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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Nature & Landscapes Talk 
Thread started 06 Mar 2012 (Tuesday) 14:09
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Just how scenic is the drive on the way to Arizona?

 
sparker1
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Mar 07, 2012 07:38 |  #16

I go from Florida to the western states almost every year. When I'm prepared to get off the road and explore, Texas and Oklahoma have a lot to offer. However, the direct drive through doesn't have that much to offer. Please bear in mind, much of the scenery requires a little hiking (or a lot) and June-July can be very hot in the desert. During the summer, I try to stick more in the higher elevations. In NM, north of I-40 has some mountains to keep it cooler and some great natural scenery. Sedona can be hot, but is definitely worth it. Instead of hiking so much, take a Jeep tour. Stay close to Oak Creek for scenery and cooler temps. Colorado is a favorite place of mine in the summer, especially around Silverton and Ouray. The train ride from Durango to Silverton is a great trip, but there is also a good one from Chama, NM to Antonito, CO.

There is a risk of trying to cram too much into a single trip, which can be tiring and disappointing. My advice is to be very selective about what you do on the trip out, spend as much time as possible on the most important locations and don't spend all your time in the car.


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mpadula
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Mar 07, 2012 07:43 as a reply to  @ sparker1's post |  #17

Stan, Thanks so much for that info! It is helpful and it looks like I will pretty much just have to drive straight through Texas and Oklahoma without expecting to see too much right off the expressway, and I will definitely take your advice about not trying to cram too much into one trip. This will be my first time out west since I visited Colorado Springs when I was 11years old and that was over 30 some years ago, so I'm a bit excited but I know there is just so much to see and photograph and know that I will have to take more trips out west several times in order to see and experience everything I want to. Thanks!!



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mpadula
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Mar 07, 2012 07:45 |  #18

Stan,
I just looked at your gallery of photos!! WOW they are just amazing!!!!!

sparker1 wrote in post #14041764 (external link)
I go from Florida to the western states almost every year. When I'm prepared to get off the road and explore, Texas and Oklahoma have a lot to offer. However, the direct drive through doesn't have that much to offer. Please bear in mind, much of the scenery requires a little hiking (or a lot) and June-July can be very hot in the desert. During the summer, I try to stick more in the higher elevations. In NM, north of I-40 has some mountains to keep it cooler and some great natural scenery. Sedona can be hot, but is definitely worth it. Instead of hiking so much, take a Jeep tour. Stay close to Oak Creek for scenery and cooler temps. Colorado is a favorite place of mine in the summer, especially around Silverton and Ouray. The train ride from Durango to Silverton is a great trip, but there is also a good one from Chama, NM to Antonito, CO.

There is a risk of trying to cram too much into a single trip, which can be tiring and disappointing. My advice is to be very selective about what you do on the trip out, spend as much time as possible on the most important locations and don't spend all your time in the car.



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sparker1
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Mar 07, 2012 08:04 |  #19

Thanks, Michelle. I just remembered my hot air balloon trip in Sedona and how much fun it was. Your daughter would have memories for a lifetime. It's costly, but I never regretted spending the money. Google Red Rock Balloons for more info.


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mpadula
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Mar 07, 2012 08:06 |  #20

sparker1 wrote in post #14041884 (external link)
Thanks, Michelle. I just remembered my hot air balloon trip in Sedona and how much fun it was. Your daughter would have memories for a lifetime. It's costly, but I never regretted spending the money. Google Red Rock Balloons for more info.

Thanks! I will do that! We are going to do a Helicopter or small plan ride over the Grand Canyon as well



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Mar 07, 2012 10:00 |  #21

mpadula wrote in post #14041683 (external link)
I have heard that, and I'm still trying to figure out how to get back to Illinois from the Denver area without having to take that boring trek through Nebraska and Iowa.. Suggestions anyone??

RMNP will be the last leg of our trip and my daughter and I want to spend our last night in Colorado at the Stanley Hotel where the movie "The Shining" was filmed and then head home to Chicago but I am dreading a boring car ride back through Nebraska and Iowa..

Iowa isnt too bad, and you can stop by the birthplace of John Wayne there. Forget the name of the town, but its just off the interstate.


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gonzogolf
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Mar 07, 2012 10:11 |  #22

Michelle, the bad news is the drive from Colorado to Illinois is boring, regardless of route. I know of a fun early morning shot in colorado springs if you like water flowing over boulders. PM me and I'll tell you about it.




