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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    New Salem, North Carolina, United States
    Posts
    4

    Default 2 +week trip from NC to Arizona Starting June 12th, 2015

    Hello all,
    I am new to this forum, my First Post. But, I have been reading a lot and LOVE this site. I am leaving Monroe, NC at 3am on June 12th, 2015 headed to Arizona. My round trip will be about 5,000 miles by the time I get back home. I am still not sure which route I will take either the "Northern Route" up i-40 and enter AZ at the Four Corners, or the Southern Route. But, either way I am going to either enter AZ at the top and travel down to the South and then back home, or travel from NC to Tombstone, AZ and then got travel North and out of AZ at the Four Corners and back home. I think I will not decide which route to take until the night before I depart NC. That way I can check the weather . If Southern Arizona is really hot, I will head to Northern AZ first and maybe head down to Southern AZ later if or when it cools off a little ( I know fat chance). I am not too worried about the heat too much. I am pretty well versed in dealing with it and I much prefer the warmer weather. I do not plan to stay in one place more than two days. I want to see and Photograph ( I am a professional photographer) Tombstone, Apache Junction, Sedona, Verde Canyon, Route 66, Flagstaff, Picacho Peak, Saguaro Nat'l Park, Yavapai Point, Jerome 89A area, White Mtns, Sonora Dessert Museum, ...to name a "few". I plan to shoot a Sunrise and Sunset each day, I am going to be pretty low budget either car camping on BLM land, or in Free / Cheap camp spots, at least that is the plan. I have a pretty well equipped Subaru Forester, which I intend to drive on a lot of dirt roads to some unique areas.
    This forum and the wealth of info on here has been a BIG help!
    I hope to make a lot of Friends along the way.
    At this point, I plan to make this an annual event!
    I am going to turn 55 on June 15th, when I arrive in Arizona, kinda cool.
    I would Welcome any an all advice!
    Tony P
    Monroe, North Carolina

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default One way there, one way back.

    Hi Tony and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Looks like a great trip you have planned there. Why not go one route one way, and the other back.... the best of both worlds. 5000 miles equates to some 8 days driving to get there and back, so there should be a nice bit of time to spend photographing the amazing sights out west. Sure hope we will get to see some of the photos. Actually it would be nice if you could give a bit of a rundown on how you are going or went, illustrated with some of what should be amazing pictures.

    Can you actually lie down in your subaru, enough to have a really good night's sleep. If not, it may pay to get a cheap tent and sleeping mat. Camping spots abound in State Parks and Forests. If I were you I would stop at one of their offices and ask about the spots along your route. You may have to do this more than once.

    In the very south west corner of AZ is Chiricuhau National Monuments with its wonderland of rocks. An amazing and lesser known NM. During summer camping there is free, and they have a very nice campground with running water and WCs. The park is some 30 miles off I-10 via Wilcox.

    Lifey

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Southern Arizona's heat has already started to set in. It usually does, in early May, but this year it took to the end of the month to start hitting 100 and staying there.

    Most Subarus that I know (and we've owned a few over the years) don't have room to nap, much less sleep. Add your luggage and trip stuff, and you definitely won't have room. Get a cheap tent, sleeping bag and mat, and camp it out. Much safer, much more fun!


    Donna

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    New Salem, North Carolina, United States
    Posts
    4

    Default

    To give a little more info. I have built a platform in the back of my Subaru Forester, which is a SUV. I have removed the front passenger seat, as well as the back seat. This has opened up a LOT of extra space for my cooler and camera gear without having to pack the back of the Forester full of stuff. I can store a lot under the sleeping platform with Plenty of room for my 5'8' frame, with a nice temper foam pad. I have an extra onboard deep cycle battery to power among other things a small high velocity fan. I have a nice tent that connects to the back of the opened up rear lift gate. But usually, I am more comfortable sleeping on the platform and using the attached tent for other purposes. I also have a large tarp and some tent poles that I can put over the Subaru to in effect have it in the shade, and as a shelter from rain so I can leave my windows open.. I have made some nice magnetic mount window screens also. I am not too worried about the heat in Northern AZ, and if I need to, I can purchase lodging in southern AZ a few nights. As a photographer, I have traveled to a lot of events, mostly NASCAR and dirt bike races and slept in the arrangement with no problems even with our high humidity.
    Last edited by Tony Powers; 05-31-2015 at 08:28 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    New Salem, North Carolina, United States
    Posts
    4

