ROADTRIP: Indiana to California and Back!

Old Mar 26th, 2006, 05:01 PM
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ROADTRIP: Indiana to California and Back!

Hello all,

My fiance and I are traveling across country to celebrate our collegiate graduations. We are leaving from Indiana and traveling to California via Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Then we're traveling back through Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and Illinois. We're looking for some advice on great places to see along the way; however, we'll be only be stopping through for fairly short periods of time. We are open to all suggestions for all locations! Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
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Old Mar 26th, 2006, 06:11 PM
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What an interesting way to celebrate! My husband and I have always wanted to do something like that. When I was a child my parents took my brothers and I on a camping trip from California to New York. What an adventure it was!!

Where are you from (or are you both Indiana natives)? Have you any experience in any of the states you plan to visit? What do you like to do? By that I mean would you want to go to national parks, museums, etc.? How long will you be on the road? It will be much easier to offer suggestions if you give a few more details!!
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Old Mar 26th, 2006, 06:33 PM
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How long do you have and will you be camping?

Utahtea
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Old Mar 27th, 2006, 06:32 AM
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OK, here goes. We will not be camping but we have friends from a previous trip that are willing to let us stay with them in Phoenix, LA, Las Vegas and Colorado (right off of Hgwy 70). We have only been as far as Kansas before this, also with a brief trip to California. We are both Indiana natives who have traveled a lot out of the country, but not much in the country. We have around 2 weeks to complete the trip, we can shrink it or elongate it as needed. We are pretty up for whatever. We like seeing national parks and beautiful scenary. We don't necessarily like an all day hike, but we like shorter ones. We like seeing sights that are specific to the area (the Elvis house in Memphis, the grand canyon). So since it's a short trip, we want to see the things that you HAVE TO see. And then we can pick our favorites to go back to. We are hoping to see the Oklahoma Bombing site memorial, Elvis's house, the Grand Canyon, the Hollywood sign and the Las Vegas strip, so if you have suggestions on how to fit those things in within 2 weeks or so, that'd be great. We don't need extended stays anywhere, just enough to get the feel of the area! Hope that helps and thank you so much for your quick feedback! We are so excited and any information helps!
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Old Mar 27th, 2006, 07:28 AM
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Ignore the above poster. He/she has been spreading hate all day.
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Old Mar 27th, 2006, 08:03 AM
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I do think you are asking to much of a two week trip. I would cut out California and the Hollywood Sign and save yourself almost 500 miles and a whole day of driving!

That said, I'll deal mostly with the west. Once you hit St. Louis there will be many locations to find the old Historic Route 66, especially in NM & AZ. Kingman has a really nice Route 66 museum. http://www.historic66.com/description/

On I-40 just a little west of Amarillo, TX is Cadallic Ranch. http://www.roadsideamerica.com/attra...Acadillac.html

Just a little west of Albuquerque, NM is Petroglyphs National Monument. http://www.nps.gov/petr/

Before you reach Holbrook, AZ take the scenic drive in Petrified Forest National Park down to Hwy 180 and then Hwy 180 to Holbrook. There are several short hikes at the Petrified Forest. http://www.nps.gov/pefo/index.htm

Before you reach Flagstaff there is Walnut Canyon National Monument http://www.nps.gov/waca/ and Metor Crater...I've never been but you were looking for these kinds of places.

From Flagstaff take Hwy 89 up to Hwy 395 and do the loop to Sunset Crater and Wupatki National Monument before entering the Grand Canyon.

From the Grand Canyon head back down to I-40 to drive to Kingman. From Kingman take old Route 66 to Oatman, CA This curvey section of Old route 66 really gives you a feel for what the old route use to be like and Oatman is a reall kick with burro's roaming the street and if you're lucky you will be treated to a gunfight in the middle of the road. http://www.desertusa.com/oatman/du_oatman.html

Here's where I'd skip Los Angeles and just go directly to Las Vegas....there is so much more to see on the way home!

