usa – Is there an easy way to calculate the total cost of tolls for a trip within the United States?

If you know your route, you could use CostofTolls.com  CostToDrive.com  Tollsmart.com (paywall, $2 minimum) or their free mobile app:

Sample:

CALIFORNIA

17-Mile Drive Toll: $9.25 Location: Scenic drive through Pebble
Beach, CA Operator: Pebble Beach Corporation

Golden Gate Bridge Toll: $6.00 (Southbound ONLY) Location: Spans
San Francisco Bay connecting San Francisco to Marin County, CA
Operator: Golden Gate Bridge, Highway & Transportation District

Riverside Freeway (SR-91) Toll: Variable Location: An east-west
freeway in Southern California linking Orange and Riverside counties
Operator: Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA)

Eastern Transportation Corridor Toll: $3.50 (East Branch) $3.25
(West Branch) Location: Orange County, CA Operator: Foothill/Eastern
Transportation Corridor Agency

South Bay Expressway Toll: Variable Location: Beginning at Otay
Mesa, provides access to/from Mexico and across San Diego Operator:
South Bay Expressway, L.P.

The Antioch Bridge Toll: $5.00 (Northbound ONLY) Location: Spans
the San Joaquin River linking Antioch, CA with Sacramento County, CA
Operator: Bay Area Toll Authority Metropolitan Transportation
Commission

The Benicia-Martinez Bridge Toll: $5.00 (Northbound ONLY) Location:
Spans the Carquinez Strait linking Benicia, CA to Martinez, CA
Operator: Bay Area Toll Authority Metropolitan Transportation
Commission

you get the idea.

driving – Why does Waze give a time estimate for this road trip two hours lower than Google Maps?

Google Maps is “right” (only if no stops or traffic). Waze is wrong.

I’ve driven that exact route (Seattle to/from Bay Area via I-5) a couple dozen times. Only once did I manage 13 hours, and that was with only light traffic, literally no stops except for gas (2 brief stops), and consistently 5-10 MPH above the posted limit (which is what most of the rest of the cars were doing).

More typical is around 15-16 hours. That gives time for stretch breaks, stops for food, and possible traffic in the Seattle, Portland, and SF metro areas.

Is it possible to do a round-the-world trip by train and passenger ship only? Missing link for crossing the Pacific

One of my bucket list projects is to go around the globe – solely by using railways and scheduled passenger ships.

I found out that the thing is nearly possible, except one missing link. The travel plan would resemble the following, starting from western Europe. Note that it does not take into account our current travel restrictions due to Covid; this would be in an ideal world where things come back to normal. Visa / paperwork challenges are not covered as well.

  • Take any train connection to Moscow, Russia
  • Ride the Transsiberian all the way to Vladivostok
  • Sail by ferry to Japan, perhaps with a stop in South Korea. I don’t remember exactly how the local ferry service operates.
  • Cross Japan by rail
  • And… here is the missing ocean-crossing link to USA west coast!
  • Ride Amtrak trains coast-to-coast to New York City
  • Sail across the Atlantic to Southampton, UK, on the Queen Mary 2
  • From there, take trains back to the continent through the Channel Tunnel and return to starting point

To cover the missing link, I thought about cruise ships. Some sail one-way crossings at shoulder seasons between the Mediterranean and Caribbean to reposition, for instance. But that area of the globe seems not affected by the phenomenon.

Are there any other scheduled oceangoing options to cover that missing link?

customs and immigration – Is a day trip US to Canada currently practical?

The answer is yes, though it will be quite a hassle for just 1 day worth of a visit.

I think I understand why a plan is required: it’s to give border agents more discretion to decide I should not be exempt from quarantine

The official quarantine information page gives the following rationale for the quarantine plan:

Plan your quarantine. Even if you are fully vaccinated, you still need a quarantine plan in case it is determined at the border that you do not meet the necessary requirements.

So your quarantine plan will essentially be… “hop into my car, turn around and go back to New York”. Its not there in case you’re infected during your stay, its only there in case the border agents want you to quarantine upon arrival. So I’d put down the address of the border crossing as your “quarantine location” – after all, that’s the only place in Canada you’ll ever visit in case you’re rejected at the border. For Cornwall, ON this address would be 1 Brookdale Ave, Cornwall, ON K6J 0A9, Canada.

I need to get tested 72 hours before entry. I took the Walgreens test Thursday. The pharmacist said to expect the results Monday, and explained that the 72-hour turnaround they offer is “business hours”. (How that math works out is beyond me.)

