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  1. #1
    jlh370 Guest

    Default Californica to NC with 2 Big Dogs

    My husband and I will be moving cross-country (in two weeks) with our two large dogs. We are starting in LA and will end up in Charlotte.

    We start the drive on Sunday and expect to get into Charlotte on either Thursday or Friday. We have been so busy with the logistics of the move, that I have done absolutely no planning.

    Two years ago, my husband and I made this trek in reverse.

    We are planning on taking I-40 again, because it seems to be the quickest.

    We need help on places (towns/cities) to stay overnight. Our gameplan is to mainly drive 8-10 hours a day and then stop somewhere neat or worthwhile at night.

    Our only must stop is in Nashville. We are planning this for our last stop.

    Our two big stops on the first trip were the Grand Canyon and Albuquerque, so we don't need to do those two again. However, we wouldn't be against seeing the Grand Canyon again.

    Because we have the dogs, we usually need a town that has either a La Quinta or Best Western, because we have had the easiest time with those chains.

    Oh and we are in our mid-twenties, if that makes any difference.

    Thanks!

  2. Default Welcome to the Forum

    The direct route I-40 stops don't work out to be evenly spaced, but I suggest Flagstaff, Tucumcari, eastern OK, & Nashville. It shouldn't be hard to find your chosen lodges in these towns. I know there is a La Quinta at 2015 S Beulah in Flagstaff -- I teach there almost every Saturday. It is right off I-40 and easy to get to. You'll be driving roughly 500 miles average each day. Best Westerns are also common across the country, so no problem there.

    Grand Canyon is beautiful this time of year -- cold nights and cool sunny days are frequent. The hiking along or below the rim is great, although a problem for pets as they are not permitted on the trails for the most part. Sedona is another possibility in that neighborhood, and Oak Creek Canyon (SR89A between Sedona and Flagstaff) will likely still be filled with fall colors for you.

    My favorite recommendation for NE Arizona is Canyon de Chelly, a short drive up US191 to Chinle, AZ from I-40. The Navajos call it "Tsegi" ("canyon") and it is the center of their world as best I can describe it. It's a beautiful sandy-bottomed canyon with a stream running through. "Chinle" means "where the water comes out" -- and the town at the head of the canyon, "Tsaile," means "where the water goes in."

    Without much deviation from your direct route, you could also use I-10 across AZ, NM and into Texas before angling back to the north toward Tennessee. This would make the Chiricahuas of southern AZ an easy destination, along with some of the other attractions in that area -- Fort Bowie, Bisbee, Tombstone, Kartchner Caverns, and then White Sands NM in New Mexico, etc.

    For the eastern end of your journey, and for this time of year, I'd visit the Great Smokeys. Hill country in the fall -- there's nothing better -- although I figure you'll miss most all the color by then. If you could only do two things on this trip though, for me it would be Canyon de Chelly and the Smokeys. Bob
    Last edited by Robert Schaller; 10-21-2005 at 12:26 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
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    Default

    If you choose the southern route (I-10) as Bob suggested, take SR70 to Alamogordo, NM to visit White Sands National Monument. There's a Best Western nearby with a heated pool and spa. Right on I-10, San Antonio is definitely worth seeing (Ft Alamo, Riverfront, Brackenridge Park and Zoo).

    By the way the Motel 6 chain is also pet friendly in case you didn't know. Their rooms are not necessarily as comfortable or well decorated as La Quinta or Best Western, but they're usually much cheaper and to my knowledge they don't charge any extra for pets.

    Happy planning!

    Gen

  4. #4
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    Mar 2005
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    Default

    If you want to do some hiking in the Grand Canyon, you can kennel them at the South Rim at 928-638-0534. Reservations are suggested but may not be as important the time of year you plan on being there.

