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Author Topic: Route Planning Help Needed- Nova Scotia- Utah- New Mexico- Texas, Tennessee-  (Read 1230 times)

Alaskansnowbirds

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NMDriver mentioned Chama, reminding me that the Cumbres & Toltec RR out of Chama is a marvelous experience. Personally I like it better than the Durango & Silverton, but we've taken both several times, and they're both good. I'll second Bandelier, also.
X2 on the Cumbres & Toltec RR
Don & Peg
Alaska/Arizona
Currently located here.
Weather at Camp Verde, AZ.

NSRoadtripper

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Ok so should I centre ourselves in Santa Fe and rent a car there to do Santa Fe and Alberquerque?  SOrry I may have misunderstood something? we have decided to do the trip in reverse now so essentially when we leave NM not we will head into Utah - we thought it would be best weather wise to wait later on into our month long trip to do Utal/Colarado on the return loop? I purchased RV Trip Wizard and have mapped it out some--starting from east and headed south into Georgia and then my look around the country....what do you think now?

Isaac-1

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Let me ask what size class A will you be using for this trip, after knowing that I may have some suggestions on tweaking your route, etc.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

Isaac-1

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Having said that, here are a few initial observations, first I would suggest bypassing Atlanta,GA and Birmingham, AL, Atlanta is a general mess, and I-20 through downtown Birmingham is undergoing MAJOR reconstruction.

As I already mentioned I would pick Santa Fe for a base of exploration, for tourist destinations inside Santa Fe I would consider using Uber or public transportation to get downtown, when we were there in October we stayed at an in town RV park by the name of Trailer Ranch RV park, which is a nice in town RV park, but with very tight spacing and interior roads, so probably not suited for larger RV's.  It also have a city bus stop just by the entrance, which many people there used to get around the local area, though we did not, instead we opted to use Uber, which costs about $15 each way to get to downtown, so likely cheaper than a rental car.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

NSRoadtripper

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We are driving a 40 ft FRED....

I'm all for using uber/lyft as well!

Let the tweaking begin- I'm trying to stay max 450 miles per day on driving days...I know that may scare some but not us...we drive ALOT.....We want to stay a couple nights in Georgia and explore- and spend a good day of stops going through Lousiana we want to stop in Monroe at Duck Dynasty- yes cheesy but if we are in the area why not!

My route is totally open to tweaks- tweak away!

Isaac-1

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I can't really say much about positive about things to see and do along I-20, even though I am originally from western Louisiana (and live here again) and spent 5 years back in the late 80's and early 90's living in Birmingham, AL so drove back and forth down I-20 a good bit during those years. The Vicksburg battlefield park is good for a few hours (thousands of stone marker monuments for troop locations, memorials for each state that sent troops there, the largest is a pantheon like dome room, others are obelisk or columns or even statues,  etc.), but is a drive through park with cell phone audio tour and not suited for large motorhomes (25-30 ft motorhome maybe, 40 ft I doubt it), and probably not worth renting a car just to drive through unless you are a big civil war battlefield enthusiast.  Culturally speaking north Louisiana is very different from south Louisiana, and the Duck Dynasty like culture is a good part of it, my grew up in NE Louisiana about 65 miles from Monroe, and I have ancestors that settled in that region over 300 years ago.  A site I don't suggest visiting in the area is Poverty Point, even though it is a world heritage site, as there is just not much to see there, beyond a some ripples in the ground where ancient irrigation mounts where thousands of years ago.  Going on across I-20 be aware some of the worst pavement that RV'er report in the US is on I-20 just east of Shreveport, though thankfully the state has announced plans to start repairing this section of road, unfortunately this is not likely to be done by the time of your trip.  Going west into Texas I-20 is ok, but again not a lot to spark interest in stopping along the route, other than maybe stopping for BBQ in Kilgore at Bodacious Bar-B-Que (original location, they now have about a dozen locations through east Texas).   Not necessarily the best BBQ in Texas, but probably in the top 50, maybe even the top 20, but being located at an exit on I-20 with a large parking lot (truckers stop here) it is probably worth trying.  Another interesting stop on I-20 further west, is the Frontier Texas Museum in Abeline (RV parking questionable depending on how full the parking lot is).  Consider stopping at Cline Corners travel stop between Carlsbard and Santa Fe at I-40, it is hard to describe, other than a gas station gift shop, that grew, and grew, and grew over the last 50+ years, where you can buy anything from cowboy boots to fudge.  Speaking of gas stations while in Texas, make sure and stop at one of the large Buc-ee's gas stations with 100+ fuel pumps, complete with a fresh made BBQ island, made to order food, dozens of fountain drink dispensers, countless amount of road snack food and some of the cleanest restrooms you will ever see in a gas station.

