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Old 03-25-2009, 10:27 AM   #1
Rr
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Brit touring USA

Hi Guys
I will be in USA for the 3rd time 1st week April to begin the next leg of our USA tour. We need to be back in Brandon FL 9/10 June for wife's ** birthday its a big one

I have attached a map of our planned route although it's not set in stone as we do like to explore. I would appreciate any comments on our planned route regards time and distance involved plus possible weather problems in any areas. We are hoping to visit Yosemite, Yellowstone and Bryce on the return leg and Big Bend, Monument Valley and Grand Canyon on the outward leg.

Thanks in advance
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:01 PM   #2
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Ror,
Welcome to the USA. Having just returned a few months ago from Las Vegas, we visited the Grand Canyon on the return trip. We also took day trips from Las Vegas to "Valley of Fire," "Hoover Dam," while in Vegas. The Grand Canyon Skywalk is on the West side of the Canyon, 120 miles from Las Vegas. We missed it, not knowing it was on the West side. While in Vegas we stayed at the Las Vegas RV Resort, just down the street from "Sam'S Town," and enjoyed the CG. We toured the southern rim of the Canyon when staying in Williams, AZ, at Railside RV Resort but your trip may take you to the Northern Rim. Someone else can help you there. In the "Tourist" towns and stop-overs it would be wise to try and get reservations or you may end up at Wally-World (Walmart)

Have a good trip.
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:55 PM   #3
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Hi Ror,
Welcome to the USA and may your visit be pleasantly memorable. In the time you've allotted, I guess you'll be traveling about 8K miles. there is so much to see, you could spend years on the same route and not see all the treasures there is to see. I spent a bunch of time in England and over several years, hunted down all the places King Arthur (the round table king) lived and even where Guenevere and he are buried. It was quite and adventure. So, in a way I know what you are embarking on. None of the following is for your coach. The following should be done in your towed vehicle. I'm also assuming there are no personal mobility concerns. All of these suggestions involve a good bit of walking. Here are my thoughts.

1. Interstate 10 from the Florida border to Beaumont, Texas is a rough road. That day of travel you need to be prepared to slow down to about 45 MPH or have the coach shaken up quite a bit.

2. In San Antonio, TX the main attraction is the Alamo. This will not take long. Plan on seeing several other missions to complete your day. The history of the missions and there placement is very interesting.

3. Carlsbad, New Mexico. Bats, bats and more bats. Take a guided tour of the cave and be at the cave entrance at sundown to see millions of bats heading out for their nightly dinner. Don't worry, they eat only insects.

4. White Sands, New Mexico. See the one of the largest sand (I forget what kind of sand) deserts in the world. The visitors center will tell about the uniqueness of this sand desert. There is a nice motor drive through the desert. This is a light day's tour, depending on how much you want to get out of your vehicle and explore.

5. Gila Cliff dwellings, near Silver City, New Mexico. Ancient Indian cliff dwellings.

6. Saguaro National Park, Near Tucson, Arizona. Really large cactus. There is a nice visitors center and a walking path from which you can get close to the cactus.

6a. Tombstone, Arizona, Old wild west silver mining town. Stay in the same CG as #6 and drive to Tombstone. There is a silver mine tour and several shows depicting the era when the town was booming.

7. Joshua Tree National Park near Palm Springs, California. Nice visitors center and a drive through so you can see the Joshua trees.

8. Long Beach, California - Queen Mary cruise ship. Nice tour of the ship. Also a good time to find a beach and put your feet in the Pacific Ocean (if you've never been in the Pacific Ocean before).

I noticed you've mapped out route 1 up to San Francisco. Consider taking the I5 with the coach and towed car. Once in the SF area make it a day trip to drive down route 1 a bit to see some of the scenery. For me the route 1 drive, in a coach is not good. the scenery, while beautiful gets old quickly. Lastly your coach and toad may not be able to make the entire trip on route 1. Check with the CHP for any restrictions.

By taking this route, you will miss Death Valley and Las Vegas. While it seems kind of dumb to go to Death Valley in the Summer, it is the lowest point in North America. Y'all what to have your picture taken in front of that sign? As for Las Vegas, well it's quite a place.