    Dogs are only allowed on the developed trails along the Canyon's rim.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Las Vegas, Nevada
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    10,059

    Default The Price is (sort of...) an illusion

    Quote Originally Posted by Gen
    By the way the Motel 6 chain is also pet friendly in case you didn't know. Their rooms are not necessarily as comfortable or well decorated as La Quinta or Best Western, but they're usually much cheaper and to my knowledge they don't charge any extra for pets.
    Ya gotta love good corporate marketing muscle! If you compare actual amentities between an average Motel 6 and an average Best Western in any given town, (by discounting the price of the Best Western for the added value of the included breakfast, nicer amentites, bathtubs, etc.) you will discover that 99% of the time that the Motel 6 is actually more expensive than the "more expensive" chains run by La Quinta and Best Western.

    Without question, dogs are more welcomed by the La Quinta chain than any other motel operation (except for the high-end resorts and inns).

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 10-21-2005 at 09:52 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    If you compare actual amentities between an average Motel 6 and an average Best Western in any given town, (by discounting the price of the Best Western for the added value of the included breakfast, nicer amentites, bathtubs, etc.) you will discover that 99% of the time that the Motel 6 is actually more expensive than the "more expensive" chains run by La Quinta and Best Western.
    I totally agree, it depends on what your needs are. Personally, I always bring my own breakfasts while on trips, except when I sleep in B&B's. I just cannot stand the "continental breakfast thing" (no to mention the coffee) or worse, the typical lumberjack breakfast that they serve in some hotels:). To me paying 10$ or 15$ more just for a breakfast or a tiny bottle of shampoo that I won't use anyway is just not worth it when I'm not staying there for long. However, each person is different and might be looking for different things in terms of accomodations. I don't especially enjoy sleeping at Motel 6, it's kind of boring actually (always the same print on the wall, same blanket on the bed, etc.) but basically, I'm staying there just to sleep my 8 hours and check out.:o) When I want to live "la belle vie", I go to a spa and spend the whole weekend there.:o)

    Talking about spas, do you happen to know any great hot springs resort east of the Mississippi?

    Cheers

    Gen

  7. #7
    jlh370 Guest

    Default Thanks

    Thanks for all the suggestions.

    I agree that La Quinta has been the most pet-friendly in our stays. On our way out, we stayed in all La Quinta's except at the Grand Canyon. I think the Red Feather was the only place we could find, if I remember correctly.

    For this trip, the cheaper the better. We are already paying a fortune for the movers and we just want to do the drive as cheaply as possible with hotels. I'd much rather splurge during our real vacations.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Las Vegas, Nevada
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    10,059

    Default Hot Springs National Park

    Quote Originally Posted by Gen
    Talking about spas, do you happen to know any great hot springs resort east of the Mississippi?
    Gen, Hot Springs National Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas is pretty special. It was the first time I received a bath by a professional bather. Not very rustic -- but certainly fun.

    Mark

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
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    Default

    Mark,
    It was the first time I received a bath by a professional bather. Not very rustic -- but certainly fun.
    Wow, sounds like a thrilling experience! I want to try it right now!:o) Thanks for the tip.

    Gen
    Last edited by Quebec Gen; 10-23-2005 at 08:53 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
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    Default

    I'm with Gen on the nicer amenities issue vs. price. I'm not much of a breakfast eater. I typically need to up and going 2-3 hours before my stomach wakes up. So I'm usually miles down the road before I even want breakfast. And then a granola bar and a banana usually suffice just fine. If I'm really ravenous for some reason, I happen to think that the Burger King Croissanwich is fantasmically yummy for a fastfood option so, for less than $5, I'm happy.

    As for amenities....since I don't have your obligations of having a website to maintain while I"m on the road, I tend to use roadtrips to get away from the computer so I don't need internet access. I prefer showers. About the only amenity I ever use at a hotel anyway is a pool. I find that many Motel 6's located in warm, sunny areas have one so no need to pay more just for that. And I usually check-in/out when the pools are closed anyway. Shampoo and all the other little "goodies" are cheap and I always have my own.

    So, for me, the extra dollars for these items are a waste of money better spent on other things. However, you raise a good point, Mark. For those who want these things, it might be more cost-effective to pay more to get them.

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