A VERY Large Loop

Old Jul 8th, 2021, 03:18 PM
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A VERY Large Loop

We are generally pretty experienced travelers having been to over 30 states and 30 countries. However THIS trip is unique - we are traveling for 60 days from upstate New York to Las Vegas and back. Thirty of those days will be spent in Las Vegas as we are considering relocating there (weather, taxes, airport, entertainment, parks, all better than upstate NY). Anyway, we are interested in any "can't miss" spots along the following parts of our travels:
  1. interstate 80 between Chicago and Denver,
  2. Denver, Estes, Boulder for 4 days (focused on hiking & biking, not culture, breweries, and architecture). I know it's worth more than this timeframe, but this trip is a scouting trip for the Denver area),
  3. Tucson to Carlsbad Caverns & Guadalupe Mtns,
  4. San Antonio & Austin,
Thanks for all your insights - happy & safe travels to you -

Dave


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Old Jul 8th, 2021, 05:21 PM
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Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo is regarded as one if the best in the country. Just off I-80, like 2 blocks. Lodging and restaurants available nearby in the Old Market district.
PS, not a comment on whether zoos are good or evil. Just a suggestion.
PPS It's often said that I-80 is the best thing to ever come out of Nebraska.

Last edited by baldone; Jul 8th, 2021 at 05:24 PM.
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Old Jul 8th, 2021, 05:51 PM
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Tucson- Visit and hike in Sabino Canyon, historic Mission San Xavier, drive to top of Mt. Lemmon in Santa Catalina Mts, 9600 ft altitude so much cooler temperatures.
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Old Jul 9th, 2021, 04:36 AM
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You didn't say what month?

Between Tucson and New Mexico you could drop down and go to Chiricahua National Monument, one of the "Sky Islands". You can even drive across the mountain and vist Cave Creek Canyon and emerge in Portal. The Chiricahua Desert Museum is worth a stop. Portal does have lodging (Cave Creek Ranch for example) but it books up from birdwatchers during "Second Spring".

Lordsburg NM also has motels. From Lordsburg you can go to Silver City and then visit Gila Cliff Dwellings NM. East of Las Cruces visit White Sands National Park.
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Old Jul 9th, 2021, 08:23 AM
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The missions south of San Antonio:


https://flic.kr/s/aHsjqcQxrT
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Old Jul 9th, 2021, 01:21 PM
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Along 1-80;

Field of Dreams movie set
A whole lot of state rec areas in Nebraska, and some in Iowa near 1-80. You might pick one or two for a break.

Might pick either Estes or Boulder. So many places in so little time doesn't sound very fun.
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Old Jul 9th, 2021, 02:17 PM
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Thank you, depending on how far we get the first day coming out of western New York, the zoo may very well be a great place to walk around the next morning before the 7 hour trip to Denver!
PS - thanks for the laugh

Last edited by The_D_Dawg; Jul 9th, 2021 at 02:26 PM. Reason: Addressee
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Old Jul 9th, 2021, 02:21 PM
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N8826WRjd - Thanks - we'll investigate and know where the Field of Dreams set is as well as the rec areas - I'm sure we'll need to get out periodically and stretch our legs. While the Denver area is a scouting trip, your point is well taken,. we'll probably just do Estes and Boulder for a couple of days each.. Thanks!!
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Old Jul 9th, 2021, 02:25 PM
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Thanks Michael - the Missions seem eminently doable. Any other thoughts around San Antonio or Austin would be appreciated....

D.
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Old Jul 9th, 2021, 02:29 PM
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Happy Traveler - you make life easy! Any other suggestions in the broader Tucson area? - we have a flexible schedule in our retirement!! Thanks -

D.
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Old Jul 9th, 2021, 02:32 PM
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MLGB - thank you, that's very helpful. You've given us some things to investigate and visit - if you have more, pass them along - thanks again -

D.
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Old Jul 9th, 2021, 03:59 PM
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Have you already been to some of the great National Parks like Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, Arches and Canyonlands, Bryce, Zion etc?

Take a different route on your way back.
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Old Jul 11th, 2021, 09:50 AM
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We have done Bryce and Zion (but need more Zion time!). The plan is to relocate to the southwest (2022) and then do proper visits to each of the parks there. This inquiry is more about places to see along the way of looping from upstate NY through Denver to Las Vegas, then returning via Phoenix, Tucson, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas. Retirement is good!!
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Old Jul 11th, 2021, 11:11 AM
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Depending on your route between NM and AZ also the Painted Desert/Petrified Forest, Meteor Crater (note this is private and charges a hefty admission), Winslow (La Posada), and sights along old Route 66 (you may want to check a specific guidebook out for that).

There is a lot to see around Flagstaff including Walnut Canyon. You could go via I-40 one way between NM and AZ and back via I-10.
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Old Jul 11th, 2021, 04:32 PM
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MLGB - thanks - have already seen PD/PF, Walnut Canyon, Meteor Crater, on a previous trip - but thank you for following up -
D.
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Old Jul 12th, 2021, 10:43 PM
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If you can, highly recommend Kartchner Caverns State Park sorta near Tuscon/Benson
Carlsbad Cavern - take the elevator, don't walk
Flagstaff - college town - heap of micro-breweries

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Old Jul 13th, 2021, 11:16 AM
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Parktrvl - Thanks for the Kartchner Caverns suggestion, I've added it to the list! I've been to Flagstaff (and the wonderful nearby parks like GC, Walnut Canyon, Meteor Crater, PF & PD, and Montezuma's Castle, Sedona, etc.), so all good there.

D.
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Old Jul 26th, 2021, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by baldone View Post
Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo is regarded as one if the best in the country. Just off I-80, like 2 blocks. Lodging and restaurants available nearby in the Old Market district.
PS, not a comment on whether zoos are good or evil. Just a suggestion.
PPS It's often said that I-80 is the best thing to ever come out of Nebraska.
If I were to judge every state I've seen by a cursory glance from the interstate, my "list of good places" would be very short, indeed.
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Old Jul 27th, 2021, 08:19 AM
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....the next morning before the 7 hour trip to Denver!..... I am not why you are asking about interesting points along I-80 because if you need to average almost 80mph to get to Denver in seven hours. You could easily take most of a week crossing Nebraska if you hit interesting points along I-80. The zoo would be just the beginning. The largest collection of cold war aircraft and related stuff is in the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum, part of the Smithsonian family, in Ashland, the Arch at Kearney, Ft. Kearney, Buffalo Bill's Ranch at North Platte, Union Pacific museum and rail yards at North Platte, Pony Express at Gothenburg, plus an dozen or more sights just along I-80 or within a few miles. But at 80 mph you will barely be able to read the signs.

And you do recognize that you leave I-80 in Nebraska and catch I-76 to Denver. However from Julesberg, CO, south there is little to see till you hit Denver.

We did the "Where to Retire" travel schedule about 15 years ago and decided to stay put in Denver. We were fairly turned off by Phoenix and Los Vegas - different reasons -- San Antonio was OK and Austin nicer but Texas politics was a negative for us. We make a big swing through southern CA plus a quick look at New Mexico. At the end of the day, Denver continued to hit most of the marks that we wanted. Denver has one big negative -- January -- but it is easy and cheap to cruise in the Caribbean at that time.

Good luck ---
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Old Jul 27th, 2021, 10:42 AM
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I don't know if you said when this trip would take place. I did look and didn't find dates, but I could easily have missed it! I just wanted to note that there will be an actual baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and the NY Yankees at the Field of Dreams site on August 12. Here's the info, no idea if there are any tickets available.

https://www.mlb.com/news/field-of-dr...ckets-and-faqs
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