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Old 10-07-2007, 09:04 PM   #15
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Oh My

Not history buffs? Perish the thought! Desipite this quirk, I am going to suggest that you stop at the St Louis Arch, or more properly the gateway to the west. Climb the thing yes, BUT make sure and get a feel for the stepping off point it was for all points west. This will serve you well as you head west. Once west of Kansas City, I would drift down along the Santa Fe trail. There are neat things to see here and there, it gets you off the interstate, and it lines you up for Santa Fe, which you are going to want most likely. If you are going to have to drive across Kansas anyway, its a nice route.

All Joking aside, you will get alot more out of the trip and appreciate what you see more if you have some of the more major themes of history and natural science under your belt.
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Old 10-07-2007, 09:17 PM   #16
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Rodney, I miss understood your question about history. Yes we love history in a sense of loving to visit places of history and pondering etc...Sante Fe looks and sounds great so that's definately a place of interest for us.
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Old 10-07-2007, 09:33 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by ristream'n
Pieman, We're very envious!! You're definately living the life!!! Feel free to fill us in
Brian---This could take volumns and much of this of course is personal opinion. I've worked in a gift shop shop here since May and have had a chance to see every imaginable vacaton style. One thing that seems comon to most is when folks come from the east they nearly all try to cram to much into what ever time the have. Having observed this all summer and having "been there done that" my first advice is regardless of where you go spend quailty time in fewer places. I see people making work out of their trips on a daily basis, tempers flaring, rushing here and there never seeing anything indepth. The average visitor spends 4hrs here !!!
There are 2 campgrounds in the park, one full hookup, one with none. Camper services have showers laundry etc all very good. There is a complete village here with general store, bank and post office etc. All the things you would need are here. I would make reservations well in advance as summers in the park are busy.
There are free shuttle buses that run day and good part of the night. You can park yor vehicle and go most anywhere free and not have to hassle with the traffic or parking.
The park service offers programs every day ,all day, on most any subject you can imagine as well as the Grand Canyon Field Institute {check the web for classes $$} which fit families as well as individuals.
If your family likes to hike come as early as you can as by mid june inner canyon temps are blazing. An over night trip to Phanton Ranch is a fun trip provided your family is fit. See the park service webb site.
While it's 10 miles as the Condor flies and within site the north rim is 200 miles by road from the south. The campground there is nice ,though small and has no hookups. They book early !!! It's quieter , cooler and higher than the south and much less crowded. Both are worth spending time at if time allows.
Obviously this is one of our favorite places on earth. We've, camped backpacked and hiked it for years as it was close enough to be a weekend destination. Now that we are retired and have even more time to spend it was the first place we looked to for a workamping location. As a side note my first visit here was with my parents in 1953 !!
I'll quit--hope I've wetted you appat. for this trip. feel free to ask for more-----pieman
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Old 10-07-2007, 09:40 PM   #18
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Your trip west of Kansas...

Hello,
We're currently residing in Page, AZ, on the north border of Arizona. I make regular trips back to Nebraska where I'm originally from. I must recommend Highway 160 west of Walsenburg, Colorado all the way to Tuba City, Arizona. If you take this road west of Walsenburg, you'll go past the Great Sand Dunes Nat'l Monument (which may be flowing if the season's been wet enough), Wolf Creek Pass right before you hit Pagosa Springs, Durango, Mesa Verde Nat'l Park (a must see!), & Cortez, CO with many National Forest camping areas along the way. After you get to AZ you'll start seeing our famous red rocks, with Monument Valley just to the north. The trip to has some excellent scenery most of the way to Tuba; if you decide to take Hwy 98 North to Page, it has some pretty spectacular stuff as well (including Lake Powell). The North & South Rim of the G. Canyon are both spectacular places to visit, but I must recommend the North side; with the lesser amount of tourists, cooler climate, and ample boondocking (National Forest) sites it a winner for us.

If you're like us, the return trip is usually a little quicker (but hopefully not!) due to "road wear" on everyone, so I recommend the I-40 corridor East through New Mexico. You'll see Flagstaff, Winslow (my wife's from there, and "The Corner" burned down a few years back, but they've moved the fencing back so at least you can walk on the sidewalk), & Albuquerque. The interstates through NM are pretty good, and the altitude gain isn't too bad so it'll be smooth sailing for you. If you get a chance, drop south of I-40 and take NM State Highway to El Morro Nat'l Mon., where you'll see thousands of signatures in the rock dating back to the 1500's.

