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Big Bend National Park Zone 3: The River (Day 121, Part 2)

November 17th, 2009 No comments

Best zone for last, I guess. Big Bend is so-named because it’s situated on a large bend on the Rio Grande. Clever naming, yes. Anyway — the river goes through a gorge and, um, I think I’m back to where I should start these posts with the second paragraph again.

Except that I don’t have any material for a second paragraph. Maybe it’s too early in the morning.

big-bend_santa-elena-roadThe gap in the cliff is Santa Elena canyon. And the cliff to the left of the gap is in Mexico.

big-bend_santa-elena-opening (1)The canyon’s gaping maw.

big-bend_santa-elena-canyonCanyon, river.

big-bend_santa-elena-canyon-visitorsIf they’re on their honeymoon, I don’t think it’s going well.

big-bend_santa-elena-wallThe walls, closing in.

big-bend_santa-elena-jungleThe canyon contains its own jungle!

big-bend_santa-elena-view-outOut the canyon and onto the flood plain. I think the river was low.

big-bend_santa-elena-ramps-downThe trail heading down from the cliffs’ giddy heights.

big-bend_santa-elena-riverbedThe river bed.

big-bend_santa-elena-touristsThe tourist hordes.

It’s sort of telling that this park only exists on the US side of the border. I went to a couple border parks on the north side of the country that both extended into Canada (Glacier-Waterton and Boundary Waters) and none that were on the Canadian border that didn’t.

OTOH, there were a lot more border patrol agents cruising around Big Bend.

I like rivers and canyons.

bkd


Big Bend National Park Zone 2: The Desert (Day 121)

November 16th, 2009 No comments

121 seems like a big number, doesn’t it? Anyway:

First thing I did when I got to the park was go to the Visitors Center to figure out what I’m going to do. I tell him that I’ve been to California, Arizona, and Utah plenty, so what I want to see is how this place (Big Bend) is different from those places. He proceeds to tell me that since none of those places are the Chihuahua Desert and that therefore I haven’t seen anything that’s at all like Big Bend.

Ahem. Deserts:

  1. They’re all dry.
  2. They’re all very hot.
  3. Except at night, when they’re all very fetchin’ cold.
  4. They all have tough, ugly, leathery plants.
  5. They all have a narrow assortment of small, crunchy animals.
  6. There are usually some barren, rocky hills around.
  7. There’s often sand.

Whereas the Mojave Desert has mule deer, we have Chihuahuan White Tail Deer!

Wow, that *is* big. If only I were a zoologist.

Whereas their rocks are between 100 and 450 million years old, ours are between 50 and 400 million years old!

Or a geologist.

We don’t have saguaro cactus like in the Sonora Desert, but we have the highest concentration of ocotillo in North America!

For one thing, lack of saguaro and glut of ocotillo aren’t exactly selling points. For another, I’m not a botanist either.

Plus, we’re the only national park with its own mountain range!

Listen:

  1. If a mountain range can be completely contained within a national park, it’s not much of a mountain range.
  2. Olympic National Park *is* a mountain range, so that doesn’t make you special anyway.

The more park rangers I interact with, the more I think that one lady ranger at Acadia in Maine deserves a medal for outstanding competence. Half a day? Good. Drive this loop, stop here and here, then you’ll have time to hike the second-best trail in the park. Write down these trail names. Now go! Go! They need more like her. A lot more. I should’ve got her name.

Oh well. Desert, and not very different from the Mojave or Sonoran deserts.

big-bend_desert-drive

big-bend_desert-trail

big-bend_desert-trail-2

big-bend_desert-hill

big-bend_dirt-road

Definitely no saguaros.

bkd

Big Bend National Park Zone 1: The Mountains (Day 120)

November 16th, 2009 No comments

See, because there are three main zones in the park: (1) mountains; (2) desert; and (3) river. Right.

And before things get too wild, I’d like to mention that this national park is in the middle of nowhere (which I guess is better than being at the edge of nowhere, because at least it’s in the middle of something). It’s a hard park to get to without meaning to be there. OTOH, (they claim) it has the darkest night sky of any NP in the lower 48. Would probably make it a good place to be a burglar — not that anything happened.

Hiked to “The Window”. Kind of a short hike (4.5 miles), mostly tourists. And most of the good pictures I got of the mountains were from the Visitors Center rather than the hike. Naturally.

‘Course, they didn’t have one of *these* at the Visitors Center:

big-bend_tarantulaA tarantula! Or maybe it’s a tarantulo. It’s hard to tell without flippin’ ’em over.

About the size of my hand. And then the trail (although, technically, the tarantula photo *is* a photo of the trail.

big-bend_window-trailHere’s the trail. Not bad-looking for a desert. Oh wait — these are mountains, not desert.

big-bend_windowThen this is “The Window” itself.

So it was kind of a dull hike — but at least I got to sweat a lot. Then I went back to the campground and visitors center to get some *real* photos. Relatively real. Two of them.

big-bend_casa-grandeCasa Grande from the handicapped-accessible trail.

big-bend_pink-cloudsA middling-quality sunset, with mountain silhouettes.

Then I decided that since I’d never gone to a National Park ranger lecture at a campground amphitheater before, I should try that. So I went, listened to a guy talk about how old rocks are for 20 minutes, then tried to leave quietly. There was a new moon, which made things especially dark, but I found these guys right outside my campsite.

big-bend_javelina-soloA javelina!

big-bend_javelina-bandAnd his merry band!

(It’s hard to compose wildlife photos interestingly when you can’t really see the wildlife so well.)

And then I went to sleep.

bkd

Itinerary

June 7th, 2009 8 comments

Here’s the latest high-level overview…!

