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  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,690

    Default

    Our reservations are at Old Faithful Lodge, I believe. Looking forward to staying there after looking the place over back a few years ago!

    There are a number of great places on your fall trip, that I absolutely love. We loved Devil's Tower, so interesting to be able to hear climbers that are halfway up like they were in the same room.

    Day 34 Drive 355 miles ...yeah...I know...a long driving day!
    Sounds like a short one to me. :-)

    Days 26-29 Explore Rocky Mountain National Park from East side near Estes Park
    Days 30-33 Explore Rocky Mountain National Park from West side
    I hope that one works out for you, that you can drive Trail Ridge Road! It's funny, I've been to RMNP twice and we were able to drive Trail Ridge Road on both trips. Yet I've known a few people who take 2 or 3 trips to the park before they can finally do that road. Granted, on both trips, we were rained and sleeted upon when at the top of the road. One trip, they closed the road right after we got back to our campsite. Go figure!

    Day 40-41 Spend time in Torrey, Utah area including Capitol Reef
    Day 42-51 Move into Capitol Reef to camp and our friends head home. We will relax & hike!
    The campground in Capitol Reef is so pretty, surrounded by orchards. Lots of hiking, for sure! In the fall, the temperatures should be perfect for that! When I was a teen, our family hiked to "the tanks" as they are known. Hot hike, good soak, cooler hike back since we were still wet.

    Donna

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,690

    Default You missed one, Mark!

    You missed a rather nice place in North Dakota, Mark....

    Day 3. Minot, North Dakota to Bismark, ND.
    Real World Driving: 4.0 hours
    Pride Dairy Ice Cream Parlour
    International Peace Garden
    Geographical Center of North America in Rugby.
    Fort Totten
    Icelandic State Park
    Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge
    National Buffalo Museum
    North Dakota State Capital Tour
    Lewis & Clark Riverboat Tour
    Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park
    Just north of Bismarck, in Washburn, is the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center and about a mile or two north of that, the re-created Fort Mandan. Great museum and grounds to wander.

    The ND State Capitol building is not your average state capitol building, that's for sure. We didn't tour it, but passed it several times (between the hotel and the Ford diesel garage) and wondered why their capitol didn't seem to have a dome ...


    Donna

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,581

    Default maybe you should create a CP-->RA about it?

    Donna,

    Actually RoadTrip America has been to a couple more places in North Dakota:
    Fort Mandan
    Fort Clark Trading Post

    So far, no one has written about the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center -- maybe you should create a CP-->RA about it?

    Other North Dakota articles are here.

    Thanks,

    Mark

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    Our reservations are at Old Faithful Lodge, I believe. Looking forward to staying there after looking the place over back a few years ago!
    On our first trip to Yellowstone way back in 1974 we stayed at cabins near the Old Faithful Lodge....they have since been removed....for good reasons but I loved being so close to the geyser area! I really hope the park is open by the time you are to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    There are a number of great places on your fall trip, that I absolutely love. We loved Devil's Tower, so interesting to be able to hear climbers that are halfway up like they were in the same room.
    We have been to all the places before on our trip except Crazy Horse and Jewel Cave but it's been a number of years since we've been. This itinerary was for our friends who have only been to Capitol Reef before.

    Our first time to Devil's Tower we lucked into the campsite with the best view of the Tower...it was so memorable I remember we had grill cheese sandwiches for lunch!

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post

    Sounds like a short one to me. :-)
    I know 355 miles is not far, we have done that and more but we're getting old and DH is the only one that drives, we are retired and have all the time to travel so we don't feel the need to push ourselves any more.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    I hope that one works out for you, that you can drive Trail Ridge Road! It's funny, I've been to RMNP twice and we were able to drive Trail Ridge Road on both trips. Yet I've known a few people who take 2 or 3 trips to the park before they can finally do that road. Granted, on both trips, we were rained and sleeted upon when at the top of the road. One trip, they closed the road right after we got back to our campsite. Go figure!
    The two previous times we were at Rocky Mountain National Park it was so long ago that it was NO problem driving the Trail Ridge Road but I have been reading and I see how this will be a little more challenging this time!