9. In San Francisco, there is the Fisherman's Wharf area for an entire day. In addition there is the walk DOWN Lombard street. It is the crookedest street in the world. Ride the cable cars, eat the sea food, see the seals on one of the piers. Visit China town, Alcatraz Prison (go to the web site to understand about obtaining tickets). For another day trip there is Golden Gate Bridge and just to the north of the bridge is Muir woods National Monument.

10. In southern Idaho, Craters of the Moon, National Monument is a must see.

11. In the eastern part of Utah, just south of I70, exit 182 is Arches National Park. This is an outstanding park. The visit can be a day or more. Nice visitors center with a nice drive through the park route, with many places to stop and see.

12. As you enter Colorado, there is the Colorado National Monument. Nice visitors center with Rock Rim Drive being the best for a scenic short stay visit. It will take your breath away.

As you continue east on I70 plan for a slower speed. You'll be crossing the Rocky Mountains and pulling some pretty steep climbs at high elevations. Your speed will be 40-50 MPH and fuel consumption will be higher than normal.

13. Denver area, you'll be very near Rocky Mountain National Park. For as short visit enter the park on the Eastern side. Go UP Old Fall River Road (check to see if 4X4 vehicle is required due to weather) and return down Trail Ridge Road. There are plenty of places to stop and explore. At the top of these two roads is a welcome center complete with a restaurant serving light lunches.

14. St. Louis, Missouri, See the Gateway Arch. It is quite an elevator ride and view. If your afraid of heights, do not do this.

If it were me right here, I'd change the route.

15. Travel South, from St. Louis on I55 to Memphis, Tennessee. Take the tour of Elvis Presley's property. Have some barbecue ribs. Memphis is noted for their ribs restaurants. Stay at Tom Sawyer's CG in West Memphis. It is right on the Mississippi river. I do mean right on the river.

16. From Memphis, take I40 to Nashville, Tennessee. Go to the Grand Olde Opry. It's a nice evening of entertainment (it doesn't matter if you like or do not like country music. It's just one of those things a tourist needs to do).

17. In Atlanta, Georgia see Stone Mountain and Coca Cola. You can stay at a CG right at Stone Mountain.

Hopefully this has hit on some things you may be able to include.
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Old 03-25-2009, 06:18 PM   #4
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Hi Gary
Great reply thanks.
I did the Bonny Prince Charlie route in Scotland a few years ago fascinating and so much history.
We did San Antonio and the Alamo in November, I10 ouch!! we were over for a month. We also did Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans, Chatanooga and Smokey Mountains last spring, we were over for 3 months, that's why I included Big Bend and Grand Canyon on the out leg. Some great tips especially the hiking I love it Jan's not to keen although she has just fished out her hiking boots.
We use the toad a Saturn VUE SUV extensively for touring areas before we move on and have a set of snow chains just in case.
Can't wait only 6 days before we fly.
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Old 03-25-2009, 06:45 PM   #5
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I'm not sure what your interests are and what you have seen on previous trips but taking the southern leg first is a good decision weather and temperature wise for the time of your trip. You are probably talking about 5,000 +/- miles. I didn't actually measure it because of the MANY sidetrips and routes you can take.

Commenting on time is more difficult. Five months is certainly enough to see a lot and get a good flavor but you certainly won't see everything. Some people can take a week in the Getty museum while one long day was enough for me. Likewise some will drive across Utah or Nevada without ever stopping while others like to stop at every historic marker and roadside business.

Be sure to check the parks you intend to visit for height and length restrictions as some will not accept large motor homes. If you are only passing through and stopping only for the night most Walmarts and businesses with large lots will often let you spend the night - always ask first and give them some business if you can.