Date Location(s) Miles
7/12 Orange County, San Simeon, Big Sur 369 mi.
7/13 Big Sur
7/14 Big Sur
7/15 Big Sur, Monterey, San Francisco 147 mi.
7/16 San Francisco
7/17 San Francisco, Pt. Reyes, Napa 108 mi.
7/18 Napa, Yosemite National Park 201 mi.
7/19 Yosemite
7/20 Yosemite
7/21 Yosemite
7/22 Yosemite, Lake Tahoe 197 mi.
7/23 Lake Tahoe, Lassen Volcanic National Park 221 mi.
7/24 Lassen
7/25 Lassen
7/26 Lassen, Crater Lake National Park 255 mi.
7/27 Crater Lake
7/28 Crater Lake, Oregon Coast 201 mi.
7/29 Oregon Coast 206 mi.
7/30 Astoria, Portland, Eagle Creek 173 mi.
7/31 Portland, Mt. St. Helens 72 mi.
8/1 Mt. St. Helens
8/2 Mt. St. Helens
8/3 Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier National Park 120 mi.
8/4 Mt. Rainier
8/5 Mt. Rainier, Browns Point 75 mi.
8/6 Browns Point, Olympic National Park 121 mi.
8/7 Olympic National Park
8/8 Olympic National Park
8/9 Olympic National Park
8/10 Olympic National Park, Browns Point 179 mi.
8/11 Browns Point
8/12 Browns Point, Mt. Baker 130 mi.
8/13 Mt. Baker
8/14 Mt. Baker
8/15 Mt. Baker
8/16 Mt. Baker, North Cascades Highway 281 mi.
8/17 Curlew, Glacier National Park 380 mi.
8/18 Glacier National Park
8/19 Glacier National Park
8/20 Glacier National Park
8/21 Glacier, Whitefish, Yellowstone National Park 529 mi.
8/22 Yellowstone, Cody, Sheridan 228 mi.
8/23 Sheridan
8/24 Sheridan
8/25 Sheridan, Devil’s Tower, Mt. Rushmore, Custer SP 318 mi.
8/26 Custer State Park, Wind Cave National Park 29 mi.
8/27 Custer SP, Chadron, Badlands National Park 225 mi.
8/28 Badlands, Minuteman Missile NHS, T. Roosevelt National Park 362 mi.
8/29 Theodore Roosevelt National Park
8/30 T. Roosevelt NP, Ely/Boundary Waters 630 mi.
8/31 Boundary Waters
9/1 Boundary Waters
9/2 Boundary Waters/Ely, Duluth 122 mi.
9/3 Duluth, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore 294 mi.
9/4 Pictured Rocks, Mackinac Island 124 mi.
9/5 Mackinac Island, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Chicago/Wayne 487 mi.
9/6 Chicago/Wayne
9/7 Chicago/Wayne
9/8 Chicago/Wayne, Nauvoo 476 mi.
9/9 Chicago/Wayne, Dearborn, Dayton 517 mi.
9/10 Dayton (USAF Museum), Akron 197 mi.
9/11 Cuyahoga Valley, Niagara Falls, Palmyra 330 mi.
9/12 Palmyra, Adirondacks (Lake Placid) 270 mi.
9/13 Adirondacks (Lake Placid)
9/14 Adirondacks, Vermont (Underhill S.P.) 73 mi.
9/15 Vermont (Underhill)
9/16 Vermont (Underhill, Belvidere), White Mountains (Sugarloaf) 119 mi.
9/17 White Mountains
9/18 White Mountains
9/19 White Mountains, Acadia National Park 223 mi.
9/20 Acadia National Park
9/21 Acadia, Newport (R.I.) 360 mi.
9/22 Newport, New Haven 104 mi.
9/23 New York City 80 mi.
9/24 New York City
9/25 New York City, Philadelphia 104 mi.
9/26 Philadelphia, Annapolis, Quantico 192 mi.
9/27 Quantico, Shenandoah National Park 99 mi.
9/28 Shenandoah
9/29 Shenandoah
9/30 Shenandoah, Monongahela National Forest 260 mi.
10/1 Shenandoah, Charlottesville, Appomattox, Richmond 206 mi.
10/2 Richmond
10/3 Richmond, Williamsburg, Jamestown, Cape Hatteras 193 mi.
10/4 Cape Hatteras, Raleigh-Durham 213 mi.
10/5 Raleigh-Durham, Great Smoky Mountains 306 mi.
10/6 Great Smoky Mountains National Park
10/7 Great Smoky Mountains
10/8 Great Smoky Mountains
10/9 Great Smoky Mountains
10/10 Great Smoky Mountains, Congaree NP, Charleston 352 mi.
10/11 Charleston
10/12 Charleston
10/13 Charleston, Savannah 107 mi.
10/14 Georgia Coast 115 mi.
10/15 Cumerland Island, Pensacola 388 mi.
10/16 Pensacola
10/17 Pensacola, Mobile, New Orleans 200 mi.
10/18 New Orleans
10/19 New Orleans, Natchez 172 mi.
10/20 Natchez Trace Parkway, Vicksburg 220 mi.
10/21 Natchez Trace Parkway, Nashville 220 mi.
10/22 Nashville, Mammoth Cave National Park 87 mi.
10/23 Mammoth Cave
10/24 Mammoth Cave
10/25 Mammoth Cave, Cathedral Canyon 319 mi.
10/26 Fredericktown, Springfield, Joplin 313 mi.
10/27 Joplin, Petit Jean SP, Hot Springs National Park 299 mi.
10/28 Hot Springs, Denton 327 mi.
10/29 Denton, Austin 225 mi.
10/30 Austin, San Antonio 81 mi.
10/31 San Antonio, Fredericksburg, Ft. Stockton 330 mi.
11/1 Ft. Stockton, Big Bend National Park 147 mi.
11/2 Big Bend National Park
11/3 Big Bend, Guadalupe Mtns. National Park 284 mi.
11/4 Guadalupe Mtns, Carlsbad Caverns NP, Roswell 145 mi.
11/5 Roswell, White Sands, San Antonio (NM), Santa Fe 377 mi.
11/6 Santa Fe, Chaco Culture NHP 186 mi.
11/7 Chaco Culture, Four Corners, Cortez 149 mi.
11/8 Cortez, Canyonlands National Park 147 mi.
11/9 Canyonlands, Capitol Reef NP, Grand Staircase-Escalante NM 232 mi.
11/10 Grand Staircase-Escalante 145 mi.
11/11 Grand Staircase-Escalante, Lake Mead 272 mi.
11/12 Lake Mead, San Diego

