Well the end of the school year is upon us again and for the second year in a row i have decided to drive from Oregon back home to CT instead of staying out west to work...This time i have some things planned already and will travel down Cali and into Pheonix. But after checking out the grand canyon i have no idea what to do? The south just seems really flat, boring and hot...is there anything to do along the way? Im a mountain guy and am thinking about traveling back up north into colorado but have already done the I70 trip? Hows I-40? any nice national parks along the way or am i just going to be trying to chase some tornados along the way? I have family in Birmingham so i was thinking about heading there? Anything in new mexico? Just thought some of you experianced road trippers can help me out...Thanks!
Is Geography one of the subjects you study?
"...The south just seems really flat, boring and hot...is there anything to do along the way?..." I hope you are not really serious.
With little difficulty I can thing of several hundred places I would like to explore on your stated route of travel. Yes, you could go north back to Flagstaff (from Phoenix) and pick-up I-40 -- I-40 is a beautiful route. But if you are interested in mountains, perhaps you should consider staying on I-10 and head down to Tucson. Along the way, check out the Saguaro National Park and the incomparable Kartchner Caverns near Benson or maybe Tombstone is more to your liking. If you want to test your mountain driving skills, take US-191 south and veer to the west on AZ-181 into the Chiricahua National Monument. After some rock scrambling, take the dirt road over the pass near Rustler Park into Cave Creek Canyon. (This mountain range has peaks in the 10,000 foot range, gets more rain than the rain forests of Oregon and is only 60 miles north of Mexico). As a result there are types of flora and fauna that are only found here in the USA.
These are wild mountains, keep your wits about you at all times! (There are 10 species of friendly rattlesnakes in the mountains and more cougar and bear than you might wish to meet on a darkened trail...)
If you elect to do the I-40 route be sure to visit the Navajo Tribal Park in Monument Valley north of Kayenta. It is awesome. Of course Petrified national park is bisected by I-40 on the eastern part of Arizona.
Mountains in New Mexico? Ever hear of the skiing resort at Taos? Yep, there are some major mountains in New Mexico, with some gnarly off-highway tracks. Plus there are Spanish communities that had established complex cities in New Mexico before the Pilgrims ever conidered looking for a boat. Again, if you are looking for scenic mountain driving (steep too) try the road from Los Alamos to Chimayo and beyond.
Big Bend & the Guadalupe National parks in Texas are some of our favorites -- plenty of serious mountains there too.
Ft. Worth is a hoot, taking the "treatment" in Hot Springs National Park in Little Rock is an experience not be be missed. New Oleans hard to beat. The US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville is very cool, Oops I am out of time. There is plenty to do, just got to notice what is out there!
hahha dont listen to anything i have to say...Im just an inexperianced college kid who thinks he knows his way around the country...Thanks for all the info once again, i will surely use this for my trip...I always take the south for grantent and never really give it a chance...After doing a little research i now see that it is much worth the time and will be my route home...If yall have any more info i would much appreciate it...thanks again and see yall on the road!
The Southern Pacific Hwy
There are some very cool places to check out on the old US-80, if you get a chance. The Center of the World Pyramid is at Felicity, CA, an odd monument if there ever was one! "The Thing" is a roadside attraction that has been capturing travelers on 1-10 for scores of years. In Gibsland, LA you can visit the small mueseum dedicated to the ambush of Bonnie & Clyde. And since you are headed to Birmingham -- a stop in history-rich Selma might be interesting.