road trip

7:21 p.m. on September 7, 2006 (EDT)
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i am traveling cross country and am lost on ideas and places to check out from Great Smoky National Park to Boulder, Co. have plans for the rest but was hoping not to just power through corn country. maybe the southern route alabama, arkansas, tennesee? thanks.

1:18 p.m. on September 9, 2006 (EDT)
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There is a lot of stuff to check out between the Smokies and the Rockies. What sort of things are you interested in?

In the way of hills, there is the range that runs south from Chatanooga into Alabama. There is an interesting canyon with rock climbing east of Fort Payne. If you like canoeing, the swamps just north of New Orleans are fun, as are some in the Mississippi Delta region close to Yazoo City and Indianola. In Arkansas, there are the Ouachita and Ozarks - try Petit Jean State Park. Across the Panhandle of Texas and in Oklahoma and Kansas, there are some interesting prairie parklands. If you go across to the Rockies in New Mexico before turning north to Boulder, the Sangre de Cristo range and the Valles Caldera across the Rio Grande gorge from the Sangres are interesting. Bandelier NM near Los Alamos has some of the most interesting Anasazi ruins anywhere and Painted Cave, which is one of the largest graffiti murals done by the Anasazi and conquistadores anywhere. Going up through Taos and into South Park in Colorado will take you past Great Sand Dunes (best viewed just at dawn).

You might want to get one of the High Points books and stop by some of the State High Points on the way. Mt. Sunflower, the high point of Kansas, is amusing to say the least (take the last exit from I-70 in Kansas headed toward Denver and head south about 20 miles on dirt farm roads).

Lots to see out there in the Heartland.

September 16, 2014
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