And if you want every gory detail currently available, here’s a PDF (enjoy!).

bkd

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Cross-Country Road Trip Itinerary v. 10, Quick-View

May 23rd, 2009 4 comments

This would be the “quick view” version, if only I were giving versions names rather than numbers. Er:

Date Location(s) Miles
7/15 Orange County, San Simeon, Big Sur 369 mi.
7/16

Big Sur, Monterey, San Francisco 147 mi.
7/17 San Francisco, Pt. Reyes, Napa 108 mi.
7/18 Napa, Yosemite National Park 201 mi.
7/19 Yosemite
7/20 Yosemite
7/21 Yosemite
7/22 Yosemite, Lake Tahoe 197 mi.
7/23 Lake Tahoe, Lassen Volcanic National Park 221 mi.
7/24 Lassen
7/25 Lassen
7/26 Lassen, Crater Lake National Park 255 mi.
7/27 Crater Lake
7/28 Crater Lake, Oregon Coast 201 mi.
7/29 Oregon Coast 206 mi.
7/30 Astoria, Portland, Eagle Creek 173 mi.
7/31 Portland, Mt. St. Helens 72 mi.
8/1 Mt. St. Helens
8/2 Mt. St. Helens
8/3 Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier National Park 120 mi.
8/4 Mt. Rainier
8/5 Mt. Rainier, Browns Point 75 mi.
8/6 Browns Point, Olympic National Park 121 mi.
8/7 Olympic National Park
8/8 Olympic National Park
8/9 Olympic National Park
8/10 Olympic National Park, Browns Point 179 mi.
8/11 Browns Point
8/12 Browns Point, Mt. Baker 130 mi.
8/13 Mt. Baker
8/14 Mt. Baker
8/15 Mt. Baker
8/16 Mt. Baker, North Cascades Highway 281 mi.
8/17 Curlew, Glacier National Park 380 mi.
8/18 Glacier National Park
8/19 Glacier National Park
8/20 Glacier National Park
8/21 Glacier, Whitefish, Yellowstone National Park 529 mi.
8/22 Yellowstone, Jackson, Victor 146 mi.
8/23 Victor, Sheridan 350 mi.
8/24 Sheridan
8/25 Sheridan, Devil’s Tower, Mt. Rushmore, Custer SP 318 mi.
8/26 Custer State Park, Wind Cave National Park 29 mi.
8/27 Custer SP, Chadron, Badlands National Park 225 mi.
8/28 Badlands, Minuteman Missile NHS, T. Roosevelt National Park 362 mi.
8/29 Theodore Roosevelt National Park
8/30 T. Roosevelt NP, Voyageurs National Park 579 mi.
8/31 Voyageurs, Boundary Waters 108 mi.
9/1 Boundary Waters
9/2 Boundary Waters, Duluth 122 mi.
9/3 Duluth, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore 294 mi.
9/4 Pictured Rocks, Mackinac Island 124 mi.
9/5 Mackinac Island, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Chicago/Wayne 487 mi.
9/6 Chicago/Wayne
9/7 Chicago/Wayne
9/8 Chicago/Wayne, Nauvoo 476 mi.
9/9 Chicago/Wayne, Ann Arbor, Dearborn 313 mi.
9/10 Ann Arbor, Dayton 196 mi.
9/11 Dayton (USAF Museum), Akron 197 mi.
9/12 Cuyahoga Valley, Niagara Falls, Palmyra 330 mi.
9/13 Palmyra, Adirondacks (Lake Placid) 270 mi.
9/14 Adirondacks, Vermont (Underhill S.P.) 73 mi.
9/15 Vermont (Underhill)
9/16 Vermont (Underhill, Belvidere), White Mountains (Sugarloaf) 119 mi.
9/17 White Mountains
9/18 White Mountains
9/19 White Mountains, Acadia National Park 223 mi.
9/20 Acadia National Park
9/21 Acadia, Newport (R.I.) 360 mi.
9/22 Newport, New Haven, New York City 184 mi.
9/23 New York City
9/24 New York City
9/25 New York City, Philadelphia 104 mi.
9/26 Philadelphia, Annapolis, Quantico 192 mi.
9/27 Quantico, Shenandoah National Park 99 mi.
9/28 Shenandoah
9/29 Shenandoah
9/30 Shenandoah, Monongahela National Forest 260 mi.
10/1 Shenandoah, Charlottesville, Appomattox, Richmond 206 mi.
10/2 Richmond
10/3 Richmond, Williamsburg, Jamestown, Cape Hatteras 193 mi.
10/4 Cape Hatteras, Raleigh-Durham 213 mi.
10/5 Raleigh-Durham
10/6 Durham, Great Smoky Mountains National Park 306 mi.
10/7 Great Smoky Mountains
10/8 Great Smoky Mountains
10/9 Great Smoky Mountains
10/10 Great Smoky Mountains, Congaree NP, Charleston 352 mi.
10/11 Charleston
10/12 Charleston
10/13 Charleston, Savannah, Okefenokee, Pensacola 653 mi.
10/14 Pensacola
10/15 Pensacola, Mobile, New Orleans 200 mi.
10/16 New Orleans
10/17 New Orleans, Natchez 172 mi.
10/18 Natchez Trace Parkway, Vicksburg 220 mi.
10/19 Natchez Trace Parkway, Nashville 220 mi.
10/20 Nashville, Mammoth Cave National Park 87 mi.
10/21 Mammoth Cave
10/22 Mammoth Cave
10/23 Mammoth Cave, Cathedral Canyon 319 mi.
10/24 Fredericktown, Springfield, Joplin 313 mi.
10/25 Joplin, Petit Jean SP, Hot Springs National Park 299 mi.
10/26 Hot Springs, Denton 327 mi.
10/27 Denton, Austin 225 mi.
10/28 Austin, San Antonio 81 mi.
10/29 San Antonio, Fredericksburg, Ft. Stockton 330 mi.
10/30 Ft. Stockton, Big Bend National Park 147 mi.
10/31 Big Bend National Park
11/1 Big Bend, Guadalupe Mtns. National Park 284 mi.
11/2 Guadalupe Mtns, Carlsbad Caverns NP, Roswell 145 mi.
11/3 Roswell, White Sands, San Antonio (NM), Santa Fe 377 mi.
11/4 Santa Fe, Chaco Culture NHP 186 mi.
11/5 Chaco Culture, Four Corners, Cortez 149 mi.
11/6 Cortez, Canyonlands National Park 147 mi.
11/7 Canyonlands, Capitol Reef NP, Grand Staircase-Escalante NM 232 mi.
11/8 Grand Staircase-Escalante 145 mi.
11/9 Grand Staircase-Escalante, Lake Mead 272 mi.
11/10 Lake Mead
11/11 Lake Mead, San Diego 385 mi.

