freedomisntfree saidSince the OP and his dog are making a major move from Phoenix to Syracuse and the OP probably has a large number of important obligations to take care of once he arrives in Syracuse the best and most stress free route would be I-17 north to Flagstaff, I-40 east to Knoxville and than I-81 north to Syracuse. Not the long roundabout route through the desolate sand and sagebrush country of Southern Utah looking at ubiquitous red rocks and giant holes in the ground. The OP doesn't have that kind of time to spare since he is facing obligations and uncertainty in his new home in Syracuse. Moving can be very worrisome. Hey I did it a few times and it is no picnic.
whitewater saidSorry guys but he is not looking for a scenic tour through the Rockies, he is looking for a direct, stress free highway route from Phoenix to Syracuse and the best route would be I-40 east to Knoxville and than I-81 north to Syracuse. He is moving to a different city and state and he has an elderly dog going with him. Long distance car trips can become quite stressful for animals especially when the animal is older. So he has to keep the well being of his furry friend in serious consideration at all times. There is a lot of beautiful, rugged mountain scenery along I-81 in Virginia and Pennsylvania. Trust me on this guys.
roadbikeRob saidYeah but he is heading east not west. I am trying to suggest a major route with the least heavy traffic and least stress. I-40 seems to fill the bill in that regard. With the exception of Albuquerque and Memphis, most of I-40 will be relatively free of nerve wracking rush hours and traffic tie ups. Oklahoma City, Little Rock, Nashville, and Knoxville are not overly large so their traffic shouldn't pose much of a problem. I-81 north all the way from I-40 east of Knoxville to Syracuse is primarily small town and rural for almost all of its length. Hagerstown, Harrisburg, Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, and Binghamton are all good sized cities but not big enough to create nerve wracking rush hours which makes traveling I-81 a real pleasure. I-81 also traverses scenic mountain areas and valleys for most of its length.
"Yeah but he is heading east not west"
I'm trying to get him to visit color country in southern Utah (Zion, Bryce, Escalate, Capital Reef, rt. 95 between Hanksville and Blanding, Natural Bridges, Canyonlands, Arches, Moab, rt. 128 between Moab and I-70, and then whatever for east of the Rockies on back to NY.
If there is no snow for when he is leaving then he can go from SE Utah and then over the high passes of Western Colorado before heading down to Denver. With the fall colours that would be an awesome trip
"Sorry guys but he is not looking for a scenic tour through the Rockies,"
He may not be looking for a scenic tour through the Appalachians either.
And I'm suggestion an alternative.
However, IMO, the best thing to do is
1) enjoy the trip as much as possible since you have to do it anyway.
2) and since he's going to be in Flagstaff anyway, avoid the gawd awful I-40 by heading a few hundred miles north and take in the sights in Southern Utah at this time of year. Who knows, you may not ever get this opportunity again.
True, you'll miss RBR's favorite I-40 spot in the world, Amarillo TX.
3) given that your dog is elderly, there's plenty of places to stop to get the dog out and around a bit. Hell, even in the middle of the road since you'll be the only one there. I did it with my dog from the time he was a pup up until he was 16 yrs old. Smell the pine forests instead of diesel.
There is a lot of beautiful, rugged mountain scenery in southern Utah and wherever you care to go in western Colorado and it still makes for a pretty direct trip. Eastern US has nothing to compare.
Trust me on this guys. I've made 45 +/- cross country trips by car using every possible route to get there and back.
FYI, Mr. Freedom, my favorite I-40 stop is Nashville, Tennessee "the Athens of the South" not anyplace in the redneck republic of Texas.
"sand and sagebrush country of Southern Utah looking at ubiquitous red rocks and giant holes in the ground."
That's right, the US National Park Service has been known for sticking all those national parks in the ugliest possible locations /sarc
No question, as one who has done this drive many many times, the worst possible drive is I-40 from Flagstaff at least until I-44 and really until Little Rock.
True, I've done that drive many times if I was under big time constraints getting from LA back to Ohio just before Holidays, but I'd do just about anything to avoid it. All I can think of is the smell of diesel when I think about going that direction. Even I-10 and I-20 through west Texas is better, much better really.
Much better, again, if you have the time, is to take an extra day or so (you might decided to stay a little longer) to tour that unbelievably gorgeous part of Utah and see Zion, Bryce, Grand Staircase, Capital Reef, Canyonlands, Arches National Parks and of course the Grand Canyon on your way to Utah. And Moab of course then follow the Colorado River on rt 128 up to Cisco. Then you have Rocky Mountain National Park just north of I-70 on your way to Denver.
Then after Denver heading east, who cares, not anything to see until you get to the Appalachians, and since you'll be living back there, you see that anything you have a long weekend.
"I-17 north to Flagstaff"
Oh, btw, we agree on that.