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    The campground in Capitol Reef is so pretty, surrounded by orchards. Lots of hiking, for sure! In the fall, the temperatures should be perfect for that! When I was a teen, our family hiked to "the tanks" as they are known. Hot hike, good soak, cooler hike back since we were still wet.
    We just love Capitol Reef! We started going in 1975 before the scenic road was even paved! We use to like to end our trips in Zion National Park, but it has become such a ZOO that we now end our trips at Capitol Reef just to relax and unwind before heading home.

    Utahtea

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,123

    Default One Week on the Lower Mississippi

    Although I've been through this area more than once, all my trips have been just east-west segments of larger RoadTrips. Since I was born just blocks from its banks, one of my (so far) unfulfilled desires is to drive some significant portion of the Big Muddy. It might as well be where it's at its biggest and muddiest.

    One Week From Memphis

    Days 1-2: Memphis TN
    Beale Street
    Graceland
    Elvis Presley Automobile Museum
    National Civil Rights Museum
    Mississippi River Museum
    Blues Hall of Fame

    Days 3-4 Drive: Memphis to New Orleans using the Great River Road and/or the Blues Highway
    Real World Driving Time: About 12 hours
    Yazoo National Wildlife Refuge
    Vicksburg National Military Park
    Overnight: Natchez
    Museum of African American History and Culture
    Delta Music Museum
    Old River Control Structure (The Mississippi will break through someday.)
    USS Kidd Veterans Museum

    Day 5-7: New Orleans LA
    French Quarter
    Bourbon Street
    Jackson Square
    New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
    The National WWII Museum
    Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
    Venice Marina (as far down the Mississippi as you can get by car)

    Days 8-9: Drive: New Orleans to Memphis
    Real World Driving Time: About 10 hours
    Lake Pontchartrain Causeway
    Mississippi Petrified Forest
    Overnight: Jackson MS
    Natchez Trace Parkway
    Elvis' Birthplace
    Holly Springs National Forest

    Back in Memphis

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,581

    Default

    That would be a fun trip.

    Mark

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,581

    Default Along the Rio Grande in Texas

    Many of us have driven along sections of the "Great River Road" (this is way more challenging than most people might think!!!) but I think a Fantasy Trip would be to drive along the Rio Grande, crossing back and forth at will across the USA/Mexico border. It would be really fun to drive most of Nuevo Leon Hwy-2 on the sections when the corresponding US highways veer away from the border.

    So... One Week from Brownsville to El Paso Along the Rio Grande

    Day 1. Boca Chica State Park to Rio Grande City, Texas
    Real World Driving Time: 3.0 hours (+ 3 hours for stops)
    From Brownsville drive to the beach Boca Chica Blvd to Boca Chica State Park
    Resaca de la Palma State Park
    Progreso International Bridge
    Donna Rio Bravo International Bridge
    Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge
    Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park
    Las Palmas Wildlife Management Area
    Fort Ringgold

    Day 2. Rio Grande City, Texas to Del Rio, Texas
    Real World Driving Time: 7.0 hours
    Republic of the Rio Grande Museum
    Piedras Negras
    Fort Clark
    Amistad National Recreation Area

    Day 3. Del Rio, Texas to Terlingua, Texas
    Real World Driving Time: 6.0 hours
    Boquillas del Carmen
    Bid Bend National Park
    Trip Report from Peter Thody about Big Bend
    Starlight Theatre


    Day 4. Terlingua, Texas to El Paso, Texas
    Real World Driving Time: 8.0 hours
    Contrabando Film Set
    Teepee Rest Stop
    Fort Leaton State Historical Site
    Chianti Hot Springs
    Candelaria
    Fort Quitman Hot Springs

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    655

    Default Time Traveling through the Four Corners

    Hey!

    I definitely love this concept. Eight days (plus or minus) is a really nice amount of time, and if weíre allowed to choose any starting point weíd like, the possibilities loop all the way to the moon and back. I was going a little bit nuts trying to narrow it down, and finally elected to keep things simple by reverting to Buckís original concept, using my home in Phoenix as my starting point. The itineraries I created for my book, Arizona and New Mexico: 25 Scenic Side Trips were all (technically) single-day excursions. Having a whole week to work with is a great opportunity to hook a few of them together, and do something really interesting.

