Well, tomorrow I head out for my almost annual pilgrimage to Roswell, NM, to participate in a New Beetle car show. Each time we go, we try to vary our route in order to see different parts of the country. I'm excited to be hitting the road again and am just basically saying "see ya later" to everyone here if anyone misses my posts while I'm gone.
Our route this year:
Monday: Washington state to Eugene OR (overnight at a friend's and picking up most of our caravan....or, as we call it in New Beetle circles...carabug.)
Tuesday: Eugene OR to Declo ID (to overnight with another carabugger who will be joining us). We will be driving the McKenzie Pass to Sisters and then 26 East through John Day area to see the fossil beds, etc. None of us have ever been in this part of Eastern OR so it should be fun!
Wednesday: Declo ID, to Leadville CO (where we have another night of free-lodging in someone's ski house). OK, we did Leadville before but this time we're veering east north of SLC to take in Vernal, UT, and the Dinosaur NM area. Last year we went south to Green River and east. So most of the day will be new sites for most of us. And another long day of driving. Should be fun!
Thursday: Leadville, CO, to Santa Fe, NM. We drove this route last year but had no time to sightsee in Santa Fe or make any stops along the way. Since most of us have never had time to look around there, so we're planning an overnight stop with several hours in the day to sightsee what looks like an amazing city. On the short list is The Plaza, Loretto Chapel, and several museums of various SW art.
Friday: Santa Fe, NM, to Roswell, NM where we will spend Friday-Saturday in car show activities. Volkswagen is getting involved this year and bringing in Dean Jones (of the Herbie-movies fame) to be our parade grand marshall and pass out trophies. Some other surprises are in store but the planners are being tight-lipped about it. Should be fun!
Sunday: Roswell NM to Carlsbad NM where various other car show activities are planned (group tour of Caverns, Buffalo Hump road rally, and a showing of a Herbie movie with all our NBs for free at a local drive-in.
Monday: Carlsbad NM to Flagstaff AZ via Capital (Smokey the Bear's grave), Socorro (and the Very Large Array), continuing West on US-60 to Holbrook and onto Flagstaff. Yes, another very long day but we're anxious to burn some miles.
Tuesday: Flagstaff to Grand Canyon to Page AZ. If we get up early and go, we should have time for a taste of the "big ditch" with stops at Tusayan Ruins and the Watchtower.
Wednesday: Page AZ to Panguitch UT with stops at the GC North Rim and Zion NP. Yeah, another long day. We're hitting the road by 7am and will likely not stop until dark. But it should be fun and worth every minute!
Thursday: Panguitch UT to Mountain Home ID. Another long day with an early morning detour to Bryce NP.
Friday: Mountain Home ID to our various points home in the Pacific Northwest (mostly western Washington state towns).
Whew...it will be about 4200 miles of pure joy! Nothing beats a roadtrip in my New Beetle except being on a roadtrip in a carabug with other New Beetles. We think we look pretty cute traveling along the road. :-) (And, yes, I know we're driving long day. We're ready for it!)
All the reservations are set (a mix of cheap hotels and campgrounds), the cooler is packed so I don't need to eat in too many restaurants, the camping gear is about to be packed, and I just need to throw in some clothes and I'm ready to roll. Now I just need to go through my computer withdrawals. LOL
I hope everyone has a great couple of weeks and I'll send a mini-report of the trip when I get back. Take care, Fellow Roadtrippers!
Sounds like you are going to have too much fun!
That's not spelled correctly... but the sentiment is the same! May the road be pothole free the whole way. As always, I am wishing I was along for the ride!
I look forward to reading your report when you get home! Bob
I have returned!
I'm back and had a great time. About 4500 miles and I could easily have stayed away twice as long and driven twice as much. In fact, once I hit Idaho and could go west toward Boise and home...or east to Pocatello and all points beyond, it was really hard to steer the car west. :-)
Re-visited some spots I haven't seen in years (Grand Canyon, Bryce) and saw some new spots (Zion, El Paso). And I got 3rd place in my class (1999 modified stock) to boot! Also got to see the bats fly at sunset in Carlsbad (missed those when I toured the caverns a few years back).
I am finishing up a photo-diary of my trip and will post the URL when I'm done for your vicarious thrills.
I'm looking forward to seeing the photos! Bob
Trip Photo Journal
If anyone is interested, here's the <a href = "http://carter.photosite.com/PNWNBC/Roswell2004/">photo-journal<a/> of my trip to Roswell and back again.
Hey! I'm heading to roswell this month for the first time! any tips?? thanks!
Ya know, this sounds awful but we spend so much time doing the car show down there and the activities related to the car show (Alien Ball, Skywatch Party, road rally, etc.) that I really haven't spent all that much time enjoying the town itself.
Downtown is the alien museum (it's really quite interesting). There is also a fun place down the street from the museum with alien scenes where you can participate and get some fun photos. Don't miss the fun alien-theme street lamps and other downtown storefronts and restaurants that have fun with the alien theme.
If you're looking for cheap but decent lodging, I stayed at the Budget Inn North this year. $29.95 with a pool, clean room with ample space, and working A/C. Not bad and the staff was nice and friendly.
While you're in the area, enjoy Carlsbad Caverns (don't miss the bat flight). There's a nice park/museum on the north end of CArlsbad but I can't remember the name of it. If you go east of Roswell for about an hour, you'll be in Capitan with a museum for Smokey the Bear and his grave.
Other fun things to check our near Roswell are the Lincoln County Museum with it's Billy the Kid stuff, the Very Large Array in Soccoro, and White Sands is a don't miss experience.
Sorry I can't think of much more specific stuff about the town itself.
Are you going to the Alien festival?
Did you get startled by the prisoner in the
Bedrock City Jail? When my son and I passed by last
year he was begging me to stop, so we did. I figured
it was tacky and not worth the admission, and it was,
but when we toured the B.C. Jail my son was already
a little scared and when the prisoner yelled out I
got a little startled. I turned to ask my son if he
was OK, but he was twenty yards out the door. I have
never seen anyone run that fast. He didn't jump or
scream, he just bolted like he was shot from a gun.
I laughed so hard, my eyes were watering and my
jaws and stomach ached.
The nice lady running the
place said the prisoner's voice was activated by
a motion senser. She told us a story about a small
group of college kids who got so scared, they ran
out of the jail, strait out of Bedrock City, and
burned rubber down the road.
I kept laughing about my son's reaction all through
the San Francisco Mountains, Flagstaff, clear through
to Gallup, NM. I would've paid a hundred dollars to see
that. I would recommend to anyone who would be visiting
the Grand Canyon, stop by Bedrock City in Valle.
Bummer, the auto-voice for the prisoner must have been broken when we were there. We got no such surprise. Even without that, Bedrock City was a hoot!
I chuckle about your son's reaction. LOL It reminds me when I was touring the Movieland Wax Museum in the Hollywood area. Towards the end of the tour, there was a "wax" figure of Charlie Chaplin standing by the door. I about wet my pants when he bowed to me and asked me if I enjoyed the museum. Wow...I wasn't expecting that at all. :-)