01:36 PM
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Bring all the food and water you'll need so your only stops will be to get gas, which you can do at the pump.

I tend to think the restrooms at the rest stops are going to be safer than any of the ones in a store or restaurant. The ones at the rest stop often have fresh air venting through, which will dissipate any virus in the air. And they are often designed with open doors, which means you won't have to touch as many surfaces. Bring your own soap and water so you can wash your hands at the car and avoid the restroom sink.
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Old 05-12-2020, 02:54 PM
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You may want to consider renting an RV. You'd have a bathroom and eating % sleeping facilities. You don't need a campground. Big box stores like Walmart typically allow you to park for a night in a remote area of the lot, rest stops you're usually OK for a single night.

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Old 05-12-2020, 03:42 PM
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I came back to Michigan from Ohio last weekend and the welcome center/rest stop was closed.
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Old 05-12-2020, 04:42 PM
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You may want to consider renting an RV.
Damn, that'd be a blast. RV your way through post-apocalyptic America (with plenty of food and books and booze).

Too bad I'd never get my wife the nurse to come along... or even let me do it.
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Old 05-14-2020, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by alphaboi867 View Post
You may want to consider renting an RV. You'd have a bathroom and eating % sleeping facilities. You don't need a campground. Big box stores like Walmart typically allow you to park for a night in a remote area of the lot, rest stops you're usually OK for a single night.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
Already have one. It's modified with aux tanks for extreme fuel range. Will be doing this in early June. The front has one of those big iron brushguard/cow-catcher things welded on. I'm tempted to mount some Halloween skulls on it for the Road Warrior effect. I'll let y'all know how it works out.
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Old 05-14-2020, 08:37 AM
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Coming into Montana (and staying) requires a 14 day quarantine as of now.
Out of curiosity, how do they keep track of that? Do they actually keep watch on you? For example, I drive to Montana to see an old buddy. Does anyone even notice that I've entered the state or how long it's been before they even noticed? Once noticed, and I am "confined to quarters" so to speak, does anyone keep track of the time?
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Old 05-27-2020, 08:00 AM
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Just got back - driving from Chicago to Denver was entirely uneventful.
All rest stops/welcome centers/gas stations in IL/IA/NE/CO open and clean.
Drove straight through both ways - no big deal, approx 15 hrs.

Was curious being in places where the restrictions/behaviors were different from what we had experienced these past couple months in IL.
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Old 05-27-2020, 10:53 AM
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Thanks for the update!
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Old 05-27-2020, 01:50 PM
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Just drove to Sedro Woolley, WA from Denver and back to help out my mom. It's about a 22 hour drive. Take snacks and water. I took Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer to clean up after getting gas.

I stayed one night in a hotel each way, and took the wipes in there as well. Slept in a sleeping bag on top of the covers.

There were signs in Wyoming that said all out of state travelers needed to quarantine for 14 days. I asked a trooper about it at a rest area, and he told me that it was for people coming in to stay in Wyoming, not passing through.

Those were the only quarantine signs I saw, most were "Staying home saves lives" The cleverest I saw said "April Distance Means May Existence."

Be aware of your surroundings, and know that not everyone is practicing mask wearing and six feet distancing. Especially in the more rural ares.
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