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  1. Default Across the South - Phoenix to Miami - December to February

    Hi everyone!

    Firstly, I'm from Australia.

    For my road trip across the southern US, I'm starting just before Xmas 2010 in Phoenix AZ, and finishing in the middle of February 2011 in Miami FL. I'll be on the road for 57 days.

    I'm planning to travel through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and then down to Florida. It's looking like about 4000 miles in total, so far.

    I'm interested in historical sites and natural scenery, but I'm aiming to stay off the main tourist routes as much as I can. I want to hang out with the locals and get a idea of what it's like to live in the places I'm going through so I can compare as I travel East.

    I'm collecting points of interest using Google Maps here: Feel free to add suggested points for me on it, or suggest them here.



  2. Default Gun?

    Driving right across the south, spending a couple of months, off-season (winter), sticking to back-roads and away from tourist traps ... a friend of mine is telling me I ought to be carrying a gun for self defence.

    I'm ex-army and I know my way around weapons, but because I'm going to be in the US as a tourist, I can't buy a handgun.

    1. Do you think I ought to have one?
    2. Any ideas how to go about that?

    Last edited by AZBuck; 07-30-2010 at 09:48 AM. Reason: Merged with previous posts. Please do not start multiple threads for the same trip.

  3. Default

    Sounds like a wonderful trip. Since you are interested in ghost towns, you may enjoy the Ghost Town Trail that starts just northeast of Tombstone, Arizona. The route is about 30 miles of paved and unpaved (but well maintained) roads through three old mining towns in various stages of ghosthood: Gleeson, Courtland and Pearce. You can google Arizona Ghost Town Trails for more information. I took this route a couple of years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default not needed

    This topic has come up here frequently before, and no regular member of this forum thinks its a good idea. I can't think of any situation in my millions of miles on the road where I've ever even thought for a second that I needed a gun.

    There are several reasons why its a bad idea.

    First, its difficult from a legal perspective. As you mentioned, you can't purchase a gun, which should tell you something right there. But even if you could, the laws for carrying a concealed weapon are different in each state. Generally you need a permit (which you won't be able to get either), but even there, some states don't allow it under any circumstances. While the US is certainly a relatively gun-friendly country, you aren't going to want to run afoul of the laws that are in place, as they will very quickly get you a one way trip out of the country, with an order not to come back for a long time.

    Second, carrying a gun when you are in an unfamiliar surrounding itself is asking for trouble. Rather than using your instincts to avoid a potential situation in the first place, you're more likely to have a false sense of confidence and continue moving into a potentially bad situation. There is also the matter that since by the very definition of being on the road, you are in unfamiliar areas you are far more likely to mis-read a situation, and showing off a firearm could very easily turn a mundane incident into a deadly one.

    And as I do everytime this topic comes up, I will mention that I'm not by any means anti-gun in general. I am a hunter who owns, grew up with, and is very comfortable around guns. I think there are plenty of situations where people can make a very good argument for wanting to have a weapon for protection, but I don't see a roadtrip as one of those situations.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    A caution if you do that - driving on unpaved roads may violate the terms of your car rental contract.

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    Last edited by AZBuck; 07-31-2010 at 02:48 AM. Reason: Merged with previous posts. Please do not start multiple threads for the same trip.
    Same trip, but totally different topic ... odd forum rules!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    That's the way it is here - one trip, one thread, from soup to nuts!

  8. Default

    Thanks to everyone who emailed me suggestions. I have heaps of points of interest now - not sure I can tie them all together! shows all the ones I have so far.

    Any other ideas?

  9. Default

    Not to pile on, but I have to second (or third) the suggestions regarding firearms. It is very difficult for a nonimmigrant alien to legally possess a firearm, let alone purchase one. see I suppose there are ways of getting around it, but your first traffic stop and you are done.

    Lots of places on your maps, but As far as suggestions -

    Casa Grande Ruins National Monument - Just outside Phoenix.
    Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center - Airplane Boneyard - Just outside Tucson
    Kartchner Caverns State Park - Living cave just outside tucson - check on reservations
    Bisbee Arizona - one of the late great copper camps

    I'm sure you have looked into this, but If you have not been to N. Arizona/So. Utah to see the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, etc, I have to recommend this. It seems like its off your planned route - and it is on most tourist destinations - but they are for a reason.

    Also - I might recommend checking out the great Smoky mountains and Blue Ridge Parkway in Tennessee and N. Carolina. Growing up at the tail of the rockies, I thought I was used to mountains, but that area is spectacular.

    Including those two areas would certainly add variety to your road trip.

  10. Default

    I've read the rules and I can satisfy the exception - I can legally purchase a firearm privately (not from a FFL) and then legally possess it. All I need to do is spend $50 or so on a hunting licence from any US state, which I can do online, and then I'm free to buy privately. It's totally legal - no issues being pulled over - I'm not breaking any laws.

    Thanks for those suggestions - they look great! I'll add them to my list/map. :D

    I'm conscious not to go too far north, given that I'll be there in January, and I'm not used to the cold ... here in Australia we only get snow on a handful of mountain-tops in the whole country and nowhere else. :)

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