    I have a background in anthropology, and a life-long fascination with ďresiduum,Ē which is, basically, the stuff left behind by people who are no longer around. Since thereís quite a lot of that sort of thing within striking distance of Phoenix, I decided to make ďArchaeologyĒ the essential theme of my road trip, focusing on sites of historical significance that were built, painted, or scratched into the rock at least 500 years ago, before the first of the Europeans arrived on the scene. The goal: to visit as many such sites as possible in the time allotted, stringing them together like an interconnected series of seriously Scenic Side Trips!
    Fair warning: I also love mountain roads with hairpin curves and switchbacks, so Iíll be throwing those in as often as possible; my way of adding a little spice to the drive!

    One Week from Phoenix:

    Day 1: Phoenix AZ to Flagstaff AZ via AZ 89 and AZ 89A (Wickenburg, Prescott, Jerome, Clarkdale, Camp Verde, Sedona, and Oak Creek Canyon): Google Maps says: 248 miles/5:38; Real World Driving Time: About 10 hours

    Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park
    Tuzigoot National Monument
    Montezuma Castle National Monument
    Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Drive


    The first day of this trip follows the same route as Scenic Side Trip #9, which was the first route that I created when I wrote my book, and one of my personal favorites. Thereís one significant deviation from the book: on this route, after stopping at Tuzigoot, Iíll proceed to Montezuma Castle before continuing on to Sedona. There are several gloriously curvy sections of road, around Yarnell and Jerome, and of course the wonderful stretch north from Sedona through Oak Creek Canyon. You might wonder why it would take ten hours to drive less than 300 miles, when Google says 5 hours and 38 minutes? Thatís because the roads are slow, and so am I. Iíll be stopping often, so 10 hours is bare minimum.

    Day 2: Flagstaff AZ to Monument Valley, UT: Google Maps says: 353 miles 6:38; Real World Driving Time: About 10 hours

    Walnut Canyon National Monument
    Sunset Crater National Monument
    Wupatki National Monument
    Coal Mine Canyon
    Old Oraibi Hopi Village
    Tsakurshovi Trading Post
    Navajo National Monument
    Monument Valley (sunset)


    Day 2 of the trip follows part of the route taken by Scenic Side Trip #15. The stop at Coal Mine Canyon requires a permit that can be purchased in Cameron. Iíll visit the Hopi Village of Old Oraibi, then Iíll make a stop at Tsakurshovi trading post to see my friends Joe and Janice Day, and pick up a new ďDonít Worry, Be HopiĒ T-shirt (since my old one is quite worn out). Turn around on AZ 264 and return to Tuba City, then head north to Navajo National Monument before ending my day at Monument Valley. With any luck? Right on time for the sunset.

    Day 3: Monument Valley UT to Cortez CO via Chinle and Navajo Route 13 to Shiprock : Google Maps says: 254 miles/4:48; Real World Driving Time: About 9 hours

    Monument Valley (sunrise)
    Canyon de Chelly National Monument
    Navajo Route 13 over the Lukachukai Mountains to Shiprock


    Day 3: Get an early start to catch a Monument Valley sunrise, and then drive to Chinle by way of Kayenta and Indian Service Route 59 through Many Farms. Drive the South Rim Drive at Canyon de Chelly National Monument, and if Iím doing well on time, make the hike down to the White House ruin and back, to give myself a couple of hours of good exercise out of my Jeep. After the South Rim Drive, take the North Rim Drive, and after the Mummy Cave Overlook, keep going on Indian Route 64 through Tsaile, then up and over Buffalo Pass at the crest of the Lukachukai Mountains. (Portions of this section of the route follow roads described in Scenic Side Trip #16.) Take some time to admire the amazing views of Shiprock peak from Navajo Route 13, then drive north through the town of Shiprock, and on to Cortez Colorado for the night.

    Day 4: Cortez CO to Farmington, NM: Google Maps says: 96 miles/1:49
    Real World Driving Time: About 3 hours, leaving lots of extra time for stops

    Canyons of the Ancients National Monument
    Mesa Verde National Park
    Aztec Ruins National Monument


    Not as much driving on Day 4, which will allow a more relaxed pace when exploring two amazing National Monuments and a wonderful National Park. Arrive in Farmington late in the day, a very nice time to stroll around the ruins at Aztec.

