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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    South Central Orange County
    Posts
    249

    Default Back from my California to Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona trip

    Over the next few days I'll fill in the details, but here is a summary of my latest road trip:

    Day 1:
    5:30 AM-- Left Orange County, CA
    7:00 AM-- Breakfast in Barstow
    9:00 AM-- Stop at rest area
    Gas stop in Las Vegas, NV
    Grocery shopping and fill up at St. George, UT (the least expensive place for gas until we got to Colorado)
    Stop at Zion Nat'l Park Visitor Center
    Stop at Bryce Canyon Nat'l Park Visitor Center
    Stayed at Tropic, UT

    Day 2:
    Tropic to Capitol Reef Nat'l Park
    Capitol Reef to Arches National Parks
    Arches to Grand Junction, CO (on UT-128 and I-70)

    Day 3:
    Grand Junction to Glenwood Springs for a coffee break (we never did find Doc Holliday's grave)
    Frisco for lunch
    Georgetown for photo stop
    Estes Park for the night

    Day 4:
    Estes Park to Rocky Mountain National Park
    Snack stop in Loveland
    Denver (dinner with relatives)
    Colorado Springs to stay with friends

    Day 5:
    Colorado Springs to La Junta for lunch
    Toured Bent's Old Fort
    Stayed in Lamar

    Day 6:
    Lamar To Coolidge, KS (just so my kids can say they've been to Kansas)
    Toured museum and Amache Relocation Center in Granada, CO

    Day 7:
    Lamar to Amache for the Amache reunion/pilgrimage
    Stop in La Junta for gas
    Snack stop in Trinidad, CO
    Stop for the night in Las Vegas, NM

    Day 8:
    Las Vegas, NM to Pecos National Monument
    Stopped for coffee and souvenirs in Santa Fe
    Stop for photos in Albuquerque
    Rest stop in Grants
    Stopped to see Inscription Rock in El Morro Nat'l Monument
    Dinner in Holbrook, filled tank
    Stopped for the night in Flagstaff

    Day 9:
    Flagstaff to Kingman for fuel stop
    Snack stop in Barstow
    Home

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    South Central Orange County
    Posts
    249

    Default

    Day 1 (593 miles)
    5:23 AM-- left home in Orange County

    6:55 AM-- breakfast stop in Barstow (166 miles)

    8:58 AM-- rest stop at Valley Wells Rest Area (98 miles)
    I'm traveling with my wife and two daughters, so stops are more frequent than I'm used to.

    9:53 AM Pacific Time-- gas stop in Las Vegas (59 miles)
    I just needed $20 worth of gas to get me to cheap gas country (i.e. St. George). Gas was $3.739 in Las Vegas at a cheap station.

    12:44 PM Mountain Time-- shopping and gas stop in St. George, UT (125 miles)
    Thank heavens for Walmart. We loaded up on more snacks and a $5.98 18" submarine sandwich that fed all four of us. Gas was only $3.599 in St. George.

    1:16 PM-- Zion NP Visitor (45 miles)
    We've been here a number of times, but it's still worth getting out and taking a look, some photos, etc.

    5:27 PM-- Bryce Canyon NP Visitor Center (85 miles)
    By the time we got near Bryce the snow flurries got serious and the wind blew fairly hard. We ran into the visitor center to warm up. The rest of my family stayed in the car as I drove up to Sunset Point for a photo. It was snowing hard enough that my photo looked as if I were shooting in fog.

    6:12 PM-- checked into motel in Tropic, UT
    Tropic was below the snow level, so we only had a cold breeze. We stayed at America's Best Value Inn for the night, and it was by far the noisiest room we had on our trip. Have you ever heard a fighter jet fly right over you before (e.g. F-4 or F-18)? A neighboring room's toilet sounded like one when it let off a "WHOOSH!" during the night. Both times I heard it it scared me awake. The location was good and the price decent, so if I ever stay there again I'll bring ear plugs and see if I can get a room away from the stairs.

    I'll post photos later.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-22-2014 at 05:10 PM. Reason: added some white space for easier reading

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default 110 mph !

    5:23 AM-- left home in Orange County 6:55 AM-- breakfast stop in Barstow (166 miles)
    Wow ! I knew you travelled at a brisk pace but either you averaged 110 mph, or that should be 106 miles ;-) lol [Still good going though.]

    Looking forward to the photo's.

    Dave.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    South Central Orange County
    Posts
    249

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    Wow ! I knew you travelled at a brisk pace but either you averaged 110 mph, or that should be 106 miles ;-) lol [Still good going though.]

    Looking forward to the photo's.