  
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Mar 07, 2012 15:29 |  #23

I would say, plan on spending most of your time photographing in AZ, UT,CO then when out of time allow 2 days to get home probably on I70. KS has some flint hills around Manhattan that are nice, I 80 is much the same, might be boring for you after being in the SW. I have came back on 70, 80, 90 and 94, my favorites are 90 and 94, I don't think you will have time to use 90 or 94.

It is always interesting to hear other people's views about certain areas. Since I have been involved in farming for over 40 years, cattle in large part, I find the countryside anywhere to be fascinating so the trip back for me is always enjoyable although I admit to taking very few pics.

As you leave home on 55 you are going to see corn fields until you hit 44 than some Mo wine country South of ST Louis. Just before reaching Rolla the scenery is going to start changing and should be very enjoyable through the remainder of Mo. Rolling hills, rock outcroppings, clear shallow streams, lot of thick hardwood forests. In OK and TX it's the open road and miles upon miles of it.
Keep reading and planning, it will pay large dividends.


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Mar 07, 2012 19:49 as a reply to  @ Grizz1's post |  #24

A few lesser known "must see" recommendations would be:
-Painted Desert/Petrified Forest - Winslow AZ
-Sunset Crater - Flagstaff AZ -a dormant volcano that is stunning at sunset.
-Snow Bowl ski lift - Flagstaff AZ - Take the chair lift up to the top and see bristlecone pines, plus a great view of northern AZ.
-Canyon de Chelly - Navajo Res AZ - Awesome Anazazi Ruins
-Hopi Mesas - Leave the camera in the car and if you time it right you might get to see the corn dances. I don't know if you'll be too early in the season. One of the mesa-top villages (Old Oraibi?) has been inhabited around 1,000 years. I used to go there and trade cottonwood roots for Kachina dolls.
-Hubbell Trading Post in Ganado - Navajo Res AZ
-Keet Seel - More ruins - Navajo Res AZ
-Monument Valley - Navajo Res. AZ
-Shiprock - close to the Four Corners and you can't miss it - Navajo Res, NM
-Chaco Canyon - Navajo Res NM - Massive Anazazi ruins
-Dallas Divide - Between Telluride and Silverton CO

Save your time and money and don't hit the meteor crater. You're going to have to wear blinders to keep your sceduale as it is!

I also have heard of a place along Route 66 that has old Cadillacs planted in the ground. near Amarillo TX and you may want to stop at the Pioneer Museum in Nebraska.
As for Pike's Peak and other mountain top shots. I have read that the haze is less in early morning before the wind starts kicking up the dust again.




  
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Bianchi
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Mar 07, 2012 21:04 |  #25

I found Missouri to be like a roller coaster up and down,Oklahoma, every house was made from bricks.
Amarillo lots of tumbleweed, and a steak house, that says, if you can finish it, it free.
Crossed New mexico from the NE corner, and arrived in the SW corner. Los Cruzes. Some what boring. Traveled through Arizona at night, to stay cool. Seen Semi's blown on there side at the top of a Mtn pass in Ca. from the strong winds.

Wasn't into Photo back then, just wanted to get to San Diego as fast as I could.


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Preeb
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Mar 08, 2012 12:35 |  #26

gonzogolf wrote in post #14036675 (external link)
Illinois will be boring. Missouri can be beautiful, but you need to get off the interstate and work at it. Oklahoma and texas are okay if you get good skies.

Yeah... Interstates were deliberately built along routes with the fewest obstacles. As a result, most of them don't pass directly through the most scenic places. If you want to find the real gems you have get off the freeway and be willing to go slower.


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Mar 08, 2012 21:42 as a reply to  @ Preeb's post |  #27

Honestly, I would just drive as fast as you can to the places you want to go, and as someone said, try not to cam too much in. Even in scenic places you can easily wander around and get distracted without much to show for it (unless that's what you like to do).


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mpadula
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Mar 09, 2012 08:20 |  #28

ejenner wrote in post #14053577 (external link)
Honestly, I would just drive as fast as you can to the places you want to go, and as someone said, try not to cam too much in. Even in scenic places you can easily wander around and get distracted without much to show for it (unless that's what you like to do).

Ya know that just might be a good idea.. I know that once we get into Flagstaff I will be exhausted and tired since I will be the only one driving, my daughter is only 14 so not driving age yet, and I want to be up early the next morning to get started on photographing Sedona as we will only be in Sedona for 2 full days before we head up to the South Rim.



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Just how scenic is the drive on the way to Arizona?
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