Here we go! Up early this morning for one of our two longest continuous stretches of driving. Our destination today is the Hyatt Regency at the inner harbor area of Baltimore Maryland. Thanks to @mudrun for all of the great information about the Baltimore area!
This leg of the trip is about 650 miles and Google is estimating about 11 hours on the road, so it's going to be a long day. The plan is to leave at 4 am in order to miss rush hour traffic in Charlotte and DC. The original plan was to travel I-85 to I-95, but after noticing that the back roads through Virginia only take 20 minutes longer, I think that's the route I'll take, and that's the route you see in the map above. We'll get lots of pictures and videos along the way, and I'll be posting those as time permits.
We wanted to get past Washington DC to find a place to stay for the night, because early the next morning (Friday) we are going to Philadelphia to see Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. I didn't want to have to battle early morning DC traffic and we need to be at Independence Visitor Center when it opens (you need tickets), so Baltimore was a good stopping point. From our place in Baltimore, it's about 100 miles and a little less than a 2 hour drive to the Independence Hall parking. We need to be there at 8 am as they start selling tickets at 8:30 even though it doesn't open until 9.
I don't mind the long haul driving, we drive 8 hours one way to see my parents in Sarasota, and when I go to the SCCA National Championships in Lincoln Nebraska we drive for 14-15 hours. My longest drive was 22 straight hours from Atlanta to Boston once, so 11 is very pretty doable. And since I don't normally like to ride with other people driving, so unless I can't keep my eyes open, I'm it. :-) With lots of different things to look at, the side roads won't be as boring as the interstates, so staying awake in broad daylight shouldn't be a problem.
Update Friday AM: Well, we made it to Baltimore. No, not in 10-11 hours as planned, but instead it took us 15 HOURS to get here. If you think Atlanta traffic is bad, try DC traffic. Let me say this... if you ever thought you might like to live in northern Virginia/Maryland... you'd better drive those roads before you decide.
One 14 miles stretch took 1:10 and after that the next 39 miles took 53 minutes. So 2 hours to go 53 miles. For those in Gwinnett that know the road, we took Lawrenceville Hwy all the way through Virginia. 🙂 Yes, highway 29 goes all the way through Virginia (NC too). For the most part, Hwy 29 was an awesome drive. The speed limit is lower, but it's a 4 lane divided highway, and you can sit back, stick it on cruise and relax. It's nothing like taking I-95.
We're off to our next overnight stop in Connecticut, this drive will be a lot shorter and we're going around NYC instead of through it.