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Author Topic: Big Western Trip – I need feedback and advice.  (Read 6298 times)
Jriddle
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« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2009, 06:15:11 PM »

I lived in the northwest all my life and could send you to all kinds of cool places. I am not sure of your time frame. I see you will be going through Logan canyon in UT. I worked out of Garden City UT 26 yrs ago and have not been back since. I have always wanted to go back and see this stream that comes out of the ground right next to the road. It might not look as impressive today as I am a little older now but thought it was cool then.

John
« Last Edit: February 02, 2009, 06:30:11 PM by Jriddle » Logged

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John Riddle
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« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2009, 06:18:43 PM »

Barn Owl,  you know Big Brown can't do without you, so how did you manage the time off??? I mean, all those conveyor belts will be falling apart by the time you get back. You might even change your mind about ever going back LOL. I'm really excited for you, hope you and your family have a great time!  Let us know when you make it back this way and we'll hook up again, only next time, bring your bus to Disney.
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Sean
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« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2009, 06:35:52 PM »

Jim, the holes your aludeing to are in Zion National park and have been enlarged, but the rules have changed and you will have to take a shuttle bus thru the park now. ...


Not true, as of the last time we were there and according to current Park information.  From the NPS web site:

Drivers of large vehicles approaching Zion National Park from the east on UT-9 need to be aware of large vehicle size restrictions.

Vehicles sized 7'10'' wide or wider or 11'4'' in height, or higher, are required to have an ''escort'' (traffic control) through the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel. Vehicles this size are too large to stay in their lane while traveling through the tunnel. Nearly all RV's, buses, trailers, 5th wheels, daulie pick up trucks, and some camper shells will require an escort.

...

Visitors requiring an escort must pay a $15 fee per vehicle in addition to the entrance fee. Pay this fee at a park entrance before proceeding to the tunnel. The fee is good for 2-trips through the tunnel for the same vehicle during a 7-day period.


In the high season, they run the escorts several times a day; you have to wait for one of the normal trips.  In the low season, it is "on demand" and the rangers come out for you when you arrive.

Note the following are prohibited:

Vehicles over 13'1" tall
Semi Trucks
Commercial vehicles
Vehicles carrying hazardous materials
Vehicles weighing more than 50,000 lbs.
Single vehicles over 40' long
Combined vehicles over 50' long


What you may be thinking of is the Scenic Drive:

From April through October, the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive (a park road off Rt. 9) is accessible by shuttle bus only. Rt. 9, which traverses the park from east to west, is open year-round to private vehicles.

First thing i would advise you to do is to buy a Mountain Directory West. .... Looking at your route to Bodie, i would not go that way.....google may be getting you there the shortest way but some of those roads are rough even in a car, ...


Is there an echo in here?  Smiley


... Anyway I took route U.S 50 east out of Carson City to Delta UT.  No cell coverage for hundreds of miles.  It is by far the most desolate stretch of road in the USA. ...


Or so the Nevada Commission on Tourism would have you believe, with their "Loneliest Road in America" marketing campaign (based on the 1986 Life Magazine article which coined the term).  With all due respect, this is a heavily traveled highway by many measures, including many semis, and is far from the most desolate.  We've been on roads, by contrast, where you could break down across all travel lanes and not have anyone stop for hours.  Many of the Nevada highways which run north/south and intersect US-50 are, in fact, much lonelier than 50 itself.

BTW, there is a free Forest Service campground at Bob Scott Summit, just outside of Austin.  May still be under snow in May, but worth a try.


-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2009, 07:25:34 PM »

A few thoughts from our recent experience with california

- rt 1 is beautiful, but san simeon to carmel would be white knuckle for me....the tour bus drivers do it all the time, but the 1000 foot drops and driving above the clouds would freak me out in a bus....one of them told me they also like to do it north to south so they don't need to worry about hitting the cliff face on tight turns, which happens...in a bus i like rt 1 north of carmel and south of san simeon

- if you want to stop along the ocean, it is also nicer driving south because there are many more easily accessible places to stop and just step out onto the beach, though the sun is in your windshield

- don't miss vegas, santa monica/malibu, santa barbara and napa

- not much in sacrmento

- california will just blow you away, it is stunning, we have been driving all over since we moved here
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« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2009, 07:42:33 PM »

I sent you a PM on your route on I-80. I have traveled from Reno to ELY NV on highway 50. My wife and I lived in Ely NV in the early eighties. We lived a nomadic way of live while working in the seismic industry. We broke down in Eureka NV and were helped by some of the most generous people we have ever meet. After many years in Montana, our home state we now live in Wells NV and have traveled from Ely NV to Delta UT. As SEAN has posted this is a long stretch of road, but is well traveled.

John
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John Riddle
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« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2009, 08:18:49 PM »


Concerning California,  I'd avoid downtown Sacramento, makes me have the heebiejeebies in a car. Unless you really want to see the capitol and a bunch of street people, I'd stick to the highways.  =)  Downtown traffic is always stiff, may streets are narrow, with an unpredictable one-way scheme.  Hwy 16 (16th street) is not always well kept, Lite Rail (train) also shares the roadway.  Last time I was there 16th was red-light district as well,  Normally the gazillion trees are well trimmed, but no guarantee on side streets.