Going along points west on I-40 there is Petrified Forest national park, worth doing, but be aware the pavement on park road at least in the southern part of the park is awful, teeth jarring awful, as of 4 months ago.  Another stop heading west is Meteor crater, which is good for an hour or two if you opt to do the  1/2 mile (maybe 1 mile) hourly guided rim walking tour.

I will leave it there until I hear more about where and for how long you plan to stop in AZ, UT, CO, etc.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

NSRoadtripper

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So we plan on staying 3 plus nights in Texas, 7 nights in NM(want to do the caves in Carlsbad, Albuerquerque (definetly that tram) and Santa fe (Historic sites attract us), 3 nights in Ut centred near Zion/Bryce?, drive through Arizona (we've done this state numerous numerous times), 2-3 nights in Colorado, - we have 31 nights and right now I have 28 filled with the shared map and 3 nights allowed for extras along the way as decided.....We planned on renting a car anywhere we are staying for 2-3 nights or using Uber/Lyft if available- in Colorado we would like to stay down in the valley somewhere where we can easily travel to a ski resort for a day of spring skiing?  Colorado springs maybe?  I'm not sure yet?  Maybe there is a better option in Utah?
« Last Edit: January 22, 2020, 07:21:32 PM by NSRoadtripper »

Isaac-1

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If you have done the AZ attractions before, and if weather is permitting, I might suggest heading north out of Santa Fe on Hwy 84 then across towards UT on Hwy 64 or possibly Hwy 160.  We did this route on 84/64 in mid October, spending a night in Aztec, NM and visiting the Pueblo Ancestrial ruins at Aztec National Monument, then on across to Goosnecks State Park in UT near Mexican Hat, UT the next night, stopping at 4 corner monument for about half an hour on the way.  This was mostly a fair too good road though 64 is a bit narrow for 30-40 miles west of Dulce, NM.  In our case we then headed south and on to Page, AZ for a few days, before going to the Grand Canyon.

Attached are a couple of pictures from Goosenecks state park (dry camping, with only pit toilets), best view I have ever had from a camp site, and it was only $10 per night.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2020, 07:42:54 PM by Isaac-1 »
2002 Safari Trek 2830

NSRoadtripper

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Wow that is an incredible view- is that the RIo Grande or Colorado river?  I did the mule ride up/down the Grand Canyon last August- it was the most terrifying experience of my life- and I am a skilled horsewoman!  Do you wave to reserve Goosnecks in advance?  I haven't reserved ANYTHING in advance- do you think I should?  While I want a route planned I don't want to feel rushed that I need to get to a certain place each night though?  Am I being to non chalant about the whole thing?

Larry N.

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Oops! I misread something. Ignore this.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL, Bounder, Beaver
  de N8GGG

Isaac-1

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That is the San Juan river, amazingly enough the place where river rafters get out is only about 5 miles away in the town of Mexican Hat.  Goosenecks State Park is a no reservation park, first come first serve park, officially there are only 8 developed camp sites, though there are probably 20+ unofficial undeveloped sites , ours was one of the unofficial sites, basically a place where people over time have made a pull off by the rim, cleared rocks and built a stone fire ring.  The official developed sites differ in that they are closer to the pit toilets and have a picnic table.  We arrived there at about 4 pm on a weekday in mid October and had no problem getting a rim front site (there also non rim-front sites of the other side of the wide unofficial "road").  The ground on the "road" is rock solid, in fact it is rock, some of it fairly large, but should be passable at least for a good part of the rim road in all RV's, though down to the end it things get more like a jeep trail.  Closer to sunset things did start to fill up, but even then there were still plenty of non-rim front spaces.  The key here is to be self contained, as there is no water or other services for miles, though in our case we did have good cell / data service with AT&T.

Attached is a wide view of the rim from where I walked down to the end of the road and took a photo looking back at my coach shortly after we arrived, the other RV's in the distance are clustered near the pit toilet.  Some of the empty spaces filled up later in the day.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2020, 10:04:00 AM by Isaac-1 »
2002 Safari Trek 2830

NSRoadtripper

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Stunning photo!  Definetly putting that on the list!  We intend to 'boondock' when we are not staying put for a few days - so we should be fairly self contained and able to camp here!

