Gen's I'm-not-sure-yet roadtrip
I'm planning to go on a roadtrip in the southwest. I'm still not sure about how many days I'll have, how much money I'll have for this,...and if I will ever be able to do that roadtrip, but still I keep the faith!:o)
First, I would love to avoid as much snow and cold as I can so I'll save Yellowstone, Badlands, Mt Rushmore and the Black Hills for later. My starting point is Quebec and I would be going to Detroit, MI first. Here I'll give you some places that I would like to visit and I'd appreciate any comment, suggestions and opinions about these places (is it worth it, costs, roads, time to spend there, time frame from 1 week to 3 weeks, et cetera) : route 50 in Nevada, San Francisco, San Diego, a little peek at Baja California, Tucson, Phoenix, Havasupai Canyon, Mesa Verde NP, Arches, Zion NP, Santa Fe, El Paso. If you have other places you think I'd like to visit, feel free to tell me. My interests are : hiking, history, the desert, canyons, museums and culture in general, music events, ghost towns, meeting people, untouristic areas, architecture, swimming, Mexican ambiance, the sea, literature and so on.
I'd like to keep this trip cheap as possible, so if you know about any cheap accomodations, nice campgrounds,... I don't know yet if I'll be travelling solo, or with my cat:-) or with someone else, I just want to gather some info. I would be leaving within the next few weeks. Any advice is welcome!
A first stop might include the <a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/places/hfm.htm">Ford Museum in Dearborn<a/>
I know you missed one of my all-time favorite cantinas on your last visit to the states. So, try and visit Big Bend National Park in Texas this time and check out the cowboy crooners at the <a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/journals/Number12.htm">Starlight Theatre<a/>!
Temperature and other questions
Thanks for the tips Mark, I'll sure keep Big Bend county and Starlight Theater in mind. I'm supposed to visit the Ford Museum later on with a friend of mine.
I'd like to hear about everyone's favourite State/Nat'l Park or Monument if possible. I was wondering what's the temperature like on the Pacific Coast and South west right now. I heard they had snowfalls... You see up here we don't even have a single inch of snow! So I'm not sure what clothes to bring. Should I bring my ski-doo suit and a crazy carpet?:-)lol Do you think I would be able to swim in the Pacific if I head south to San Diego?
Polar Bears in Bikinis
Water temperature along San Diego beaches is running in the mid to low 60's (F) -- not exactly tropical -- but OK if you don't mind a bit of a chill. Normal temperatures for December is the high 50's (F).
A single favorite national/state park? I couldn't even choose one in each state!
It is brisk in the SW at night but warming to the 60's during the day.
An oasis in the Desert
There is a place that I would go -- it is neither a state or national park -- but since you are looking for warmth -- one of our favorite places for a mid-winter warm-up is a commercial campground in Desert Hot Springs, California. <a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/places/sams.htm">Sam's Family Hotsprings<a/> has an ok campground -- but the hot pools are divine -- some of the nicest we know.
It looks like this trip will finally take off, but not exactly in the way I intended to do it at first. Yep, this will be 2 weeks mother-daughter roadtrip... My mom absolutely wanted to go on a trip with me, so I suggested she comes with me. I had to push her a little, but she's finally up to it. We just have to wait for her boss to grant her the 2 weeks vacations and we're on the road!
Of course, I had to drop California and Nevada for this time, I'll catch up on this later. Our plan is to leave Quebec next tuesday or wednesday and get to Phoenix as soon as possible. We're hesitating between 2 options :
1)I-401 (Toronto, London), I-94 (Detroit, Chicago), I-55 (St. Louis), I-44 (OKC), I-40 (Amarillo, Alburquerque, Gallup, Flagstaff) and I-17 to Phoenix.
2)I-81 (Syracuse), I-90 (Buffalo, Cleveland), I-71 (Columbus, Cincinnati, Louisville), I-65 (Nashville), I-40 (Memphis, Little Rock), I-30 (Dallas), I-20 (Abilene, El Paso, I-10 (Tucson, Phoenix)
I'd like to have your advice on which route is the most interesting and which one is the safest at this time of the year. We plan to visit a few Nat'l Parks in Utah and Colorado after our visit to Phoenix and we would come back to Quebec by taking I-70 from Colorado Springs to St. Louis. What do you think? Do you think I should avoid any of those routes? Don't forget I grew up in the north so I'm not afraid of a little cold and snow, I just want to avoid snowstorms if possible because my Mom's pretty nervous on the road especially when someone else is driving:-).
Of course, I know Colorado is hilly and I might encounter some snow there, but what about the midwest : Kansas, and Missouri? What about the Great Lakes area : Chicago, Cleveland? Should I come back the southern way and avoid anything east of Colorado?
Thanks a lot!
Colorado is... hilly (?)
You "flatlanders in Montreal" -- crossing the Colorado Rockies, in winter is certainly something you ought to do -- but calling it "hilly" seems to beg getting slammed by mother nature!
I would vote for option I -- but you have to assume that you will hit snow storms of some degree in the following states at a minumum -- Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska and Iowa with a real good chance of snow flurries in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.
Are you familiar with the term "lake effect snow" -- Actually, it might be too darn cold to snow in Chicago and Cleveland when you are going to be there...
I just looked at the extended forecast for Tuesday of next week -- 30% chance of light snow in Chicago -- St. Louis slight chance of light rain/snow -- Oklahoma City clearing with slight change of light snow/rain -- Albuquerque looking pretty nice, coolish temps -- and parts of Colorado, Utah and Arizona look to be in a clearing trend -- so should be a fine time to be driving.
the Flatlander reply:-)
"You "flatlanders in Montreal" -- crossing the Colorado Rockies, in winter is certainly something you ought to do -- but calling it "hilly" seems to beg getting slammed by mother nature!"
Haha, ok you got me, maybe I was paraphrasing..a little!:)lol. But hey don't call me a Montrealer I'm a Townshipper, that's two different things!:-) Okay, it's true, I agree our mountains are not as huge and impressive as yours, but we're proud of them even though we don't have a Quebec Appalachian Mountain High country song to share with you:o) Just kidding!
Thanks for your suggestions, I'll sure keep them in mind. I sure hope the temperature will get a little warmer when I get west (that's why I wanted to go there in the first place!).
Ps-I'm just joking, I like John Denver you know..I just wouldn't admit it to my friends in Montreal!:-)
I'll be leaving on next Tuesday with my cat Victor, my Mom finally gave up. I can't wait to hit the road again!
Have a nice evening!
A very unusual road closure
One thing to keep in mind would be the very unusual closing of I-70 through the Colorado Rockies. A mud/rock slide has closed both lanes near Glenwood Springs and it may still be dicey for your planned drive in the area.
Have a fun trip!