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Old 12-04-2006, 05:06 AM   #29
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Rodney -

My wife and I have spent the past 6 summers and falls in the Northwest US and Canada, moving throughout Idaho, Wyoming and Montana to Oregon, Washington and British Columbia (and out onto Vancouver Island once for several weeks). Now, we've finally settled into one place, right on the Yellowstone River about 35 miles north of Yellowstone Park.

The most spectacular scenery in that part of the country and roadways to take (but not necessarily with a trailer in tow), for my money, are in the farthest up places in the Rocky Mountains - such as Jasper, Banff and Glacier National Parks, and the Beartooth Highway leading from Red Lodge, MT to Cooke City (Chas. Kuralt once called this the most spectacular highway in America) and the Northeast Entrance to Yellowstone Park - or over the Tetons into Jackson Hole, WY.

As far as history, there is tons of it, depending on what you're interested in, and how far off the beaten path you want to go.

In the immediate area where my wife and I are now staying on the Yellowstone River, just to show some examples of the history and things to see and do, there are many old gold mines and related items, buffalo jumps and indian artifacts, the old Yellowstone Trail (which few tourists take, but anyone can) that was the original entrance way leading into Yellowstone Park, petrified forests, and the first dude ranch in the state of Montana now owned and being restored by the state.

Also in our area of MT, I like to go to and see some of the places that Lewis and Clark explored. One of our favorites is the Gates of the Mountain on the Missouri River just north of Helena, MT, and the scenic boat ride that takes you through that part of the river, and it's rugged and remote canyon.

If I were boondocking in MT, I'd look to stay at some of the state Fish and Game Department's river accesss sites. Within 20 miles north and south of where we're at on the Yellowstone River, for example, there are several of these places, each of which have a small number of campsites right on the river. Information on these sites is available online, but it may be a bit difficult navigate the website to find specific sites unless you are willing to spend time researching them, and/or you know where you're going to be. Here's a link to one of the access sites on the Yellowstone River just several miles from where we stay. (Pictures of the place are also shown, which is nice.) http://fwp.mt.gov/lands/site_281780.aspx Or, if I wanted a bit more in the way of developed facilities, I'd look to one of the many BLM or National Forest Campgounds.

With 2 months, you should be able to see and do plenty. I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time.

John
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Old 12-05-2006, 07:08 PM   #30
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What about Idaho

You should not miss the area around Sun Valley, Id. Lots of places to Boon-
dock just a mile or two from Sun Valley Lodge with wonderful views and
fantastic fishing and beautiful Stanley, Id. just over the "hill". You can ride
bikes into town from your camp site.
Also the Area around Steamboat Springs, Co. is gorgeous. Wow you should
spend a couple years to see all the west has to offer. You will want to stay
forever so be warned. Hope you do get to make the trip and Happy Trails
John & Betty
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Old 12-05-2006, 07:44 PM   #31
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Canyons and Valley loop is what I would do. Lets start in the North.
Yellowstone National Park then South along the Tetons into Utah. The Great Salt Lake into Moab, heading South into the Canyon lands Brice, Zion and such. Further South to The Grand Canyon. West out of there to Death Valley. After a week there head North West up to Hi way 395 North, once you get to Mono Lake make a left and Head west into Yosemite Park. Head out of the west entrance of the park then head North into South Lake Tahoe. From there head North West to the Feather river area. Then again North the Lassen Park. Then Head West to the Trinity Alps Lots to do around there. Keep heading West to the Pacific ocean once there you'll find lots of Giant Redwood trees and the ocean. Then after a couple of weeks poking around there head North on HiWay 101 along the coast until you get to the Olympic National Forest lots to do there also. Go to Port Angeles and catch the BlackBall Ferry to Victoria Canada see the sites there make sure you go to Buchart Gardens Most Beautiful in late June and July. Up to Nanimo catch a BC Ferry to Vancouver spend some time there also. Then East to Braniff for spectacular beauty. Then South to your starting point of Yellow stone Park.
If you can make a trip like this "You're Living Large".