Here are some highlights I suggest but there are hundreds of great sights along the route you will be taking:
Florida - Disney World & Cape Canaveral / Kennedy
Louisiana - New Orleans
Texas - NASA Houston
- Downtown River Walk (Dinner) & Alamo San Antonio (stay near Fredericksburg German community), El Paso walk into Ciudad Juarez Mexico.
Arizona - Minuteman Missile silos and Davis Monthan AFB near Tuscon, Casa Grande Ruins south of Phoenix.
California - Los Angeles area Getty Museum, La Brea Tar Pits, Hollywierd, Universal Studios. Ronald Reagan presidential museum (quite well done) Simi Valley, Hearst Castle San Simeon (if you go that far North).
Utah - Mormon Tabernackle / Temple Square, Great Salt Lake and Kennicott open pit copper mine.
Missouri - McDonnell Aircraft museum (now Boeing), Gateway Arch, River boats.

Obviously my selection was influenced by my interests - others can provide a totally different agenda..

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Old 03-25-2009, 07:03 PM   #6
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Also an impressive wild life, outdoors and sporting goods display - possibly like nothing you have ever seen can be viewed at any Cabela's store. Worth the stop and most have cafe for lunch and some have RV parks... Check their locations. http://www.adjustagrill.com/cabelas.htm and no I'm not related, employeed or otherwise affiliated with them - just an impressed customer.
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Old 03-25-2009, 07:08 PM   #7
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For GaryKD. That is the best reply I have ever seen on any open forum. I have been to most of those places and totally agree with your comments. Thanks for taking the time to help our visitors from abroad. If the river is not flooding, Tom Sawyer is our favorite campground!
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Old 03-25-2009, 07:19 PM   #8
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Chuck,
Thanks for the compliment. I appreciate it.
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:20 PM   #9
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Very well done Gary, very well done.
I just might cut and paste it in an email to myself.

White Sands - Gypsum - almost pure.

Ror, if you do get to Houston and visit the Space Center, or if you just get to Houston, give a shout 409-948-6843 and I'll buy the coffee (tea if you prefer). I just live 40 miles south of Houston.

Edited: p.s., I just don't find I-10 that bad anymore except the East side into New Orleans, but you can bypass that by using I-12.

Safe travels
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Old 03-26-2009, 04:09 AM   #10
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Thank you all for such great replies and genuine friendliness this is the very reason I love touring America. We are always met with genuine help and advice where ever we go and as soon as I raise my Union Jack flag someone comes along and welcomes me to America.
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Old 03-26-2009, 04:23 AM   #11
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gary, would you mind if we just tag along wherever you go? jim
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Old 03-26-2009, 04:54 AM   #12
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Let me add while you are in Florida, skip the mouse and see the real Florida and visit some of the larger fresh water springs in North Central Florida for a glimpse into our ante deluvian past. You have never seen anything like it.
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:12 AM   #13
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Hi Rr,
I'd like to offer this; Go "One Road Over" from the Interstates if you can. There's usually a U. S. or State highway "One road over" that follows in the same general direction of travel as the interstates. they are normally in good condition and perfectly acceptable for RV's. That's where you see the real America. You'll still be able to reach the attractions your aiming for but then you can find the little things that really make the trip that much better. One of my fondest memories from my cross country trip last year was on U.S. 36 in Kansas rather than I-70. If a 300 car coal train barreling down the tracks next to the road wasn't enough of a sight. Hearing the train horns blasting away for no apparent reason until you see the engineer hanging out cab waving wildly at YOU. Returning both the wave and matching (?) horn blasts, a thumbs up on both sides and we both head on down our respective paths. I hope he had as good feeling with the meet as I did. You don't find that on the Interstates. Welcome back, good luck and have as much fun here as I've had in your wonderful country.

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Old 03-26-2009, 10:00 AM   #14
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Rr: If I read your post correctly, you will back in Florida the 2nd week of June. So that would seem to put you in Yellowstone quite early in the season. If so, be prepared for late winter weather. Not a real problem actually, and it could be clear and dry, give it a few hours and you will see both.
You might consider leaving Yellowstone thru the south entrance, ... Grand Teton NP, Jackson hole WY... taking highway 89 instead of I-15 into Utah.

And I really agree with Ol'Joe; If you want to see the country stay off the Interstate!!!!

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