Two sisters, each with two kids, road trippin’ along with our mother (all in the same vehicle) who had never been to the Grand Canyon. First, a Family Reunion followed by a Southwest journey followed by a Route 66 tour back to St. Louis. Then my kids and I headed to a second Family Reunion in Dale Hollow – Burkesville, KY & a visit to my hometown – Bardstown, KY, recently named Most Beautiful Small Town in America by Rand McNally.
Here are the stats and the highlights:
Miles traveled: 4861, States traversed: KS, CO, UT, AZ, NM, TX, OK, MO, IN, IL, KY, TN
Hottest air temp: 112 degrees at bottom of Grand Canyon (and over 100 everyday from Phoenix to St Louis).
Coldest water temp: 48 degrees in Colorado River
Class 5+ rapids conquered on Colorado River: 3
Continental Divide crossings: 3 x over, 1 x under.
Highest elevation: 11,539 ft ( Hoosier Pass, CO)
National Forests driven through: lost count
Most overcrowded state park: Slide Rock, Sedona, AZ
Most scenic view from hotel room: YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park, CO
Best balcony: Overlooking the Animas River at Durango Doubletree, CO
Best missed sunset: Mather Point, Grand Canyon
Favorite song: “Old Matt Palmer’s Misfit Farm” – Bar D Chuck Wagon Singers
Drive that will make you go vegetarian: Rte 60 between Bovina and Hereford, TX
Best upgrade: the premier car on the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Train
Favorite meals/restaurants: Brunch – L’Auberge, Sedona, AZ; Lunch – Nini’s Taqueria, Durango, CO; Late lunch – Pops, Arcadia, OK; Dinner – Plaza Bonita, Tusayan, AZ
Best beers: Big Texan Steak Ranch, Amarillo, TX
Cheapest treat: Sno-cones at Four Corners Monument
Most random, multi-tasting stop: Eagle Ranch Pistachio Farm, NM – wine, pistachios and ice cream all before 11am
Most UFO sightings: Roswell, NM
Best dunes – White Sands National Monument, NM
Longest and most unnerving drive into a national park: Mesa Verde, AZ
Favorite pool: Tapatio Cliffs, Phoenix, AZ
Arizona towns laying claim to inspiration for the animated movie “Cars”: 3 – Peach Springs, Seligman, and Holbrook
Most wacky or random signs:”Knives and donuts” – NM; & “Toot n Totum” – TX
Where graffiti is encouraged: Cadillac Ranch – Amarillo, TX
Nicest Welcome rest stop: Oklahoma between Texola and Erick
Most Ironic – Having a Family Reunion in a dry county
Most Fun on a Lake – Pontoons with slides in Dale Hollow, KY
We had a great trip and if you are ever considering this journey to the Southwest , along this portion of Route 66, or Bardstown, KY let me know and I’d be happy to help.
To the right my sister and I are “just standing on a corner in Winslow, AZ…”