Aw, Matt -

The transit system runs all over downtown Sacramento. . . what's there to worry about??   Grin Huh Grin

 Wink
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RJ Long
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« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2009, 10:27:38 PM »

I am lurking right now, reading every post, studying every option, and taking notes. The problem with maps is that every thing is just lines and that makes it difficult to see exactly what I would be getting into. My plans are to leave around May 16th and from there I have four weeks with the option of using a fifth. I don’t have, and am trying to avoid, a set schedule. My most enjoyable trips have been the ones in which we just stayed and moved on as we liked. I used to live in Albuquerque so I want to stop in there and see a friend, one full day, and I have a brother that lives in Provo, so I plan on staying a few days there. My wife has an old friend that owns Beaver Creek Lodge in northern UT and is going to let us stay there for a couple of nights. The rest of the trip is mostly to let the children see the major landmarks that one always sees or hears about. In between I want to travel on several scenic routes. I am going to Durango because I want to ride the Silverton RR and the Sacramento stop is to see the railroad museum there (If you think it is worth it; I love trains).  After some feedback I am already working on a different route that would move my trip more north, possibly up into Oregon, and less of southern California. Right now I am in the learning/ listening mode. I want to address each post but it is so late I need to go for now. Please understand how appreciative I am of each and every one of you and your efforts to help me with this. If time allows I might get to see a few of you along the trip and we can all get a good laugh looking at my ugly bus. I will post some modified routes soon to see what you think.

Thanks,

Barn Owl
« Last Edit: February 02, 2009, 10:52:55 PM by Barn Owl » Logged

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« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2009, 10:47:31 PM »

Laryn,

The railroad museum there is great.  It's in Old Town; oversize vehicle parking is across the freeway, adjacent to the Amtrak station.  Follow the signs.  You'll then need to walk under the freeway to access Old Town.  Spend a full day -- lots of history here besides the museum itself.

-Sean
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« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2009, 11:34:42 PM »

One suggestion-when you rejoin I-40 on your way out, when you get to Kingman, AZ, swinging north to go over the Hoover Dam and onto Las Vegas, then back down I-15 to I-40 at Barstow, Ca is only about 50 miles out of the way.  Since there isn't much except desert to see between Kingman and Barstow, that would be another way to go.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #24 on: February 03, 2009, 12:36:52 AM »


The railroad museum there is great.  It's in Old Town; oversize vehicle parking is across the freeway, adjacent to the Amtrak station.  Follow the signs.  You'll then need to walk under the freeway to access Old Town.  Spend a full day -- lots of history here besides the museum itself.



I'll echo Sean's comments about the Railroad Museum, well worth a visit.  Wait 'til you see the cab-forward Mallot!   Shocked

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RJ Long
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« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2009, 06:40:56 AM »



    Barn Owl,

   You might think about the 4 corners, and the Great Salt lake , Bonnieville salt flats.

    Have fun and hope the bus gets good fuel mileage!

    Steve 5B.....
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« Reply #26 on: February 03, 2009, 08:24:49 AM »

Yup, an echo Sean. Smiley  i have found that sometimes if a person hears the same thing from 2 different people they will pay more attention to what is being said. Grin
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« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2009, 12:51:08 PM »

Barnowl, There is another narrow gauge railroad that runs from Antonito Co. to Chama NM. Call to make sure it is still running. They donnot advertise like the other one and are always having money proplems. It is a very beautiful ride and not as crowded. Call ahead for the Durango to Silverton ride to reserve a ticket. Not sure of your route but if you take in both trains Wolf Creek pass is in between very pretty scenery but you have to go over the pass.

Enjoy Colorado Wayne
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« Reply #28 on: February 03, 2009, 02:04:44 PM »

Barnowl, I bet these guys are having fun planning your trip and spending your money. Sounds like to me you better plan for a much longer trip! Grin

I'll throw in my two cents. If you are going down the Columbia Gorge, you have to see Multnomah Falls just off I 84, between Hood River and Portland.

I used to live in Salem and you could spend a lifetime visiting the North West and not see it all. You may not want to go back home!

Have fun,

Paul
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« Reply #29 on: February 03, 2009, 06:00:59 PM »

Based on your return route as published, as you travel northward from Utah thru Idaho, it looks like you might be passing near Pocatello, ID which isn't far from Arco, ID.  Between those two places is EBR-1 --- Experimental Breeder Reactor 1 -- the world's first nuclear power plant.  Now decommissioned and open for free tours, plenty of room for bus parking, check out this description:  http://www.roadtripamerica.com/GettingOutThere/EBR-1.htm

We didn't even know about it till we were on our way to Craters of the Moon and opened the AAA tour book.  If you belong to AAA, the tour books and free maps alone are worth the membership.  Members get free maps for as many states as you like, and the tour books show lots of places to visit.

You will have a great trip; it's impossible to visit ALL the neat places, so plan on future westward journeys!

Linda
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