So, clearly, the trip ends with a whole lot of long, boring, consecutive-day drives across the desert. Oh. Well.

Mileage:

  • Orange County to Mt. Baker: 2,775
  • Mt. Baker to Acadia NP: 6,531
  • Acadia NP to New Orleans: 3,322
  • New Orleans to San Diego: 5,062

Which totals out to 17,690 miles over 120 days, meaning 147.4 miles per day. (The most efficient 48-state route is around 9,000 miles, fwiw.)

Good luck to us all.

bkd

48-State Road Trip Itinerary, v. 9

May 13th, 2009 3 comments

Same map as last time. This itinerary actually goes day-by-day. Yep.

48-State Road Trip
- We 7/15
    - OC to San Simeon (300 mi., 5 1/2 hrs.)
        - Hearst Castle
    - San Simeon to Big Sur (69 mi., 1 3/4 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Big Sur
- Th 7/16
    - Big Sur
        - McWay Waterfall Trail (0.6 mi.)
        - Ewoldsen Trail (4.5 mi.)
    - Big Sur to Monterey (29 mi., 3/4 hr.)
        - 17-Mile Drive
        - Carmel
        - Coast Guard Pier
        - Cannery Row
    - Monterey to San Francisco (118 mi., 2 hrs.)
        - Burger Joint, Hamburger & Fries (#16)
    - Sleep: San Francisco
- Fr 7/17
    - San Francisco
        - Cable Car Museum
    - San Francisco to Pt. Reyes (51 mi., 1 1/2 hrs.)
    - Pt. Reyes to Napa (57 mi., 2 hrs.)
        - Bistro Don Giovanni, Grilled Bistro Burger
    - Sleep: Napa
- Sa 7/18
    - Napa to Yosemite National Park (201 mi., 4 hrs.)
        - Sentinel Dome Loop (5.5 mi.)
    - Sleep: Yosemite
        - Kelty Meadow Campground
        - Reserved 4 Nights
        - $77.02
- Su 7/19
    - Yosemite
    - Sleep: Yosemite
- Mo 7/20
    - Yosemite
        - Half Dome (15.7 mi.)
    - Sleep: Yosemite
- Tu 7/21
    - Yosemite
    - Sleep: Yosemite
- We 7/22
    - Yosemite National Park to South Lake Tahoe (197 mi., 4 1/4 hrs.)
    - Sleep: South Lake Tahoe
- Th 7/23
    - Lake Tahoe
        - Glen Alpine Trail (11.7 mi., 2,125' elevation gain)
            - Out and Back to Lake Aloha
            - From South Lake Tahoe, take highway 89 north past Camp
              Richardson. Make a left turn onto Fallen Leaf Lake Road
              and follow it all the way to the back side of the lake.
              There you will eventually see a sign to your left
              indicating Lilly Lake. Take this road and follow it to
              the end where you will find ample parking, pit toilets, a
              trail map and wilderness permits (be sure to fill out one
              of these permits before you head out).
            - www.4x4xplor.com—alohalake.html
              