From Las Vegas take I-15 to St. George Utah then take Hwy 9 into Zion National Park. Try and spend a day here doing the short hikes. Exit Zion on Hwy 9 to Mt. Carmel Jct. and take Hwy 89 north to Hwy 12 and Bryce Canyon National Park. Lots of great hiking here too. Higher elevation so it's not as hot as Zion.

From here continue on scenic Hwy 12 through Escalante Grand Staircase National Monument and over Boulder Mountain to Torrey, Utah. Just 11 miles east of Torrey on Hwy 24 is Capitol Reef National Monuent. Lots of easy hiking trails. Continue on Hwy 24 until you reach I-70.

Take Hwy 191 south to Moab, Utah where you will find Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse State Park. Spend at least two nights here, 3 if you have them! http://www.so-utah.com/archcany/homepage.html

Exit Moab, Utah on scenic hwy 128. This starts out as a narrow canyon along the Colorado River that just gets wider and wider. Very scenic. You will connect back up to I-70 at Cisco, Utah. http://www.milebymile.com/main/Unite...el_guides.html

I-70 through Colorado IMHO is one of the most beautiful scenic interstates. If you want to see Colorado National Monument exit I-70 at Fruita, CO. This is the most scenic section of the park.

On I-70 to Denver, you will drive through the Eisenhower Tunnel http://www.dot.state.co.us/eisenhower/description.asp

Hope that helped.

Utahtea
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Old Mar 27th, 2006, 08:21 AM
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Eyetie1, Where do you get your information? The only thing I could find on Mexican Bandits in the news was here: http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/news/bo...igrants_robbed

Check a map for your geography. Nevada and Colorado do not touch the Mexican border. The Colorado River is mentioned but that's near the Mexican Boarder in Yuma, AZ.

If you read carefully, the majority of the victims are illegal immigrants and also on the Mexican side of the border. Yes, the Bandits have been crossing the border and the trouble is also near the border.

Utahtea
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Old Mar 27th, 2006, 08:26 AM
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I know he/she is a troll, just wanted to get the truth out there.

Utahtea
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Old Mar 27th, 2006, 09:02 AM
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If you have Northern CA, oe Central Coast of CA interest let me know and I'll be happy to give info.
 
Old Mar 27th, 2006, 09:19 AM
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My husband & I did the same exact trip when we were dating AND I am an Indiana native, and he from Michigan. Our trip route was exactly as yours except we drove down to Mexico from Douglas AZ and then drove up through Tiauana to CA. We stayed at least 3 or 4 days in CA, I don't remember - my girlfriend lived on Dana Point at the time and we stayed with her. On the way there we stopped at Carlsbad Caverns, the Salton Sea (sp) in CA, Labraa (sp) tar pits - (weird but true), did all of the Hollywood things - including watching a taping of Jeopardy. On the way home we stopped at Laughlin NV, which was a pretty new city back then. I won $600 playing keno with .25, took my $$ and ran home!

We left from Lafayette, IN, where I had just graduated from Purdue - where will you be traveling from?
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Old Mar 27th, 2006, 09:25 AM
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Oh, I forgot my advice; you will not believe this, but while traveling through MX we are FLYING down the highway, going, oh, I'd say at least 90mph. Out of NO WHERE - and I mean NO WHERE there are 2 Federales on each side of the highway, both of them have machine guns and wearing belts of bullets (whatever they're called). They pull us over and search our entire car - go though my purse - luggage, everything! Satisfied, they let us leave. The car in front of us however wasn't so lucky. They took the seats out of the car - I'm talking un-bolting the seats from the car - the seats are lying on the side of the road, in the desert, and they left these poor people there to try to re-assemble!

About another 40 miles or so, the SAME THING! This time they didn't go through the car quite as throughly. It was pretty scary considering what could have happened!