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-05-2006, 08:49 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by wahoonc
Arizona Painted Desert area and North Texas around Amarillo Just a few of the sites we only got to glance at were Palo Duro Canyon State Park, the Local History museum in Canyon, TX. The Mogollon Rim area near Payson, AZ was drop dead gorgeous.

Aaron
I second the Mogollon Rim. We go up there all the time and it's beautiful. Just make sure its not on fire.

Forest Road 300 is General Crook's trail and goes along the edge of the rim for about 50 miles (dirt and washboardy, so its slow) with fantastic views and lots of places to pull over and camp.
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Old 12-05-2006, 09:36 PM   #33
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where in the west

I may be prejudiced but I love northern New Mexico.I'd go to Chama and ride the Toltec Railroad into Colorado then I'd spend some time at Heron Dam State park and watch the Osprey and the numerous deer wondering around. I'd go to Espanola about 70 mi south and eat at the El Paragua Restauraunt and have a genuine NNM meal. There is nothing like a Northern New Mexican meal It is not Texmex or mexican. They cook with genuine Chimayo Chile. I said chile not chili. Next I would head towards Los Alamos. If you haven't visited the Bradbury Museum it would be interesting to see what was developed during the Manhatten Project. Los Alamos is the "Atomic City". Next I would visit the Valles Caldera the most recent addition to the arsenal of public lands it is 89,000 acres of pristine lands that were once an ancient volcano.Futher south you'd come to the Gilman Tunnels whith were made to transport logs thru the guadalupe river. Also to the east there is the Pecos Wilderness area .It is one of the first established in the US. If you pre fer the arts there is Santa Fe ,Toas ,Ohke Owinge whitch was actually the first Capital in what is the US. It was called San Gabriel by San Fransisco De Onate in the 1600"s. I hope you decide to visit here because we are not just a desert like everyone thinks. I am proud to be a native New Mexican http://www.nps.gov/band, http://www.nmtourism.org/place/loc/f...lace/3068.html, http://sangres.com/places/nm/chama.htm, http://www.losalamoshistory.org/manhattan.htm, http://www.vallescaldera.gov/comevisit/, http://www.elparagua.com/, http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/sfe/recreation/wilderness.htm, http://www.losriosriverrunners.com/riogrande.html, http://www.jemezmountaintrail.org/wh...lman%20tunnels
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Old 12-05-2006, 10:31 PM   #34
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We probably differ from most. We would take our Lucy and spend the whole time in Southern California, along the coast. We would spend a month in the San Diego area and then a month in the Los Angeles area.
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Old 12-06-2006, 09:02 AM   #35
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You know, I've looked at this thread several times, and every time I just get locked up. Two months of freedom in the west. And then my brain quits.

The problem is that there's just way too much to see/do out here. We're in NM and do love it, but there's also a whole mountain of other places out here. I just wouldn't know where to start.


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Old 12-06-2006, 09:21 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by eubank
You know, I've looked at this thread several times, and every time I just get locked up. Two months of freedom in the west. And then my brain quits.

The problem is that there's just way too much to see/do out here. We're in NM and do love it, but there's also a whole mountain of other places out here. I just wouldn't know where to start.


Lynn
Thats exactly the space I am in. I have seen a lot of the places people are mentioning but then again, no where near all. Its kind of hard to get ones head around the prospect. I suspect I will confine myself to the rockies for the most part. Planning is so much fun. This morning I was looking at scanners so I can scan negatives from my large format camera while on the road.... Anyway, thanks for all the responses, I never dreamed there would be so many KEEP THEM COMMING!, espically those little hidden jems that are under the radar!
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Old 12-06-2006, 09:50 AM   #37
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Welll, if it's just ideas you want, I can post my two lists of things to see and do in NM (north and south, roughly). They're sort of long, though (and generally too big for PM software), so I won't "hijack" the thread with them unless you'd like to see them!