    - South Lake Tahoe to Lassen Volcanic National Park (221 mi., 4 3/4
      hrs.)
    - Sleep: Lassen
        - Summit Lake South Campground
        - Reserved 3 Nights
        - $48.00
- Fr 7/24
    - Lassen
        - Paddle?
        - Bumpass Hell Trail (3 mi.)
    - Sleep: Lassen
- Sa 7/25
    - Lassen
        - Lassen Peak (5 mi.)
        - Kings Creek Falls Trail (3 mi.)
    - Sleep: Lassen
- Su 7/26
    - Lassen
    - Lassen to Crater Lake National Park (255 mi., 5 1/4 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Crater Lake
- Mo 7/27
    - Crater Lake
        - Garfield Peak Trail (3.4 mi.)
        - Annie Creek Canyon (1.7 mi.)
    - Sleep: Crater Lake
- Tu 7/28
    - Crater Lake to Reedsport (201 mi., 5 hrs.)
        - Umpqua Lighthouse
    - Sleep: [Oregon Coast]
- We 7/29
    - Oregon Coast
    - Sleep: [Oregon Coast/Astoria/Portland]
- Th 7/30
    - Portland to Bonneville (Columbia Gorge)
        - From PDX, east on 84, take Exit 41
        - Eagle Creek Trail (12 mi., 1,200' elevation gain)
    - Bonneville to Portland
    - Sleep: Portland
- Fr 7/31
    - Portland to Mt. St. Helens (72 mi., 1 3/4 hrs.)
        - Merrill Lake (Paddle, Fish)
    - Sleep Mt. St. Helens
        - Yale Lake?
- Sa 8/1
    - Mt. St. Helens
        - Harry's Ridge Trail (7.8 mi., 1,000' Elevation Gain)
    - Sleep: Mt. St. Helens
- Su 8/2
    - Mt. St. Helens
    - Sleep: Mt. St. Helens
- Mo 8/3
    - Mt. St. Helens to Mt. Rainier National Park (120 mi., 3 3/4 hrs.)
        - Crystal Peak (7.8 mi., 3,200' elevation gain)
            - Trailhead 4.5 mi. past Crystal Mtn.-side park entrance
    - Sleep: Mt. Rainier
        - Silver Springs? Ohannapacosh?
        - Reservation?
- Tu 8/4
    - Mt. Rainier
    - Sleep: Mt. Rainier
- We 8/5
    - Mt. Rainier to Browns Point (75 mi., 2 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Browns Point
- Th 8/6
    - Browns Point to Olympic National Park (121 mi., 2 3/4 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Olympic
- Fr 8/7
    - Olympic National Park
        - Hoh River Trail (18 mi.), Rainforest
    - Sleep: Olympic
- Sa 8/8
    - Olympic National Park
    - Sleep: Olympic
- Su 8/9
    - Olympic National Park
        - Ozette Ranger Station to Shi Shi Beach (14 mi. o/w?!) -- Coast
    - Sleep: Olympic
- Mo 8/10
    - Olympic National Park
    - Olympic National Park to Browns Point (179 mi., 3 1/2 hrs.)
- Tu 8/11
    - Browns Point
        - Mariners Game?
    - Sleep: Browns Point
- We 8/12
    - Browns Point to Mt. Baker (130 mi., 2 1/4 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Mt. Baker
- Th 8/13
    - Mt. Baker
    - Sleep: Mt. Baker
- Fr 8/14
    - Mt. Baker
    - Sleep: Mt. Baker
- Sa 8/15
    - Mt. Baker
    - Sleep: Mt. Baker
- Su 8/16
    - Mt. Baker to Curlew
        - North Cascades Highway
    - Sleep: Curlew?
- Mo 8/17
    - Curlew to Glacier National Park (380 mi., 8 1/4 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Glacier NP
        - Bowman Lake Campground?
            - $15/night
            - FCFS
            - Historic fill-times online
- Tu 8/18
    - Glacier NP
    - Siyeh Pass (10.3 mi.)
        - Shuttle from trail-end to trailhead.
    - Sleep: Glacier NP
- We 8/19
    - Glacier NP
    - Sleep: Glacier NP
- Th 8/20
    - Glacier NP
        - Swiftcurrent Pass (15 mi. o/w)
    - Sleep: Glacier NP
- Fr 8/21
    - Glacier NP to Whitefish, MT (52 mi., 1 1/2 hrs.)
        - Great Northern Railway Depot
    - Whitefish to Yellowstone National Park (477 mi., 8 1/4 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Yellowstone
        - Reservation?!
- Sa 8/22
    - Yellowstone to Victor, ID (146 mi., 2 3/4 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Victor
- Su 8/23
    - Victor to Sheridan, WY (350 mi., 6 3/4 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Sheridan
- Mo 8/24
    - Sheridan
    - Sleep: Sheridan
- Tu 8/25
    - Sheridan to Devil's Tower (165 mi., 2 1/2 hrs.)
    - Devil's Tower to Mt. Rushmore (123 mi., 2 1/4 hrs.)
    - Mt. Rushmore to Custer State Park (30 mi., 3/4 hr.)
    - Sleep: Custer SP/Bismarck Lake
        - Reservation?
- We 8/26
    - Custer SP
        - Eastern Trailhead (12 mi. o/w)
        - www.sdgfp.info—parks 
    - Custer SP to Wind Cave National Park (29 mi., 1/2 hr.)
    - Sleep: Custer SP/Bismarck Lake
        - Reservation?
- Th 8/27
    - Custer SP to Chadron, NE
    - Chadron to Badlands National Park (127 mi., 3 3/4 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Badlands
        - Reservation?
- Fr 8/28
    - Badlands to Minuteman Missile NHS (53 mi., 1 1/2 hrs.)
        - Wall Drug
    - Minuteman Missile NHS to Theodore Roosevelt National Park (309
      mi., 5 1/4 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Theodore Roosevelt NP
        - Reservation?
- Sa 8/29
    - Theodore Roosevelt NP
    - Sleep: Theodore Roosevelt NP
- Su 8/30
    - Theodore Roosevelt NP to Voyageurs National Park (579 mi., 9 1/2
      hrs.)
    - Sleep: Voyageurs
        - Reservation?
- Mo 8/31
    - Voyageurs
    - Sleep: Voyageurs
- Tu 9/1
    - Voyageurs
    - Voyageurs National Park to Duluth (146 mi., 3 1/4 hrs.)
        - Bike the Waterfront Trail
    - Sleep: Duluth
- We 9/2
    - Duluth to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (294 mi., 6 1/2 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Pictured Rocks
