Thursday, August 19, 2010

Amarillo to Anaheim -- New Year's Road Trip

Dearest Jamie -

I'm so glad you're giving out road trip advice because I'm practically lost. In January, I want to make a trip from Austin, Texas to Anaheim, California and back. I know for the way out, I'm going to drive up to Amarillo, Texas and catch Route 66 and take it to Anaheim. I'm stuck as to what to see on the way back though. I want to come home a different way. I'm a photographer so scenery is a plus and I'm an aspiring travel writer so places you can leave with a story are a plus plus, for practice purposes. :)

I'll have about two weeks. How do-able is this? Any help is very appreciated!




Hi Marina --

Thanks for writing in to Road Trip USA -- if you want to drive between southern California and Texas through a landscape that has lots of history and some great scenery, there's no better road than what I call the "Southern Pacific" route, following the Old Spanish Trail / US-80 from San Diego east across southern Arizona and New Mexico.

I cover this -- and all of your westbound Route 66 tour! -- pretty thoroughly in my Road Trip USA book, which has tons of info and some nice photos and maps (though the maps and photos don't show up on the website version, which you can test-drive at ). The image above is one I took years ago at the Route 66 icon, Jackrabbit Trading Post, in Arizona.

There are some fun if oddball attractions along old US-80 (today's I-8 freeway) in southern California (I really like the Desert Tower, and the Center of the World), and once you cross the Colorado River there are plentiful stories, starting in Yuma (home of the hardest Wild West prison), all the way thru Tucson and Tombstone AZ. Las Cruces and Mesilla in New Mexico are very interesting, too, and there's some beautiful scenery at Guadalupe Mountains National Park, just over the NM / TX border.

This whole southern tier was (and still is!) home to native Apache Indians, and if you use even the tiniest bits of your imagination, the ghosts of Geronimo and Cochise are never far away.

January will be bit early for the desert wildflowers, but so long as the weather cooperates you should have a great trip.

Say "Hi" to Cadillac Ranch for me, please!

Happy Trails,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA

** On Sale Now **


Post a Comment

<< Home