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Discussion Starter #1
The SO and I are planning a trip out west.:excited: We want to see the Grand Canyon, and then head northeast to Redwood National forest.She is worried that we might end up stuck out in the middle of the desert, a million miles from nowhere,:eek:4: because of poor planning.What the best way to make this passage. I know we can't avoid the desert, just want to avoid any pitfalls that a rookie might fall into.
Thanks;)
 

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So the Misses doesn't worry stay on the interstate. There towns and cites every 50 to 100 miles. I would get start looking at the maps and the first thing is to make up your mind as to what kind of roads you want to be on. If you like intersates, will there's lot of them, if your a backroad kind of guy there's lots of them also.
The one thing about riding in the west is if you stop and only have 100 miles on a tank of gas and you on the back roads go ahead and fill up your tank. There are areas that it could be a 100 plus miles to the next fill up. Most of the time it isn't that many areas that way but there are some areas in Nevada thats have a long way to the next town.
My rule for myself is to get gas if I have a 100 miles or so on a tank and want or need to stop I'll fill up, but then thats just me. And one thing is to have more water or drinks than you think you'll ever need, and drink it. Just riding in the dry heat will suck it out of you so fast you don't know it happening until it's to late. Just do a little planning and you would have any trouble finding gas or anything else.
 

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I might suggest going North West from the GC to get to the redwoods.....North East will get you into Utah and such.

After your stay at the GC, head West on I-40, From Kingman to Barstow is desert. about 200 miles, make this run in the early AM or late PM and avoid the 100+ temps. Then once in Barstow you can choose routing for what you want to see, Imperial Valley, I-5 (ugh) or 101-the coast hwy above LA. It will still be warm to hot...so drink lots of water.
 

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last summer drove to Calif in the cage and took Rt 40 all the way to Rt 17 which is the turn to Phoenix. As others have said all super slag but towns are 50-100 miles apart. Drink plenty of water temp can reach 120'. Very hot:shock:
 

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The route to the west........

Treeguy,
Along with the posts from the other riders, I agree, interstate is good and safe; bring LOTS of fluids; But let me go into a bit more detail on some of the routes I have taken having lived and traveled that area from Texas to Nevada all of my life until two years ago.
If you are in a hurry, take the interstate; at least from TN to Albuquerque NM. The run is not bad and can provide you with some enjoyable experiences once you make the runs from Arkansas on I-40.
From ABQ you can take several directions which are very scenic and are not bad to travel during the day. 1: go south from ABQ on I-25 to Socorro, NM. From there go west towards Magdalena. You actually want to shoot for a small place called Reserve, NM...no kidding.:joke: But this route will take you through some of the most scenic country you will ever see. You will pass right by the Radio Telescope Array (VLA) where the movie contact was filmed; it's about an hour from Socorro. There is a tour of the place and you can get to walk around this impressive use of taxpayer dollars;). (Use Mapblast or Google maps to look at these areas and you will see the in betweens) I am just going to hit the high points. JFI- you can make it from ABQ to Reserve, NM on about 3/4 of a tank or less depending on how you ride. Afer you fill up in Reserve, NM; you go across into AZ to Alpine, AZ. You have the choice to go N or S from there. I have gone both and there are very different things to see either way. South has not only a twisty mountain road :eek: with awesome views:popcorn:; but it has Hannigans Meadows-(Great place to Overnight-there are Elk/Mule Deer and other critters in the valley across from the Lodge in the AM) You continue to the Morenci Copper Mine and down to Safford. You can go to PHX the back way and then go NNW to Sedona, Flagstaff (back road) then to Williams and on up to the GC.
If you go N from Alpine, you can skirt I-40 on old Route 66( this is what you will take if you go west from ABQ) You will pass through some great forests and have the option of going through to Meteor Crater(on I-40) on to Winslow or take a detour to go through part of the Great Petrified Forest( this is a bit of a detour and is fairly interesting) Meteor Crater on the other hand is a must see if you take that route; Doing the Socorro, Reserve, Alpine run is a bit of detour too, but I highly recommend it. On one trip I came upon a family of Bald Eagles on the roadside in a field trying to get their younglings to fly. There were about 10 cages and me all parked watching this display......you won't get this on the highway.:-(
If you go 75 Miles North of ABQ on I-25 you get to Santa Fe. You can get there the back way through the Jemez National Forest which boasts more twisties:eek:, natural hot springs:cool: ( you can get a bath in the bath house and a massage for about $100 pp, a small town (Jemez NM, all kinds of rock formations, Pass by Los Alamos Nat'l Labs:eek:4: and two Indian Reservations:yes1:.
The only Problem is if you go North from ABQ, you will have to return to ABQ or end up going into the Northern New Mexico (Rainbow River Gorge,:eek:4:; Taos, Chama)/Colorado(Pagosa Springs, Wolf Creek Pass, Durango)area(it is a nice ride) and have to come down into the Four Corners (NM,CO,UT,AZ) to get back to I-40/RTE 66.
Seriously though...get on the internet mapping sites and look at the areas around the places I have listed for you....there is so much history and beauty in that part of the country you could spend a month in that area and not see all the beauty or places there are to go and do.
Hope I didn't make it too long....but I thought you would want to know what the options are....I have a 35 day trip planned when I get back from the sandbox with some of the guys from my unit and we are going to cover a good deal of that area. We are going from Virginia Beach to San Diego the LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG WAY.......around and back to VA.
Have a great trip!:cool::thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This is great advice, I really appreciate it. Especially your great reply Iraqmp. :bow: Thanks for all you do. There's not near enough time to see all that I would like, but there's always next year,right?
 

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Along with the posts from the other riders, I agree, interstate is good and safe
Good heavens, there are many safe and reliable, yet fun roads to ride throughout Nevada that are not interstates. I-40 is okay, but get off the interstate if you want to see some much better and more interesting sights plus avoid a lot more traffic. If you have a GPS (recommended) and do a little planning you'll have a much better and enjoyable trip plus avoid the Freeways/Interstates (which I always try to do whenever I travel).

DaleC











 

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You have to go thru the desert so at least go thru the pretty part! I-40 is ugly and full of trucks in California. From the Grand Canyon to the Redwoods, I would head east on I-40 but turn at Kingman and go to Pharump,NV and then northwest to Death Valley, make the turn at Beatty Junction towards CA 395 and come out at Lone Pine by Owens Lake. Thats only about 160 miles. Continue up 395 to Mono Lake and turn west thru Yosemite. Make your way over to Highway 128 out of Napa (via Mateca, Lodi, Fairfield) and continue on 128 to Fort Bragg on the coast. Head north from there, it's all Redwoods starting in Cloverdale...This is some of the most beautiful scenery and fun twistes you can have
 

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Carry some extra water with you to wet down your tee shirt when its above 100, keeps you cooler and hydrated a little bit better
 
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