- Th 9/3
    - Pictured Rocks to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (248
      mi., 5 1/2 hrs.)
        - Paddle (from end of river into the lake)
    - Sleeping Bear Dunes to Ann Arbor (264 mi., 5 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Ann Arbor
- Fr 9/4
    - U of Michigan
        - Appointment(s)?
    - Ann Arbor to Dearborn (34 mi., 1/2 hr.)
        - Miller's Bar, Hamburger (#8)
    - Dearborn to Wayne, IL (312 mi., 5 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Wayne
- Sa 9/5
    - Wayne
        - Kane County Cougars vs. Quad Cities River Bandits
            - 6 PM Start
            - Incl. Fireworks
    - Sleep: Wayne
- Su 9/6
    - Wayne
    - Sleep: Wayne
- Mo 9/7 (Labor Day)
    - Wayne
    - Wayne to Bloomington, IN (268 mi., 5 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Bloomington
- Tu 9/8
    - Indiana U.
    - Bloomington to Dayton (168 mi., 3 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Dayton
- We 9/9
    - Dayton
        - United States Air Force Museum
    - Dayton to Akron (197 mi., 3 1/2 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Akron
- Th 9/10
    - Akron to Cuyahoga Valley National Park
    - Cuyahoga Valley National Park to Niagara Falls (222 mi., 3 1/2
      hrs.)
    - Niagara Falls to Palmyra, NY (108 mi., 2 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Palmyra
- Fr 9/11
    - Palmyra
    - Palmyra to Lake Placid (270 mi., 5 1/4 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Lake Placid
- Sa 9/12
    - Lake Placid
        - Cascade Mountain (4.2 mi.)
            - Arrive by 9 AM for a parking spot.
        - The Brothers (10.3 mi.)
    - Lake Placid to Underhill State Park, VT (73 mi., 2 1/2 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Underhill SP
        - Reservation?
- Su 9/13
    - Underhill SP
        - Mt. Mansfield Trail (6.8 mi.)
    - Sleep: Underhill SP
- Mo 9/14
    - Underhill SP to Belvidere (21 mi., 3/4 hr.)
        - Devil's Gulch (5.0 mi.)
        - Hunger Mountain (4.4 mi.)
    - Belvidere to Twin Mountain, NH (98 mi., 2 1/4 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Sugarloaf Campground
        - Reservation?
- Tu 9/15
    - Sugarloaf
        - Franconia Ridge (9 mi.)
        - Baldface Traverse (9 mi.)
    - Sleep: Sugarloaf
- We 9/16
    - Sugarloaf to Acadia National Park (223 mi., 4 1/2 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Acadia
        - Reservation?
- Th 9/17
    - Acadia
        - Mt. Abraham (8 mi.)
    - Sleep: Acadia
- Fr 9/18
    - Acadia
        - Cadillac Mountain (4 mi.)
    - Acadia to Newport, RI (360 mi., 6 1/2 hrs.)
        - Spiced Pear Restaurant, Not Just a Burger (#3)
    - Sleep: Newport
- Sa 9/19
    - Newport to New Haven (104 mi., 2 hrs.)
        - Louis' Lunch, Hamburger Sandwich (#20)
    - New Haven to New York City (80 mi., 1 3/4 hrs.)
    - Sleep: New York
- Su 9/20
    - New York
        - Peter Luger Steakhouse, Luger Burger (#2)
    - Sleep: New York
- Mo 9/21
    - New York
        - J. G. Melon, Hamburger (#14)
    - Sleep: New York
- Tu 9/22
    - New York to Philadelphia (104 mi., 2 hrs.)
        - Rouge, Rouge Burger (#4)
        - Barclay Prime, Kobe Sliders (#5)
    - Sleep: Philadelphia
- We 9/23
    - Philadelphia to Annapolis (126 mi., 2 1/4 hrs.)
        - Ft. McHenry
        - USNA
    - Annapolis to Quanitco (66 mi., 1 1/4 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Quantico
- Th 9/24
    - Quantico
        - United States Marine Corps Museum
    - Quantico to Shenandoah National Park (99 mi., 2 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Shenandoah
        - Reservation?
- Fr 9/25
    - Shenandoah
    - Sleep: Shenandoah
- Sa 9/26
    - Shenandoah
    - Sleep: Shenandoah
- Su 9/27
    - Shenandoah to Monongahela National Forest (130 mi., 2 3/4 hrs.)
        - North Fork Mountain Trail (12 mi. o/w)
    - Monongahela NF to Shenandoah (130 mi., 2 3/4 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Shenandoah
- Mo 9/28
    - Shenandoah to Charlottesville (31 mi., 3/4 hr.)
        - Monticello
    - Charlottesville to Appomattox (83 mi., 1 1/2 hrs.)
        - Courthouse
    - Appomattox to Richmond (92 mi., 2 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Richmond
- Tu 9/29
    - Richmond
    - Richmond to Williamsburg (51 mi., 1 hr.)
    - Williamsburg to Jamestown
    - Jamestown to Cape Hatteras National Seashore  (142 mi., 3 1/4
      hrs.)
    - Sleep: Cape Hatteras
        - Reservation?
- We 9/30
    - Cape Hatteras
        - Wright Brothers National Monument
    - Cape Hatteras NS to Durham (213 mi., 3 3/4 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Durham
- Th 10/1
    - Durham
        - Duke University
    - Chapel Hill
        - UNC
    - Sleep: Durham
- Fr 10/2
    - Durham to Great Smoky Mountains National Park (306 mi., 5 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Great Smoky Mountains
- Sa 10/3
    - Great Smoky Mountains
        - Mt. Cammerer (12 mi., 2,500' elevation gain)
            - Starts at Chestnut Branch Trail
    - Sleep: Great Smoky Mountains
- Su 10/4
    - Great Smoky Mountains
    - Knoxville
    - Sleep: Great Smoky Mountains
- Mo 10/5
    - Great Smoky Mountains to Charleston (340 mi., 5.5 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Charleston
- Tu 10/6
