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  1. #1

    Default Cross Country with kids

    We will be meandering across this beautiful country of ours beginning in June. By my calculations will be back in DC sometime in late August. We will be traveling with a pop up camper and don't plan on stopping in motels unless Mom needs a serious break. The kids are 9, 6, 4. They want to run, play, and swim. I want to use state parks for camping and make it our homebase for multiple places to see. I don't mind driving up to an hour from our home base. I will consider further drives if need be.

    Here is our route:

    DC - Blacksburg VA (overnight)

    Blacksburg - Lake Guntersville, AL (Space center in Huntsville) (2 nights)
    (Will stop in Knoxville or Chatanooga for sightseeing

    Huntsville - Memphis, TN (1 night) want to stand outside the gates of Graceland, let the kids do something

    Memphis - Fredericksburg, TX (there will be an overnight somewhere just not sure where I want to go)

    Fredericksburg, Tx for 3 nights
    (Austin, San Antonio, relax)

    Fredericksburg, TX - Carlsbad/Roswell, NM (overnight)
    (see the bats, see the aliens)

    Roswell - Santa Fe/Taos (3 nights)
    Enjoy the area

    Taos - Durango, CO (3 nights)
    Sand Dunes/Mesa Verde

    Durango - Gallup,NM (overnight)
    Canyon de Chelly

    Gallup - Flagstaff, AZ (4 days)
    Sedona/Grand Canyon/relax/Rte 66

    Flagstaff - Kanab, UT (5 days)
    Grand Canyon North Rim/Grand Staircase/Zion/Bryce

    Kanab - Las Vegas, NV (2 Days)

    Las Vegas - Palm Springs, CA (2 days)
    Joshua Tree

    Palm Springs - Santa Cruz, CA
    visit with family

    Any tips, advice, recommendations on state parks would be great. Hidden gems would be awesome.

    Happy travels...Brigid

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    It looks to me like you've done a pretty good job already of laying out the westbound portion of your trip. Hopefully you can do as good a job on the eastbound half. May I suggest that you look generally at a route that goes roughly Reno, Salt Lake City, western Nebraska (Oregon Trail), St. Louis, West Virginia. Meanwhile, some specifics you might want to add to the part you already have. A slight detour between Huntsville and Memphis will take you through Tupelo and Elvis' birthplace, and the kids might enjoy Mud Island in Memphis. Outside Murfreesboro, AR is Crater of Diamonds State Park where they can dig for actual gem quality stones. Be sure to take the tour of Taos Pueblo while there. Of course there is a lot more to see and do around Flagstaff than just the Canyon, have a look at the Lowell Observatory, the Museum of Northern Arizona and Walnut Canyon National Monument at least. I assume you'll be taking the Pacific Coast Highway (CA-1) from Los Angeles to San Francisco, There are plenty of pull-offs where there will be active sea lion rookeries, and the Aquarium in Monterey is well worth the time and money.

    AZBuck

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by brigid68 View Post
    We will be meandering across this beautiful country of ours beginning in June. By my calculations will be back in DC sometime in late August. We will be traveling with a pop up camper and don't plan on stopping in motels unless Mom needs a serious break. The kids are 9, 6, 4. They want to run, play, and swim. I want to use state parks for camping and make it our homebase for multiple places to see. I don't mind driving up to an hour from our home base. I will consider further drives if need be.
    Fredericksburg, Tx for 3 nights
    (Austin, San Antonio, relax)
    Fredericksburg, TX - Carlsbad/Roswell, NM (overnight)
    (see the bats, see the aliens)

    Looking for a place to run play & swim take a day trip to Blanco state Park Its only about 25 miles south east of Fredericksburg I have attached some photos of the park you might want to stay in the S P & take day trips to Fredericksburg Blanco has a very nice campground &one photo @ old railroad bat tunnel

    7-7-99 Blanco River Looking down stream at dam Blanco S P.jpg 7-7-99 Blanco River & swimmers at dam Blanco S P.jpg 6-22-07 At Bat Tunnel at Fredericksburg.jpg
    Last edited by Mass Tim; 11-19-2009 at 08:44 PM. Reason: Fixed quote and added whitespace

  4. Default Balmorhea TX---Car;sbad NM

    I see that you are planning to go to Carlsbad NM If you jump on 1 10 after you leave Fredericksburg and stay on I 10 to Van Horn Tx then north on Tx 54 it will take you by Guadalope N P & into NM & Carlsbad Caverns N P before you get to the city of Carlsbad. I don't know if you are planing on touring the Caverns it should not be missed since you are in the area.
    You will also pass by Balmorhea State Park before you get to Van Horn or about 50 miles west of Ft Stockton, TX Another great TX Park with a very large swimming pool that is fed by San Solmom Springs which is in the swimming pool also nice campground. Two photos of the State Park are attached.

