Friday, June 10, 2011

Road Trip Number 3

In just two short weeks my husband and I will begin our third road trip together. The first was our honeymoon, from Raleigh to Seattle in December 2009. Our second was last summer (2010), driving from Seattle to Dallas so I could attend an Arabic program, and our third will be the return trip from Dallas back to Seattle.

Our first cross-country road trip took over two weeks even though a direct, all interstate route might have taken a third of the time, but we had so much fun that we've enjoyed seeing other parts of the country as well. Our first trip took us through Great Smoky Mountains National Park, to the US Space and Rocket Center in Alabama, through Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona and up to the Grand Canyon after a snowfall. We stayed a few days in beautiful Sedona before breezing through Death Valley, and driving up the Oregon coast along US-101.

For our second trip, we wanted to visit a few more national parks, and stopped at Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and the Rocky Mountains. So between these two trips, we managed to drive through all the Western states except for one--Utah. And when planning this particular trip, we made sure to include at least one of Utah's many national parks on our route. Unfortunately, we won't be able to make too many times since we're pressed for time, but I think we will still have plenty of nice sights to see.

The Route (tentative)

View Larger Map

So in shaa Allaah this year's road trip (June 2011) will start with us leaving Dallas, TX on June 24th, heading westward towards Carlsbad, NM where we'll visit Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

From there we'll go north through Roswell (maybe stop and look around if there's anything fun there) and then towards Albuquerque, west across New Mexico and then across the NE corner of Arizona, crossing the Colorado River in Page and heading up into Utah. The only park we'll be visiting is Zion National Park, in the SW corner of the state.

After visiting Zion National Park we'll be taking the fastest route back to Seattle, through Salt Lake City then cutting across Idaho and Oregon before reaching Washington state.

Of course the last time we were in the American Southwest, it was December--not very hot. In fact, pretty chilly at some altitudes, with several feet of snow falling at the Grand Canyon. While we traveled last summer, the parks we visited were further north (temperatures dropped below freezing the night we spent in Montana) and at high altitudes so we mostly had comfortable temperatures, except in the Rockies, where it was a bit cold at the top. But this time we'll be facing a lot of arid heat--the National Park Service says that summer days in Zion NP are usually 95-110 degrees F but hopefully being in the early part of the summer it won't be quite that hot.

Any recommendations for summer travel? Additional sights to see along our route? Let me know in the comments!


Anonymous said...


This sounds like a great trip. If possible spend some time in the Hells Canyon Area The area around wallowa lake is quite beautiful.

Yusuf Smith said...

As-Salaamu 'alaikum,

Do you do these road trips for their own sake to see the country, or to avoid the stress/intrusion of flying?

Amy said...

Wa alaykum as-salaam

These trips are partly practical--I've been moving across the country and need my car and can pack my things in it. That is the primary motivation. But we take a longer scenic route to see the country and parks instead of going directly to our destination.

ayaman said...
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Amy said...

Anonymous--thanks for the recommendation

We went through the area but by then were in a hurry to get home so we didn't see much of Hell's Canyon. We spent the night in Beaverton, OR after a day of over 700 miles on the road, and the next day just went straight home.