OK, I've got to stop my rambling. I could go on and on about this area. Anyhow... just be sure you have the National Park Pass ($80) to get into all of the parks, it'll pay for itself in a few visits. Our wishes to your safe trailering (AS's pull like a dream) and to your excellent adventure! Erik
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Old 10-07-2007, 09:43 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by welld.geo
I must recommend Highway 160 west of Walsenburg, Colorado all the way to Tuba City, Arizona.
Erik
SUPERB advice!
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Old 10-07-2007, 10:16 PM   #20
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brian,

back in '98 after i graduated architecture school in boston, my brother and i headed out on a 6 week cross country roadtrip. we had never been west before but we were campers so we planned on staying in state campgrounds and national parks the whole time (which we did except one night in vegas). we rented a chevy blazer out of boston, packed it full of camping gear and headed out (we did tent camping). i think we left new hampshire (my home state) middle to end of june.

we drove straight to chicago and picked up route 66. this is a must do! we took it all the way to california with a detour up to grand canyon. we spent about two weeks on route 66 before we got to the grand canyon. we did drive some long days, but seeing route 66 was incredible.

that's the route i'd recommend. take your time taking route 66 out than you can hit the interstates for the ride home and be home in 3 to 4 days.

let me know if you need anymore info.
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Old 10-08-2007, 09:21 AM   #21
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Thumbs up The North Rim

Quote:
Originally Posted by wkerfoot
There is a full hookup campground inside the park on the South Rim. The park tram is at the campground entrance.

If possible, you should try to see both north and south rim. North rim is about 1000 feet higher and all the campgrounds are no hookups. The north rim is closed during the winter and not as touristy. Not a problem with a trailer.

Bill
If you think you would like boondocking, I will second the North Rim,

very few tourists, sooper campgrounds, and awesome scenery.

If you have the time and would like to experience how the Early

Streamer's did it, try to travel the longest original section of RT66 in AZ. It

is one of the most spactacular drives we've done! It's slow going but well

worth the effort. Route 66 Association of Arizona



AIN'T THIS COUNTRY GREAT
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Old 10-08-2007, 09:53 AM   #22
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Thumbs up Try This Site Also

Historic Route 66 in Arizona: Drive I-40 across Arizona for the scenic highlights of Route 66 USA

HAVE A GREAT TRIP!!!!!!!
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Old 10-08-2007, 10:39 AM   #23
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Can you say sunset?
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Old 10-08-2007, 08:15 PM   #24
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WOW!! that's all I can say. Great details pieman. Erik great advise and rte 160 sounds like a great rte. The nat park pass is the only way to go. We renew it every year even if we aren't planning nat park visits. But truth be told we always want to visit nat parks, they are our passion!! Rte 66 way to go Dave!! We have got to spend some time on rte 66. What a sunset Brad whoa!! That's it those pics have clinched it, we have to go. Thanks all it was all valuable advise{that's why I love this forum}and we'll keep you posted on developments. If any other ideas come up please feel free to continue.......
Brian and Donna
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Old 10-08-2007, 08:22 PM   #25
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Take a look at including Arches NP

Arches is a really neat place as many here will attest. Also, there is some cool stuff (monument valley) between the grand canyon and there. Arches will put you right on I 70 which is a good return route. It will also run you through Colorado which isn't entirely bad.
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Old 10-08-2007, 08:41 PM   #26
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Rodney I was kind of thinking that the Utah nat parks could be whole seperate trip for another time. So I'm thinking of the GC trip to include New Mexico stuff,AZ and GC stuff then points of interest on the way back. I don't think I'll have enough time for all of the Utah things. Sound right?
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Old 10-08-2007, 08:56 PM   #27
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It's not EXACTLY between RI and GC, but if you can get to San Antonio, NM to the Owl Cafe for a green chili cheesburger, it would be well worth the trip. You will need sustenance, after all!
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Old 10-08-2007, 08:58 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ristream'n
Rodney I was kind of thinking that the Utah nat parks could be whole seperate trip for another time. So I'm thinking of the GC trip to include New Mexico stuff,AZ and GC stuff then points of interest on the way back. I don't think I'll have enough time for all of the Utah things. Sound right?
Well, no doubt there is a whole trip (or dozens) there. On the other hand, you are transiting from the north east to the south west then back. If you look at your map (choose one of the dozen your wife no doubt has) you will see you could do NM on the way west to the big ditch then drift north to I 70. This puts you on a good fast track route to the east (which you may want by then) and minimizes the backtracking. In any case, it was just something to consider over the winter when its to nasty to be outside. One thing is for sure and certian, there are going to be a whole bunch more options than you can choose. Enjoy!
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