    - Charleston
        - Civil War Walking Tour
        - Ft. Sumter
    - Charleston to Hunting Island State Park (85 mi., 2 hrs.)
        - Swimming
    - Sleep: Hunting Island
        - Reservation?
- We 10/7
    - Hunting Island to Savannah (62 mi., 1 1/2 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Savannah
- Th 10/8
    - Savannah to Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (202 mi., 4 hrs.)
    - Okefenokee NWR to Pensacola (344 mi., 5 3/4 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Pensacola
        - Blackwater River State Park? Falling Waters State Park?
- Fr 10/9
    - Pensacola
        - Gulf Islands National Seashore
        - National Museum of Naval Aviation
    - Sleep: Pensacola
- Sa 10/10
    - Pensacola to Mobile (56 mi., 1 hr.)
        - Historic District
        - USS Alabama Memorial Park
    - Mobile to New Orleans (144 mi., 2 1/4 hrs.)
    - Sleep: New Orleans
- Su 10/11
    - New Orleans
    - Sleep: New Orleans
- Mo 10/12
    - New Orleans to Vicksburg (227 mi., 3 1/2 hrs.)
        - Vicksburg National Military Park
    - Vicksburg to Jackson (49 mi., 3/4 hr.)
    - Sleep: Jackson
- Tu 10/13
    - Natchez Trace
    - Sleep: Natchez Trace
- We 10/14
    - Natchez Trace
    - Sleep: Nashville
- Th 10/15
    - Nashville
    - Nashville to Mammoth Cave National Park (87 mi., 1 1/2 hrs.)
        - Hike?
    - Sleep: Mammoth Cave
        - Reservation?
- Fr 10/16
    - Mammoth Cave
        - Grand Avenue Tour (10 AM)
            - Reservation?
        - Historic Tour (3 PM)
            - Reservation?
    - Sleep: Mammoth Cave
- Sa 10/17
    - Mammoth Cave
        - Kayak in Green River (bring PFD)
        - Hike?
    - Sleep: Mammoth Cave
- Su 10/18
    - Mammoth Cave to Fredericktown, MO (319 mi., 5 1/2 hrs.)
        - Cathedral Canyon (5 mi.)
    - Sleep: Mark Twain National Forest
        - Silver Mines, Sam A. Baker SP, Williamsville, Johnson's
          Shut-Ins SP?
- Mo 10/19
    - Fredericktown to Joplin via Mountain Grove/Springfield (313 mi.,
      6 hrs.)
        - Kansas
        - Oklahoma
    - Sleep: Joplin
- Tu 10/20
    - Joplin to Petit Jean State Park, AR (225 mi., 4 hrs.)
        - Seven Hollows Trail (4.5 mi.)
    - Petit Jean State Park to Hot Springs National Park (74 mi., 2 1/4
      hrs.)
    - Sleep: Hot Springs NP
- We 10/21
    - Hot Springs NP
        - Bathhouse Row
        - Bath?
    - Hot Springs NP to Denton (327 mi., 5 hrs.)
- Th 10/22
    - Denton to Austin (225 mi., 3 1/2 hrs.)
        - Salt Lick (Driftwood)
        - Bat Bridge
            - "Just before dark..."
    - Sleep: Austin
- Fr 10/23
    - Austin to San Antonio (81 mi., 1 1/4 hrs.)
        - The Alamo
        - River Walk
    - Sleep: San Antonio
- Sa 10/24
    - San Antonio to Fredericksburg (70 mi., 1 1/4 hrs.)
    - Fredericksburg to Ft. Stockton (260 mi., 3 3/4 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Ft. Stockton
- Su 10/25
    - Ft. Stockton to Big Bend National Park (147 mi., 3 3/4 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Big Bend NP
        - Reservation?
- Mo 10/26
    - Chisos Mountain Lost Mine Trail (4 mi.)
    - Bike Ride in Park
        - Rio Grande Village to Panther Jct. -- or part way and back
    - Sleep: Big Bend NP
- Tu 10/27
    - Big Bend NP to Guadalupe Mountains National Park (284 mi., 6 3/4
      hrs.)
    - Sleep: Guadalupe Mtns.
        - Reservation?
- We 10/28
    - Guadalupe Mtns. to Carlsbad Caverns National Park (42 mi., 1 hr.)
        - Left Hand Tour (9 AM)
            - Reservation?
        - Other Cave Tours
    - Carlsbad Caverns to Roswell (103 mi., 2 1/4 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Roswell
- Th 10/29
    - Roswell to White Sands National Monument (112 mi., 2 1/4 hrs.)
    - White Sands to San Antonio (117 mi., 2 1/4 hrs.)
        - Buckhorn, Buckhorn Burger (#7)
    - San Antonio to Santa Fe (148 mi., 2 1/4 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Santa Fe
- Fr 10/30
    - Santa Fe
        - Bobcat Bite, Hamburger (#12)
    - Santa Fe to Chaco Culture National Historic Park (186 mi., 4 1/4
      hrs.)
    - Sleep: Near Chaco Culture
- Sa 10/31 (Halloween)
    - Chaco Culture
    - Chaco Culture to Four Corners
        - Arizona
    - Four Corners to Cortez, CO
    - Sleep: Cortez
- Su 11/1
    - Cortez to Canyonlands National Park (147 mi., 3 1/4 hrs.)
        - Syncline Loop (8.3 mi.)
            - Island in the Sky District -- near Upheaval Dome
            - Hike clockwise.
    - Sleep: Canyonlands
        - Reservation?
- Mo 11/2
    - Canyonlands to Capitol Reef National Park (167 mi., 4 hrs.)
    - Capitol Reef to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (65
      mi., 1 1/2 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Calf Creek Recreation Area
        - Reservation?
- Tu 11/3
    - Grand Staircase-Escalante
        - Calf Creek Falls (5.5 mi.)
            - Trailhead at campground.
    - Sleep: Calf Creek Recreation Area
- We 11/4
    - Grand Staircase-Escalante
    - Grand Staircase-Escalante to Lake Mead National Recreation Area
      (272 mi., 5 1/4 hrs.)
    - Sleep: Valley of Fire State Park
        - Reservation?
- Th 11/5
    - Lake Mead NRA
        - Bowl of Fire (7 mi.)
        - Paddle
    - Sleep: Valley of Fire
- Fr 11/6
    - Lake Mead NRA to San Diego (385 mi., 6 hrs.)

