30 January: Leave San Francisco. As we can't get the truck before 0930 and there may be rental hassles, I don't expect to be on the road before noon or 1 p.m. At that point, take I-80 (can you take trucks on the Bay Bridge?) to I-580 to I-5 to CA-46 to CA-99 to CA-58 to Mojave. I really, really want us to make it to Mojave that first day, because it will make the rest of it a bit easier, but will settle reluctantly for Bakersfield if traffic or weather keeps us from going further.
31 January: Leave Mojave at the buttcrack of dawn (assumed departure time for all subsequent days). Take CA-58 to I-15 (very briefly) to I-40. Stay on I-40 for a long damn time. Ideally, make it all the way across Arizona and stop around Gallup NM.
01 February: Leave Gallup (or wherever). Continuing on I-40, cross New Mexico and a bit of Texas. Ideally, make it over the Oklahoma border to somewhere around Clinton.
02 February: Leave Clinton (or wherever). Continue on I-40 until we hit Memphis, then take I-55 south to 1-240 (briefly) to US-78. Ideally, make it to Tupelo MS. (Yes, this is partly for the sake of adding another state to the "states I've spent a night in" list.)
03 February: Leave Tupelo (or wherever). Continue on US-78 to Birmingham, then get on I-20 and take it all the way to Atlanta. Stop for lunch with Atlanteans. Get back on the road, determine the best route northwards based on weather conditions (I-75 to I-81 if it's precipitating, I-85 to I-77 if it's clear), and drive until we can't drive no more. Ideally, make it to Spartanburg SC or Kingsport TN, depending on routing.
04 February: Leave Spartanburg or Kingsport (or wherever). If not already on I-81, take I-77 to I-81 and take I-81 to the DC area. Ideally, stay with friends around there (volunteers?).
05 February: Leave DC (or wherever). Find some truck-friendly way to get from Baltimore to New York if we have an apartment lined up. If not, head up to Boston (same day if possible, next day if not) and unload stuff into ladytabitha's basement for storage.
Okay, the floor is open! Please tear this apart any way you can. Suggest alternate routes (be as specific as you like) and fun places to stop; tell me where I've got us attempting the legally or physically impossible; warn me about major construction zones and the best fair- and foul-weather options. Tell me if Rand McNally's time estimates are off and we're likely to be spending more than ten or eleven hours on the road in a day (and I really don't want to do eleven unless it's necessary). Recommend a hotel or a restaurant. Whatever. Any and all suggestions are welcome and appreciated, within these parameters: we don't arrive later than the 6th, we don't drive more than ten hours a day, we avoid mountains and likely bad weather spots, and we stop in Atlanta and DC. Everything else is flexible. Have at. *)
(crossposted to the communities where I got comments on my last roadtrip entry--thanks, guys!)