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First trip out west


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#1 Ed and Win

Ed and Win
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Posted 11 May 2007 - 01:07 PM

We will be picking up our new Casita at the end of June. After leaving Rice, TX. we would like to sight see in parts of Texas, and then out to see national parks in Arizona, Utah and Wyoming. Our TV is a Minivan and we are concerned about steep grades. ohmy.gif

Any suggestions on which parks would be most enjoyable and route plans would be helpful.

If time/nerves permit, we might go to MT. Rushmore before returning to Florida.

Advice welcome,
Win

#2 SandiJay

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 06:07 AM

Hi,

Congratulations on your new Casita! biggrin.gif

It's going to be hard to avoid steep grades driving out west. One thing to remember: Don't ride your brakes on the downgrades. Use your gears.

I would like to suggest going north on I-45 to Dallas. In Dallas, crossover to I-35 then go north toward Denton, TX, north of Dallas. There are RV parks on I-35 south and north of Denton. Stay overnight.

On the next day, go west on US-380 to Decatur,TX, and turn north on US-287. This will take you to Amarillo, TX. Go west on I-40 to Albuerquerque, NM. Stop here. That's a full day's drive. Stay overnight in Albuquerque. There are RV camps off of I-40.

The next day continue on I-40. You've been followinjg the old Route 66 since you entered I-40 east of Amarillo, TX. You should make Flagstaff, AZ, by early afternoon. Stop at Flagstaff, AZ. Flagstaff has an elevation of 7,000 feet and is very cool. The "climb" up to Flagstaff is very gradual. You won't even notice it. Don't miss the Meteor Crator on the way into Flagstaff at Winslow, AZ.

From Flagstaff you can go to the Grand Canyon, Lowell Observatory, Sunset Crater National Monument, and beautiful Sedona. If you go to Grand Canyon, I suggest you go in the back way, by going up US-67 to east end of the south rim. Don't miss the Cameron Trading Post. It's only a few miles out of your way. You won't forget it. Lots of reminders of the old Route 66 inside of Flagstaff.


The Grand Canyon is open 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. Go early.

Edited by SandiJay, 06 June 2007 - 06:10 AM.

Sandi & Jay Goode
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#3 CaptGeorge

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 10:16 AM

I agree with SandiJ...good route from Rice. Although you don't want to miss Palo Duro Canyon SP outside of Amarillo. Great place to visit and decent camping available, too.

Here's some other suggestions:

If you're not going to Hoover Dam/ Las Vegas, US Hwy 89 is nice drive north to Salt Lake City and you can jump over to I-15 if you wish.

Just 25 miles north of SLC is Antelope Island SP - a must see in my option - especially the old ranch on the south end of the island. Free ranging buffalo and dry camping available for overnight.

Yellowstone? You should be able to handle it with minivan. Though I'd leave Casita in camp to make the tour loop road. Only Fishing Bridge Camp has hookups - crowded, but we only were there at night anyway.

Check your grades from Yellowstone to I-90. It's been a long time since I traveled that way, but I seem to remember the road to Sheridan was really steep grades. So, I suggest taking the southern route from Cody over to the I-90/I-25 junction. (Anyone have a better route?)

Getting up to Mount Rushmore has some long steep grades (they built the road straight up the hills!) I'd suggest leaving Casita in camp here.

The rest of the trip across I-90 is a breeze....Devils Tower (Nice KOA here), Sturgis (big biker rally in August), Wall Drugs (touristy, but free), Badlands NP, Mitchell Corn Capital.

From Souix Falls, you're on your own as to your route back to FL.

Have a good trip!
George

Edited by CaptGeorge, 06 June 2007 - 10:19 AM.

George & Wendy
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