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Road trip from Texas to Monterey, Ca. and back to Texas

Road trip from Texas to Monterey, Ca. and back to Texas

Old Jun 29th, 2008, 10:45 AM
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Road trip from Texas to Monterey, Ca. and back to Texas

Fosterag & I are driving to Monterey, Ca. last week in July. We will be in Monterey for a week(Monterey Bay Lodge), 1 nite in SF(Columbus Mtr.Inn), 2 nites Napa(Chardonnay Inn), 2 nites in Reno(w/ sister-in-law) and then back to Texas. Going out we are going to drive,drive as we need to be in Monterey 7/31. Any suggestions on route as we would like to avoid I-10. Back to Texas we would like to go thru Durango. Suggestions on this and also go thru Lubbock,Tx on way to Houston. Trying to stay on budget for hotel & food. Also is there a charge for winery tours in Napa and has anyone done the train and jeep tour in Durango. AAA has us going & coming I-10. We need lots of help!!! Sorry this is so chatty.
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Old Jun 29th, 2008, 04:53 PM
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You are from Texas and probably used to the heat but I would not drive I-10 across NM and AZ in July. I would head north and take I-40 which is a higher and cooler route. You still have to cross the Mojave in CA but that should take only a half day. Of course, the Central Valley will be hot too. On the coast though, it should be nice and cool.

Coming back, I'd take US 50 from Reno across Nevada (a cooler route than I-80 and more scenic) through Great Basin NP and then US 6 and I-70 over to Arches NP and Moab in Utah. Then just head over to Ouray, CO and then down to Durango. The AAA tourbooks should be able to help you with lodging.

For your Napa visit, you have received good advice on your other thread. Most wineries do charge for tours now but there are many tasting rooms in Napa and Sonoma that have reasonable fees and some that are still free.
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Old Jun 29th, 2008, 06:31 PM
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Do we need to make reservations now at a winery? Also should we make them for the train in Durango? Do you know anything about the train and jeep tour? Thanks for the help.
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Old Jun 29th, 2008, 06:38 PM
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I live in the area, so I may of some help.

Durango is a long way from I 10. If you take I 40, it is about 3 hours drive from Albuquerque to Durango.

Yes, you should make a reservation for the train. It is probably the #2 attraction in the area [#1 being Mesa Verde NP].

I also suggest that you only take the train one way and then arrange to take their bus back to Durango. It is a nice ride, but going round trip takes almost all day and you don't see anything different on the return trip. It doesn't matter if you take the train to Silverton and then the bus back to Durango or the other way. If you go from Durango to Silverton, sit on the right side of the train. If you go the other direction, sit on the left side.

Don't wear light/white clothes as there is often soot from the engine.

The jeep rides are fun and very bouncy. {We have our own 4WD vehicle, so we haven't done commercial tour}. It can also be a bit rough if you have a fear of heights.

What else can I tell you about the area?

Deb

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Old Jun 29th, 2008, 07:30 PM
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I read somewhere that there is a tour where you take a bus to Silverton, then jeep ride into the mountains and the train back to Durango. I don't remember the name of the tour co. I have been trying to find it, but cannot do. Also any suggestions for lodging in Durango? Hoping to stay two nights.
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Old Jun 29th, 2008, 07:36 PM
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What kind of accomodations are you looking for - B&B, motel, historic hotel, price etc?

Let me look for the tour thing.

Deb
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Old Jun 29th, 2008, 07:43 PM
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Go to google and type in durango train and jeep tour and quite a few come up.

Honestly, I think you would be better off booking them separately on your own. I think that places often charge you more for the convenience of what you can do on your own. Just my 2 cents worth here.

Deb
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Old Jun 30th, 2008, 05:07 AM
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Agree with Debi's comments overall and with the suggestion of taking I40 out and the I70-80 combo coming back. Most prefer to take the train one way and bus back (we did RT because I'm a train freak). If I think of the name of the jeep company we used, I'll post.

As for lodging, etc check www.freetrip.com. It can be very useful in showing lodging, restaurants, etc along a given route.
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Old Jul 1st, 2008, 06:26 PM
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Thanks for all your help. We have booked lodging at the Best Western Mountain Shadows Inn. Lots of places wer sold out and this is towards the end of our trip and budget could be a problem. Reviews were more good than bad and location is good. Also booked thru Outlaw Tours the jeep and train tour. Outlaw was less expensive than durango tours and rails and trails. If we made really bad choices please let us know.
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Old Jul 1st, 2008, 07:09 PM
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Have you thought of flying to CA instead of driving? Southwest is offering great deal right now to CA.


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Old Jul 2nd, 2008, 05:08 AM
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Yes we did think about flying but we would not be able to see everything we want to see especially Durango.
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