    Default Food plans

    Usually I pack a lot of prepared meals in vac bags using my Tila Food Saver which I have used for over 30 yrs. Weather I want steak, eggs, vegetables, or really most anything, I cook ahead of time and vac pack, freeze and then throw those food packages in my large cooler. Then when it is time to eat I use a small one burner stove to boil a pot of water with the vac food pouch in the water. When the food is done, I can reuse the water next time, and only toss my vac pouch. I have been preparing food and eating like this for many yrs. I get a lot of attention in campgrounds everywhere I go doing this. And I will have an assortment of items that do not need heating before eating and pick up items along the way as well.
    I can't wait.
    Thanks for all input!
    Tony P

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,066

    Default

    Sounds like you've got your set-up down very well.

    For your camping, and use of dirt roads, in Southern Arizona, I will urge you to make very sure you know exactly where you are going, and you've gotten the proper permits/know the specific regulations for camping by checking with the BLM office. This is always the case, but it's especially true in Southern Arizona where drug and human smuggling is a major problem that you at least need to be aware of.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    We are never sure, when we respond to people, whether they are newbies to the whole idea of road-tripping, or have a lot of experience. It seems that you are in the latter, and were only looking for routing advice?

    That said, it also sounds like you should be doing that loop. The weather is going to be more of a factor in the east than it will be in Arizona. As I said, that heat's already set in (according to my folks in the Phoenix area). Flagstaff and places along I-40/old US-66 will be much more comfortable for camping, as will the White Mountains, Jerome, and the Verde River area, than the Tucson-Tombstone-Picacho Peak area.

    Picacho Peak has been a favorite place for me over the years, thanks to living in both Tucson and the Casa Grande area back in the 70s. If you can ever get to Picacho Peak during a wet spring, you'll be treated to a field of golden poppies -- gorgeous!

    If you can find the time to get to either Montezuma's Castle (near Camp Verde not far from I-17) or to Casa Grande Ruins National Monument (near Coolidge, just north of Picacho), you'd have some interesting photography points there.


    Donna

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    New Salem, North Carolina, United States
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Thank you Donna. I think I am good on the camping in my car part. I appreciate your suggestions about Montezuma's Castle and Casa Grande Ruins, and I will add that to my must see list. I am planning a route using Mapquest. If Phoenix / Tucson is really hot when I depart NC, I will just head to Northern AZ and spend a little more time at Rte 66 and Camp Verde area. But, no matter how hot it gets I am going to Phoenix and Tucson for a few days to photograph from several Peaks / overlooks, and night skies in the dessert areas. And I guess I have to try In N Out Burger!
    I think I am going to get a BLM Pass, maybe a Nat'l Parks Pass if it looks justifiable. Still trying to figure that out. I am very interested in visiting Ghost Towns both active and abandoned.
    I appreciate your input so much. I have always wanted to live in Arizona. But it looks like I will just have to start taking these 2 week trips every year. Next year, I will be able to visit in April or May.
    thanks,
    Tony P

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

    Default

    In-n-Out has a number of locations, one just off of the 10 at the Cortaro Rd exit in Tucson. Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa and Tempe also have them. The nice thing about In-n-Out is that you *can* have it your way.

    One of the last times that Picacho Peak's golden poppies bloomed, it was in March.

    I suggest paper maps or a good road atlas, btw. So many things on the paper maps, you can't see on Mapquest or Google Maps!


    Donna

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