    Dave.
    Oops-- make that 102 miles.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    South Central Orange County
    Posts
    249

    Default Day 2

    May 12
    9:35 AM MT-- Left Tropic to Capitol Reef via UT-12
    Losing an hour from Pacific to Mountain time meant leaving later than I had anticipated (as the rest of my family is not comprised of early-risers). Highway 12 is one of my favorite drives, so we stopped at the overlook of the Million Dollar Highway and again on the Hog's Back. We checked the Utah highway department's web cams to see if the Boulder Pass was open, and fortunately it was (despite the still-falling snow).

    12:31 PM-- Arrived Capitol Reef Visitor Center.
    Since I knew this was going to be a long day of driving, I had to tell my 7-year old that she wouldn't have time to finish the Junior Ranger program. She got the book and worked on it as best she could. We saw the petroglyphs and stopped a few times for photos.

    3:19 PM-- Arrived at Arches Visitor Center.
    We again didn't have time for the Junior Ranger program, but we drove to Windows Arches and took lots of photos. From Arches we drove south toward Moab and took scenic UT-128 east. What a great drive right along the Colorado River! As an added bonus, instead of following Highway 128 all the way to I-70, I took a right turn at the T-intersection and drove through the almost-ghost-town of Cisco. It looked like a dangerous place to stop, but as we turned a corner we saw a herd of pronghorn on the road. My daughters thought this was a highlight of the trip.

    7:10 PM-- Gas stop in Grand Junction
    We thought $3.469 was a bargain until we saw it for 10 cents less further in town. We got 517 miles on one tank, so I thought we were doing pretty well.

    7:35 PM-- Checked into our motel in Grand Junction.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-22-2014 at 05:11 PM. Reason: added white space

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

    Default

    We took that Hwy 128 from Moab up to "Cisco" the ghost town. What a hoot, you saw pronghorn! Wow!

    I thought 166 miles from Orange Co to Barstow sounded a bit too far, especially to do in an hour and a half. 102 miles sounds more like it!


    Donna

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    South Central Orange County
    Posts
    249

    Default

    Day 3 (May 13)
    9:25 AM-- Left Grand Junction

    10:08 stopped in Glenwood Springs (68 miles)
    We thought we would get a cup of coffee at a Starbucks and stop to see Doc Holliday's grave. Instead we coundn't find the grave and had coffee at a place called "Deja Brew". Not only did they have coffee, they also served boba (to the delight of our 7-year old).

    11:21 AM-- stopped in Avon (53 miles)
    We looked around for snow gear but were told we were a couple months too late. The further east we went the colder it got, but the stores only had swim suits and T-shirts.

    1:11 PM-- stopped in Frisco (35 miles)
    We stopped and ate our lunch outside the visitor center on some benches in the sunlight. There was snow all over, and the mountains on both sides of I-70 looked beautiful.

    2:18 PM-- Georgetown (28 miles)
    A member of ghosttowns.com recommended this as one of the best-preserved old Colorado mining towns. Apparently it escaped devastating fires common to such towns, so buildings and streets remained much as they were over 100 years ago. We only spent about half an hour here, but I could see staying much longer.

    5:30 PM (approx)-- Arrived in Estes Park (92 miles)
    Snow and road construction slowed traffic down to a 35 mph limit. I was driving slowly because I didn't have AWD or snow tires, and I was surprised to see a highway patrol pickup pull out right behind me with his lights flashing. With my heart in my throat I pulled over-- and then watched him speed past me. Whew! I didn't relish the thought of getting a ticket as an out-of-stater for driving 2 mph over the limit. Highway 36 was restricted in two sections after Lyons to one-way traffic led by a pilot vehicle. We should have taken Highway 7 as a detour.

    We checked into the Rocky Mountain Park Inn and searched yelp for a decent restaurant. We found Nepali Cafe, and we all enjoyed the Indian cuisine they served. It was a little hard to find as it wasn't visible from the main street. The food and view of the mountains out the window were great. If it were warmer we would have eaten at a table outside.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    South Central Orange County
    Posts
    249

    Default

    I posted photos from days 1 and 2 (at least most of two) today in a new album titled "CA>NV>AZ>UT>CO>KS>NM>AZ>CA Loop Trip May 2014".

    You can find the album here.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 05-28-2014 at 02:52 AM. Reason: Added link to album.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Love the photos. Two bring back lots of memories from just 2 years ago.


    Donna

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

    Default I remember it well.

    Enjoying the report and pictures, keep it coming !

    I took a right turn at the T-intersection and drove through the almost-ghost-town of Cisco.
    Ah, the thriving Metropolis that is Cisco ! We had planned to stop there for supplies on route to Arches NP, but decided to continue to Moab.

    Cisco Real estate.



    Cisco City limits.



    Downtown Cisco



    Dave.

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