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NutmegCT
10-04-2013, 12:45 PM
When (if?) I make it out of South Dakota, I'm heading for Logan UT and Palo Alto CA. Then I'll visit my brother in Tucson AZ. Here's what's going on in western SD:

29420

What routes would you experienced drivers suggest between Tucson AZ and Albuquerque NM, then on to Fort Worth TX? One of my goals is to see Trinity Site, south of Albuquerque, halfway between I-25 and US-54.

Thanks.
Tom

Basil
10-04-2013, 06:33 PM
First, forget Trinity Site. It is located on White Sands Missile range and is only open to the public on two days each year - one day in April and one day in October. However, the October open house is cancelled, but even if it wasn't it is tomorrow so I doubt you'd get here in time anyway. So forget Trinity (Not much to see anyway - a stone monument out in the middle of nowhere and an old Ranch house (McDonald ranch). Given that, there are two options I'd recommend (having made that trek many times) depending on weather IF (and only if) the weather is forcast to be clear, then:

Option 1 (in two parts)
Out of Tucson head to Phoenix/Scottsdale on I-10
Find your way to Highway 87, which runs northeast to "Payson"
From Payson, take Highway 260 to Overgaard, then pickup 277
Stay on 277 to Holbrook, where you pick up I-40 East all the way to Albuquerque.

An alternative, and equally nice but slightly longer route is to do as above, but when you hit Payson, stay on 87 to Winslow.
Be sure to stand on the corner in Winslow and count how many girls in flat-bed Fords drive by.
Then take I-40 as before to Albuquerque.

If you do take the Winslow route, you can backtrack (west) on I-40 to Meteor City (about 10-12 miles), then take a10 mile trip south from I-40 to see the Arizona Meteor crater. Either way, whether you come out at Holbrook or Winslow, you can head heast and visit the Petrified Forrest just off I-40 (about 20-30 jiles east of Holbrook)

Option 2 (If weather not looking good for trek through the mountains:

Simply take I-10 to Las Cruces, NM then head north on I-25 to Albuquerque. Not very scenic but much safer if the weather is dicey.

Healeysince59
10-04-2013, 10:56 PM
The way I go when I want to avoid the interstate ( and I've done this a bunch of times) is north out of Tucson through Oracle to Globe, Globe to Show Low, Showlow through Pinetop to Socorro New Mexico, and then the Interstate to Albequerque. all good low traffic secondary roads. I don't have a map handy so I can't quote highway numbers. If you are in a hurry and want to take the Interstate, take I10 east from Tucson to Deming (where I sit right now), take the Hatch cutoff to Hatch and pick up the Interstate to Albequerque.

I found Trinity Site interesting. There are still pieces of Trinitite laying around. If you're on a public tour, they forbid picking it up. If you're on a private tour, they tell you if you pick it up, don't keep a lot of it in your pocket as it is still mildly radioactive and you don't want it that close to the family jewels. Maybe on your next trip.

What days do you expect to be in Tucson? If your there on aTuesday, there's a very eclectic, somewhat mangy, group of British car guys that meet ever Tuesday at the Starbucks on theNortwest corner of Grant and Swan and sit around and tell lies. Usually 6 to10 British cars but that's not a requirement. Drop by, you'd fit right in. I don't know if I'll be in town but if there's a really old, really bald, really lazy guy sitting there, it might be me.
Marv J

aeronca65t
10-05-2013, 05:25 AM
........Be sure to stand on the corner in Winslow and count how many girls in flat-bed Fords drive by.......

LOL!

It sounds like you're getting some great advice and ideas from Basil, Marv and others.

I'm saving all this info in a word document just in case I end up doing the same thing some day (post-retirement).

One of my Bugeye racing friends just retired and is doing and "around the USA" tour right now. But he bought a new motor coach and is planning on taking a year to do it.....so not like the way I (or most people) could do it.

Tom's adventure would be the way I would really like to do it. It's the right amount of time and an old Benz seems like the perfect car to do it in (to me, anyway).

NutmegCT
10-05-2013, 07:04 AM
I really appreciate all the first-hand knowledge being shared here. Making a coast to coast and border to border drive isn't something you do every day!

A few of you guys know I once considered doing the trip in my TR. But safety and (relative) comfort, as well as my parents' original 1982 plan, played a big role in choosing the ol' Mercedes. My financial status ruled out the "motorhome" idea from the start. Besides, driving one of those giant things getting 6 mpg, wondering where to park, etc., and towing a Fiat behind you - well, not my cuppa tea. One of the families I visited live down a steep, twisting, narrow gravel driveway. Yikes!

Tom
PS - after four days holed up in Sioux Falls, waiting for the blizzard in western South Dakota to end ... I'm itching to get going again! All roads from SD into Wyoming are still closed. Two feet of snow in the Black Hills, all national parks closed due to the shutdown ... it's all going to get better!

https://vortex.accuweather.com/adc2004/pub/includes/columns/newsstory/2013/650x366_10040819_hd26.jpg

Basil
10-05-2013, 10:57 AM
PS - after four days holed up in Sioux Falls, waiting for the blizzard in western South Dakota to end ... I'm itching to get going again! All roads from SD into Wyoming are still closed. Two feet of snow in the Black Hills, all national parks closed due to the shutdown ... it's all going to get better!




Not to worry Tom, things will clear up by April :devilgrin:

NutmegCT
10-05-2013, 11:00 AM
Not to worry Tom, things will clear up by April :devilgrin:

"It's all going to get better." Hammurabi, ca. 4000 years ago.

(but he didn't say WHEN it would get better)

AngliaGT
10-06-2013, 07:23 PM
Tom, You ought to be here right now - it's been about 75 degrees, & clear,the last two days.I waxed the Cortina yesterday. - Doug

NutmegCT
10-06-2013, 07:43 PM
Doug - we needed your weather in South Dakota last week. Take a look at what I just escaped:

https://www.argusleader.com/article/20131005/ARGUS911/131005007/Argus-911-Snow-keeps-motorists-stranded-power-out-some-Rapid-City

This is I-90 near Rapid City SD early Saturday morning.

https://cmsimg.argusleader.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?NewTbl=1&Site=DF&Date=20131004&Category=NEWS&ArtNo=310040801&Ref=PH&Item=6&Maxw=640&Maxh=410

I'm now in Kearney Nebraska in full sun and 60 degrees. But the drive down from South Dakota this morning was a near-nightmare. Wet roads and fog alternating with showers and winds gusting 30-50mph. Double semi trailers racing by, almost knocking cars off the road. Beautiful countryside despite the rain and fog, but had to keep my hands tight on the wheel for the first three hours.

By the way, US 81 isn't exactly full of curves. You can take a nap for an hour, wake up, and you're still in the same lane you started with. Earlier today I also drove part of the old Lincoln Highway (US30).

Unfortunately the parks shutdown and bad weather used up four days of my trip time. I had to completely eliminate the trip up to Washington state and down the coast. I'll be going straight from Utah to Palo Alto CA.

Men make plans; the gods just laugh.

Tom

DrEntropy
10-07-2013, 05:30 AM
That scene made me shiver. More over safety concerns than perceived temperature.

Tom, you didn't visit Basil?

NutmegCT
10-07-2013, 07:45 AM
That scene made me shiver. More over safety concerns than perceived temperature.

Tom, you didn't visit Basil?

Basil was in South Dakota?

T.

MarshgrassA
10-07-2013, 09:33 AM
That weather looks awful no matter what kind of car you are in!