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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Keithville, LA

    Default Rough Outline of Summer 2007 Trip

    Ok - the Intrepid Travel Partner and I have been kicking around the idea of doing a Southwest Loop this Summer. Our very broad and, I'm sure, completely impractical rough idea is to head towards Big Bend and then up to the Grand Canyon over the period of 1.5 to 2 weeks.

    Beginning = Lake Charles, LA after taking numerous pictures of Intrepid Travel Partner in a rather hideous sounding Bridesmaid's Dress

    Onwards to Texas - maybe stop at the King Ranch (not sure if that's cool enough for the detour). Possibly go through San Antonio and see the Alamo. And then to Big Bend. Head north and explore Fort Davis Historical Site and Guadalupe National Park as we make our way towards New Mexico.

    New Mexico - nothing really set yet. We did a fairly extensive trip through there a few years ago, so we've crossed off a lot on our "Must See" list in the state. But suggestions are definitely welcome.

    Arizona - there are quite a few national parks "near" I-40 that are interesting looking like Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument and I'm sure many other places that I haven't discovered yet.

    Grand Canyon - There is so much information out there about this place that I'm not even sure where to start. Or if I should just treat it like any other National Park and just see where the road takes us. Intrepid Travel Partner has somehow deluded herself into thinking that the infamous donkey rides would be fun, but I still remember the "icky flopping fish dance" of my after tax season escape last spring.

    Then homeward bound to Louisiana - route is still completely up in the air about this other than we'd like to take a completely different route back.

    Hints, Suggestions and Laughter at our insanity are all welcome. We have no trouble doing many days of 10+ hours of driving. Given my line of work (accounting) I tend to like to completely escape from the real world and make myself so exhausted that I have no inclination to ever leave Shreveport again until the next summer. Or until I finally catch up on my sleep.


  2. #2


    In Arazona I have been looking at the Mogollon Rim area. It looks like a destination well worth visiting.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Some Starters for Filling in Your Outline

    I still owe you for your recommendation of US-80 through Texas and Louisiana a while back, so here are a few thoughts and possibilities for your trip.

    If you're going to see the real Alamo, remember that it is now in the heart of downtown of one of America's larger cities, so after viewing the real one, it might be worth your time to go see the set built for the John Wayne movie of the same name.

    I'd then stay generally south through New Mexico and Arizona, with a possible side trip from the Guadalupe Mountains to Carlsbad Caverns National Park. I-10 would bring you within striking distance of Fort Bowie National Historic Site (requires a modest drive on a graded dirt road plus a 2 mile hike), Kartchner Caverns State Park, Saguaro National Park, and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. I can, if you're of a mind, suggest a back way up to the Grand Canyon from Tucson that avoids Phoenix by taking two lane roads through the desert. There is also lots to do around the Grand Canyon besides Sunset Crater.

    You can then head east on I-40 for your different route back home, with possible stops at Meteor Crater, Petrified Forest National Park, Petroglyph National Monument outside Albuquerque, the Turquoise Trail up to Santa Fe, and maybe even push a little farther north up to Taos before finally turning for home.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Ontario Canada

    Default recommendations

    I also highly recommend Kartchner Caverns State Park in Arizona. Also in that area - Tombstone (the town) and Bisbee - Queen Mine Tour.

  5. Default Some thoughts and additional ideas

    In New Mexico, (I'll suggest some things even though you may have already seen them) you'll be in the neighborhood of White Sands Natl Monument, a place many adore. Also, in that direction, you might check out Lincoln, home of the Lincoln County War (1870s-1880s) -- the story told by the "Young Guns" films and John Wayne's "Chisum" -- and nearby Ruidoso -- if spending an afternoon at the horse races is appealing then Ruidoso has a perfect summertime setting for them -- Ruidoso is situated on one of the Southwest's vaunted "sky-islands." Pine trees and high-altitude coolness! On the way west, old historic Mesilla is an interesting diversion for a while.

    Into Arizona, Fort Bowie is a great place to visit, but it does involve a hike and you'll be there in summer! So if you choose it, then make certain to do it in early morning so you avoid the summer afternoon heat. Nine or ten o'clock A.M. is about the END of comfortable daytime hiking at this time of year. In addition to the Parks link AzBuck gave you, here's a short report about a visit there and some photos.

    On the way north, if you don't take Buck's back-road route, then a few miles off I-17 near Camp Verde you'll find Jerome to be a quirky place to spend an afternoon.

    In the Flagstaff area, one of the secret jewels is the Riordan Mansion State Park -- it is convenient to the downtown area and gives a feel for the way the rich folks lived on the Arizona territory before statehood. Also, Lowell Observatory nearby, on Mars Hill overlooking downtown Flagstaff and old Route 66, is where Percival Lowell searched the planet Mars for signs of life (that he just KNEW was there) and where Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto. They'll show you just how he did it -- a most interesting story.

    At the Canyon, the mule rides are definitely fun and exciting -- but if you are not used to riding you will be sore afterwards. Just go ahead and book time with the massage therapy folks and get it over with. Advil or arnica may also be of assistance. Or several Margaritas in the hotel bar after your day is done... :)

    If you have the time, Canyon de Chelly is a must-see. Spring for the guided tour that's available -- they're worth every penny. I prefer the historic Thunderbird Lodge but there are other lodges there as well -- the town of Chinle is where you'll find them.

    If you have time, my return trip choice would be a way-out-of-the-way loop up through and across Utah and Colorado, then back down across Oklahoma and Arkansas -- in OK you can find lots of old west (how about a cowboy museum?) and Indian Nation places -- and in Arkansas, hot springs to work out those last few donkey-kinks.

  6. Default And in Bisbee...

    ...stay at the Shady Dell Motel and eat at Dot's Diner! They have been judged as having some of the best PIE in the U.S. of A.!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Keithville, LA

    Default Wow - cool suggestions!

    We will definitely look into all of these places while we continue our planning.


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