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California to Tennessee, Louisiana & Back


I am planing a trip next year starting end of Sept 2015:

Leaving Bakersfield, Ca. on 58/I-40 to Shawnee, Okla, (7 days) & Siloam Springs, Ark,(3 days) then Branson, Mo. (5 days) these are firm plans must do's... On way to Shawnee will be one nite stops.. I figure 4 nites to get there.

Then plan on going to the following with no particular timeframe... Have 8-10 weeks for trip.

Like to go to Memphis, Nashville, down Natchez Trace Pkwy, New Orleans & Lafayette, La., San Antonio &

Corpus Cristi, Tx. Roswell & Alamagordo, N.M. then prob. back up to I-40 & west to Calif.

I have done the I-10 and I-8 several times so thought I'd spend a little time on I-40/ US 66 on way home from N.M.

Would appreciate your travels routes, things to see/do, where you stayed etc.

I have a 35' Class A towing a car & will be traveling solo. I travel 250-350 miles or bout 6-7 hrs. On travel days don't mind Walmarts, Casinos etc for overniters so I don't have to disco the toad. but due to weather etc. stay at hopefully pull-thrus for some of overnites.

Plan on staying 4-7 days at above cities (or more) Also wouldn't mind staying other places of interest you advise.

Example Nashville on Nachez Trace .. prob stay a nite somewhere, From Corpus Cristi to Roswell will need to stop,

Maybe do Truth or Consequences on I-25 might want to visit etc.

Appreciate your info

Grama Dy


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You might want to consider Big Bend National Park. You could stay in the Park or Alpine, Marfa, or Fort Davis, Texas with day a day trip to the McDonald Observatory. These places could easily be incorporated into your planned journey. IMHO Big Bend National Park is on the must see list of The USA.

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Here are a few suggestions along your intended route of travel.

At Williams, AZ you are less than 60 miles south of Grand Canyon National Park

East of Flagstaff, Meteor Crater and Petrified Forest National Park

In Amarillo, the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum

In Oklahoma City, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and Oklahoma City National Memorial

In Memphis, Mud Island has history and model of the Mississippi River and of course Elvis and Graceland but I'm guessing you already knew that. There is also the National Civil Rights Museum

Louisville is near the northern end of the Natchez Trace Parkway and the point where Lewis and Clark linked up in November 1803, prior to the beginning of their expedition in 1804. The Clark cabin is across the river in Indiana and an Expedition Visitors Center is also in Clarksville, Indiana, just across the bridge over the Ohio River.

In Lexington, KY about 70 miles east of Louisville, the Kentucky Horse Park, might be a good day trip from Louisville.

In Natchez, MS there is a pilgrimage each spring and fall which includes some extraordinary house tours. Riverview RV Park across the Mississippi in Vidalia, LA is right on the river and you can sit on the levee and watch riverboats and barges go up and down the river.

In Galveston, the Texas Seaport Museum is worth a stop. Galveston has some great beaches.

South of Galveston on US 59 to Texas Highway 35 is Palacios a quiet town on Palacios Bay is a nice town on the Gulf of Mexico, the RV Park we enjoyed has closed, there is another listed. The city is worth a few days stay, walk the park along the bay and take a rest from travel. There are fishing boats going in and out of the harbor and some good seafood in local restaurants.

Take TX 35 on south to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. It's a great place during the fall bird migration, see birds, alligators and more.

Corpus Christi has the USS Lexington, a WWII Essex class carrier. There are tours and reenactments and nearby restaurants. There are numerous campgrounds in the Corpus Christi area. Enjoy the beaches in this area and explore Mustang Island for some fun on the beach with a golf cart or 4 wheeler to aid your exploring.

In San Antonio the Riverwalk is one of the prime attractions. Enjoy walking along the river, there are restaurants, boat tours, shopping in the small shops and art stores of La Villa and also in the Mall. The Alamo is right near the Mall as is the Menger Hotel where Teddy Roosevelt set up camp in the bar to recruit troops for his Rough Riders. The Mission Trail is worth exploring. San Antonio is a very large city today and there are RV Parks in the city but if you prefer not to stay there, Boerne is a small town about 30 minutes north of town on I-10 and is a good base for exploring the city.

It takes travel on smaller roads to get from San Antonio to Big Bend National Park but we certainly enjoyed spending a week there several years ago. Big Bend is one of the least visited National Parks in the US and most visitors are there in the spring so a fall visit should be quite relaxing and enjoyable. There are great trails for all levels of fitness as well as 4WD roads to explore if you are equipped for those. Nearby is Big Bend State Park which has campgrounds and is itself worth exploring.

Going on to Roswell, NM you will be near Carlsbad Caverns, one of the most spectacular caves in the US. You can walk into the cave from the surface, a wonderful experience, or take tours that take you into the cave via elevator.

Enjoy your trip and don't forget to come back here and tell us what you did and how the trip went. You might even want to start a blog on your travels.

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