    billy bob

    7-9-07 Trey Rowan @ Balmorhea S. P. Calif Trip 021 (2).jpg 7-9-07 Our Camp @ Balmorhea S P Calif. Trip 001.jpg

  5. Default Silverton- Durango Railroad

    PS hope you don't get tired of my posting. Don't miss this railroad trip it is very scenic along a river canyon. if you do decide to take the train make res. early its very popular we take this trip any time we are in that part of Co. the photo was on our first trip there.

    billy bob

    Sept-14-66 Canyon between Durango & Silverton Colo 003.jpg

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Taos to Durango.

    One thing I would give some consideration to is Taos, Sand dunes and Durango. The Sand dunes NP is a way North from Taos and with the time you have it would be possible to continue North to Poncha Springs and West on US 50. Some of the highlights of this would be crossing the Continental divide on Monarch pass, The Currecanti National recreation area, [good camping] Black canyon of the Gunnison and the chance to drive down US 550 and the incredibly scenic "Million dollar highway" through the mountain towns of Ouray and Silverton to Durango.

    Quite a large detour and you might not want to move camp so much, but boy it's spectacular all the way !

  7. #7

    Default Great suggestions so far

    I want to see the big parks and all but am not that interested in the traffic. Will it be really bad this early in the summer? I understand the state parks have some beautiful scenery too. When we were in Moab I was amazed at Dead Horse Point State Park and the fact that it was not crowded compared to Arches. Can I find this in most state parks? Also it is relatively safe to camp with 3 kids and a mom right? I feel silly asking. I know I have to be diligent. I think I fear not getting enough sleep because I will be up half the night waiting for someone to come in. Any suggestions on state parks versus private campgrounds?

    This is what I hope this forum gives me...I have been searching, reading, everything and there is not one good book, website, nothing that focuses on traveling with kids...I don't mean spending money on every museum, amusement, etc. to entertain them. Mother Nature will do most of that for me. I want to know about hidden gems like swimming holes, rocks to climb, playgrounds, great picnic spots, where to get great food for a picnic, where to sit down and have a decent meal (local place-mom and pop), a library with a great children's section that has toys for them to play with on an off day, parks where little kids can ride their bikes and not be in the way of others, etc. Any local parents out there please chime in with your favorite places.

    I am a small business owner in DC and prefer to shop/dine with the mom and pop shops. For every $100 spent locally $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures. If spent at a national chain, only $43 stays local. (350poject.net) I would rather put my money back into the local economy if I can.

    BillyBob keep the posts coming...Thank you all...Brigid

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Sleep peacefully

    I would not worry too much when camping in State Parks and campgrounds. As a solo senior female I have stayed in many, both sleeping in a small camper and tenting it, and have never felt unsafe. Nor have I ever lost anything. Be aware of your surroundings and implement the normal safety measures which you do when you live at home.

    Our children are now all grown up, but decades ago we camped with five youngsters in three small hiking tents, and never worried, never had a problem.

    You sound like you are quite experienced travellers and campers - lucky kids - and I am sure you will be fine.

    Lifey who wishes you a great trip

  9. Default

    I don't think that you will have any safety concerns camping with your family in the State Parks or Nat Parks.
    Looks like you will be spending a few days in New Mexico google New Mexico State Parks & you shood have a lot of info on NM Parks.There are 3 NM SPs on us 64 east of Taus Eagle Nest Lake SP, Cimarron Canyon SP & the Vietnam Vererans Memorial the first two have campgrounds & the Memorial is a interesting day park the parks are about 30 from Taus

  10. #10

    Default Santa Fe to Taos, NM

    I have gotten some good advice so far. I am in the process of deciding where we will stay on our trip. I am researching New Mexico and have decided to camp in Cloudcroft to stay cool, for two nights. Then we go up to Santa Fe and would like to set up a home base between there and Taos for a few day. Does anyone have any suggestions that would keep me along the main road between the two? Is this a good idea or should I tour Santa fe and then Taos? I have 3 kids with me so I figured getting them settle and not moving so much would be better. Does anyone have any suggestions on a camping forum like this one?

    Thanks a bunch...Brigid
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 12-06-2009 at 06:59 AM. Reason: Merged - Please do not create multiple threads about the same trip

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