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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-27-2017, 02:05 AM Thread Starter
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Choice of routes, Atlanta to Plano

Hi all.....leaving Atlanta in a week or so to see the folks in Arizona. On the way, I'm going to make a stop to visit friends in Plano. I see there are two routes on mapquest and both are pretty close in distance. The first route is slightly shorter and is pretty much I-20 the majority of the trip (769 miles, 11 1/2 hours). The second route takes me to Birmingham and then NW up 22 to Memphis, then on 40 to Little rock (814 miles and a little over 12 hours). I will be stopping midway on either route so it's a pretty easy ride.

What I'm curious about is if there is any major construction, road resurfacing etc going on either of the routes, where it makes sense to take the other? I'm inclined to take the second, slightly longer route on the way out, and then take the other route on the way back. Doing so would add Arkansas to my bucket list of states I've rode through, but not a big deal. Weather will also play into it. If one route is dry and clear, I'll take it obviously.

Thanks for any feedback. I routinely ride from the south to the north, but this is the first time in my life I've ever gone west.

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-27-2017, 07:15 AM
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For the routes you suggest I would take the truck. Don't get me wrong, I have had to fly down the interstates a time or two to get to a work location in Texas or New Mexico, but then I took the back roads on the way home. I know what riding on the interstates is like and only do it if absolutely necessary because of time, but I make sure and find some enjoyable roads as well to make the trip worth it.

Google maps gives you great indicators of construction zones, traffic patterns, etc. Better resource than mapquest IMO.

This is the route I would take if I just wanted to get there. https://goo.gl/maps/MkdEQyH8HiG2


If you are set on interstates how about stopping for some of the sights along the way?

If you haven't been to Barbers Motorsports Museum just east of Birmingham, AL, I suggest you make that a stop on the way.

If you are into military history, Vicksburg National Military Park is worth a visit as well.

If you take your second route there are sights to see in Memphis if you are into the music scene or love BBQ.

You could also veer off and ride through Hot Springs, AR.

I have been using lists like this to help me when planning a route so I don't regret riding past a memorable road by staying on the interstate.
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With google maps you can pull the route off the interstate where you want to. https://goo.gl/maps/QVyacUBG6uv
Zoom in and you will see where I pulled you off to Barber's motorsports museum, and off I-20 onto 80 for a few miles.
Google maps also shows slowdowns along the routes in yellow and stops in red by tracking all the cell phones out there. You can check the route over the next few days at the times you think you might hit each city and see the traffic patterns.
You can also send the google maps route directly to your smartphone so you have it handy.

Have a great ride!

If you stay on the interstate through Arkansas you have robbed yourself of experiencing some fantastic roads and scenery.


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-27-2017, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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Good points. I have actually been to the places you mentioned (Barber is amazing, great place). I'm kinda backwards, in that generally I like riding the highway and the main purpose of my trip is to visit friends and family. I will keep your advice in mind if I take the Arkansas route however. Maybe I will jump off the highway for a bit. Thanks for the feedback

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-27-2017, 11:54 AM
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When I go to Dallas I take I-20 to Tuscaloosa, get on HWY 82 West and take it to Texarkana, then I-30 to Dallas.
Hwy 82 is a nice ride mostly divided 4 lane but some cool old towns.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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When I go to Dallas I take I-20 to Tuscaloosa, get on HWY 82 West and take it to Texarkana, then I-30 to Dallas.
Hwy 82 is a nice ride mostly divided 4 lane but some cool old towns.
I like that idea also. It's another one that I'm considering.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 02:32 PM
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On my way back from Shark Week we did the ATL, Birmingham and Memphis route. It was a terrifing day. Hahaha

I have to say, going through Memphis and into Arkansas is a terrible way to cross that beautiful state off your list. The highways through Memphis were packed and were in VERY poor condition. I will try my best to avoid that route in the future.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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On my way back from Shark Week we did the ATL, Birmingham and Memphis route. It was a terrifing day. Hahaha

I have to say, going through Memphis and into Arkansas is a terrible way to cross that beautiful state off your list. The highways through Memphis were packed and were in VERY poor condition. I will try my best to avoid that route in the future.
I appreciate that information.....as a former Atlanta motorcop, no amount of highway traffic is out of the ordinary, but one thing we do have going for us is smooth roads. If the roads suck in Memphis, that sounds like a good reason to scratch that route and take the one suggested just above.

Thanks all for your feedback.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-30-2017, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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I like that idea also. It's another one that I'm considering.
Thanks Brewiz.....after your feedback, this is the route I'm planning on taking. Adds very little time over taking the highway straight through and sounds like it'll add some scenery. Leaving out tomorrow
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-17-2017, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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When I go to Dallas I take I-20 to Tuscaloosa, get on HWY 82 West and take it to Texarkana, then I-30 to Dallas.
Hwy 82 is a nice ride mostly divided 4 lane but some cool old towns.
I did in fact take this route. Thank you so much for the suggestion. It was exactly as you described. It did add to the time and distance a little but was so worth it. I just returned from Arizona yesterday. It was a perfect trip, around 5,000 miles total. I had literally 5 minutes of rain for the entire trip (including some planning to avoid rainy times). The best part of the trip was getting to spend a week with my folks just hanging out....priceless
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-17-2017, 11:05 AM
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I did in fact take this route. Thank you so much for the suggestion. It was exactly as you described. It did add to the time and distance a little but was so worth it. I just returned from Arizona yesterday. It was a perfect trip, around 5,000 miles total. I had literally 5 minutes of rain for the entire trip (including some planning to avoid rainy times). The best part of the trip was getting to spend a week with my folks just hanging out....priceless


Glad it worked out for you.
Since you are local we need to get some other Ga. Sharks together for a meet and greet sometime....
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