Due to pressing work issues and whatnot, Tatiana insisted Monday morning that we drive all the way from Telluride to West Hollywood (858 miles, 13.5 hours) in a single daylight-to-darkness marathon. We left at 11:30 am and arrived at the WeHo homestead around midnight, or 1 am Telluride time. Two (or was it three?) gas-ups. No meals or leg-stretching time-outs. The worst part was the endless uphill trek between Needles and Barstow.
Most long-distance drivers succumb to acute exhaustion after seven or eight hours. Tatiana drove the first seven; I took over in mid-Arizona. Any way you slice it 13 and 1/2 hours inside a VW Beetle at 80 mph is grueling.
I’ve been through one similar experience — a coast-to-coast, Los Angeles-to-NYC marathon that lasted 52 hours. Meals and one roadside snooze but no motels. The fastest potential time is 42 hours, but the pace would be inhuman. The most agreeable way to drive long distances is to bag 400 to 500 miles per day. Less if you can afford it and have the spare tine.