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  1. Default Looking for awsome scenery

    Hi,
    We want to do a road trip this summer from Rochester, NY to ?????. Duration, between 2-4 weeks. My daughter is a young artist and needs to see places for ideas for her paintings. Last year, we went to Northern Ontario Canada, and visited the Bruce Peninsula and northern Georgian Bay area. She was very taken by the scenery, rocks and clear, blue water. We are willing to drive, camp, hike, whatever, with some limitations. (I'm not extremely fit.) But I don't really know where to go. I thought of going to the north shore of the St. Lawrence River, but we have a new puppy and would like to take him with us since it would be for an extended time period. The USA has so much to see... but I don't know where to go that would fit her needs/desires.

    Suggestions?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default So many options.

    Hello and welcome to RTA !

    It's not difficult to find " awesome scenery" in the US and with anything between 2 and 4 weeks to travel you could go almost anywhere. I would sit down together with a good map and see what stands out and then research the area to see whats on offer. You will need to decide how far you are willing to travel and how much time is 'enough' in your chosen area and see what 'fits'.. Ultimately I would let your daughter decide and then we will be able to make suggestions on particular places in the chosen area.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    If I had to pick one area for awesome scenery, I'd go to the southern Utah parks, the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, and Yosemite. Her tastes may be different though.

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

    Default Where Other Artists Have Gone

    Dave is correct in saying that you can go almost anywhere in the US and find artistic inspiration, but certain areas have drawn artists for decades, even centuries. Prime among these is the American Southwest. O'Keefe, Curtis, Hart, and others have all drawn from the scenery and culture of this area and interpreted it in various media. And it's about as far removed from the lush greenness and coastline of the northeast as possible. It would take several days to drive there (and several back) but there's nothing to say you can't take your time making those drives and seeing (and being inspired by) different landscapes along the way.

    Very roughly, you would need a minimum of four days to get from Rochester to the Four Corners/Red Rock areas of the southwest. If you took your time and spent ten to eleven days total for the round trip, that would still leave you as much as two and a half weeks to wander through, and be inspired by, places such as the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon, the Rocky Mountains, ancient and modern Pueblo Cultures, Arches National Park, and everything in between.

    AZBuck

  5. Default

    Thank you for your reply. A couple of questions/thoughts.
    First, am I crazy to think of taking my puppy with me? He would be kenneled or leashed but I'm noticing that some of the national parks don't allow pets.

    Second, I know my daughter would be happy going just about anywhere. She want's an "adventure." We would love to see things like the big parks... Yosemite would be great. (We'd love to see Yellowstone, but will save that for another time.) In all my travels, I've never been to Colorado or the upper Midwest and Pacific Coast.... My daughter has only been to California. (By air) So we are wide open. I'm not used to having to worry about the summer tourist crunch. But my daughter is a teacher and won't get out until everyone else does. So we will need to take that into account. Hints?

    Third, would it be silly to think we could just start out heading in a direction and see how far we got? Seeing things along the way with no strict destination in mind? My concern would be missing something along the way and finding a place for the night.

    Forth, where ever we go, we have to at least find one place that has trees, rocks and CLEAR beautiful water. She is working on a series of paintings for her Masters portfolio. So even if most of what we see is totally different (like the deserts etc.) we have to at least find one beautiful place with that.

    We aren't really interested in cities... we want to see nature. Do you have a suggestion to head me in a direction?

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

    Default Not crazy at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by pattio60 View Post
    Third, would it be silly to think we could just start out heading in a direction and see how far we got? Seeing things along the way with no strict destination in mind? My concern would be missing something along the way and finding a place for the night.
    Not crazy at all. In fact that is how I travel most of the time. Even in summer you are bound to find accommodation except..... and there is an except when it is wise to check a little before you get there..
    1. in or near national parks - mostly need to book in the parks months ahead.
    2. around holiday time such as 4th July.
    3. when there is a major event in the area. (Usually the town's tourism association website will have that info.)

