Longest distance driven - alone?

I have a long drive coming up in a few days - 500 miles and I’m doing it alone. It isn’t super far, but I’m expecting it to take around 9-10 hours and it will definitely be the farthest I’ve ever driven alone. I have done Dallas-Minneapolis before, but I had a passenger so I don’t consider that to be alone. For some reason I get lonely when I drive.

So what’ the longest distance you’ve ever driven alone?

1200 miles, San Diego and back in 24 hours. I recommend lots of caffine. Coffee, NoDoz or Cola, pick yer poison. Also a cell phone.

About 1200 miles in less than 2 days - Orlando-ish Florida to Syracuse-ish New York, with an 8 hour naptime stop-over in middle-ish Virginia.

Books on tape are your friend. I also had a guide to NPR stations throughout the US.

I’ve done the Minneapolis to Dallas drive 3 times. Twice, that was the second leg of the trip. The first leg being a drive from Calgary to Minneapolis.

I have driven from Los Angeles to Toronto, but most of that included a friend.

I don’t mind driving alone. I can listen to whatever music I want, as loud as I want. When (if) you get on a long stretch of highway and you can’t pick up any radio station, turn up the static and pretend you are the last human on earth.

San Diego, CA to
San Francisco, CA to
Portland, OR to
Seattle, WA to
Vancouver, BC to
Victoria, BC to
Seattle, WA to
Yakima, WA to
Boise, ID to
Salt Lake City, UT to
Gallup, NM to
Amarillo, TX to
San Antonio, TX to
New Orleans, LA to
Atlanta, GA to
Pigeon Forge, TN to
Washington, DC to
Cherry Hill, NJ to
New York, NY to
Boston, MA to
Toronto, ON to
Chicago, IL to
Muskogee, OK to
Dallas, TX to
San Diego, CA.

That took about 9 months, but it was perhaps some of the best times of my life. Glad I took the time to do it!

1500 miles - Albany-ish, New York to Longview, TX.

I’ll be doing it again in the opposite direction in two weeks.

About 550 miles alone. I drove a friend from Baltimore MD to St. George SC, dropped her off, and then drove home alone. I made the homebound trek in just under 8 hours.

When I got home, I slept for like 13 hours! :slight_smile:

Montreal QC - St. Petersburg, FL. 2 days. Many times.

Coffee’s alright for a 500 mile trip, but serious road warriors will tell you to lay off all caffeine, soda, junk food etc.

Chicken sandwiches with lettuce and a bottle of cool water is the way to go. I freeze a hockey squirt bottle overnight and sip it as it melts.

If you’re tired stop in a rest area and stretch and/or snooze. Driving tired is really stupid when even a short nap will get you there alive. Sorry to be such a goody-goody but falling asleep at the wheel is the ultimate bad trip.

As for boredom/loneliness, buy a foreign language listen-and-repeat CD. They’re fun, educational, and someone to talk to all at the same time!

about 15-1600 miles from LA to New Orleans. Did it in 2 and a half days.

Texas alone was 900 friggin miles of it!

I got a speeding ticket 20 minutes into the trip.

Ann Arbor MI to Williamsburg, VA, about 9.5 hours. Really thats my absolute limit, after that I’ll sleep over in a hotel. (I’ve done up to 12 hours if driving alone, but staying overnight in the middle)

Driving sleepy is just as dangerous as driving drunk.

Massachusetts to Richmond, Virginia. Several times a year for the last four years. 500-600 miles, depending upon degree of lost-ness. 9-12 hours, depending upon traffic.

Olympia, WA to Chapel Hill, NC – about 3500 miles, IIRC. I did it once in 4.5 days, including a harrrowing (and idiotic) stint across the Rockies late at night in the middle of a blizzard.

I made that trip about eight times. The fastest I did it was in 58 hours, when I had two other drivers in the car. The other two drivers were popping speed pills and hallucinating for most of the way. It was the scariest road trip ever.


About 25-2800 miles. From Atlanta to San Diego, with stops in New Orleans and Houston.

I made it from Houston to the Arizona border in one day. One very, very long day.

About 2400 miles from Harrisburg, PA to New Orleans, round trip. I did it in two days each way. Going down I made it to Tuscaloosa before I decided to stop and on the way back I made it from NOLA to Pulaski, VA before stopping.

I plan to do Harrisburg to Talladega to Memphis and back this August on vacation.


Ann Arbor to Denver (and back again), at Christmas. Staying in a trucker’s motel outside Omaha Nebraska all alone made me realize I’m finally grown up. (That was at 30.)

West Palm Beach to Ann Arbor.

Both trips take about the same time, two days.

I’ve driven alone between between Reno and Vegas, about 450 miles and 8 hours 3 times so far, and twice with company. The first couple times weren’t so bad, but the more I’ve driven it the more boring it gets, and the sooner I feel the onset of insanity. I’m sure next time I’ll totally snap before I even reach the halfway point.

