The only time we do major metro areas at high traffic time is if we're on the last leg home on a Friday afternoon. Like other posters, we tend to leave home Sunday, noon-ish and leave th Thursday night CG on Friday morning. If we're going to be out more than 6 days, we usually stay where we stop Thurday evening until Sunday, if there's space available.
We usually limit our days to 200 miles, so we usually reach our destination CG mid-afternoon.
We've tried various routes around the Seattle area to avoid the commuter traffic, but they're no quicker, since most of them are on twisty 2-lane roads and it's more miles at a lower average. I-405 from Bellevue (I-90 interchange) through to Marysville is only about a 90-minute trip at rush hour, unless (like last week, President Obama is passing along it from Bellevue to Paine Field! In the quiet hours it's probably 50 minutes.
Frank Damp, DW - Eileen
'02 Georgetown 325, F53, V-10.
Dogs - 2 Labs, both yellow males, both 10 yrs old and both adopted.
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I took an early retirement then went to work for the state for a few years. One job involved inspections on interstate construction projects and we often worked nights. Predictably, within a few minutes of 5:30AM the headlights rolled in like a tsunami. Before that, the freeways in metropolitan areas were wide open. Another bad time in my area is Friday afternoons and evenings when people head north for the weekend and the same on Sundays when they come back.
So I tend to avoid cities period, but if I have to drive through them I try to do it at night or at least try to get in between the morning and evening rush hour. The days themselves seem less important unless you have the aforementioned weekend pattern. As far as the start or finish of the trip, although I’m mellowing out in my old age I’m generally in a bad humor when I have to come home and my tolerance level for heavy traffic is better at the start of the trip. Like skipnchar, though, I want to see the country I'm driving through and I don't like to drive at night except near a city.