View Full Version : Help with our Bucket List - Long

02-05-2017, 08:50 AM
I know that there are a lot of travelers on here, and I am really looking for some help with our “bucket list” trip planned for this summer.

My wife and I are in our 60’s. We have been talking about a cross-country trip for as long as I can remember, and we felt that it was time to do it as opposed to someday saying, “I wish we had done that.”

In planning our trip we are placing very few conditions on to where or when we get to a destination, making the route as opposed to the destination the “trip”. (A first for me.) ;)

• We are allotting 3 months (+ or -), May June and July.
• We are not setting an exact schedule or making many reservations.
o We know we are going to be at Trailer Village in the Grand Canyon June 2nd thru 6th.
o We are going to be at Longhorn Ranch in Wyoming June 23rd thru 29th.
o We are going to be at Grizzly RV Park in W. Yellowstone MT June 29th thru July 6th.
• We have seen enough of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and the Northeast for right now.

So planning a trip west was pretty easy. Going to spend the first 30 days, seeing some parts of the Gulf Coast of AL and MS. Then on to see some parts of Louisiana that we have never seen before, prior to heading into Texas. The route will take us through San Antonio and then up towards Amarillo (in order to pick up some POI’s of Route 66, through NM and into New Mexico with the South Rim of Grand Canyon as an early June goal.

The second leg will take us from Grand Canyon up through Bryce Canyon and Zion ending up in Tetons and Yellowstone for the month of June early July.

The third leg takes us from Yellowstone back home to Myrtle Beach, and therein lays the problem. We would like to see Pikes Peak, but besides that we are a loss for where to go and what to see!!

What is there in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma or Arkansas that I am missing? With the condition that we wish to stay away from Illinois, Indiana etc this seems to be the route home,

I didn’t have an issue finding exciting spots all the way to Montana. The trip home appears to be a little more challenging. Thanks in advance for all of your input.

02-05-2017, 09:34 AM
I am going to skip Pikes Peak. You will have already seen a lot of mountains.

Leaving Yellowstone, go to Cody. The Buffalo Bill Museum is worth a day or more. From there over to Devils Tower on the way to Deadwood. Might even pick up the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument on the way. Go to Mount Rushmore while in the area. Down to Oklahoma City and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. And the Oklahoma City National Memorial (bombing site). (You could swing by Pikes Peak on the way to OKC) Up to Claremore (near Tulsa) to the Will Rogers Museum. Over to Branson and take in a couple of shows. Drop down to I-40 and over to Nashville for the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Parthenon. And maybe hit the Opry. Down thru Pigeon Forge/Sevierville/Gatlinburg and down thru the Great Smoky Mountains NP.

There is a lot of other things across that distance. Just depends on your interest.

02-05-2017, 12:31 PM
The Buffalo Bill Museum is a must see. The first time I saw it I planned to spend 15 minutes to satisfy friends who live in Wyoming. I spent 2 days. Back east the Blue Ridge Parkway is a must see. Campers are welcome according to the Parkway. There is several Camps on the Parkway. I live a few miles from the Parkway and and ride my motorcycle up there often.

02-05-2017, 01:21 PM
New Mexico also has a lot to see depending on the part of the state you are going thru and the timing. Carlsbad Cavern's, White Sands etc as well as a wildlife refuge with thousands of Sand Hill Cranes and Snow Geese. Kansas is a veried landscape depending on where you go. If you come thru on the interstates expect to be mostly bored. The interstates were the first built and so took the line of least resistance. The scenery of Kansas can very from the wild west of the Southwest, to the woods of the Southeast and in the middle is the Flint Hills (the last stretch of origial tall grass prairie left. Along the way there are many strange and unusual things, like the largest ball of twine and the largest hand dug well.

02-05-2017, 02:00 PM
For sure I would suggest you come back through Colorado and New Mexico. Some possibilities: Rocky Mountain National Park at Estes Park; Colorado Springs with many "attractions" in addition to Pikes Peak; Arkansas River Valley (Leadville, Buena Vista, Salada). In New Mexico I'd stick to Taos and Santa Fe, then scoot on back across Texas. I think your return trip offers many possibilities. I've just mentioned a few.

02-05-2017, 02:25 PM
I agree with Rocky Mountain NP. It is simply beautiful and has the largest herd of not fed elk in the US. We see more elk in RMNP than Yellowstone. It will take your breath away at over 12000 feet.

02-05-2017, 03:00 PM
Try Durango in Co. and take the train ride to Silverton for a day trip. When leaving Yellowstone, head East across the Big Horns and then south. If your trailer isn't too long and you want to rough it, there are some nice 'boondock' places in the Big Horns - Sitting Bull. Actually Sitting Bull has fairly large sites at 8500 feet, saw a sheep herd drive about 100 yards away from site, and deer slept about 25 feet from one site.

02-05-2017, 05:36 PM
Thank you all for the many, many recommendations. I certainly have a lot more to look at now.

I failed to mention above but Nashville, Maggie Valley are part of the return home. We visit these areas often either going to or returning from Illinois.