    Day 5: Farmington NM to Santa Fe NM Google Maps says: 262 miles/6:18
    Real World Driving Time: About 11 hours

    Bisti Badlands
    Chaco Canyon National Historical Park
    Bandelier National Monument


    Get up bright and early and head south from Farmington on NM 371 to the Bisti Badlands Wilderness Area, just in time for some sunrise photos. From there, on to the Chaco Culture National Historical Park, followed by a wonderful drive through the mountains, past the Valles Caldera National Reserve, with a stop at Bandelier National Monument before continuing on to Santa Fe for the night. This day of driving utilizes sections of Scenic Side Trip #17, as well as some pieces of Scenic Side Trip #22.

    Day 6: Santa Fe NM Google Maps says: 264 miles/6:07
    Real World Driving Time: About 10 hours

    High Road to Taos (as well as the Low Road!)
    Taos Pueblo
    Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway
    Rio Grande del Norte National Monument
    Wild Rivers Visitor Center


    Day 6 calls for a second night in the same hotel (what a concept!), but it wonít be a day for relaxation. Iíll drive the Low Road to Taos, where Iíll tour Taos Pueblo. From there, Iíll head toward Questa and the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, where Iíll check out the Wild Rivers Visitor Center, and the breath-taking views at the end of the road. If Iím doing well time-wise, Iíll complete the amazing drive around the Enchanted Circle, and then Iíll take the one-of-a-kind High Road from Taos back to Santa Fe. This day was lifted straight out of my book: Scenic Side Trip #24 Part A and Scenic Side Trip #24 Part B. Iíll drive it just as it was written.

    Day 7: Santa Fe NM to Silver City NM Google Maps says: 378 miles /7:39
    Real World Driving Time: About 12 hours

    Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
    Petroglyph National Monument
    Gila Cliff Dwelling National Monument

    Day 7: The adventure continues with a drive from Santa Fe down to Albuquerque, where Iíll check out the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and Petroglyph National Monument. Leaving Albuquerque, Iíll jump on I-25 and Iíll drive south, about 160 miles to the junction with NM 152 (the longest stretch of straight-up freeway driving on this whole trip). Then Iíll follow that fantastic curvy mountain road over Emory Pass to San Lorenzo, where Iíll pick up NM 35, which will take me to NM 15, which will take me to Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, one of the most remote, least visited National Monuments in the lower 48 states. I dearly love this place: a nearly intact cliff dwelling in a gorgeous setting, and there are so few visitors, people are still allowed to enter the ruin, and view it up close. Itís a long drive, and itís not on the way to anywhere else, but for me, thatís part of the appeal. Thereís no place to stay near the National Monument, and I donít plan to do any camping, so Iíll have to time my departure carefully to make sure I have enough daylight left for the drive south to Silver City. Thatís where Iíll heave-to on the last night of my trip, in one of several historic hotels. Much of this dayís drive will follow squarely in the footsteps of Scenic Side Trip #2.

    Day 8: Silver City NM to Phoenix AZ Google Maps says: 355 miles/6:47
    Real World Driving Time: About 11 hours

    Besh ba Gowah Archaeological Park and Museum
    Tonto National Monument
    Apache Trail Historic Road
    Casa Grande National Monument


    My last day is an old favorite: Iíll drive south from Silver City to Lordsburg, where Iíll pick up US 70, which Iíll take west to Globe. If I get an early start, before sunrise, Iíll be driving through the Gila River Valley in the golden light of dawn.(See Scenic Side Trip #4.) Iíll check out the Besh Ba Gowah ruin and Museum thatís run by the City of Globe, and then Iíll take US 60 north to Tonto National Monument. The Apache Trail Historic Road is a wonderful way to cross the mountains, following the course of the Salt River, in view of three beautiful lakes. A particularly gnarly section of the road was badly damaged during a big storm last year and thereís no certainty about the timing of the repairs. If itís open? Iíll make that drive from Roosevelt west to Apache Junction (see Scenic Side Trip #11). Otherwise, Iíll backtrack and take US 60 west from Globe (completing SST #4). Either way, Iíll go just a tiny bit out of my way to pick up one last prehistoric ruin: Casa Grande National Monument. From there, itís less than an hour back to Phoenix, and:

    Home!


    Rick

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,581

    Default a pretty great trip.

    Yes, that sounds like a pretty great trip.

    Mark

  10. Default

    Rick,

    We have done most of what is on your trip over the years, but I would want 2 months to do it all at one time!

    Utahtea

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