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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Australia
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    225

    Default Los Angeles to the East and North hoping to see some Fall color's.

    Here we go again. Been a while. Margaret and I will be arriving in L A early on the 24th August. Fly out again on the morning of the 29th September. Would love to be there for at least 6 weeks but have had to shorten it. As some of you would know, we don't like cities. We like National Park's and country roads and small towns. On our past two trips, we have seen 9 states in the West. There is still a lot more for us to see there and we would love to go back to some of the places we have been to. But we are getting old and we should go further East for a look. We also realise we are probably a little early for all the Fall colors but we have had no choice.

    From the Airport we will be picking up our rental car and heading out to Barstow where we will stay the night. Have a couple of things to see near there. Next day we will head up into part of Death Valley and on to las Vegas. Will stay somewhere up in the area for a night. As much as we don't like cities, we think everyone should go to Vegas at least once in their life. We are staying 3 nights at the Flamingo. Cheap as, the nights we are there. Pays to check the prices for the whole month which they display. While there we will have the pleasure of meeting the Boss and his Boss hehe. Looking forward to it Mark and Megan.

    We were going to head north from there as we have friends south of Cedar City that we have to catch up with but they will be away until the 10th of September. So, the question is, how do we do it? We want to see part of Colorado, Arches and Canyonlands in Utah. Probably Bryce and Zion there as well. We missed Zion last visit but saw it in 2010. If we had to drop one, maybe that would be Bryce this time. That would be hard to do I realise. They aren’t far from friends place so maybe near the end of trip.

    Places like Grand Canyon and Yellowstone and The Grand Teton's, we could never get enough of. We would like to see Mt Rushmore if you think its a great idea. Also, across the top there in Iowa is the largest Truck stop in the world. As an ex interstate truck driver, I would love to have a look at it.

    Would we have time to see West Virginia as well? Have a friend there who hope’s we will visit. Has all these mountain’s and lakes to look at. Also as a great singer, she wants to take us to some mountain music. I was also a muso once upon a time so would be great. Not to worried about Nashville. Big city and I’m not keen on a lot of the modern stuff. Memphis and Gracelands. Through Texas and Arizona. Wish we had more time. Help Please. ��

    Keithg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,671

    Default Time enough, but........

    Howdy Keith.

    Good to see you nailed down your dates and are set to go! You have a nice amount of time too which is a real bonus, although it's never long enough, especially when you mention Vegas, Yellowstone, Colorado and West Virginia in (almost) the same sentence. Haha. Driving through part of Death valley of DV is probably a wise choice in August rather than overnight, it's gonna be hot !! Death valley has just recorded the hottest month on earth, EVER ! (Or at least before records began)

    I'd say you have time to visit West Virginia, but it's a case of how much travelling you are happy to do and how much time you may want to spend in any given place. Yellowstone and the Tetons would take a chunk of time to do it justice in my opinion and as you have been before, it's one area that would slow the pace if you left it out this time around. So it could be a choice between Yellowstone or Virginia or doing it all ??

    If you didn't include Yellowstone this time I don't see a lot of advantage in dropping Bryce from your itinerary as a visit doesn't take long and the trip between Zion and Arches/Canyonlands using UT scenic12 and UT24 is amazing, plus you get to see Capitol Reef NP. However if you visited Yellowstone then maybe just Zion and then head down to Moab on US191 past Flaming Gorge. There is so much to see in Colorado, Mesa Verde, Colorado NM, Black canyon, Garden of the Gods, RMNP to name a few. For an amazing drive check out the San Juan Skyway (Telluride, Ouray, Silverton, Durango) which incorporates the 'Million dollar Highway'. I will leave the east to others ! hehe


    Once you get the basics sorted out I'm sure we will all be able to come up with a few gems along the way.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 08-02-2018 at 06:31 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    225

    Default

    Thanks Dave.
    Your right. So much to see. So little time. Like we have done on previous trips, we will change directions if we have to. We were going to head north to Zion and Bryce from Vegas but now that friends who live south of Cedar City wont be there until after the 10th has us thinking we may be better to head another direction from Vegas. Thought we could come back down that way on the way back. Those places you mentioned Dave sound great. I'm thinking we may not get far across at all seeing all these places but that's ok. Just have to live a bit longer and come back again. :)


