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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Road Trip- Where do you love?
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02/28/2007 04:06:07 PM · #1
So here's the deal, my husband and I - both photographers (one of people, the other of land)are planning a massive road trip starting in NYC heading up to Alaska and down the west coast and 'back around' the bottom half of the country and back up to the northeast. We're avoiding the big roads and looking to hang in some locals places. Seeing as this is the most diverse and active site i know, I thought you lovely people would have some good places to stop.

Places to eat?
Places to camp?
amazing/secret photo opts?
Bizarre places (think small things made big)?
cheap motels?

I'm so excited about this- I'd love to check out the places where some of your amazing photographs were taken!

Thanks!
02/28/2007 04:37:28 PM · #2
I think all of this country hold wonderful spots for photography. Maybe get state travel guides from each state you will be traveling through? I am incredibly jealous, wish I had the time and money to do this.

Barbara
02/28/2007 04:45:24 PM · #3
Wow... what an awesome trip! We're planning something similar, but on a smaller scale this summer. We're taking a cruise to Alaska, which leaves from Seattle... and we're going to drive from Pittsburgh to Seattle to catch the ship.

I have a goal of getting to all 50 states (after getting to Washington and Alaska, that'll get me up to 49), and I can't *wait* to do this trip.

Heading out in the north, I'd suggest Yellowstone, the Badlands, Wall Drug, Bear Country USA, Mount Rushmore, and Craters of the Moon -- all of which I've done on a previous trip. Those are a few really neat destinations on that leg of the trip.

How much time are you spending on this trip, out of curiosity?
02/28/2007 04:46:54 PM · #4
Are you trekking to Alaska through Canada from New York, or going across the top of the US and then up through western Canada? I would think you could get some good information from AAA, especially cheap motels and good campgrounds.
02/28/2007 04:47:39 PM · #5
If you're going to be coming back from Alaska along the BC coast via the Cassiar Highway, let me know. I work up there, and know plenty of good photo ops that the average traveller may miss...
02/28/2007 06:03:19 PM · #6
we're still planning the route but it looks like we're going to go through mostly canada on the way to alaska.
We're giving ourselves 3-4 months to do the trip. it'll be a lot of roughing it since our budget isn't great but we're in a transition period right now so it's actually kinda of easy to 'run away'.
02/28/2007 06:04:37 PM · #7
We're checking all the guide books and aaa, but I'd love to hear from photographers on the great sites to see. We really haven't drawn out the route yet so nothing is 'out of the way'.
02/28/2007 06:19:08 PM · #8
For camping while you are in BC, here's a good site for planning your route and campsites:
BC Camping

I don't even know where to start when listing things you need to see. Boya Lake, Atlin, Skagway, Stewart/Hyder (grizzly viewing! and getting hyderized!), Stikine River Canyon, Bear Glacier, the list goes on and on... and thats just along one highway in Northern BC!
02/28/2007 06:19:38 PM · #9
I read a book a while ago called "blue Highways" some guy traveled route 66 or something like that...traveled only the blue roads that appear on a map - those roads offer more local color than state or county highways. Sorry I couldn't offer interesting stops, but if you decide on the blue highway method of travel, I am sure you will find good photo ops.
02/28/2007 06:24:11 PM · #10
Durango, CO and Chaco Canyon in northern New Mexico. Mesa Verde is in that area too. It's not exactly unknown, but no interstates go there, which looks like it would meet your driving preferences. ;-)
02/28/2007 06:56:45 PM · #11
How 'bottom half' are you planning on going ?

I'd love to hit up Santa Fe & White Sands, then drive down into Marfa/ Big Bend. Big Bend NP is about the single most interesting park I've been to. Right up there with Death Valley and Yellowstone in terms of different things to see. If you want local colour, Terlingua has it in spades.

Message edited by author 2007-02-28 18:57:10.
02/28/2007 07:17:14 PM · #12
The Oregon coast and all of that is incredible, and try to hit southern Utah if you can. There is nothing like it!
02/28/2007 07:25:55 PM · #13
Lonely planet travelers guide. It's like having the answers to the pop quiz. I backpacked across central america and it was my most prized possesion. It tells you where to stay/eat if you're on your last peso or if you've just won the lottery and everything in between. Good luck.
02/28/2007 07:45:46 PM · #14
The best roadtrip we've taken in several years included several days in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Amazing (and amazingly easy) wildlife shooting.

Oh, and there's some scenery there, too.

Yellowstone and Grand Teton pics (Apologies for the post processing, these were taken and processed in my pre-DPC days.)

The best (and cheapest) hotel we stayed in on that trip was the Gallatin Gateway Inn, in Gallatin Gateway, MT. Very nice out of the way boutique hotel, with an amazing restaurant. A real pleasure after several nights in the Yellowstone Park lodgings. And it was practically empty in mid-June.

(edit to fix the flickr link)

Message edited by author 2007-02-28 19:48:53.
02/28/2007 08:12:26 PM · #15
Originally posted by Rebecca:

Durango, CO and Chaco Canyon in northern New Mexico. Mesa Verde is in that area too. It's not exactly unknown, but no interstates go there, which looks like it would meet your driving preferences. ;-)