This was in 1988 or 1989 - before the new Mexican Political "regime". I don't know if stuff like this happens anymore. It hasn't scared us though - we go to MX all of the time (we fly now) and rent cars and drive all over the baja, etc.... not a problem since!

When we were entering the states I pointed my camera outside of the camera to a sign that says, "Welcome to the USA" - A cop (I don't remember if it was MX or US) tried to take the camera away! He said we could not take pictures from MX to US - weird - I got the pic anyway
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Old Mar 27th, 2006, 09:32 AM
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Thank you for all of the great advice! We will be leaving from Kokomo. We're both from Kokomo originally but I go to school in Indianapolis and my fiance goes to school in Terre Haute. We love to travel and figured that this would be the best time to do it. And, luckily, with all of your help we'll be going to these great destinations!
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Old Mar 27th, 2006, 09:35 AM
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We did a 6,009-mile road trip from So Cal to St. Louis and back again. We were everywhere from the Field of Dreams to the Clinton Library to Custer State Park and the Badlands. I blogged about it if you want to read. www.xanga.com/sfamylou

There is a calendar feature on the left column, and if you plug in Aug. 5, 2005 you'll call up the first of the reports.

Have fun!
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Old Mar 27th, 2006, 09:37 AM
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Sorry; they start August 4 really.
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Old Mar 27th, 2006, 09:41 AM
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Honest, you all, there really was a troll that I and Utahtea was talking about. Apparently, Fodor's edited, which is good, but it makes us sound crazy.
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Old Mar 27th, 2006, 09:48 AM
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Actually, cd, I figured you WERE crazy. Or that they deleted it and I was kind of mad I was too late to see it.
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Old Mar 27th, 2006, 09:48 AM
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utahtea --skip California?? You could spend the entire two weeks here and not even scratch the surface!! That being said, my brother lives in Utah and loves it.

I suggest Mesa Verde in southwestern Colorado - a fascinating place.

There is so much to do and see in California. I'm not a big fan of southern California (I know there are many of you who love it), but love the Sierra Nevada and the coastline of central and northern California. You might want to consider San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite (although it is miserably crowded in the summer). Less crowded is Calaveras Big Trees in the central foothills. You could also visit some of the mining towns along Highway 49 (which skirts the foothills).

Like trippinkpj, I'd love to offer more specifics if you were interested in California. In fact, trippinkpj, I would actually love to hear of some of your favorite spots. My husband and I are always looking for new mini-adventures!

IMO, one of the fun places to go on the central coast is the Hearst Castle. It is in the town of San Simeon and just a couple hours drive south of Big Sur.

That being said, one of my goals in life is to follow the Oregon Trail. Have you considered something like that?

Have fun. The one thing that is for sure is that there is plenty so see and do in this huge and varied country!
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Old Mar 27th, 2006, 07:32 PM
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cd & sfamylou,

I'll vouch that there was a troll. The offending poster was not only handing out miss information, they were also being rude. I reported him/her to the Fodor's editors. I also said if they removed his/her post, to remove mine response, but they didn't so it doesn't make much sense in this tread...LOL!

Utahtea
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Old Mar 27th, 2006, 07:41 PM
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nevermind,

I'm a native Californian and I've spent most of my life living in California. I know there is a lot of great places to visit in California and I've been to most of them, but I was looking at the big picture and the time thereandback had.

Thereandback only has 2 weeks to drive from Kokomo, Indiana and back for this trip. Without California they're looking at a little over 4,000 miles. If you add just Hollywood that's 470 more miles.

They also said they have been to California briefly before and they only thing they had on their list was Hollywood sign.

BTW, I've never lived in Utah...I only LOVE to vacation there.

Utahtea
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Old Mar 28th, 2006, 04:41 AM
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National Geographic publishes (or used to) a guidebook that is organized by U.S. Interstate numbers. It tells you, for each highway and each exit number, what interesting things there are to see. It might be useful on a road trip like this.

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