Help me plan a trip…

I was talking to my mom last night and she inadvertently convinced me that I should take a trip touring the western half of the U.S. this summer. Me, my camera gear, a GPS, my laptop, a sleeping bag and my car. I would probably be leaving from southern Michigan as early as May or as late as June and return sometime in August. Since I’m poor and gas alone will probably eat through my savings, I’ll be camping and relying on truck stops and laundromats to keep from turning into someone who looks like the unibomber.

Anyways, this is the part where you come in. I need help figuring out where to go. I’m gonna take a couple months and move at my leisure but I only have a few locations on my itinerary so far. If you can think of somewhere else I should visit, leave me a comment. If you’re willing to offer a couch, a shower or access to a laundry machine, leave me a comment.

So far, my trip looks like this (in no particular order):

  • Visit a friend in Ohio
  • Visit a friend in Iowa
  • Visit my brother in Utah
  • The Grand Canyon, AZ
  • Monument Valley, UT/AZ
  • Glacier National Park, MT
  • Grand Teton National Park, WY
  • Badlands National Park, SD
  • Mount Rushmore, SD
  • P.S. Please comment at my blog instead of whatever feed you may be reading this on.

    12 thoughts on “Help me plan a trip…

    1. Yo, if you’re looking for a great place in the summer, come check me out in northern MN. The Falls is great in the summer. Though it will have to be before July (when I go someplace much hotter). Don’t forget, I have a wedding in May in WI!

    2. Yellowstone, but you could probably spend the whole summer there and not see it all.

    3. Am I the friend in Iowa? :-)

      I start work on June 6, and will hopefully have furniture somewhere around this time… once I have furniture you are more then welcome at my place. If you wait till a bit later in the summer, I’m sure I could get some days off as well. (Taking days off as soon as I start might be a bit odd!)

    4. Definitely seconding Yellowstone, but I think you’d have to act quickly to be able to get a parking permit (if you can get one at all). ‘Course there’s probably someplace near the park you could crash.

      I’d recommend anywhere along the high Sierras, but I’m a bit biased.

      If you’re looking to hit any civilization, San Francisco is a great town with lots of things to photograph.

    5. Glenn Canyon : it’s not too far from Grand Canyon and is right at the border of Arizona & Utah. Places that your camera can see within a stone throw:

      1. Lake Powell on the Utah side — a huge reservoir formed by Colorado river just before the Glenn Canyon Dam
      2. Glenn Canyon Dam – a real piece of engineering beauty. One can get to the very bottom easily and shoot pics from there.
      3. Petroglyphs – created by ancient inhabitants along the walls of Glenn Canyon, mostly along the shores of Colorado river
      4. Horseshoe Bend, Page: Probably one place along Colorado river that has been most photographed and videographed in hollywood action movies.
      5. Mile ZERO: region where Glenn Canyon ends and Grand Canyon begins. It is from this point that one measures the ‘length’ of grand canyon. And MILE 277 is the Hoover Dam in Nevada.
      6. Desert View: a small village not too far from South rim of Grand Canyon – offers stunning views of canyon’s valley.
      7. Havasu falls – don’t know the exact coordinates but is towards West coast along Colorado river
      8. Meteorite Crater in Flagstaff – about 40 miles East of Flagstaff along ‘Route 66’ – a huge (3 miles in circumference) meteorite crater.
      9. Sedona, AZ – the red rocks are just too stunning to explain. It’s about 120 miles south of Grand Canyon. From Flagstaff, follow AZ89 – this route is ranked in top 10 most scenic drives in the US. Many valleys, some waterfalls, intricate rock formations, ….

      Catch me sometime (we both know you will) before you head out and I can give you maps (and other stuff) from that area…

    6. Well, not everything I said above are within a stone throw from Glenn Canyon Dam – may be up to #5 :)

    7. I shall give this some thought, and maybe even do a little routing. Should I happen to be back in the country, and out of the Army while you’re on your trip – we might just have to cross paths and have a Canon vs. Nikon shootout! I have noticed that Las Vegas is not a stop, and I’d be a bad, bad person if I didn’t suggest you at least go there.

    8. Here are a few places that I thought would be fun, some with a camera and some just to say you have been there.

      1) Corn Palace: Mitchell, SD

      2) Crazy Horse: Black Hills of SD

      3) Wall Drug: Wall, SD

      4) Battle of the Little Big Horn: MT

      5) Yellowstone N.P.

      6) Philmont Scout Ranch: Cimarron, NM (NRA Shooting facility not to far away)

      7) NRA Whitting Center: Raton, NM (largest and most complete shooting and hunting complex in the USA, don’t forget your gun)

      8) Royal Gorge Bridge & Park: Canon City, CO

      9) The Alamo: San Antonio, TX

    9. Don’t forget about
      Arches National Park in Eastern Utah

      Just be careful because in the summer it gets in the hundreds

    10. Colorado Springs (on your way up to Wyoming or down to AZ. Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, great hiking in the Collegiate Peaks area (QUiTE a ways from CS). US Air Force Academy is worth a visit. Speaking of collegiate peaks. One time I was there on a day trip and the person I was hiking with got tired. So, I kept walking up. suddenly, I got over a ridge and below me was a GREEN valley with a stream running through it and a dear and doe, one of the collegiate peaks ahead oe me and the Sangre de Cristo range in another direction. It brought tears to my eyes.

      In Grand Tetons they used to have a really cheap area with tents set up. Maybe they still have it. Grand Tetons are so stunning that you just sort of sit and stare at them.

      In Montana (I forget), is a little pull off that has the only physical evidence of the Lewis and Clark expedition (Clark’s name carved on a rock..or maybe it was Lewis). I don’t know why, but I was quite taken by this.

      Mesa Verde National Park, CO.

      Santa Fe NM

      I’ll second Arches National Park. Also Bryce Canyon.

      If you go to San Diego California, let me know. I have a sister and Brother in law there who love company and have a washing machine.

      Lassen National Park, CA is a spooky place, at least compared to Mt. Shasta.

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