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  1. #1

    Default Suggestions Needed For Eight State Trip

    Good day all,

    We found this site last year and really appreciate the assistance and suggestions for our travels--thanks to everyone for such a great site!!

    My family will be heading out on a seventeen (give or take) day trip and want to ensure we see as much as possible. We have eight in our family, and yes we have to travel in a 15 passenger van.

    We will be leaving New Orleans to help at a Navajo camp for children by way of California before we end up in New Mexico.

    Here is our intended route:

    NOLA--San Antonio (see Alamo)
    San Antonio--Balmorhea State Park, TX (swim).
    Balmorhea--Fort Davis, TX (spend night / see National Park).
    Fort Davis--Gila, NM (Cliff Dwellings at national park).
    Gila--?? Perhaps Yuma, AZ??????
    Then Santee, CA (Institute in Creation Research Museum).
    Drive to Solvang, CA then drive up the coast HWY 1 to Santa Cruz
    HWY 17 through Bay Area to Auburn.
    While in Auburn day trips to Empire Mines and Sutters Fort.
    Leaving Auburn down Hwy 49 to 108 and south down 395.
    Death Valley--Vegas
    Vegas--through Utah then south to Cortez, NM
    Cortez--Casa Blanca
    Casa Blanca--Albuquerque
    Sante Fe--??
    Then need new route home (have already been on 40 and 10 too many times).

    If anyone has any route suggestions were I am undecided or
    sites that must be seen, lodging, dinning, camping, etc I would really appreciate your feedback.

    Happy travels to everyone!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Just at the End

    Let's call it 5,500 miles, more or less, to complete you're trip. That means you'll have to drive around 325 miles every day, ion average. That only leaves a few hours a day out of the car, especially when you consider the extra time to get everybody loaded up again after each and every stop. So, I think your trip is already loaded with plenty to do in the time you have, and I won't be adding any more stops. I can address your desire to return to New Orleans by a route other than via I-40 or I-10. From Santa Fe, head southeast on US-285 to Vaughn and then take US-60 east. There's quite a bit of Billy the Kid memorabilia in Fort Sumner including two purported graves. Continue to Clovis and then pick up TX-86 east to Caprock Canyon State Park for some desert rock hiking. Then TX-70 south will bring you to the old cattle town of Abilene (but not to be confused with Abilene, KS for which it was named). US-84 and US-69 are a couple of possible roads that would take you toward home through the heart of Texas without forcing you to drove through Dallas or Houston, and would put you in position to finish up the drive home on the Creole Nature Trail across southern Louisiana.


  3. #3



    Thanks for the alternate route. I think we will look at taking it. We're actually going to have 22 days (firm now). So that drops the time requirements a bit. Also thanks for the speedy reply.

  4. #4

    Default Lodging Options In The Four Corners Area

    Good day,

    My immediate family is traveling to the Cortez, NM area this summer (late June) and the word has spread to our extended family and now we are looking for lodging that will accommodate the grand parents and three families (18 people [8 adults]). The only "must see" for the whole group is Mesa Verde National Park. So we can really stay hours away and make that a day trip. We would also like to go white water rafting. Ideally, we would like to stay in some type of vacation home, that is, without spending $1K a night!!!!!!

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

  5. #5

    Default Durango, CO

    Based on a single night's stay in 1994, I'd suggest looking in to accomodations in the Durango, CO area. Durango is a rollicking, fun western tourist town and is only around 40 miles from Mesa Verde. In and around Durango you'll find genuine local rodeo, whitewater rafting, a steam engine train ride up a wild river canyon, and probably any number of other activities. I would imagine vacation home rentals are routinely available there, or if not, certainly up at the Purgatory Mountain ski resort just north of Durango.


  6. #6

    Default More about Auburn

    If you are going to see the Empire Mine from Auburn, be sure to spend some time strolling around Nevada City. it's just a few miles farther, on the other side of Grass Valley.

    Also, be sure to walk across the Foresthill Bridge. It's less than a mile off of I-80 at the Foresthill Exit at the NE end of Auburn.

    (By the way, I am glad to hear you are going there -- my great-grandfather worked the Empire Mine and I grew up in the area.)

    Last edited by jcorb2d; 05-20-2008 at 04:03 PM. Reason: Added Title

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default I second Durango!!

    I love, love, love that town. Charming. Worth a few days.

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