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Old 09-11-2023, 07:18 AM   #1
JayTees
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Southeast MO -> SoCal and Back

Trying to 'help myself', I've tried several searches of the forum and not come up with an answer yet. Doesn't help when the system says I70 is 'too short or too common'. We have a round-trip from Southeast Missouri to SoCal coming up the end of the September, returning toward the end of October. Don't necessarily want to take Interstate Highway on all legs of the trip when there may be prettier areas to drive. Thinking about a
Northern Route to travel West, roughly parallel to I70 to try to catch some Fall Colors and come back East along I40.



Just to 'introduce' our tow:
Tow Vehicle is a 2017 Ford F150 Super Crew w/2.7L EcoBoost, 6-Speed, with the Teeny Weeny 23 Gallon Bladder. Manual specs list Max Tow Weight as 8500 Lb - refuel every 200 miles or so!

Travel Trailer is a 2020 Keystone Passport 197RB. GVWR 5600 Lb.


WESTBOUND (Northern Route)

Looking at 70 out of St. Louis, MO toward the area of Monument, KS; US40 down to US50: Pueblo->Monarch Pass->Monticello->Flagstaff and west. It looks like I could catch 50 Out of Kansas City or hop down from Topeka . . .


I know this gives several passes and grades to travel on and we can work with that.I'm open to alternate suggestions/modifications. Not on a hard time line, but would like to do it in five-max six days; Six-Seven hour days . . .



EASTBOUND (Southern Route)

So basically I40 to North of Little Rock and US 64 from there. We drove chunks of Old 60 last year.



In years past, we've done a lot of Interstate across the country and we would like to 'stop and smell the roses' a little bit. I appreciate any ideas for either route.


Thanks for looking!


John
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Old 09-11-2023, 11:05 AM   #2
Canonman
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That looks like a great trip. Afraid I can't help much with ideas across MO or KS but you could head south to Dodge City and then 160 into Southern Colorado. There are some really beautiful areas between Monte Vista, Pagosa Springs, Durango and Cortez.
Mesa Verde NP is a must see plus there are several points of interest that include ancient first peoples sites as well as remnants from the mining industry. Utah and Arizona offer many opportunities to see dramatic landscapes, National Parks as well as First American history and well preserved ruins.
Feel free to PM me if you'd like any specific suggestions
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Old 09-12-2023, 03:40 AM   #3
JayTees
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Thanks for the reply Canonman. Dodge City is an easy 'add-on' to get us headed to exploring. All of your suggestions look amazing and probably deserving of a trip just to include them! May have to plan another trip to give them proper time to explore. We have family in SoCal and are starting to back off on the long overseas trips and doing more camping. This is trip is definitely scenic, the 'Road Less Traveled'; no long stops.


Are you familiar with US 550 out of Montrose, CO South towards Durango, CO or Farmington, NM?


John
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Old 09-12-2023, 05:35 AM   #4
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We've traveled 550 several times. The Ridgway State Park is a favorite campground. If you are coming east on 50 to Montrose don't miss the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Small campground there if you need to overnight.
Note the 550 hwy from Ridgway over Red Mountain Pass is known as the Million Dollar Highway. It is steep, winding and narrow in some places. That said, it is used by big rig truckers. Beautiful country and a stop in Silverton is an absolute must. If you want to bypass the MDH then take 62 out of Ridgway then 145 to Dolores and Cortez. Another beautiful drive but not as "challenging" as the MDH. Again, take the time to see Mesa Verdi. Hovenweep National Monument is a very cool side trip out of Cortez. Attached photos are from this area. This is one of our favorite places to spend the fall.
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Old 09-12-2023, 06:15 AM   #5
JayTees
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Very nice pictures Canonman; both sets. We'll be West on 50 going through Gunnison, so, coming up on Black Canyon of the Gunnison West of Gunnison? Is that a drive back up on 92, or something off of 50?


It's a little trailer. If truckers can get through, we should be fine. Famous last words? I've read several, "We drove the MDH and never will again" comments - was actually not sure where it was. Are there still passing/slow lanes on the uphill grades? Seems like I've also read that Colorado Highways are known for having those.


Cheers!


John
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Old 09-12-2023, 07:47 AM   #6
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Black Canyon is just off 50 between Gunnison and Montrose.
I agree your outfit should handle MDH just fine. I can't remember how many exactly, but there are multiple pull outs for slow traffic and viewpoints. I don't remember any actual passing lanes. This whole area is really pretty, so take your time and enjoy the journey. Most of the other travelers will be doing the same.
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Old 09-13-2023, 01:44 PM   #7
JayTees
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Canonman,


I hate to tell you this, but you have failed me. You did not include the 'World's Largest Ball of Twine - Cawker City, Kansas'!!!



Just west of Topeka and still north of Dodge City. May have to detour by just to say I've seen it. My Dear Wife wants to know "Why?".


John
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Old 09-20-2023, 12:57 PM   #8
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Any thoughts to share on State 160 out of Durango toward Tuba City? Versus drop down to 64W out of Farmington or on down South to Gallup and 40W.


Cheers!


John
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Old 09-20-2023, 04:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by JayTees View Post
Any thoughts to share on State 160 out of Durango toward Tuba City? Versus drop down to 64W out of Farmington or on down South to Gallup and 40W.


Cheers!


John
I have traveled 160 from Durango to Cortez. Mesa Verdi is on that stretch. You'll also pass close by Hovenweep. Both have good campgrounds although Hovenweep is a bit more primitive. From Hovenweep you could take 163 to Monument Valley. Good campground there called Gouldings. From there 163 will take you back to 160 and Tuba City. Then 89 south to Cameron. At Cameron you can take 64 on a little side trip to the Grand Canyon. 64 will take you out of GCNP and back 40. I'm not much help on 40 west to Southern California.
You could take 95 out of Needles though heading south along the Colorado River. Hope that helps
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Old 09-21-2023, 05:24 PM   #10
JayTees
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Thanks Canonman, lots of good ideas! I'm going to do some looking up and see what we can fit in.


Cheers!


John
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Old 09-24-2023, 07:43 PM   #11
Greggde
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Try to find an alternative route to I40 as is is especially hard on campers , if you do travel this route be sure to have at least one spare tire for your RV
Have a wonderful time and be Safe

Joann and Gregg de Long
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Old 09-24-2023, 07:51 PM   #12
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400 thru Kansas and into Colorado is good road, or was a couple of years ago. Good interstate alternative.
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Old 09-24-2023, 11:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canonman View Post
That looks like a great trip. Afraid I can't help much with ideas across MO or KS but you could head south to Dodge City and then 160 into Southern Colorado. There are some really beautiful areas between Monte Vista, Pagosa Springs, Durango and Cortez.
Mesa Verde NP is a must see plus there are several points of interest that include ancient first peoples sites as well as remnants from the mining industry. Utah and Arizona offer many opportunities to see dramatic landscapes, National Parks as well as First American history and well preserved ruins.
Feel free to PM me if you'd like any specific suggestions
I agree with this guy, southern Utah has a ton to see. Durango to Monticello to Canyonlands to Arches to Bryce to hanksville to Bryce to Kanab to Zion Pop out in St George. Vegas to Area 51 to Death Valley to Kernville to Bakersfield and LA
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Old Yesterday, 05:52 AM   #14
christiaanvandenberg
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Nice trip. Enjoy it. There are some good comments already. Watch the weather. Colorado has had some snow on the high mountain peaks already and by the end of October, there will definitely be more snow.
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