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Bflo-LV and Back - 8 weeks

Old Jul 24th, 2020, 05:13 PM
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Bflo-LV and Back - 8 weeks

We are pretty experienced travelers (30+ countries), but have never taken a driving vacation thru the US. We are not looking to hit everywhere like some folks - just a few special places. In particular, ideas on a northern route on the way out and southern route on the way back would be appreciated. In general, we prefer national parks, hiking, and the like. I would like to incorporate Carlsbad Caverns. Appreciate the time frames are not extensive - but any insights would be most graciously appreciated. Time frame is Oct/Nov 2020 so don't want to be coming back through the Rockies in November. Thank you for your insights.

Dave
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Old Jul 24th, 2020, 06:56 PM
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I think that any time past September and you could be hitting snow in the northern National Parks from Rocky Mountain NP to Glacier NP. A closure of Yellowstone would mean a 250+ miles detour if you went to Yellowstone and found the park closed to through traffic.Sticking to southern Utah, southern Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona makes more sense, although I remember friends who wen to that area in early October and woke up with snow on their tent. On the way back you could go really south and include Big Bend NP.


Check the date as to when I took the picture.

Last edited by Michael; Jul 24th, 2020 at 06:58 PM.
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Old Jul 25th, 2020, 07:40 AM
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I agree with Michael about the snow possibility although in Colorado it might go away pretty quickly. DS was married in Denver in mid-October on a 75* beautiful blue sky Colorado day and the next day there was 6" of snow on the ground. We went to the mountains for an after wedding holiday and it was 17* and snowing like a bandit!! However it was gone a few days later.
BUT you could also have a hail storm!!

But stay tuned to your weather and set your itinerary and be ready to change if it looks bad.
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Old Jul 25th, 2020, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Gretchen View Post
I agree with Michael about the snow possibility although in Colorado it might go away pretty quickly.
I lived in Golden CO in the '90s & was leaving for Europe on Sept 21st. I remember the date because it was my sister's birthday, the plan to rendezvous with her at the gate at DFW. Well, snow all night, the heavy wet kind with leaves still on the trees, branches falling everywhere & phone lines down. My hero (heroine) was the shuttle driver that got to my house & to the airport on time against all odds. The obvious point, yes it can snow in Colorado in September & may or may not go away quickly. Always have a Plan B, & Plan C, where weather is concerned.
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Old Jul 25th, 2020, 03:47 PM
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The lesson is ANYTHING can happen--and then IT MAY NOT..
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Old Jul 27th, 2020, 03:45 PM
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Thank you Michael - sadlythat is exactly what we expected. With C19 we keep extending out a month or two and winter does indeed arrive (take it from me, I live in the snow belt south of Buffalo!). At this point, probably best to focus more on the southern route - lots to see in those places as 8 weeks is long - but really not that long. Thank you for your insights.

Dave
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Old Jul 27th, 2020, 03:47 PM
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Thanks Gretchen - much appreciated. I think we'll spend more time down south on this trip and avoid the weather risk.

Dave
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Old Jul 28th, 2020, 07:28 AM
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BUT I'll bet all of us would say--stay tuned to the weather and be guided by that. I wouldn't miss colorado personally. Wonderful state.
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Old Jul 28th, 2020, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Gretchen View Post
BUT I'll bet all of us would say--stay tuned to the weather and be guided by that. I wouldn't miss colorado personally. Wonderful state.
With 8 weeks you could play the weather by ear starting in Colorado. Starting from Buffalo you could use my method of long distance travel using Amtrak and then a big loop with a rental car. After returning the first rental car, you can go onward on Amtrak to another destination and rent again for another week or 10 days.
The Amtrak Lake Shore Limited is in Buffalo about midnight every night and is in Chicago before noon. Take the California Zephyr out of Chicago in the afternoon and ride to Denver for your first rental.
Coming back to Buffalo, you can take the Southwest Chief out of Los Angeles or Albuquerque to get to Chicago. The overnight Lake Shore Limited eastbound leaves Chicago at 9:30 PM CT and is back to Buffalo before noon Eastern time.
Amtrak has been doing a lot to ensure the safety of passengers and crew on their trains and at stations.
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Old Jul 29th, 2020, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by tomfuller View Post
. . . you could use my method of long distance travel using Amtrak . . .
Much as I love train travel I'd opt for the relative safety of my own car for the foreseeable future. It doesn't matter how much Amtrak does for safety, we & they have no control over the behavior of fellow travelers before they got on a train to share the air with us in an enclosed space.
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Old Jul 30th, 2020, 07:09 AM
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Could not agree more MmePerdu. People getting on and off a train for HOURS inside. Disinfecting surfaces doesn't disinfect people shedding virus that may not even know they have it.
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