Friday, December 10, 2010

Big West Road Trip

Hello Jamie,

My husband and I are planning a looping road-trip starting and ending in LA.

We want to go up the coast (along your route 1) to your Oregon Trail trip (route 8, through OR and WY), then cut down down through Colorado to follow Route 66 (route 11), ending back in LA.

How much time do you think this would this take, factoring in normal
amounts of site-seeing (we have up to 3 months)?

Also, can you offer any good recommendations for a route from Yellowstone to RT66, through Colorado?

Thanks very much. Love your site!




Hola Tamsin --

Many thanks for your message, and sorry it took me so long to get back to you -- hope I can help you with the trans-USA phase of your great adventure.

The big question, about how much time this trip can take, is basically impossible to answer; it all depends on how long you linger along the way. And with LA, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, the dozens of national parks and millions of miles of highway to explore, there are endless opportunities for lingering and enjoying yourself.

(Plus there's Canada to consider -- the Rockies there are at least as breathtakingly beautiful, and in many ways more civilized and enjoyable, than the great expanses of Montana and Wyoming and Colorado.)

Even if you don't linger very long in the cities, you'll want to have at least 3 weeks to see the highlights -- add a few days for each big city for wining and dining and museum-going, and 6 weeks, or your full 3 months, will fill up fast.

About your other question, I do have a specific suggestion for a route between "8 and 11 through Colorado": while Denver and Boulder are interesting cities, to my mind the really amazing scenery is the far southwest of the state, along the "Million Dollar Highway", thru Durango and Telluride, and on to the cliff palaces of Mesa Verde National Park, linking up with Route 66 in the magic city of Taos and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Then you can head back to LA via the Navajo lands of Gallup (cool old hotel there -- the El Rancho!), the Teepee-shaped motel of Wigwam Village in Holbrook AZ, and of course the Grand Canyon. Fantastic... I'm very jealous!

Very glad you like my website, and I hope you'll get a chance to check out my Road Trip USA book -- which is more up to date, and has tons more pictures and maps and travel idea and fun factoid trivia, than what's up on the website. I'll keep checking your progress via your weblog/website, and wish you "buena suerte" in all your travels.

Vaya con Dios, Happy Trails,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA


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