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  1. #1
    imported_Carol I. Picciolo Guest

    Default Road Trip: Illinois to Tempe, AZ and Return

    My husband and I are planning a road trip from northern Illinois to Tempe, AZ and return during May. We will drive southwest on interstate highways to Oklahoma City. We plan to tour the Okahoma state capitol, history museum, and the Oklahoma City National Memorial. We will continue driving on Interstate 40 until we rearch Amarillo, TX. Hello U.S. - we leave the interstate for U.S. 60 driving west until we reach Tempe. After a long weekend in Tempe, we plan to drive north through Arizona into Utah until we reach U.S. Route 50 and travel east. We will hike at Arches National Park and Black Canyon of the Gunnison. We will continue back to Illinois on this route. We traveled U.S. 50 in the Salida, CO - Royal Gorge, CO area two years ago.

    Any New Mexico suggestions regarding scenic stops and/or parks? Has anyone visited Bents Old Fort in eastern Colorado? I have driven across northern Kansas twice: U.S. Route 24 and U.S. Route 36 and enjoyed the empty space and land. Has anyone traveled across Kansas on Route 50?

  2. #2

    Default VLA

    Among the attractions along US60, you'll find the Very Large Array (VLA). It is a multi-dish radio-telescope site (was filmed in the movie "Contact"). There is a visitor center, open daylight hours. If you are interested in science/astronomy, it's worth a look.

    I haven't been to Bent's Fort (yet), but while you're there, take a look at the Kit Carson Museum too. It's nearby.

    Also in New Mexico, stop by Lincoln. It's the scene of the Lincoln County War (1870's) and Billy the Kid's stomping grounds. See where Billy shot the sheriff (with his own gun, no less)!

  3. #3
    imported_Carol I. Picciolo Guest

    Default VLA

    Hi Bob, Thank you so much for your travel ideas.

    I will stop at the Very Large Array. Am I interested in science/astronomy? You better believe that I am...I work at a high energy physics national laboratory. So, now I have two destinations in New Mexico.

    I visited the army base named after Kit Carson, Ft. Carson, in 2002 which is located just outside of Colorado Springs. So while driving across eastern Colorado, we will tour the fort and museum.

  4. #4

    Default And I forgot...

    If you take US64 from just south of Raton off I-25, west over to Eagle Nest and Taos, you'll find it is very beautiful, extremely high altitude mountain country and there is a beautiful lake up there. Then go south from there down SR434 to SR518 and on to Las Vegas -- it is a beautiful drive down a river canyon. The only bear I'd ever seen outside a zoo (up until that time anyway) I saw on that road -- he was picking through a bag of trash on the road that somebody threw him -- and when I approached he ran off into the woods and hid behind a tree to watch and see if I was going to take his treasure. (I didn't).

  5. #5
    imported_Carol I. Picciolo Guest

    Default New Mexico Attactions

    Hi Bob, Unfortunately, we will drive west on U.S. 60 with not much extra time to travel to the northern area of New Mexico. We do have time, however, to visit the attractions that you mentioned in your previous message.

    If you want to see small black bears, travel to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. My husband and I woke up early every day that we visited and drove the Cades Cove loop slowly. During our first morning, we spotted a mother and her four cubs which was very unusual because generally two cubs are born to a mother bear. We stayed in Townsend in a cabin away from any shops. Also, we spotted two black bears in Shenandoah National Park.

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