~600 miles, Minneapolis to Indianapolis. Or we can say ~1200 miles, 'cos it was a round trip, driving down on Friday, back on Sunday. That was the inspiration for the second Chicago roadtrip tradition: wearing the Santa hat.

I’ve taken this from my LiveJournal. It’s not about the longest trip I ever had in terms of distance, but it was certainly the longest day of driving I’d ever endured, simply because for a good while I was afraid for my life.

So now to tell you the tale of how Tanya [note: my girlfriend] came to visit me in Colorado: I didn’t want her to drive herself all the way from Lubbock, because that would be, well, foolish. We’d be driving back in separate cars, and that’s just senseless. So, I tried to work out a way for her folks (who live in Clovis) to get her somewhere approaching halfway, so I could come pick her up. Well, I thought we were on track to have her dropped off in Albuquerque.

But then, days before I was to pick her up, she tells me that she’ll ride up with her mother and stepfather to visit her brother in Colorado Springs. I propose Fort Garland as a meeting point on their way back; it would take them about 45 minutes out of their way on the way back to Clovis. Fair, I think. Her stepfather, however, doesn’t want to do that. I have to drive all the way to Walsenburg to pick her up. So, in essence, I have to drive 270 miles out of my way to pick her up, and her folks drive about 50 feet out of their way. Even that, I wouldn’t mind so much, except for one thing: driving across southern Colorado is not a simple task. Two hundred and seventy miles of interstate highway is one thing; two hundred and seventy miles of narrow roads winding through mountain passes, well, that’s another.

So I prepare for my trip. Without an alarm, of my own volition, I wake up at 5:45 AM. I’m ready to leave by 6:30. I borrow my parents’ Explorer, because I’ll need a heavy vehicle with four-wheel drive. It’s snowing as I leave, and I have to go slow. Things get clearer after Pagosa Springs, but then I face my first major obstacle: Wolf Creek Pass.

If you’ve never been there, Wolf Creek Pass (yes, it deserves to be in bold all the time) is a narrow road up through the mountains. It plateaus at an altitude of 10,856 feet. There’s lots of good skiing up there, because storms tend to really drop their loads on that mountain. And when I hit it the first time, in the morning, the roads were icy, snowpacked, and hazardous, what with the several-hundred-foot drops and all. I’m sure it’s beautiful, in the summer, when you’re not fearing for your life and whatnot.

So I get to Walsenburg around 1 PM. Designated meeting time was 3 PM, but I’d left myself some extra time for potential problems. Tanya and her folks get there at around 2:45 PM, and I make for the door right away, knowing that that pass will only get worse. If her parents thought I was rude, fuck 'em. They didn’t drive through Wolf Creek Pass.

Which I have to do a second time. And the sun sets just as Tanya and I start our ascent. The ascent isn’t too bad. Plows have been through, so the roads are manageable, despite new snowfall.

And then we hit the summit.

The snowstorm that had passed through Cortez and Pagosa must have slammed into the western side of Wolf Creek Pass and just stopped, dropping its entire load on the mountain. We could barely see the front of the vehicle through the snow, much less the lines marking the road. On our way down, we passed a few drivers who had just pulled over and stopped; knowing that the pass was too narrow for that to be a good option, we pressed on, passing “runaway truck” peeloff lanes. We crept down that mountain at around 10 miles an hour, for the longest 5-10 miles of my life. Tanya was nearly in tears from fear.

But we made it. We lived. And to settle our nerves, we stopped in Pagosa Springs at a restaurant called “Hog’s Breath”. The wait for a table was around an hour, because, we heard, there were only like 5 restaurants in driving distance that were open on Sunday nights. That place was PACKED. By the time we got a table, they were out of chicken; by the time we were leaving, we heard a waitress tell another table that they were out of hamburgers.

So, we drove on to Cortez. We arrived at around 10:15 PM. In all, I spent around 12 hours driving that day, through 500 miles of misery and about 40 miles of pure hell. I could strangle Tanya’s stepfather.

1100 miles from Memphis, TN to above Allentown, PA in less than 24 hours. 700 miles without sleep 2 times. Once from High Point, N.C. to Cincinnati. OH ( calling on customers in VA) and once from Tupelo, MS to Enterprise, AL and back in one day. I like talk radio and having something cool to drink with caffine in it.

Cross country solo- twice. First time East Hartford, Conn. to San Diego, California. Lots of 12-16 hour days- with no cruise control or (sigh) air conditioning. The power driver’s window would die at the worst times. And I would lose the AM part of the radio. Best part was I had nobody to meet- I had just sold all my stuff, and up and moved to San Diego- no housing, job nor school set up (was at my second year of school after the military). It worked out, eventually. Best thing I ever did, in retrospect.

3 years later- same car, back from San Francisco to Charlottesville Virginia (again no housing or contacts- but at least I had my law school admission).

Also have done some LONGGGGGG one day drives (Fort Myers Florida to Charlottesville in a day- ouch!)