A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. > Travel

Driving from Seattle to Sacramento next month

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nuit93:
So, I'm driving to Sacramento for a conference next month, but I have a few questions about how to handle the drive.  I'm splitting the trip into two days and planning on taking I-5 all the way down.

The mountain passes on the way over (Grants and Siskiyou) look treacherous.  I tried Googling to see what it was like driving them but all I could find was advice for winter driving.  I don't have to worry about ice/snow in August, I hope?  I'll be driving a small Honda, should I also worry about overheating the engine?  I've heard of that being fairly common in parts of the Rockies (which I've also never driven) but my only other mountain driving experience is on Snoqualmie Pass which I found fairly easy.

Also, is taking I-5 straight down really as boring as people say it is?  I won't really have the time to make side trips but I'll have good company with me so I'm sure we can still make it entertaining :)

Lynnv:
I just made that drive a month or so ago...and then made it the other direction two weeks later.

I don't find the drive at all treacherous and would not worry except in the worst weather.  I am, however, a Colorado native so my tolerance for driving on passes may be higher than yours.   ;D

As far as the drive itself-yes, it is boring as all get-out.  There are (of course) some pretty places.  And you will have some nice views in some places as you come back.  But, overall, it is an interstate.  And interstate driving tends to be dull, even in the best areas, IMO.

Dindrane:
I recently drove from Oregon to San Francisco and back, and I drive a Honda Civic. My car was fine on the mountains between the states, although there are a few long stretches of steep grades that were not so much fun to drive.

In fact, I drove through California when I originally moved to Oregon, and my car (the same Honda Civic, though quite a bit newer) was fine even though I had all my worldly possessions in it. :) Both drives were in August/September.

What I find worst about that stretch of interstate are actually the other drivers, particularly the trucks. Some of them do crazy enough things that I ended up white-knuckling a lot of the time.

The I-5 corridor in the Willamette Valley is pretty much farmland, which I think is what people think is so boring about it. South of the valley, it gets more mountainous and starts to look more like northern California. It can perhaps be a little dull, but it has the advantage of being an easy drive. There are also plenty of places to stop along the way, if you need to or want to. I find Salem a bit hard to navigate from I-5, because I don't go there that often and I-5 really passes through the edge of the city anyway. Eugene/Springfield is nice, and pretty accessible from the interstate. Roseburg is a big enough city that there are some places to eat. I've never personally stopped in Medford, but only because I prefer to stop in Ashland (and the two are very close together).

Personally, I find northern California far more dull than Oregon, and there are far fewer towns/cities to stop in for a rest or a meal. I think it's partially that I start thinking, since I'm in California, that I'm almost there. Except that, if you're going to the bay area or Sacramento, you've still got hours left to go.

nuit93:

--- Quote from: Dindrane on July 19, 2013, 09:47:42 AM ---I recently drove from Oregon to San Francisco and back, and I drive a Honda Civic. My car was fine on the mountains between the states, although there are a few long stretches of steep grades that were not so much fun to drive.

In fact, I drove through California when I originally moved to Oregon, and my car (the same Honda Civic, though quite a bit newer) was fine even though I had all my worldly possessions in it. :) Both drives were in August/September.

What I find worst about that stretch of interstate are actually the other drivers, particularly the trucks. Some of them do crazy enough things that I ended up white-knuckling a lot of the time.

The I-5 corridor in the Willamette Valley is pretty much farmland, which I think is what people think is so boring about it. South of the valley, it gets more mountainous and starts to look more like northern California. It can perhaps be a little dull, but it has the advantage of being an easy drive. There are also plenty of places to stop along the way, if you need to or want to. I find Salem a bit hard to navigate from I-5, because I don't go there that often and I-5 really passes through the edge of the city anyway. Eugene/Springfield is nice, and pretty accessible from the interstate. Roseburg is a big enough city that there are some places to eat. I've never personally stopped in Medford, but only because I prefer to stop in Ashland (and the two are very close together).

Personally, I find northern California far more dull than Oregon, and there are far fewer towns/cities to stop in for a rest or a meal. I think it's partially that I start thinking, since I'm in California, that I'm almost there. Except that, if you're going to the bay area or Sacramento, you've still got hours left to go.

--- End quote ---

Good to know your Civic made it over without issue, I was trying to find out what to expect but most of what I was finding was advice for long-haul truck drivers and RV owners.  I'm figuring that since my little Fit has handled the various short, steep hills of downtown Seattle like a champ, it'll have no issues on a mountain.

But I'm still packing extra coolant.  It's summer, after all :)

BarensMom:
Hey, stop dissing NorCal!  I like it here.  ;)

I find I-5 north of Sac to be quite interesting.  For the most part, there are plenty of scenic places to stop and take a break.  Shasta alone is worth the side trip - let us know if you see any Lemurans.  :D 

As far as your Honda goes, get it serviced beforehand by a good Honda dealership and you shouldn't have a problem going over the passes.  You'll probably run into some weather extremes, but you probably know about that.

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