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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, all

If everything goes well, I will be picking up an RRS I have been looking for. I am actually planning to drive it back either all the way or some of the way. The goal is to do some sight seeing along the way (while driving). I am willing to make 1-2 hr detours along the way to see special places, but unfortunately my schedule does not allow me to do this trip "the right way" (i.e. on my own schedule). I'd love to drive through a National Park for example. Sadly, I do not have the time to do any off-road activities either.

The vehicle is located in Laguna Niguel, CA. I definitely want to drive through Vegas since I've been there many times and really enjoy it. Everything else is flexible as far route is concerned. I am looking at two scenarios - the first one is driving from CA through Las Vegas to Denver (seems like the most beautiful route), shipping shipping the car to NY and flying back to NY. The second scenario is driving all the way to NY (still through Vegas and Denver). Having said that, just looking at Google maps, the drive from Denver to NY does not seem that exciting once you leave Colorado - you can only spend so much time driving through a flat space on a straight road with nothing around. I think a day of that will be more than enough.

I am looking for any recommendations, pointers, etc. Do's/Dont's, beautiful roads, places to spend a night at, exciting things to see, etc. My requirements for lodging are somewhat basic - it has to be clean, quiet, have internet access and secure parking area.

Looking forward to hearing from everyone.

Eugene


 

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I've done the east coast-west coast and I've taken both the northern route and the southern route. If you don't have much time, I'd recommend going to at least Joshua Tree from Laguna. If you had more time, there's so much just in CA you should visit. From Joshua Tree, head toward the historic Route 66, stay away from I-40 for as long as you can. Once you're in AZ, you have a lot to see as well. If you take the Rt66/i40 path, you'll be close to the Grand Canyon, which if you've never been, you should check out, but definitely plan a longer trip just to explore in the future.

Following I40 east into New Mexico, you should meander up to Sante Fe. From here, you could then decide to head up through Colorado and take the northern route or you could head back to I40 and bang out the southern route until I95 on the east coast or ship back.

So much to see, so little time. Very envious of your trip home. Safe travels! You should blog your travels.
 

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Our warm beach weather in CA is just kicking in ... stay in the Laguna/Newport beach area for a nice relaxing vacation and ship the RRS!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Funny you should mention that. I actually decided to fly in late, spend the night around Laguna Niguel and pick up the car in the morning. I booked a room in a resort called Surf And Sand. It's decent, but nothing special as far as resort itself is concerned. An ocean view room is $429 per night! And that's on a weekday. Even motels are $300/night for an ocean front room. So at $3K per week (plus everything else - meals, transportation, etc.) it makes more sense for me to go to Bermuda (shorter flight and cheaper).

I dont want to just ship the car from CA to NY because I wanted to drive through the mountains - looks like we are going to be driving from LA through Bryce Canyon, spending a night in Bryce and then hitting Mt. Evans (highest paved road in US) on a way to Denver and then flying to NYC from Denver.
 

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...looks like we are going to be driving from LA through Bryce Canyon, spending a night in Bryce and then hitting Mt. Evans (highest paved road in US) on a way to Denver...
If you go to Bryce, you should also hit Zion & Moab/Canyonlands. There are some great B&Bs in Moab, not nearly the price of motels on the SoCal coast...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
We are actually staying at a place called Stone Canyon Inn in Tropic. Allegedly all the cabins have the view of the mountains (I'm taking it with a grain of salt just in case).

The original plan was to drive from Vegas to Cedar City, then take Route 14, then 148 and then 143, ending up in Panguitch, then take 89, then 12, ending up in Tropic. After reading your suggestion and looking up the drive through Zion, I think you meant taking Route 9 through Zion and then 89 to 143, then ending up in Panguitch, then taking 89, then 12, ending up in Tropic. I realized that it will add just over an hour to the drive, which is not bad at all.

Can you please take a look at two routes I am attaching. The top image is the original drive plan, the bottom image is the new route through Zion.

Thanks

Eugene
 

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The Surf and Sand is really nice, it's actually in Laguna Beach, not far from Laguna Niguel. I've never stayed there but have been to their Restaurant a few times, I think it's called Splashes ?

Good luck with your trip and have fun.
 

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Moab is highly recommended...if you want to "spoil" yourself a bit...stay at the Sorrel River ranch just outside Moab along the river...presumably you won't have any offroad tires, but you could try a bit of the Potash road and Shaffer switchbacks on street tires. If you've got the time, drive Durango to Silverton to Ouray along the Million Dollar Highway (550)...spectacular road, then on up to Montrose...hang a right and go to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison...then on to Gunnison, up to Buena Vista or Leadville and then hop over to Denver...absolutely scenic stuff. You could also venture over to Pike's peak outside Colorado Springs...also a worthwhile visit...
 

