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  1. Default Need Help! Where to go when crossing the plains?

    I am moving (for the 4th time) across the country, and this time, I will be taking my time. I have already filled in most of where I want to go, but was hoping someone might be able to suggest places of interest between southern Missouri/ northern Arkansas and either New Mexico or Colorado. I have a number of stops in these states planned in no particular order, so I can just adjust my route to accommodate anything interesting in Oklahoma, Kansas, or Northern Texas.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default One Possibility

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I don't want to take anything away from Kansas, as I have thoroughly enjoyed my drives across it from Kansas City to Albuquerque, but for your case, I think Oklahoma might have a light edge. Actually, the details of where you're starting from and ending might make a significant difference. So for purposes of laying out one possible trip, I'm assuming Springfield, MO and Raton, NM.

    I'd probably start out in a very relaxed manor, using highways like MO-248, MO-37 and MO-90 to get one last taste of the Ozarks, with maybe a stop at one of the show caves in the area. Then following a mix of the old US-66 alignment and I-40 you could head down to Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. Continuing westward, a short detour to the north from Clinton, OK would take you through the Washita National Wildlife Refuge and the Black Kettle National Grasslands. From Amarillo, head northwest on US-87 with a side trip to the top of a volcano at Capulin Volcano National Monument. That would, I think, make a fairly interesting drive.


  3. Default More gems I should know about

    Thanks so much for the off-the-beaten track advice.

    I would love any other hidden gems you know; I am driving from Boston to Napa (with definite stops in Baltimore and southern Utah and the desire to see Shenandoah, the ozarks, parts of the rockies and northern new mexico, and, though way out of our way, the Tetons) We will be spending 2-3 weeks on this trip in early June.

    Any information on dining while roadtripping would be great too. I hate fast food and travel plazas.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Early and Often

    If you have driven this basic route before via the Interstates and can take your time with this drive, then you might want to really relax, and see something a bit different, starting with the trip down from Boston to Baltimore. I've described bits of a scenic, albeit slower, alternative to the I-95 corridor elsewhere, but will gather them up here. You can start out heading westward on the Mohawk Trail through the Berkshires before using NY-22 to head south and join the Taconic State Parkway. After passing Poughkeepsie, take I-84 west across the Catskills to the Port Jervis area where you'd leave the Interstate to take US-209 down through the Delaware Water Gap. At the southern end, you'd hop on I-80 west to join up with I-81 and I-83 for the drive into Baltimore. Now such a drive would take two days whereas you could make the trip in one hard day's drive using I-95, but it would put you in an entirely different frame of mind.

    Between Baltimore and Missouri you have a similar choice between the direct route, I-70, and a longer, more relaxed drive that would start out paralleling I-70 on the old National Road before joining I-79 down through West Virginia and I-64 to Lexington, KY. From there you can use the Kentucky Parkway system to visitMammoth Cave National Park and maybe the Land Between the Lakes before continuing on into MO.

    As for good food, I'll give you my standard recommendation which is to find a town of about 5,000 to 10,000 people. These towns are large enough to have a few restaurants or diners, but small enough that they're basically serving food to their friends and neighbors. Walk the main street, have a look, ask around. I am seldom disappointed with the results I get from this approach, plus I get a little exercise and a feel for the local ambience.


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