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Old 07-19-2011, 12:11 PM   #1
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Detroit to Mesa Verde Co. - I80 or I70

I did a bit of searching the innerwebs and it seems people have their fav route once you are into the Rockies. Since we won't be crossing them, I'm wondering which way is more scenic? Since I'm going to have 3 long days behind the wheel, is there anything more compelling on either route?

Thanks !!!

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Old 07-19-2011, 01:03 PM   #2
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I80 thru Iowa is rolling hills and "Green" with corn and beans. There is some interesting sights along the way if you want to stop at Rock Island/Davenport and take a tour of Lock 15 on the Mississippi River or visit the John Deere museum in Moline, Ill. You could take a 10 mile side trip to the Amana Colonies in Iowa or maybe tour Living History Farms in Des Moines. Omaha, Ne has a decent zoo and an old town area that is good for diners out, as well as Boys Town. Des Moines and Lincoln are the State Capitols and if you are into visiting them they are open for tours.
Once you leave Lincoln, it is a looong way across Nebraska with a few stops like Minden, Ne with a large car/everything museum called Pioneer Village. Sydney I believe has a Rodeo and a celabration that goes with it if you happen to hit that schedule.
I have traveled I70 once and Kansas is also a long way across with a lot of the same thing the next mile as was the last! Every little town has the downtown posted as historical and a few may actually be! Of Course I70 goes thru Kansas City and the state Capitol of Topeka. Taking Hiway 50 thru Colorado is as good as any!

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Old 07-19-2011, 01:59 PM   #3
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Just did the I-80 NE route last Friday/Saturday. Also have done the I-70 KS route a few times. Either one will give you long lonly streches.

Your biggest consideration should be getting across the Rockies while in CO.

If taking 80, cut over on I-76 to Denver and take I-25 down to CO Rt. 160.

If taking 70, cut over on CO Rt. 24 in Limon to go to CO Springs. Then take I-25 down to CO Rt. 160.

CO Rt. 160 gives you a pretty good ride into Durango and Mesa Verde. We took this route last summer (stop at Great Sand Dunes NP if you get a chance) on our way to Mesa Verde.

Mesa Verde NP only allows you one guided tour per day. We did Cliff Palace and Balcony House on our first visit in 2001 and did Long House and Mug House last summer. Mug House does not look to be open for tours this summer. They have Oak Tree house open instead:

Oak Tree House and Fire Temple
A moderately strenuous 2-hour, 1-mile (1.6 km) round-trip hike. Includes walking along cliff edges, climbing a 15-foot (4.6 m)ladder and hiking a narrow dirt path to visit two cliff dwellings. Hikers will also get to see a unique plaster panel that is undergoing preservation treatment.

Very nice campground in the park with hook ups. Great food at the Metate Room.
Tom and Katharine
'07 Winnebago Tour 40TD, 400hp Cummins
RVing for 19 years & 150,000+ miles
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Old 07-19-2011, 03:02 PM   #4
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If you are into Presidential Libraries ... the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library is just off I-80 at West Branch, IA. Hoover was a fantastic organizer and managed to feed millions of starving people in Europe during the depression ... he started the organization that has morphed into UNICEF ... the library is worth a couple hour visit ... they have parking for motorhomes ...

The Eisenhower Presidential Library is just off I-70 near Abilene, KS. I was under a severe time constraint when I was in the viciinity and drove past ... friends have told me that I missed a great library.
2004 Winnebago Journey 39W - 2012 Buick Enclave
Present @home Home: Oshkosh, WI
We call our rig "Ernie the Journey"

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