Old_Crow

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Here's another vote for Goosenecks!  Not sure I'd want to stay there in August, though.
Wally Crow
Retired 30+ year ASE Master Auto Tech
Y2K Bounder 36S F53   "Kobayashi Maru"
'03 Jeep Wrangler Sahara
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"Well, my time of not taking you seriously is coming to a middle."

Isaac-1

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Even in August I suspect it would not be too bad at night after the sun goes down for an overnight stop, though it may be bad in the daytime.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

dufferDave

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.....[snip].... Consider stopping at Cline Corners travel stop between Carlsbard and Santa Fe at I-40, it is hard to describe, other than a gas station gift shop, that grew, and grew, and grew over the last 50+ years, where you can buy anything from cowboy boots to fudge.  Speaking of gas stations while in Texas, make sure and stop at one of the large Buc-ee's gas stations with 100+ fuel pumps, complete with a fresh made BBQ island, made to order food, dozens of fountain drink dispensers, countless amount of road snack food and some of the cleanest restrooms you will ever see in a gas station.

I recommend trying a stop at one of the Buccee's along the way, for everything EXCEPT gas. (They have some of the most expensive gas in the state.)

When you get out to NM, Cline's Corners is an easy on/off, a good place to shop for souvenirs, and a good place to stretch. Probably good for an hour or so.

If you are going to Carlsbad, a really good tour of the caves takes pretty much all day (IMHO). And it is kinda fun to stay at the park after dark to watch the bats fly out of the cave mouth, altho you are going to be there early enough in the year that they may have migrated south, so you might phone the park and ask if they will be flying in March.  Other than that, there is nothing......and I mean nothing.....else to do in that town. My wife's girlfriend is from Carlsbad, and she pretty much hates to go back there.

If you have a little time to spare, you might find the Mesa Verde National Park kinda cool. It's up near 4-corners. It is the place where the ancient cliff dwellings fill a couple canyons. Maybe after you leave Albq?

dufferDave

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stopping in/near Ft Worth
« Reply #45 on: February 04, 2020, 11:25:26 PM »
The Ft Worth-Dallas metro area is pretty much solid city from Rockwall to the west side of Ft Worth. There are RV campgrounds before and after, and north and south of town, but there ain't much anywhere in the middle.

Maybe I'm biased because I am on the far west edge of Ft Worth, but I would recommend that you use the RV World campground in Weatherford, just off I-20 at Tin Top Road. They have a service business there if you happen to need any repairs (no, I am not related, I don't own any stock, I am not getting paid, yada yada) and a pretty fair stock of RV parts. I have had lots of work done on my cash-hole by those guys, and they seem to me to be very knowledgeable and fair. Anyway, another 50 yards down Tin Top is Napoli Automotive in case you need some chassis or transmission work. Up on Hwy 80 is Ernie's Tire & Automotive, where I have always gone for tire and tire-related stuff. Weatherford is a pretty quick 20 minute drive to downtown Ft Worth (20 minutes is a short drive around here). The Weatherford area has lots of grocery options, the new part of town where 51 crosses the interstate has lots of shopping and restaurant choices, there are both a Home Depot and a Lowes close by. For a hoot, go up 51 toward the courthouse square and check out Gibson's, an old-timey general store that has been in Weatherford forever.

For best gas prices, check out Brookshire's (gas pumps on the west side of store) at Ranch House Rd, exit 418 off of I-20. Or HEB (gas pumps are right out front of the store) at Lakeshore Dr, exit 413. Or Love's at exit 410 (a little tight for maneuvering an RV, but it can be done). Or west of Weatherford at Quick Trip, exit 406 at Old Dennis Rd (much newer truck stop, lots more room around pumps). Those are the area places that consistently have had the lowest or near-lowest prices.

