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  1. Default Anaheim, CA to Dennis, TX during Thanksgiving Holidays

    Hello Everyone

    I'm planning to take a trip to Dennis, TX, have thanksgiving with family and return via a different route. No kids, no animals just me and the wife. Two retired vets ready to see the USA.

    My departure route will be south on I-5 to I-805, then take CA-94 to CA-98 then get back on I-8 to Gila Bend, south on 85 to Why then east on 86 to Tucson. I then pick up I-10 to I-20 and take that all the way to my destination. I'm planning on 5 days driving with stops at Wellton, AZ, Benson, AZ, Fort Hancock, TX, and Colorado City, TX.

    My return route will be a bit different. Departing Dennis I'll make my way north to Highway 180 then west to Mineral Wells to visit my old Army Base [Fort Wolters]. I'll continue west on 180 with a small detour to see Carlsbad Cavern then merge on I-10 to Lordsburg where I'll take Highway 70 to Highway 60. Westbound on Highway 60 to I-10. From Phoenix I-10 all the way to Orange County. Five driving days with stops at Seminole, TX, El Paso, TX, Safford, AZ, Phoenix, TX [staying with relatives here], then home.

    So my questions are:
    1. Any must see place along my route?
    2. How do you handle Rest stop needs when there are no full service rest stops along the route? My westbound route on Highway 180 has no facilities rest stop.

    Thanks to all replies
    Aircav

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    You've got an interesting choice of route. The detour down through Ajo, AZ I find extra interesting, simply because it is such an off-the-beaten path route. Generally, that's a route used by people heading to Puerto Penasco, Mexico or maybe those heading to Organ Pipe NM (which could be a good stop for you?)

    I'm not as sure I understand your question about full service rest stops. What kinds of facilities are you looking for? US-180 through Texas goes through many town with gas stations, food, and motels, so I'm not sure what you mean when that route has no facilities. Your Arizona detour is much more remote and will have far fewer options - and Ajo will be one of your only place to stop.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Restrooms rather than Rest Areas

    Quote Originally Posted by Aircav View Post
    How do you handle Rest stop needs when there are no full service rest stops along the route?
    Every little town along the way, when driving off the interstates, has at least one fuel outlet and grocery store or supermarket. These nearly all have public restrooms available. And in the larger towns/cities there are department stores which all have similar facilities. As do libraries.

    Lifey

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Some Stops Worth Considering - Eastbound

    I've driven large segments of the east-bound route that you're planning to take, and there are a few interesting, if lesser known, stops that you should have a look at. First of all, CA-94 is a very scenic road, but you'll need to be aware of the bulk of traffic which seems to want to speed through the scenery rather than enjoy it. In Campo, there's the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum, then there's the Desert View Tower (and associated rock trail) in Jacumba, and the fascinatingly creepy Yuma Territorial Prison. Your drive between Why and Tucson will take you through the Tohono O'odham Nation and past Kitt Peak National Observatory. In Tucson, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum should be on anybody's 'must see' list, and if you're a plane or cold war aficionado so should the Pima Air and Space Museum and the unique Titan Missile Museum south of town.

    East of Tucson, you might want to look at another diversionary loop down AZ-90 from near Benson past Kartchner Caverns State Park, east on AZ-82 to Tombstone, south on AZ-80 to Bisbee and Douglas before returning north on US-191 to I-10.

    In the west Texas panhandle, you might also want to look at taking US-180/TX-652/US-285/TX-302 to Odeessa as an alternative to I-10. That route would take you past Guadalupe Mountains National Park and through Mentone, a unique combination that is both a ghost town and the county seat of Loving County (population 62, that's for the entire county!)

    AZBuck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Some Stops Worth Considering - Westbound

    I'm not as familiar with your return route, so the suggestions here are more in the vein of where I would stop if I were making this trip as opposed to recommendations based on experience. With that in mind, my stops along US-180 in Texas would include Fort Griffin State Historic Site if for no other reason than that it's home to the official Texas state longhorn herd. Then, since you will have already driven I-10 across southern New Mexico on your way east, consider using NM-9 as an alternative westbound and check out Columbus NM and Pancho Villa State Park which celebrate(?) one of the last invasions of the U.S., then use NM-146 to return to I-10.

    US-70/US-60 in Arizona brings me back to familiar territory. Worth a look and a hike are the Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area outside Safford AZ and the Boyce Thompson Arboretum just west of Superior. And finally, although it's a bit close to home, be sure to stop at Joshua Tree National Park if you haven't already.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 10-25-2013 at 07:43 AM. Reason: Fixed link

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default More on CA-AZ

    As one San Diego county resident on this forum, I'd like to comment about the CA-94 and CA-98 portion of your trip:

    Be sure to fuel up in San Diego area before heading east, as the price of fuel in the smaller towns such as Jamul, Portrero, Campo, etc., is usually a lot more expensive. Once back on I-8, you'll pass through Jacumba. There are two relatively decent fuel stations there, but once again: expensive! One has a Subway and decent restroom facilities, and a good convenience store (Shell station, I believe). You'll be on I-8 from Boulevard to Ocotillo, unless you decide to take the olde highway from Boulevard to Jacumba before getting onto the freeway. Jacumba's claim to fame were the Jacumba Hot Springs, recently refurbished.

