A VERY Large Loop

Old Jul 27th, 2021, 04:55 PM
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by fmpden View Post
....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. ---
You left out Ole's Big Game Bar in Paxton, lol.
https://www.olesbiggame.com/
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Old Aug 3rd, 2021, 05:30 AM
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Barbara - that would be fantastic, but we are leaving on 8/30. Thanks for your note.
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Old Aug 4th, 2021, 11:31 AM
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Last Sept we traveled from Palm Springs area to upstate NY (Saratoga Springs), thru NV, UT & CO to Rte 80 in Nebraska. We had planned to drive cross country (newly retired yeah! ) last summer rather than usual flying into Albany but due to COVID, cancelled doing so until the fall. We did minimal stops because of COVID but we did stop at Herbert Hoover Presidental Library just east of Iowa City, just off Rte 80, quick on & off. Really interesting & nice experience even though the Library & vistor center were closed at that time; his birthplace plus other homes & buildings (livery, schoolhouse) were open & was nice to walk around the area, very nicely laid out, plus the Park Ranger was great to chat with. Also a quick stop at a restored Pony Express station somewhere along Rte80 in either Nebraska or Iowa, cant quite locate it now, but stopped due to highway signs indicating the stie, also quick on & off to interstate. Enjoyed the drive through Iowa, both Iowa & Nebraska had alot of state signs denoting historical sights along the interstate; if it wasnt for COVID we probably would have stopped at more sights.

Also meant to mention we stayed at Cedar City, UT when heading east - had been to most big national parks & momuments in UT, except Arches, in the past. Stopped at northern portion of Zion - Kanab Canyons, right off I15, didnt even know it existed! And then to Cedar Breaks National Monument, we really enjoyed it there...as they say a much smaller version of Bryce, but great drive there, beautiful scenery & some nice hikes/paths along the rims. Recommended it to my brother-in-law, who is a big hiker; seems like a really nice area to camp & spend some time, was not crowded. Drove 143 to 89 (another nice drive- there is what looks like a really nice,fairly new bike path/trail alongside northern portion of 89) to pick up I70, and made the stop at Arches & stayed in Moab. Drove Rte 128 just north of Moab back to Rte 70 - wonderful drive, road winds along the Colorado, south of Arches boundry, great canyons, quite a number of hiking trailheads along the road...mostly alittle closer to Moab, lots of campgrounds right along the river...sent pix to recommend to younger family members who are still into tent camping but there are rv camper sites also. Stayed in Grand Junction, drove through & wandered on short hikes in Colorado National Mounument. Hadnt been in CO since my sister/brother-in-law lived in Conifer/Evergreen (they left CO to move to upstate NY to raise kids in mid 90s cause was getting too crowded . We made it through Glenwood Canyon via 80 but I understand it is closed for a bit now due to mudslides, not surprising after seeing the damage from the wildfires there; portions of 70 were one section of the highway only, with 2 way traffic, one lane each way...upper highway was closed for many miles at the time due to fire damage & all pullovers were closed.

On way back to CA from upstate NY in mid-October, headed down to Skyline Drive & Blue RIdge Parkway, thru Smoky Mtns across TN, AR and into OK. I hadnt been on Blue Ridge since a kid, such a beautiful drive. Not impressed with Smokies...but then the Adirondacks are in my backyard here in upstate NY. And Gaitlenburg is Lake George Village X10...never again! We diverted north in AR to Bentonville to visit Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, definitely worth it, good American art, nice grounds and fantastic, interesting architecuture, they also have a Frank Lloyd Wright house on their grounds; they are in midst of museum expansion but still very much worth a visit. We also spent night in OK City, stopped at National Memorial - very sad & touching, and Centennial Land Run Monument - pretty impressive!

We were to travel west to Santa Fe before heading across northern AZ back to CA, but an early winter storm which broke low temps all across northern NM, TX & OK was heading our way, so we diverted south to Austin. Just stayed outside of NW Austin, but headed west to LBJ birthplace & LBJ Ranch. LBJ Ranch has a nice vistor center, buffalo herd, a living homestead and a driving route around the ranch property to western White House & other sights; had to make a reservation but was easy on TX Parks site. Drove to & stayed in Fredericksburg, a bit touristy but lots of wineries on the way, has a nice Pioneer Museam plus Museam of Pacific War which looked interesting but was closed while we were there. Also picked up fresh pecans & great pecan brittle at small local place, Frederickburg Pecan Co. But looks like you will be north of there if heading via Guadalupe Mtns.

Headed west thru El Paso, diverted to Hatch NM to pick up chilis and condiments; then into southern Arizona to meet up with relatives in Sierra Vista to spend time in Tombstone & Bisbee. Wish we had stopped at Amerind Museum along Rte10 in Dragoon AZ, has been on our radar for awhile but ran out of time in getting to meet-up with relatives.

Enjoy your trip, so many wonderful and often unexpected places to visit across the country. So much so, we decided to drive back to upstate NY this past June via another route, and will again head back west this fall...still figuring out that route, maybe thru WV, KY to pick up Rte 66 in midwest & finally make our way back to Sante Fe!
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Old Aug 5th, 2021, 06:46 AM
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I would encourage you to stay on I-80 and spend the night in Cheyenne WY instead of driving into Denver. Head south from Cheyenne and see RMNP and Estes before heading into Denver. I really hate driving across Nebraska (and Kansas) so I usually take the train and rent a car and then return it and take the train to a new destination or back toward home. I like the fact that the California Zephyr crosses Nebraska at night without having to pay for a motel room.
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