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Topic Closedgetting ready first road trip HELP

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valrenter View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: getting ready first road trip HELP
    Posted: 06 Jun 2018 at 3:04pm
Originally posted by GlueGuy

I'd like to see the mileage on each of the legs of your tour.   

So, I'm not going to just re-post that long itinerary/begging for help post. Here's a shortened version:
---

Goals: darkest sky, ghost town (accessible, abandoned buildings), hopefully one 2-4-hour rent a boat on safe body of water but that would just be a bonus.


day 2. long drive to Amarillo. full hook ups night

ROADTRIPPERS' MILEAGE: Tulsa to Amarillo  223 mi (5 hours) sleep Amarillo night 2

morning of day 3, drive to Acoma

ROADTRIPPERS' MILEAGE: Amarillo to Acoma 350 mi (5 hours) 

day 3. full hook ups near Acoma Pueblo. sleep Acoma night 3

See Pueblo morning of day 4. drive to Bloomfield afternoon of day 4 on 550

ROADTRIPPERS' MILEAGE: Acoma TO Bloomfield 106 mi (3 hours) sleep Bloomfield night 4
sleep Bloomfield night 5. drive to Mesa Verde morning of day 6

ROADTRIPPERS' MILEAGE: Bloomfield to Mesa Verde 49 mi (2 hours). 


day 6. dry camp. Mesa Verde. night tour night 6. 

day tour day 7 in Mesa Verde. sleep night 7.


morning of day 8. drive to Silverton.


ROADTRIPPERS' MILEAGE: Mesa Verde to Silverton 50 mi (2 hours). sleep night 8 Silverton. sleep night 9 Silverton.


morning of day 10, drive to gunnison.


ROADTRIPPERS' MILEAGE: Silverton to Gunnison 67 mi (2 1/2 hours). sneak in 2-4 hour pontoon boat joy ride in Gunnison in afternoon of day 10. sleep night 10 in gunnison.


morning of day 11, drive to sand dunes


ROADTRIPPERS' MILEAGE: Gunnison to sand dunes 97 mi (3 hours). sleep night 11 sand dunes. sleep night 12 sand dunes.


morning of day 13, start home. 


long drive into Kansas. Dry camp reserved for night 13. (this drive is long. I'm keeping it vague for safety reasons, but it's a no sight seeing--let's just get home day)

 

Day 14. very long drive home. Arrive late in the pm. (this drive is long. I'm keeping it vague for safety reasons, but it's a no sight seeing--let's just get home day)







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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jun 2018 at 3:07pm
Originally posted by valrenter


Hopefully, it's okay to repost such a long post and just add the mileage. I'm going to go ahead and do that, and if amounted to too much posting or broke some other internet etiquette rule that I don't know about, someone will let me know.
    


Your postings are just absolutely fine.........keep them up!

I'm sorry that I cannot be of more help with the particulars of your route. I am just not familiar with that area. There are others who can provide a great deal more knowledge/experience.




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valrenter View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jun 2018 at 5:39pm
Originally posted by lostagain

  

We recently stayed on the other side of the mountain from Silverton in Dolores.   Here's a link: http://doloresrivercampground.com  

Hoping Lostagain will chime in soon. 

New plans: avoid 550 (and 416 fire) altogether. Instead, from Mesa Verde go up 145 (I think?) through Dolores.

Do the 'ghost town jeep rental' thing somewhere along 145 as we head north towards Montrose?

IS THAT A SAFE ROUTE? 

Continue with rest of plan going east on 50 all the way (nearly) to Salida, turning south on 285 for the sand dunes.

IS 50 SAFE?

IS 285 SAFE?

I looked at other things to do from Mesa Verde but we'll be kind of in the middle of not much in any direction but north it looks like. Grand Canyon is one possibility but then the trip will be mostly about driving and less about stopping, and so I think CO is probably our best bet, PROVIDED IT IS SAFE (and not crazy scary) TO DRIVE ON THOSE ROADS.

Hoping lostagain and others who know the area can chime in with advice for this newbie.

Val
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Tars Tarkas View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jun 2018 at 6:48pm
Originally posted by valrenter


Thanks so much. I'm still quite concerned about Silverton and 550 going north to Montrose, as well as 50 east AND 285 south. Is there a way to avoid 550 north up to Montrose? Is there a less dangerous trip we could take from Mesa Verde? Is 50 dangerous? etc etc.

A year ago last September I pulled our Pod from Sante Fe to Durango to Silverton to Ouray to Montrose on 550 then on 50 to Black Canyon of the Gunnison (worth a little detour if you have time!), on to 285 and then north to I-70 and on to RMNP.  Not a problem anywhere.  There are some passes that will slow you down but the roads are all very well paved.  There's definitely more topography than, say, Kansas, but it's all perfectly doable.