Lynn
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Old 12-06-2006, 09:59 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by eubank
Welll, if it's just ideas you want, I can post my two lists of things to see and do in NM (north and south, roughly). They're sort of long, though (and generally too big for PM software), so I won't "hijack" the thread with them unless you'd like to see them!

Lynn
Is this the list that you had up as a thread? Thanks for reminding me about that, it was an excellent list. For what it is worth, I lived in NM for a while in the last century . Im sure I will spend some of the trip there ( I really want to reshoot Chimao) but I will have to be careful not to get stuck there the whole time . I'm debating if I want to try the highway 64 run up the cimarron canyon since Im towing with the F 150.... be nice to poke around the Marino valley for a few days though...
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Old 12-06-2006, 10:00 AM   #39
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Several years ago while on a trip to the north west wife and i decided to spend our next vacation in one NW state. I won't mention the state so as not to distract from my thought. I our case we took that state and spent the entire time within it's boundries looking in all it's nooks and cranies. This could be done with any of the states in the west. Two months seems like a long time but it would take a lifetime to see any one of these thoroughly. ---just an idea--pieman
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Old 12-06-2006, 10:23 AM   #40
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I've camped all over the West for most of my 60-plus years; I think each of the sites listed above is a definite gem! At least once in their lives, however, every person should see the Grand Canyon. Lots of tourists, of course, but for good reason. In my opinion, the North Rim is the better bet: same spectacular views but fewer people (also easier to get to if you're coming down from the North).
FYI: Mt Rainier (Washington) is also normally a "must see", but last month the heavy rains wiped out a significant number of camping areas. I was told by a Park Service employee that there's Federal money to repair the roads, but little or nothing for the campgrounds.
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Old 12-06-2006, 10:58 AM   #41
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Is this the list that you had up as a thread? Thanks for reminding me about that, it was an excellent list. For what it is worth, I lived in NM for a while in the last century . Im sure I will spend some of the trip there ( I really want to reshoot Chimao) but I will have to be careful not to get stuck there the whole time . I'm debating if I want to try the highway 64 run up the cimarron canyon since Im towing with the F 150.... be nice to poke around the Marino valley for a few days though...
It's kind of easy to get stuck here! But it's the usual thing: If you live here, you tend to take it for granted and then travel out of state. We're no exception: We often head over to the four-corners area for trips!

I just checked and did indeed post the lists. Here's the thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forum...ico-19476.html

Cimarron Canyon up into the Moreno valley isn't too bad of a pull. The little pass over from Angel Fire towards Taos is harder, but the pull is just short of two miles. More curves than anything else. (Harder still is the pass from the Moreno Valley over into Red River.)

Photography's nice up here, but sometimes I wonder if it wouldn't be even more fun for somebody with a metal detector. There are several ghost towns up here. One (Elizabethtown) has visible remains, but the others have nothing left to see. One of those was Agua Fria, which lay about a mile up the road from our house at the corner of Hwys 64 and 434. Others are higher up in the mountains, basically built-up mining towns, now long since gone.

But Chimayo! Hey, now between Taos (actually Ranchos de Taos is better; just ask Ansel Adams!) and Chimayo, you've got some nice digs for photographers!


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Old 12-06-2006, 01:00 PM   #42
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Depends on where you've already been and seen. But, if you haven't been to Jellystone and Grand Tetons then that's worth making one anchor for the trip. Then figure out what little hidden gems lie enroute. If you've then got the time to swing North to Banff / Lake Louise then I'd say that's the other "must see" spot in the Rockies. Tons of places in between like, oh say Glacier National Park that's worth the look. There's dang good reason the famous places are famous. That's not to say there ain't great spots along the way that are less travelled. In fact I'm sure you'll have a tuff time deciding what to leave out once they basic loop is drawn.

-Bernie
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