    My initial thought to your first post was, you can't go wrong in Colorado. You could spend weeks there and see something different every day. A couple of places I suggest you might like to check out.
    1. The Trail Ridge Road - the highest continuous paved road in the US with stunning views across the Rockies. But be aware, this road is not guaranteed to be open. At an altitude over 12000' a blizzard can close the road at a moment's notice, even at the height of summer.
    2. Trappers Lake. It is in a beautiful setting among the mountains and has a number of smaller lakes along the road leading up to it. High up in the Rockies it is crystal clear water. Under the right conditions the reflection can be stunning.

    Lifey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default

    I would of thought that hiking in around the Bear lake area of RMNP would be an artists dream, from easy to strenuous walks for all levels. Another place would be Garden of the Gods in Manitou Springs. Of course all of Colorado has lots to offer and the Southern Utah National parks are not far away and offer something totally different. Winging it and see where you end up can be fun and you can check maps and research as you go for things that stand out. Talking to Locals and fellow travellers is always a good way to find lesser known spots that would be quiet and offer artists views.

  8. Default

    Ok, so looking at Trappers Lake and Bear Lake, both seem perfect. So I've "kinda" made up a plan, instead of winging it. Reiterating my goals... see lots of picturesque nature and see different types of environments. (Avoiding crowds when possible and having a puppy with me.)

    What do you think? And how much time should I take to do the drive between places and how long to stay at the main places to make it count.

    Rochester to Rocky Mountain National Park
    RMNP to Trapper Lake (3day stay?)
    TL to Arches National Monument
    ANM to Colorado National Monument
    CNM to Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
    VCNM to Grand Canyon
    GC to Mesa Verde
    MV to Great Sand Dunes National Park
    Return to Rochester, NY

    Would you change or add anything?

    I'm thinking I would need at least 3 weeks for this trip?
    Last edited by pattio60; 05-13-2015 at 09:55 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
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    Default

    It would be 3 long, but doable days on the road to RMNP, adding even half a day would make it more relaxed. Are you heading to the North or South rim of the Grand canyon ? The North rim is quieter than the south, they both offer great views with the south rim offering more viewpoints and facilities. For the north rim, the little cabins at Jacob Lake outside the park are nice. Either one and you could visit Arches, Capitol Reef and Bryce canyon and drive the wonderul UT24 and scenic 12. The Gifford Homestead in Capitol Reef has apple orchards, greenery, streams and barns etc making up nice scenes and is also quieter than some of the other parks.

    How long to stay in each place is a difficult one to answer as one day would give you an overview and you could easily spend 4 or 5 days in an area. I would say at least a couple of days in RMNP, perhaps 3, a couple at the Grand canyon. The Colorado NM's rim drive takes a few hours, so half a day to a full day and stay nearby maybe enough.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Changes and Additions

    The first thing I need to say here is that there is no 'best', and certainly no 'perfect', RoadTrip. So any suggestions you get are just that - suggestions. It will be up to you and your daughter which suggestions to accept, which to reject, and which to modify. For my part if I were contemplating the trip you are planning and trying to include picturesque nature, I'd be sorely tempted to make two modifications.

    The first would be to take a bit of time getting to Colorado. You could make that drive in as little as three days if you made no stops along the way. But taking a fourth day would let you check out places like Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Starved Rock State Park (Illinois), and the many sites and landmarks of the old Oregon Trail along the Platte River in Nebraska. All of those involve water-related scenery. If nothing else, spending a couple of hours at each one on your way west would let you decide if you wanted to spend more time at any of them on the way back.

    The second modification would be an addition. It would be a shame, I think, to be in the area and miss one of the most iconic scenic areas of the Southwest. While it's true that there's no water there (today), Monument Valley is still an incredible area with vistas that go on forever of unique rock formations sculpted by the winds and rains of centuries. It was featured in countless John Ford westerns and is instantly recognizable. Monument Valley is a Navajo Tribal Park rather than a national or state park and perhaps the best way to see it is on a jeep tour with a native guide. I also suspect that they'll be a bit more lenient about the dog.

    AZBuck

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