It's been a few years, sans Pod, but the road from Mesa Verde to Durango is fine too.  Just like real roads you're used to if you live somewhere civilized. LOL

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valrenter View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jun 2018 at 7:21pm
Originally posted by Tars Tarkas

Originally posted by valrenter


I'm still quite concerned about ..... 50 east AND 285 south. ... Is 50 dangerous? etc etc.

A year ago last September I pulled our Pod from Sante Fe to Durango to Silverton to Ouray to Montrose on 550 then on 50 to Black Canyon of the Gunnison (worth a little detour if you have time!), on to 285 and then north to I-70 and on to RMNP.  Not a problem anywhere. 

... There's definitely more topography than, say, Kansas, but it's all perfectly doable.

.... LOL

TT

LOL

I am very relieved to have at least one person declare that 50 is no problem. Wink

However..........

There's no way on God's Green Earth that I'm going to drive on 550 now that there's a fire and mudslides and evacuation-only conditions, especially since even the prettiest youtube 'take my drive' videos of 550 are scary enough! 

I just chatted with a tour lady and she said it's likely the Durango railroad extravaganza up and back to Silverton will probably not open up again til the very end of June.

So, even if "do-able," I ain't doing it! Big smile

So, my next move is: what to do after chaco? 
OR
assuming I keep Mesa Verde, what to do after Mesa Verde?

Supposing I wanna keep the trip approximately the same, then:

will taking 145 north instead of 550 still allow for me to find someplace between Mesa Verde and Gunnison to stop, camp, AND give my kid her derned abandoned buildings exploration dream?

Is there some jeep rental place along 145?

I have between 2-4 days between Mesa Verde and Gunnison that I need to replace with something other than driving up 550 and jeeping near Silverton, hopefully something that will allow me to fart around in a couple abandoned buildings, and preferably get to those buildings by jeep for the sense of adventure of it (but that's not absolutely necessary).

But I also wanna' know if driving 145 is even safe at all? The maps and satellite views and camera views etc lead me to surmise it'll be no problem and way better than 550 would have been even in non-death-risking fire/avalance etc conditions, which is a relief, but I'm not sure what exactly to DO along 145.

I am thrilled to hear that 50 east really will be doable. It looks like it's going to be just gorgeous. Thanks so much for letting me know that, it's leaning me more toward "just find a stop along 145" than "replace the whole CO leg with something wholly different."
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lostagain View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jun 2018 at 11:33am
Val, your plan looks fine to me.  You're probably right to try to avoid US550 as long as the fire conditions prevail.  Probably best to keep some flexibility in your routing.  My impression of that area in early May, was that it is really bone dry and ready to burn.  Even Silverton was a tinderbox.  Unfortunately, that seems to be the new "normal" for the southwest.  No camp fires are permitted in any campgrounds. 

We drove over to Mesa Verde from Dolores for the day and it's pretty impressive.  It'll be pretty warm there but you should be fine opening up the windows, door and roof vent.  The nice thing about the desert, no matter how hot it gets in the day, since the humidity is low, the nights get nice and cool.  

As far as the distances for driving each day, that'll depend on your, really your daughter's, ability to be cooped up in the car for long stretches.  When we drove from northern NV to start our trip, we had planned in breaking the trip up into two days to get to Sedona AZ, but ended up doing it all in one very long drive that I wouldn't wish on anyone.  Problem was that there are not a lot of highway rest areas between Las Vegas and Sedona, at least that I could conveniently find.  Limiting your travel to under 300 miles in a day is much more comfortable.  Remember, what you'd do easily in a car, takes much longer dragging a trailer behind you just because you're going much slower.  But, a properly balanced trailer and TV should not be work to drive.  Indeed, it's easy to forget there trailer is there, especially when you are turning into parking lots and such, so always watch where the trailer is tracking when you turn or drive in confined spaces.

Best of luck on your trip and let us know how it's going.  


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Fred & Maria Kearney
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jun 2018 at 1:04pm
Originally posted by lostagain

Val, your plan looks fine to me.  

Best of luck on your trip and let us know how it's going.  



Thanks so much, lostagain, and EVERYONE who took an interest and offered help, experience, and advice! I can just see me half way down the road to Chaco with a broken rental pod and a flat tire and no scissors to open the box of some expensive tire-monitor-fix-it-now-with-blu-tooth kit! LOL

Then again, having somehow survived the above, white knuckling it on the 550 engulfed in flames, tee hee hee.

Thanks to all of you, NOW I'll have a fantastic trip, achieve the goals, AND live to tell about it! 

I'm going to move to another thread related to "tell us about your trip" and post our final plans there. I'll even post afterwards and let everyone know how it went.

Thanks so much again! Humans are wonderful, and this forum proves it.

Val
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lostagain View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jun 2018 at 2:06pm
And next fall, when the season is waning, start looking for a Pod and make this the first of many adventures.
Never leave footprints behind.
Fred & Maria Kearney
Sonoma 167RB
Our Pod 172
2019 Ford F-150 4x4 2.7 EcoBoost
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