So that, then, would be it. I’m thinking version 10 might go a week longer, which would probably result in a little more relaxation in Wayne maybe, probably a trip to the St. Louis Arch, and possibly a visit to Mackinac Island in Michigan.

bkd

Categories: pre-trip Tags: , ,

48-State Cross-Country Road Trip Itinerary: The Whole Thing

May 8th, 2009 12 comments

People like maps. Here’s mine:

48-State Cross-Country Road Trip Itinerary Map

48-State Cross-Country Road Trip Itinerary Map

The push pins are relevant for the most part — I’m stopping where there are push pins, with maybe an exception or two. But I’m also stopping in some places without push pins. Very confusing, yes. The pins are really just there to hold the map together. As pins often do.

I’m looking at the trip in four parts: West Coast, Northern States, East Coast and Gulf, and South/Southwest. Here are highlights:

Part 1: West Coast (from July 15 through August 16)

  • San Simeon
  • Big Sur
  • Monterey Peninsula
  • San Francisco
  • Point Reyes
  • Yosemite National Park (ca. 4 days)
  • Lake Tahoe
  • Lassen Volcanic National Park (ca. 3 days)
  • Crater Lake National Park
  • Oregon Coast
  • Columbia River Gorge
  • Mt. St. Helens (ca. 2 days)
  • Mt. Rainier National Park (ca. 4 days)
  • Olympic National Park (ca. 4 days)
  • Mt. Baker/North Cascades National Park (ca. 5 days — it’s a family reunion)

Part 2: Northern States (August 17th to September 15th)

  • Glacier National Park (ca. 4 days)
  • Whitefish, MT
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Grand Teton National Park
  • Sheridan, WY
  • Devil’s Tower
  • Mt. Rushmore
  • Custer State Park, South Dakota
  • Badlands National Park
  • Minuteman Missile National Historic Site
  • Theodore Roosevelt National Park
  • Voyageurs National Park (ca. 3 days)
  • Duluth
  • Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
  • Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
  • Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti
  • Chicago
  • Nauvoo, IL
  • United States Air Force Museum (Dayton)
  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park
  • Niagara Falls
  • Palmyra, NY
  • Adirondacks
  • Vermont Mountains
  • New Hampshire Mountains
  • Acadia National Park (ca. 2 days)

Part 3: East Coast and Gulf (September 16th to October 11th)

  • Newport, RI
  • New York City
  • Philadelphia
  • Annapolis/Ft. McHenry/US Naval Academy
  • United States Marine Corps Academy (Quantico)
  • Shenandoah National Park (ca. 2 days)
  • Monongahela National Forest (WV)
  • Charlottesville/Monticello
  • Appomattox
  • Richmond
  • Yorktown
  • Williamsburg
  • Jamestown
  • Wright Brothers National Monument
  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore
  • Raleigh-Durham
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park (ca. 4 days)
  • Charleston/Ft. Sumter
  • Hunting Island State Park, SC
  • Savannah
  • Pensacola/Gulf Islands National Seashore
  • Mobile
  • New Orleans (ca. 2 days)

Part 4: South and Southwest (October 12th to November 6th)

  • Vicksburg
  • Natchez Trace Parkway (from Jackson, MS to Nashville)
  • Nashville
  • Mammoth Cave National Park (ca. 3 days)
  • Cathedral Canyon, MO
  • Joplin, MO
  • Petit Jean State Park, AR
  • Hot Springs National Park
  • Austin
  • San Antonio/The Alamo
  • Fredericksburg
  • Big Bend National Park (ca. 3 days)
  • Carlsbad Caverns
  • Roswell
  • White Sands National Monument
  • Santa Fe
  • Chaco Culture National Historic Park
  • Four Corners
  • Canyonlands National Park
  • Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Right. So one of these days I’m going to figure out how to best present all this information in a way that’s useful. Not there yet. Even though I’m calling out how many days I’m spending in a few of the place above, there are others where I’ll also be spending multiple days. I also have down the names of trails, campgrounds, and other points of interest that aren’t listed above.

I mean, really, how much of my planning do you actually want to see? (You can answer that.)

bkd

Categories: pre-trip Tags: , ,

New Hampshire Has Leaves and Then I Leave New Hampshire (Day 74)

September 29th, 2009 5 comments

It’s silly to hold this against Vermont, but if I’d spent one day less in Vermont, I could have spent one day more in New Hampshire. Hopefully that’s my biggest regret of the trip. It might be in first place so far.

I needed to end the day in Maine, as close to Acadia National Park as possible, so decided to just run through one of the Reader’s Digest drives, end up at Mt. Washington — because I love a good drive-up mountain peak –, and then head east into the far corner. The plan was executed to precise specifications and many leaves were photographed.

I don’t know if Acadia will have leaves. I should probably read up on it. Some of the trees in Maine have already dropped their leaves and are therefore considered “No-Fo’s” — no foliage. Anyway, here’s to closing down New Hampshire and going back one day to do some hiking because it looked like it’d be a lot better than Vermont.

Not that it’s fair to blame Vermont. It’s really well manicured there.

Eh, so campground: stayed at the Hancock Campground in the White Mountains National Forest. As I’ve come to expect from all NFS campsites, I was parked right next to a river. Mostly heard rain falling, though, at least until about the time I got out of bed truck sleeping bag cot bed. Nice leaves there, too (not pictured).

new-hampshire_presidential-ridges“The Presidentials” are peaks in the White Mountains named after presidents. I think these might be among them.

new-hampshire_leaves-succotashThis is about the fourth one of these I’ve uploaded now. They all remind me of sweaters Cliff Huxtable would wear. That or succotash.

new-hampshire_side-mirror-leavesOne day I’m gonna take a side mirror photo that works!

new-hampshire_sabbaday-fallsSabbaday Falls, named after the Sabbath Day. Photo taken on Monday, which is holy in no culture.

new-hampshire_sabbaday-falls-bridgeThey always build foot bridges over waterfalls out here.

new-hampshire_red-leavesLeaves. Finally.

new-hampshire_bend-in-roadA bend in the road.

Really I just wanted to post some New Hampshire photos with blue skies in them (sorry, Chad). Then Mt. Washington, the highest peak in New Hampshire. Naturally you can take a toll road to the top: $23! Which, of course, is a full buck cheaper than the one in Vermont. BUT — it’s 3.5 miles longer, mostly paved, and ascends to a peak that’s like 2,000 feet higher. And they give you a CD to listen to on the way up that tells you how to use low gear to avoid overheating.

It got really cloudy near the top, and cold and windy.

new-hampshire_mt-washington-glenThe base of the mountain, right by the toll booth.

new-hampshire_mt-washington-towerObservation tower on top of the mountain. Winds 20-30 mph, mostly cloudy (just not in this photo).

new-hampshire_mt-washington-and-meOn top of *yet another* state.

new-hampshire_mt-washington-clouds-roadHeading down, above the clouds.

Yeah, so I gotta go back and visit New Hampshire some time. The hike up to Mt. Washington looked worth it — it’s high enough to be above the treeline and if you have a clear day, the views would be pretty amazing. Hopefully the hike starts around 4,000 feet, of course, and hopefully you got a sweater handy. Just that it’s cold and windy on top there is all.

bkd

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