    Keith

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,111

    Default Getting the Peg in the Hole

    Yeah, as you are well aware, getting the overall outline of any trip in order is the main thing necessary to making that trip a success. The details tend to work themselves out after that and in particular it becomes clear which details just plain have to be dropped. The other thing I'm sure you're aware of is that in the lower 48 the two major mountain ranges, where it will be cooler and you'll have at least a chance of seeing some color, look sort of like this: \ /. So staying to the south decreases the number of miles you'll have to drive between the Rockies and Appalachians. Another basic planning rule is to try to do even an out-and-back RoadTrip using two different routes whenever possible. And finally, since your friends won't be in Cedar City until well into your time in the States, it makes more sense to visit them on the return leg to Los Angeles so you have more time available for the major mileage portion of your trip. So with those criteria in mind and noting all the suggestions Dave has made, what would I suggest?

    First, as noted, I'd hold off on Cedar City until the return trip. I'd also do a more southerly route east-bound and a more northerly route west-bound so as to increase your chances of seeing some fall color (or colour if you prefer). That generally would mean taking US-93 south from Las Vegas to I-40 (and parallel roads) for your main east-bound leg. Along the way there's the Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest/Painted Desert, Petroglyph NM, Black Kettle National Grassland, and the Red River Valley between Oklahoma and Texas as you head for the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas and southwestern Missouri. Branson MO is worth consideration for a taste of Americana. It's sort of a Country and Western Las Vegas with tons of music venues. From there visits to two other major music venues, Memphis and Nashville (ugh, I know, cities!) for their music scenes might interest you. Your basic goal though is to continue east to Great Smoky Mountain NP, Asheville, and the Blue Ridge Parkway north along the spine of the Appalachians into Virginia and then to West Virginia.

    The return trip would then roughly follow rivers for a while: the Ohio River into southern Illinois, then cutting up towards St. Louis to pick up the Missouri River to the Platte River through Nebraska and into Colorado. At that point I think the ideas Dave has given you and your own knowledge of the area will suffice to take you across the Rockies, past the many Red Rock national parks in southern Utah, perhaps the Great Salt Lake and certainly Cedar City before making the final effort to get back to L.A. for the flight home. Personally, I would probably visit Death Valley at this point on the trip. It will be slightly (and I emphasize slightly) cooler and might allow you to take a short hike or two if you visit early in the morning, plus if you're not including another stay in Las Vegas on your return drive, it might fit a little better into your itinerary later in the trip.

    AZBuck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    225

    Default Amazing

    Thank you. You folks are amazing. I will get back to you shortly. Need to study what you are saying so I get it right. Getting old and info escapes pretty fast hehe. We booked at Barstow as we did last trip as its a nice place to get to after getting off plane. Visit Peggy Sue as well. Might have a look also at the bottle (glass) tree's on a side road just before Barstow.

    We booked Vegas for the nights we did for the prices and we catch up with the Boss who I am sure will have some more advice for us. We have one night free between Barstow and Vegas so that's why we thought we would get a small glimpse of Death Valley. We don't have to see our friends who we met in 2010 on first trip but we would like to. As we have done before, we can change directions and miss out on some destinations. With the exception of the first night and Las Vegas, we don't book anywhere. Just wing it. Just have to come back again next spring if our dollar stops dropping so much.


    For anyone planning to travel to USA, don't forget to do your ESTA. Used to be easy but this time was a nightmare. Last trip I forgot about it until a few hours before. lucky it was done in 20 minutes. This time it took 7 hours and a ph call to the US embassy in Canberra who couldn't help. So don't leave it to late.


    Keith

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    225

    Default

    We have been driving ourselves crazy trying to figure out what to leave out and what to include. Unfortunately we couldn't make the trip longer. Love to see the parts that I mentioned at the beginning but it will be to rushed. So we will drag the distance right back and concentrate on the West again. Colorado and South Dakota being as far across that we will go.


    That way, we can still visit Yellowstone and Grand Teton's. Never get sick of them. Maybe on another trip, we could fly to the East for a look.


