Graceland '09 - L.A. to Graceland and beyond
Hi, I'm back 2 weeks from my road trip extravaganza with my niece and her friend from L.A. to Graceland and beyond (the pre-college trip); and the return trip with a friend of mine and her 21 year old daughter from St. Louis back to L.A. via a lot of red rocks. A big thanks to the forum for a lot of great suggestions (glc - we went to Oatman; Judy - we didn't quite follow your route for the big national parks, but it really helped me plan on the fly). I had great plans to get a juicy trip report posted quickly, but real life has intervened. Here are a few highlights; more details when I have a chance to breath.
The trip was from July 16 to August 1st. Our nightly stops were Flagstaff, Santa Fe, Tucumcari, Oklahoma City, Little Rock (x2), Memphis, Nashville (x2), St. Louis (x2; change of traveling companions), Hays Kansas, Colorado Springs, Moab, Mt. Carmel Junction, and Williams. Total of about 5500 miles.
Overall, we all had a phenomenal time and we saw more than we ever imagined. We succeeded with no traffic tickets, no accidents and only one time locking the keys in the trunk (thank you, Premier Honda in Santa Fe!). I learned that my house was burgled as we drove into St. Louis, and if I'd known better what they took I would have been buying myself jewelry all the way home.
We had a great time at the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, NM, an unplanned, serendipitous stop. The owner, Bill, is gregarious and full of tips about Route 66 attractions (and a useful warning not to exceed the speed limit in Texas at all with our California plates). Little Rock surprised me with its lush green landscape. Graceland, the primary motive for the trip, reminded me of my aunt's house in the 70s - lots of green shag carpet. We were enthralled by the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, and for a bunch of city slickers, we thoroughly enjoyed the Grand Ole Opry.
The trip home was the real surprise. We didn't spend one night where I thought we were going to. The Prairie Museum in Colby, Kansas was a great stop, as was the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Our national parks pass really paid off, as we went to Arches twice, then Bryce, then Zion, then to both rims of the Grand Canyon (in about 3 1/2 days).
This is just the tip of the iceberg (oh, wait, that was I70 in Colorado, where we had hail the size of marbles). More to come . . .
Last edited by Southwest Dave; 08-16-2009 at 09:36 AM.
Reason: Added link to trip planning stage.
Welcome back !
Thanks for dropping in with the update, it sounds like you had a wonderful time and we look forward to more !
Real sorry that you were burgled and had to hear the news while out on the road but it doesn't sound as though it dampened the occasion to much.