I'm not sure what to suggest you see in Ft Worth, if I was still working there I could take you on a tour of the Bomber Plant. I'm sure you will want to see the stock yards, Billy Bob's, and all that stuff north of downtown. Just a few feet north of the old Ft Worth courthouse (downtown) is a park on the site of the original fort, with a scenic overlook to the north. There are too many good Mexican food restaurants to start naming. (That group does NOT include Taco Bell.) The new Dickey's Arena just opened but I don't know what will be going on there in March. What sort of things do you want to do in Ft Worth?

dufferDave

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If you are going anywhere at all near DC, and especially if you have not ever been, stopping somewhere in the area could be lots of fun. The museums and exhibits and other sights on the Mall and surrounding area could take you days and days. The subway system there was very impressive, a great way to get around (and trying to use a car in that town would be a huge PITA). Just a thought--

Old_Crow

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We came east across I20 in Dec.  There are lots of RV parks in the towns along the freeway.  We started looking for an overnight spot around 75 miles short of Fort Worth, and finally ended up in the Walmart parking lot in Rockwall.  Called like 5 parks in different little towns and all of them were monthly rental only.
Wally Crow
Retired 30+ year ASE Master Auto Tech
Y2K Bounder 36S F53   "Kobayashi Maru"
'03 Jeep Wrangler Sahara
FMCA F494768

"Well, my time of not taking you seriously is coming to a middle."

NSRoadtripper

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Re: stopping in/near Ft Worth
« Reply #48 on: February 12, 2020, 10:18:32 AM »
Thanks for all that info!  I actually rodeo up here in the North- so there are definetly places ie. tack shops in Weatherford I want to go to!  As for our home base I'm totally open- I was considering the Wallly Rogers Muncipal Lot which I believe is right behind Dickeys/stock yards right n Fort Worth?
Besides the usual Rodeo stuff is there one MUST do thing in this area?

The Ft Worth-Dallas metro area is pretty much solid city from Rockwall to the west side of Ft Worth. There are RV campgrounds before and after, and north and south of town, but there ain't much anywhere in the middle.

Maybe I'm biased because I am on the far west edge of Ft Worth, but I would recommend that you use the RV World campground in Weatherford, just off I-20 at Tin Top Road. They have a service business there if you happen to need any repairs (no, I am not related, I don't own any stock, I am not getting paid, yada yada) and a pretty fair stock of RV parts. I have had lots of work done on my cash-hole by those guys, and they seem to me to be very knowledgeable and fair. Anyway, another 50 yards down Tin Top is Napoli Automotive in case you need some chassis or transmission work. Up on Hwy 80 is Ernie's Tire & Automotive, where I have always gone for tire and tire-related stuff. Weatherford is a pretty quick 20 minute drive to downtown Ft Worth (20 minutes is a short drive around here). The Weatherford area has lots of grocery options, the new part of town where 51 crosses the interstate has lots of shopping and restaurant choices, there are both a Home Depot and a Lowes close by. For a hoot, go up 51 toward the courthouse square and check out Gibson's, an old-timey general store that has been in Weatherford forever.

For best gas prices, check out Brookshire's (gas pumps on the west side of store) at Ranch House Rd, exit 418 off of I-20. Or HEB (gas pumps are right out front of the store) at Lakeshore Dr, exit 413. Or Love's at exit 410 (a little tight for maneuvering an RV, but it can be done). Or west of Weatherford at Quick Trip, exit 406 at Old Dennis Rd (much newer truck stop, lots more room around pumps). Those are the area places that consistently have had the lowest or near-lowest prices.

I'm not sure what to suggest you see in Ft Worth, if I was still working there I could take you on a tour of the Bomber Plant. I'm sure you will want to see the stock yards, Billy Bob's, and all that stuff north of downtown. Just a few feet north of the old Ft Worth courthouse (downtown) is a park on the site of the original fort, with a scenic overlook to the north. There are too many good Mexican food restaurants to start naming. (That group does NOT include Taco Bell.) The new Dickey's Arena just opened but I don't know what will be going on there in March. What sort of things do you want to do in Ft Worth?

NSRoadtripper

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Thanks- we actually did DC last fall- we REALLY enjoyed it, yes the subway was amazing, and the smithsonians are free- like WOW! I think we plan on passing through the Virginia area on our way back through from the west!

If you are going anywhere at all near DC, and especially if you have not ever been, stopping somewhere in the area could be lots of fun. The museums and exhibits and other sights on the Mall and surrounding area could take you days and days. The subway system there was very impressive, a great way to get around (and trying to use a car in that town would be a huge PITA). Just a thought--

NSRoadtripper

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Yikes- I didn't plan on booking anything in advance as we aren't on a 'schedule' per say- I planned on just booking on our way into town that day....maybe i should rethink that?

We came east across I20 in Dec.  There are lots of RV parks in the towns along the freeway.  We started looking for an overnight spot around 75 miles short of Fort Worth, and finally ended up in the Walmart parking lot in Rockwall.  Called like 5 parks in different little towns and all of them were monthly rental only.