    As usual we will be winging it, so liable to end up anywhere. haha. Going crazy looking at u tube clips of the different places suggested so far and others. Hope to do a report on the run this time.


    Keithg

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    225

    Default Still confussed as to what we leave out.

    Well we have a rough outline of where we will go. Still have about 10 days at the end to fill in. But as I have said, we can change on the run and go else where or spend more time somewhere and miss out on seeing other places. May even miss out on catching up with friends if we have to. Hopefully all the fires will be over by the time we get there and the smoke isn't hanging around like it did last time in grand Canyon.

    24 th of August. Barstow.
    25 th of august. Pahrump or similar.
    26 th of August. Las Vegas
    27 th of August. Las Vegas.
    28 th of August. Las Vegas.
    29 th of August. Grand Canyon.
    30 th of August. Page or Kanab. (Depending on what time we leave GC and how long we
    spend at Horseshoe Bend.
    31 st of August. Zion NP.
    1 st of September. Bryce Canyon NP
    2 nd of September. Torrey. (Capitol Reef NP)
    3 rd of September. Moab (Arches and Canyonlands.)
    4 th of September. Moab.
    5 th of September. Grand Junction.
    6 th of September. Boulder or Cheyenne. ( Havnt been to Colorado so winging it.}
    7 th of September. Nth Platte or where ever someone suggests.
    8 th of September. Rapid City if nothing much to see.
    9 th of September. Rapid City. Both Badlands and Mt Rushmore.
    10 th of September. Cody.
    11 th of September. Jackson Hole via Yellowstone.
    12 th of September. Jackson Hole. Tetons.
    13 th of September. Idaho Falls.
    14 th of September. Salt Lake City.
    15 th of September. Cedar City. ( Friends)
    16 th of September. Cedar City.
    17 th of September. Tonapah or Coaldale.
    18 th of September. Lee Vining.
    We hope to drive through Tioga Pass from Lee Vining.

    We fly out on the morning of the 29th. If time permits, we could head up to Lassen County NP or spend 2 or 3 nights in San Francisco. Yeah, city, I know but they have great Seafood Chowder. Maybe head down coast, hopefully Big Sur will be open. Spend a couple of nights in LA. Yuck, but Margaret would like to have a walk down Rodeo Drive. :(


    Keithg

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,671

    Default

    6 th of September. Boulder or Cheyenne. ( Havnt been to Colorado so winging it.}

    Estes park ? Nice little town for visiting the Bear Lake area of Rocky mountain NP. If the weather permits you could drive across the Trail Ridge road from Grand lake into Estes.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,171

    Default A few places along your way which I enjoyed.

    7 th of September. Nth Platte or where ever someone suggests.
    Keith, check ouit Kearney, with the covered bridge over I-80 nearby. A neat little town, and the bridge was interesting, giving a history of the area. I only had time to go through the ground floor part. You pay to actually go up over the bridge, and I believe there is much more up there.

    8 th of September. Rapid City if nothing much to see.
    9 th of September. Rapid City. Both Badlands and Mt Rushmore.
    While you are in this area, call in at Wall Drug. A bit of a tourist trap when you first enter, but if you go right through to the back yard (where they feed the dinosaur), there is a lot of history back there, walls covered with newspaper clippings of major events in the area. In a way, like LV - ye gotta see it at least once. Be sure to get your free ice cold water, and your 5c cup of coffee. It is also a good place to have lunch - at least, I found it so. It is some years since I was there, but I doubt it would have changed much.

    10 th of September. Cody.
    There are three scenic routes across the Big Horn mountains - US-16; US-14; and US-Alt14. I would highly recommend that if you have the time to take the Alt14 from Daytona to Cody. There are a few stops at the top such as the short walk to the medicine wheel, and further on the Big Horn Canyon.

    Looks like you have a great, and busy, trip coming up.

    Lifey

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    225

    Default

    Thanks Lifey.

    I have just been looking at google maps finding the place's you spoke of. Will certainly keep them in mind when we get in the area. Not long to go now. Getting scary. Hopefully everything will be ok while we are gone. Have to start charging batteries and deciding what len's to take.

    Keithg

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