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  1. #1

    Default Birmingham to Denver...and back! Taking two seperate routes, advice welcomed!


    In Mid August, I'm going to embark on a solo road trip to Denver. I'll mostly be staying on the interstates because this is my first trip alone, but I know myself, and I'll wander a little.

    So far my plan is Memphis - Columbia, Mo - Colby, KS - Denver.

    I'm considering stopping in Ste. Genevieve and St Louis, but think staying overnight in Columbia will be more affordable and break the trip up a little better. Any tips on things to see on the way?

    The way back is still up in the air, but right now I'm thinking of Denver -Crested Butte (to see family) - Four Corners - Taos - Marfa- Austin

    Does anyone have any good recs on where to stay close to the four corners?

    What do you think of the drive through New Mexico? Can anyone compare the trip going through Roswell vs. going through Albequerque?

    Thanks so much!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default What You've Got (and Not Got)

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    You've clearly already got some destinations for this trip, since the places you've listed are not simply way points on a direct route to anywhere. So it would help to know why you've chosen those specific intermediary destinations, what the overall purpose of the trip is, and what your various interests are. Also, how much time do you have for the complete trip? Certainly there are recommendations to be made, but right now, they'd just be shots in the dark.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Does anyone have any good recs on where to stay close to the four corners?
    4 Corners is out in the middle of nowhere. The closest town with any kind of lodging options is Cortez CO.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    From experience, both Colby KS and Columbia have good, reasonable accommodations available, and plenty of them. There should be at least two at each place for dogs, too. The two towns are about 500 miles apart which is a nice day's drive. Goodland, KS isn't much further and also has a lot of choices for accommodations (and good food).

    You didn't ask, but I'll volunteer two places to eat in Columbia that are pretty decent: Flat Branch, and Bandana's. If you want other recommendations for Columbia, let me know. I have family in Columbia and Jefferson City and have become quite familiar with what's at both.

    Last edited by DonnaR57; 07-23-2012 at 08:59 AM. Reason: add info

  5. #5


    Thanks for responding! When I wrote this post last night I was feeling pretty overwhelmed with life and everything I have to do at home before I leave. I purposely kept it short and sweet, but here is a longer version. I look forward to your thoughts.

    I have two overall reasons for this trip
    1) Visiting friends and family in Colorado and Austin
    2) Going on a big huge journey.

    I'm taking about four days to drive from Birmingham to Denver. I chose the route I did (Memphis, Columbia, Colby) because I don't have much interest in Oklahoma. I also fell in love with the idea of following the Mississippi River from Memphis to St. Louis, and possibly at stopping in Ste. Genevieve. Columbia seemed like a good stopping place because it shaved off the time for the drive to Colby the next day. Because I'm driving alone, I don't want to do more than 6-7 hours a day.

    I'll be in the Denver and Boulder areas for about three weeks. I'm interested in day trips, and am considering driving to Cheyenne, WY for a night.

    As for my trip home: I have cousins in Crested Butte who I want to stop and see, and I've never been to New Mexico and would like to explore it. I think Marfa sounds great. Right now, I've got my trip from Colorado to Austin laid out through Taos, and Roswell, which estimates less than five hours a day with plenty of time to explore and sight see.

    I want to spend about 7 days in Austin (so many friends, and I love the town).

    I'm leaving Birmingham on August the 13Th and I have to be in Chattanooga on the 28Th of September to do flowers for a friends wedding, so I'm planning on being back in Birmingham by September 26Th. I have about 6-6.5 weeks to roam.

    I have things fairly planned out, several travel guides, and VERY itchy feet, but I'm open to tips and suggestions, especially for

    1. tourist attractions that are worth every penny.
    2. stupendous life changing views
    3. good food
    4. really anything

    I'm comparing my route with roadside america, of course.

    Thank you for the recs on food in Columbia, and the tip on Goodland!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Jefferson-Mississippi-Missouri River System

    Alrighty, then. As indicated in the title of this post, there's more to the Mississippi than just the river that starts in Minnesota. The farthest reach of the Mississippi system actually is in Montana, and it was by following the Missouri up-river from St. Louis that Lewis and Clark got that far on their journey of discovery. With four days, you've got time to do a little discovering of your own, and certainly Memphis and Ste Genevieve are worth a visit. In fact in Memphis you should be sure to visit Mud Island and its walkable scale model of the Mississippi. Ste Genevieve is an old French fur trading town that has lost little of its charm. Be sure to stop at Sara's ice cream parlor on Merchant St and take a tour of the Bolduc House.

    But after Kansas City, think about doing something other than heading straight west on I-70 to Denver. (Note: I once stopped at the Welcome Center on I-70 as you enter Kansas and asked the attendant what they're most frequently asked question was, my normal sideways attempt to find what is of most interest to visitors, and the answer I got was: "How far is it to Denver?") You've got an opportunity to follow the Missouri for awhile by taking I-29 up to Nebraska City the using NE-2 to cut over to I-80 which follows the Platte across western Nebraska. More to the point, I-80 shares this route with US-30 which allows access to local venues, and the old Oregon Trail which has left a number of historic sites and landmarks behind. You'd then use the I-76 spur down into Denver.

    A few other quick suggestions. In Taos, take the guided tour of the Taos Pueblo, while in Austin treat your friends to dinner at the Salt Lick, and if you're into oddities stop in Gibsland LA for a visit to one of the museums dedicated to the event and the actual site where Bonnie and Clyde got gunned down.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 07-23-2012 at 09:38 PM.

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