Aslo in the larger general area of the Fourn Corners is Arches Ntl Park, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, Zion All Ntl parks in south Utah. Lake Powell and don't forget Antelope canyon THE slot canyon to photo as well as Monument Valley. the Grand Canyon of course is in AZ. Painted Desert and Petrified forest are too (the painted part of Petrified is disappionting, find pretty spots NEAR that ares if you want to do more than look down on it.) In NM, yes there is Chaco Canyon Historical Park, Bisti Badlands Wilderness area (and a second one I can't pronounce right by it) Bandalier NTL Park, closer to Los Alamos, NM. For lesser knowns in NM. El Morro and El Malpais near Gallup & Grants, NM. The Acoma Indian Pueblo near Grants, The Taos Pueblo near Taos, NM. Lots of other pueblos in between Northern NM has the Cumbres & Toltec historic steam train and it goes to north into he San Luis Valley of southern Colorado near where you can find Great Sand Dunes Ntl park (see ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Sammie's pics here on DPC) and at the west end of San Lius Valley you can find Penetente Canyon, neat Canyon complete with rock climbers. A bit further west is Wolf Creek Pass cross that pretty place and end up in Pagosa Springs Co, with it's natural hot springs. West of Pagosa is Durango, CO and the surrounding Mountains and the Durango-Silverton historic steam train that can take you to Silverton. West of Durango is Mesa Verde Ntl Park and west of the is Hovenweep Historical park. If you go North out of Durango you can visit Silverton and continue on over Red Mountion pass to Ouray with its natrual hot springs. (Ouray refers to itself as little Switzerland). TONS and TONS of stuff in the area. Yuo can try to find a regional map of the area called "Indian Country" VERY VERY good map for the four corners area.

Also in South NM you can visit White Sands Ntl. Park, Carlsbad Caverns, In Columbus, NM crossing the border to Mexico for a wee bit of lunch and light shopping is very easy, just park and walk across (south of Deming, NM) Well that oughta be enough for now.
02/28/2007 11:47:51 PM · #16
you guys are all amazing. I was vague about the "bottom half" becuase we really don't know what to hit between southern california and NYC, we could do a straight shot or zig zag.
03/01/2007 12:13:21 AM · #17
Be sure to come through Northern California, Yosemite, and San Francisco;).

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03/07/2007 03:04:42 PM · #18
So we've decided (at least for now) that we're going to cross into Canada from Montana- Just north of Glacier Park..
We’ll head through Calgary and then Dawson’s Creek on our way up to Alaska.

I’ve heard the land can be somewhat ‘boring’ in the space between Montana and The Alaska Highway. Any suggestions for that area? Roadside attractions? Kick @ss campsites? Perfect scenic overlooks? “Quaint” little towns to eat in?

Anything would be appreciated. (We're returning from Alaska much closer to the coastline with our goal being Seattle, so if you have anything for the coast- that'll be helpful too)

Also although we’ve got nearly 100 stops to make (or drive by) in the continental US, if you’ve got any recommendations for “must-see” spots, I’d love to hear them.

option & Ristyz –Thank you!!!
03/07/2007 03:13:27 PM · #19
Originally posted by WickedB:

So we've decided (at least for now) that we're going to cross into Canada from Montana- Just north of Glacier Park..
We’ll head through Calgary and then Dawson’s Creek on our way up to Alaska.

I’ve heard the land can be somewhat ‘boring’ in the space between Montana and The Alaska Highway. Any suggestions for that area? Roadside attractions? Kick @ss campsites? Perfect scenic overlooks? “Quaint” little towns to eat in?

Anything would be appreciated. (We're returning from Alaska much closer to the coastline with our goal being Seattle, so if you have anything for the coast- that'll be helpful too)

Also although we’ve got nearly 100 stops to make (or drive by) in the continental US, if you’ve got any recommendations for “must-see” spots, I’d love to hear them.

option & Ristyz –Thank you!!!


It's Dawson Creek (;o)). Dawson's Creek is a TV program.

There is Hudson's Hope though but it's not on the Alaska Highway. ;oP

Message edited by author 2007-03-07 15:14:40.
03/07/2007 03:52:00 PM · #20
I highly suggest driving north through lower Michigan, crossing the Mackinac Bridge into the UP and then driving west through the UP.

Message edited by author 2007-03-07 15:52:23.
03/07/2007 04:37:18 PM · #21
Southern Utah and Northern Arizona, no place quite like it. Lake Powell, Antelope Canyon, Zion, Bryce... not to mention the Grand Canyon. What type of vehicle are you driving, can it get to the real out of the way places?

I've been living in the Seattle area now all of a couple weeks so no suggestions up here yet. Been to busy to do much of anything.
03/07/2007 04:39:27 PM · #22
Boy, that sounds like fun. I would say the uncertain part that is tough to reconcile is whether you go down the pacific coast (slowing in central Oregon and then from Santa Cruz to Malibu in California.) or to drive the Rockies down to four corners and then head to LA

I took the drive from Los Alamos NM to home near Oakland, CA over 3 days and hit Chaco Canyon, Mesa Verde, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Painted Desert, and Death Valley. Just an amazing amount to see in such close proximity.

As far as the spirit of the trip, someone recommended “Blue Highways” by William Least Heat Moon, and I’d add John Steinbeck’s “Travels with Charlie”
03/07/2007 04:46:09 PM · #23
I live in NYC and there are plenty of bizare or great places to eat here. Theirs a great and wierd hot dog place in the city called Crif Dogs, theirs also a great place for burgers in the summer time right in the middle of a park in the city (cant remember the name right now).... there is also alot more great places to eat just cant remember them all right now. For photo photo ops their is a great little park that sits between the brooklyn & manhattan bridge on the brooklyn side. You have to kind of walk to find it or be shown where it is, kind of hidden if you dont know about it. In the soho area of Manhattan there are a lot of photo ops with the brick layered streets and buildings.

Message edited by author 2007-03-07 16:46:34.
03/08/2007 12:32:43 PM · #24
We're taking a hybrid SUV- so we'll have the 4WD and hopefully get a little off road. This trip is going to take a LONG time... sine we couldn't decide exactly which places to hit- we're hitting a ton. It's amazing looking at our US map, littered with tacks, Just how much is going on in the southwest... there is SO much- it'll take us a month just to get from California to Colorado.
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