Yes, the processing time for free COVID tests is not guaranteed, making it hard to plan a trip. So your options are:

  1. Hope that the test comes within 72 hours, then immediately hop into your car and drive to the border. So i.e. if the test comes on Saturday, you go to Canada on Saturday. If the test result comes later than that (after 72 hours have elapsed), you go for another free test and hope for the best.
  2. Get an express PCR test with a guaranteed turnaround. The closest place to Cornwall that I could find is “Garnet Testing Center” in Burlington, they charge $250 for a same-day result. If you search around, there might be a premium test company closer to where you live.

The third way this venture might not work: what’s the likelihood US customs will let me back in?

If you’re a US citizen or permanent resident, there’s nothing for you to worry about. The official rule states the following:

For purposes of the temporary alteration in certain designated ports
of entry operations authorized under 19 U.S.C. 1318(b)(1)(C) and
(b)(2), travel through the land ports of entry and ferry terminals
along the United States-Canada border shall be limited to “essential
travel,” which includes, but is not limited to

— U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to the
United States;

You might think that citizens need an “essential” reason too but that’s not true – only foreigners need valid reason like work, medical care or diplomatic travel. US citizens/Green Card holders are “essential” by the very fact that they’re returning home, no other reason required.

customs and immigration – Is a day trip US to Canada currently possible?

Is discretionary, non-essential, zero-night travel from US to Canada currently possible?

I’m in rural New York, US, less than an hour from Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. I rarely eat out, even before the pandemic, but when I have reason to treat, the restaurant options are a bit more savory over there. Also the trails beckon. So I’d like to go over for an afternoon for a meal and bike ride. I’ve ticked off these requirements:

  • Vaccine, both doses
  • Test, PCR not antigen
  • ArriveCAN website

(1) But I’m stumbling on the quarantine plan. I think I understand why a plan is required: it’s to give border agents more discretion to decide I should not be exempt from quarantine. But I’m not about to stay in a motel for two weeks just for lunch. My actual backup plan is to turn around and return to my US home if I’m not allowed in. But ArriveCAN requires a Canadian address. I could give the address of a Canadian motel; the form seems to encourage that. But that seems disingenuous because I have no intention of staying there. The honest answer to this part of the questionnaire is to give my US address. So it seems as if a day-trip into Canada is not currently possible.

Arrive Canada questionnaire step 7, quarantine address

(2) The second reason it might be impossible is the testing requirement. I need to get tested 72 hours before entry. I took the Walgreens test Thursday. The pharmacist said to expect the results Monday, and explained that the 72-hour turnaround they offer is “business hours”. (How that math works out is beyond me.)

(3) The third way this venture might not work: what’s the likelihood US customs will let me back in? The US website seems a lot more ambiguously and lawyerly worded than the Canadian website about border crossing for non-essential purposes.

An ulterior motive for going to all this trouble is a trial run for staying in Canada. I’ve already paid for a border closure preventing a nonrefundable Airbnb booking. Not interested in doing that again.

Road trip from Toronto to Winnipeg

I’d like to go on a road trip from Toronto to Winnipeg with only one stop overnight and minimum cost. So far, I googled road trip guides and couldn’t find any useful information. I checked the motels in Marathon town, Ontario for spending a night in the middle of the road but all the reviews were relatively negative.

I am considering spending the night in my car, stopping somewhere safe to avoid wasting money and also spending a night in a dirty place.

I’d appreciate any recommendations and experience if you have.

Also, if more details are needed please ask in the comments and I will update my question.

pathfinder 2e – Does a Gymnast have to use the Trip action to gain panache?

Trip, Grapple, and Shove are specific actions. You gain panache by pulling them off with flair. Thus, a Gymnast would get Panache from a successful Trip as part of a standard Knockdown, but not for the improved Knockdown, which applies the critical success effect of a trip, but does not otherwise behave as a trip. Likewise, you can gain panache from a successful use of the grapple action, but not from those actions that just automatically enter a grapple like Combat Grab.

However, it’s worth noting that as a Swashbucker, you can also gain panache from Tumble Through, and from actions in general that are appropriately cinematic and daring.

usa – Road trip from Denver to San Francisco

Driving from Denver to San Francisco next week, and have two choices:

  • I-80, overnighting in Salt Lake City (8 hours, then 11 hours)
  • I-70 to I-15, overnighting in Las Vegas (11 hours, then 8.5 hours)

I have a newish (2020) large SUV that will be (mostly) full, and two pre-teen boys. We won’t sight-see very much, but certainly I wouldn’t mind showing the boys the Hoover Dam or the Great Salt Lake. Both routes seem to be similar from that point of view.

I’m specifically concerned with summer-related issues: heat, wildfires, that sort of thing. Does one route suggest over the other in terms of road safety, and likelihood to avoid road closures? Or should I be okay making the decision solely based on what I want to show the boys the few moments I can get them to look up from their screens/books, and perhaps based on the ease of stopping for an extra overnight on the longer portion (in which case SLC is better, as we can stop in Reno very easily)?