Monday, June 14, 2010

Denver to Chicago -- in 50 Days

Dear Jamie

I'm from Switzerland and 22 years old and I'm going to do a three month coast-to-coast road trip through the US of A (first time) this Summer. Your book was very helpful so far especially for my route between Yellowstone and Boston.

I start my trip in Denver and have 50 days to go to Chicago (rental car change) and wondered, if you know a good route from Denver to Chicago, including Nationalparks from the Southwest (e.g. Monument Valley, Grand Canyon etc.), Las Vegas, Death Valley, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Yosemite and Yellowstone to make this journey unforgettable. From the Yellowstone Nationalpark I'd like to take "The Oregon Trail"-route from your book and go on to Boston.




Hello Manuel --

50 Days?! You lucky fellow! In that time, you could certainly make a leisurely and unforgettable loop around the wonderful landscapes of the Southwest, then head east from Yellowstone to Boston. It's almost too much time -- you'll really be able to get off the main routes and explore the deeper, richer backcountry and hinterlands. Some years ago I wrote a book focusing solely on the Southwest -- I wish I had a copy or a .pdf I could offer you.

I hope you're planning to do some hiking as well as driving -- I love the arid purity of the Colorado plateau: Utah and northern Arizona, and even some part of western Colorado, almost all unspoiled and undeveloped (And all owned by "We the People" of the USA, set aside as parks for residents and visitors alike!)

Within the vast Southwest, there are many smaller areas worth exploring, as well as all the national parks (Canyon de Chelley in northeast Arizona is also fabulous -- as is Mesa Verde in southwest Colorado. Both have many photogenic archeological remains of cliff dwellings and other pre-Columbian Americana. It's all fantastic -- towns like Durango and Telluride in Colorado, Bisbee in southeast Arizona, and of course Santa Fe and Taos in New Mexico will make you want to stay as long as you can.

I can't really prepare a full 50-day itinierary for you, but you won't go too far wrong anywhere in the Southwest (unless you decide to test your good luck in Las Vegas...). But if you have any specific questions, I'll be happy to help -- so please write back and let me know how your trip shapes up.

Happy Trails,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA


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