    Fuel may be had in Calexico, but after Calexico, there aren't too many fueling stations until you are back on the interstate in Yuma. (16th Street exit has lots of choices for food and fuel, as does exit 12 on the Arizona side, Fortuna, at US 95.)

    I will second AZBuck's recommendation of the Arboretum outside of Superior, AZ. It's been a number of years since I've been there, but was always worth a few hours.

    Another pretty route -- stay on I-10 in Lordsburg and pass through to Tucson. In Tucson, pick up AZ-79 up to Oro Valley, Catalina and Florence. The Biosphere 2 is up there, and it's a lovely drive anyway. You can take a little detour on AZ-287 from Florence over to Coolidge, to see the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, too.


    Donna

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    A minor logistical point - it appears you will be driving quite a bit very near the Mexican border. If you have a smartphone and keep it turned on, I recommend you make sure your data roaming is turned OFF. Your phone is going to lock onto Mexican cell towers and even if you aren't doing anything with it, there WILL be data usage just with the background processes of the phone. Found this out the hard way - and international data roaming charges are NOT cheap.

  8. Default So Many Options

    Thanks to everyone for all the wonderful advice and suggestions. A lot of new information to digest and some few changes to my route.

    Post #2: Wow - Organ Pipe National Monument is really off the beaten path. Looks like a place were you can really get away from everything. I bet the sky at night would really look gorgeous. Just a little bit to rustic for the other half.

    When I was asking about full service rest stops the Triple A representive that was putting my Trip Tik together was empahsizing about the lack of bathroom rest stops [Full service stops].

    Post #3: Just wasn't thinking about other alternatives [ie gas stations, resturants, fast food places, even Lowe's or Home Depot]. My senior moment for that day.

    Post #4: Thanks AZBuck for all the great suggestions. Looks like I'll be making a few more trips out to Southern AZ to enjoy all your suggestions without rushing myself. The Pima Air & Space Museum, The Titan Missle Museum, and Tombstone are all places I wanted to see, but never had a chance to do. As a former military pilot I use to be station at Marana for a few weeks at a time, I always wanted to see Pima Air and Space Museum but life got in the way and I never made it happen. Now life has let me control my time and their are so many places to see.

    Post#5: I've decided to go the NM-9 route. The wife wasn't to sure about that but it will be new uncharted terriory for us. I told her that we could stop and eat at the famous La Casita Resturant. She just rolled her eyes and went back to watching TV. Funny that you mention Poncho Villa State Park. My mom told me a few years back that her grandfather use to ride with Pancho Villa. When I see her for Thanksgiving I'll have to pick her brains for more info. By the way the link to Pancho Villa State park is wrong.

    Post#6: Thanks for the info on fuel prices. When I leave Anaheim I plan to do my first refueling stop in AZ. I hear that the price of gas is a lot cheaper in AZ. My car has a 19 gallon fuel tank and I get about 21 MPG higway with it so hopefuly the 300 mile plus range on it should get me to Yuma for fuel for my 6spd Challenger and fuel at Lute Casino and Resturant for us. Jacumba Hot Springs sounds interesting and I'll have to check it out for a future weekend trip. The link to Jacumba Hot Springs goes to a wrong site.

    Post#7: Thanks for the heads up on the International data roaming charges. That must have been a real shocker when you saw the bill for International data roaming charges. No GPS apps on our phones, just using AAA maps and a lot of talking with the locals. Were still old school with Sony and Motorola flip phones. They are pay as you go type phones and only do phone calls. I think I should be OK with them as I travel near the border. Just wondering how T-mobile coverage is, close to the border.


    Thanks again to all the great advice and suggestions

    Aircav

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Getting out there vs out of books.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aircav View Post
    When I was asking about full service rest stops the Triple A representive that was putting my Trip Tik together was empahsizing about the lack of bathroom rest stops [Full service stops].
    That's the main difference between travel consultants and RTA. Most consultants have studied and got their qualifications mainly from books, whereas on this forum people speak from experience.... they have been there, done that. (The travel/tourism course I did back in the 90s did not in any way equip me for the travelling I have done since.)

    ... just using AAA maps and a lot of talking with the locals.
    You'll probably be better equipped than half the ones out there with a car full of electronics. Enjoy your trip.

    Lifey

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post

    You'll probably be better equipped than half the ones out there with a car full of electronics. Enjoy your trip.
    It's hard to beat a good old-fashioned paper map - I never leave home without them!!

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