We opted to by-pass Branson as our home in Myrtle Beach offers a very similar type of show venue, and we just felt as if we have been there, done that.

02-06-2017, 01:51 AM
A suggestion is Kentucky, visit Churchill Downs for a full day tour. And then take the bourbon tour of 3 or 4 distilleries. It will really get you out to the country and see how interesting it is. Also Vicksburg for the Civil War Battleground as well as Shiloh on the Tennessee-Georgia border (I think).

04-20-2017, 01:59 PM
If you are in northern Arizona or southern Utah, one place not to miss is Page, Arizona. It is about mid-state, along the northern part, on Lake Powell. Antelope Canyon is there (there are both an upper and lower canyon). The Indians own them and run tours, which are not overly expensive. Look up pictures online - this place is so beautiful it will blow you away! We toured the U.S. south-west in 2014 and this was the highlight of our trip as far as I am concerned. We also saw Bryce Canyon, Zion NP, North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Sedona, and so much more.

Colorado was a real treat. We took the train ride twindman talked about and loved it.

04-20-2017, 03:29 PM
If you're going to be in Colorado Springs, I'd suggest staying a few days at Mueller State Park, south of Divide. In addition to Pikes Peak, there's enough to keep you busy for a week in the Colorado Springs area. Garden of the Gods, the Air Force Academy, Cave of the Winds, Seven Falls, and Manitou Springs, to mention a few. For a fun dinner, try the Flying W Ranch. It burned down in the fires a few years ago but they have rebuilt it.
Canon City and the Royal Gorge aren't too far away, and beautiful scenery is everywhere.

Sounds like a great trip!

A word of caution about Mueller, it's at 10,000 feet, so take it easy for a day or two.

Cheyenne Mountain State Park is right on the west side of the Springs, and lower in elevation, but pretty barren yet.

I should probably add that Mueller and Cheyenne Mountain are very nice, with large paved sites and plenty of room to maneuver.

04-20-2017, 06:24 PM
Roswell, NM get your alien geek on.

Corvette museum and assembly plant in Bowling Green, KY

The State Fair Of Texas Dallas, TX (sep 29 - oct 22) I know that is outside your planned months gone but...different trip maybe ?

Bonneville Salt Flats

Fort Leonard Wood, MO get a visitor pass and tour the base. See how soldiers lived and trained during WWII.

Kansas City, MO take in a Royals ballgame.

The list is only limited by your imagination.

04-20-2017, 06:35 PM
My wife and I are in our 60’s. We have been talking about a cross-country trip for as long as I can remember, and we felt that it was time to do it as opposed to someday saying, “I wish we had done that

Same thing for us too. Starting mid Jun. This is our route:

Stopping at what ever interests us.

04-20-2017, 09:50 PM
We love Santa Fe, NM. Have been there several times. While there, a 30 mile trip out to the Los Alamos National Labs is a must do. The museum there showing the development of the A-bomb is free(donation?) and very interesting. While in Santa Fe, we recommend taking a guided tour to the gallery featuring the works of Georgia O'Keefe and others. The tour also should take you to 109 East Palace, and explain to you the significance of that shop in the A-bomb development. And finally, every morning the local Indian jewelers display their authentic wares on the north side of the square.

Bama Camper
04-20-2017, 10:55 PM
I can't believe no one mentioned Arches NP! Unbelievable place. Take that in while you're in the neighborhood of Bryce, Zion and the Grand Canyon.

04-21-2017, 12:29 AM
Hey, what's wrong with Nebraska? Nobodies routes are running through Nebraska and our State this year is celebrating its 150 year of statehood with all kinds of events going on all summer long. Drop me a PM with your name, mailing address, and email address and I will personally send you information on things to see and places to visit while you're making your way West or East, which ever direction you are headed. It is NOT a boring drive across our State IF you really want to see things off the beaten path. If you just want to drive down I-80 there a few things BUT you have to get off I-80 to really enjoy our State. Drop me a line and I'll give you enough info to actually spend a full month here and more if you're up for it!

04-21-2017, 11:55 AM
Agree with most posts. When we retired, our goal was to see all National Parks. Finished last summer. Some advice to all. If you plan on visiting Utah or Arizona (my home) in June, pretty much everywhere that has red rock :-) the temps will be greater than 110 for sure. That is pretty much all of Utah. Four corners area. So walking around taking pictures is HOT.
Next, my favorite place is the Big Horn mountains in Wyoming. Just pretty there. From Cody, head east on Highway 14 to hit I25 (?) for the road to Custer area. Unless you are adventurous, stay away from 14A. My wife won't let me take it after the first time. The Mountainous Driving book calls it the "Oh My God" hill. 8 miles of 8% and 10 miles of 10% grades.
Oh, if you are in the mountains of Wy,Mt, or Co in June, you could be in snow so dress warmly.

04-21-2017, 05:20 PM
They sale a lot of coats in June to people who have never been in the high west. Laramie is 7200 feet. I go to Union Pass in July it's 9200 feet and and there will be frost almost every morning. Dress warm is very good advice.