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We just stayed at the Surf and Sand a few weeks ago. It is above average room wise, but you are really paying for the location. My husband loves it because he sleeps like a log with the sound of the surf right outside the windows ... I had to wear earplugs! There is no AC, because of the ocean breezes, but the temps are up this week, so it will be a bit warm, even at the beaches which normally cool off quite a bit.

If you like art there are a couple of art shows going on about 2 miles from the hotel. http://lagunabeachpassport.com

Nice main street in Laguna Beach with art galleries and restaurants.
 

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...I think you meant taking Route 9 through Zion and then 89 to 143, then ending up in Panguitch, then taking 89, then 12, ending up in Tropic. I realized that it will add just over an hour to the drive, which is not bad at all...
I think you'll be very happy with the detour through Zion as you head towards Bryce. The whole 4 Corners area is truly Range Rover country, almost as if it was created for RRs (I know, it's really the inverse)... If you have the time, Moab would be another detour. Canyonlands is so close to Moab, but I guess this could be a slippery slope if time is an issue. Also, PJPR01 had mentioned Pikes Peak and Durango, which I would also recommend...
 

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I don't believe you stated exactly how much time off you had to accomplish this trip.

I've been to 43 states, most by Harley and on many scenic rides. It can be amazing how much time you can burn sightseeing before realizing you're behind schedule.

I can even turn Kansas and Nebraska into a nice drive.

I concur with the Route 66 and Grand Canyon run. From Vegas, go south to Kingman. Then catch 66. That route will also take you very close to Monument Valley.
ImageUploadedByAG Free1439575664.504327.jpg


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Have you considered driving your rugged off-road vehicle on the Mojave Trail??

http://www.nps.gov/moja/planyourvisit/mojave-road.htm
The Mojave Road is an east-west route that enters the park near Piute Spring on the east side and on Soda Dry Lake near Zzyzx on the west. Some sections are rough and sandy; 4 x 4 recommended. Roads can become slick, muddy and impassable after rains. Be sure to inquire about road conditions, especially if you plan to cross Soda Dry Lake.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the replies everyone! I did end up buying the car in California and driving it a third of a way across the continent to Denver. What I have done is the following:

1. Flew from NYC to LA late on Thursday, Aug 27th
2. Took a taxi to Surf And Sand resort in Laguna Beach (car was in Laguna Niguel) and spent a night there.
3. Picked up the car in the morning on Friday, Aug 28th.
4. Drove to Vegas on Interstate 15. Got to Vegas in the afternoon of Friday, Aug 28th
5. Spent a day and a night in Vegas. Stayed in Bellagio.
6. Left Vegas on the morning of Sunday, 29th, driving on Interstate 15.
7. Took US 9 towards Hurricane/Zion.
8. Drove on 9 through Zion National Park.
9. Jumped on US 89 North towards Bryce National Park
10. Took US 12 to Tropic, UT. Got there about an hour before sunset.
11. Spent a night at Stone Canyon Inn in Tropic, UT.
12. Left Tropic in the morning of Monday, 31st.
13. Continued driving on US 12 through Escalante, etc.
14. Stopped at Kiva Koffeehouse on US 12 for lunch.
15. Took US 24 at Torrey.
16. Drove on US 24 (through Capitol Reef National Park, etc.)
17. Hopped onto Interstate 70.
18. Tried to make it to Mount Evans (highest paved road in US) before sunset and failed. Decided not to go up at night (cant see anything anyway).
19. Made it to Denver around 9PM.
20. Car was picked up by the shipping company around 10PM on Monday, Aug 31st.
21. Spent a night at Holiday Inn Express around Denver airport.
22. Flew back to NY on Tuesday, Sep 1st.
23. Car was delivered Thursday, Sep 3rd.

I think I covered just over 1,100 miles in less than 3 days. Some roads just looked good, but some other places like Zion, Bryce, etc just blew my mind. I saw temperatures between 116F and 42F between 2 days. Burning sun and hail/ice on the road. Elevations of many thousands of feet. I don't think you have lived until you saw what I saw on this drive, and I just scratched the surface. Granted, this trip was like reading a book by flipping the pages as fast as you possibly can, but I am planning to come back and do a similar drive in the next few years. I think 2 weeks should be enough.

Some pics: http://1drv.ms/1g4xJnR
 

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Some of those roads look familiar to me. Had some of the same experiences on motorcycle. Including the weather changes. Snow in Yellowstone. Two days later, baked my butt off in Vegas.

Too bad you did not get to do Mt. Evans. I do believe that is the highest I've climbed. Went there on a date. Felt lightheaded for the first few minutes. But got over it.




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Cross country drive CA->NY

This country has so much to offer as far as scenery.
So much to see in the world, so little time in life to see it all.


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...Granted, this trip was like reading a book by flipping the pages as fast as you possibly can, but I am planning to come back and do a similar drive in the next few years. I think 2 weeks should be enough...
2 weeks might be tight, but you do have to get your beautiful RRS Off-road out there...
 
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