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Old 08-16-2008, 12:43 PM
 
11 posts, read 39,613 times
Reputation: 10

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Howdy!

A buddy and have reason to drive from Seattle, WA to Waco, TX. We don't have a lot of time to mess around, but as long as we're driving such a long way we should have a little fun.

What I would love some help with is finding interesting things to do and see that take less than an hour and are really close to our driving route.

Here's our route and I'll give a few examples of the kind of things we are talking about:

Start in Seattle on I-90 then change to I-82 near Ellensburg.

Driving into Oregon, we'll get on I-84 by Hermiston. I was planning on checking out some things along the Snake River Gorge (like twin falls) because I know you can drive right to them and they are close to the interstate. Any other good falls or things?

Next, we change Interstates to I-15 by Burly, ID. I was told we should check out some viewpoint of the Great Salt Lake once we get down there. I'm sure there's got to be some hills you can drive to for a great viewpoint. Someone also suggested Antelope Island and Buffalo Point to me.

Then, South of Provo, we switch to US 6 and drive until we hit I-70 near Green River, UT. This is one of the areas I am most excited about. The Rockies in CO are beautiful! We will be driving along I-70 until we hit Silverthorne and I am sure there are plenty of things to do and see right off the highway.

In Silverthorne, CO we get on Highway 9. I figured we'd check out Breckenridge, but there's got to be more along this Highway.

Outside of Canon City, we change to US-50. This is near Royal Gorge Bridge which we plan on visiting.

In Pueblo we swing South on I-25. Starting here is where I really have no idea what to do.

Raton, NM sees us change to US Route 87. Where we take a series of state and US highways until...

We hit I-40 outside of Amarillo, TX then take US-287 toward Dallas. I've been told the drive from Raton, NM to Dallas-Ft. Worth will be the most boring part of our drive - prove them wrong!

Change to I-35 in Ft. Worth. Almost there!

Arrive in Waco, TX. Whew!

Any ideas? This is my first post though I have relied on the collective knowledge of the CD forums before.

Thanks!

-Landon
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Old 08-16-2008, 09:31 PM
 
6,351 posts, read 19,348,200 times
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Hello Landon! Sounds like a pretty decent little ride with plenty to see without even leaving your route. It's been a little more than 5 years since I've been out West, but I'll try to rack my brain. (And I'm sure there are plenty of other members that can add far more than I.)

I-90/I-82/I-84 are really scenic until you get to Boise, ID. East of Boise, Idaho is a high desert plateau and may not be very scenic to some...

One of my favorite places to eat Out West is on I-84, Exit 71 in ID. The Boise Stage Stop has GREAT food!

Twin Falls, ID is a nice town but water volume at the falls varies WIDELY depending on the season. The spot where Evil Kneivel made his fateful jump attempt across the Snake River Canyon is not too far from I-84 and there's a scenic overlook there. U.S. 93 (at Twin Falls) is a much shorter route to I-15 but it is probably the most desolate road in the U.S. ...

At Burley, ID, you'll come to the I-84/I-86 split; stay on I-84 and follow it to Tremonton, UT, where you'lll pick up I-15. SLC is a nice city. We thought the Morman Tabernacle was interesting. And, yes, the mountain views from SLC are nice.

U.S. 6 thru UT is good road; scenic but watch those speed cops!!!

Honestly, I haven't been off of I-70 in the Rockies, so I can't help you much. But I know it'll be one scenic ride just judging what I've seen from I-70!

You'll get on to I-25 South of most of the Denver-Colorado Springs sprawl, fortunately! U.S. 87 is good running but mostly boring road. And, for the most part, the rest of the way to Waco will be pretty boring, IMHO. But Texans are right friendly folk and you will be treated well when you stop!

You may have already heard about the Big Texan Restaurant in Amarillo. If you can eat their 72 oz. steak (that's FIVE POUNDS OF MEAT...) PLUS all the trimmings in an hour, it's free! The Big Texan is on I-40, Exit 74 (Whitaker Rd.) Just East of Amarillo is a HUGE cross. Even if you're not religious, it's an awesome sight.

In Dalls, there's Dealy Plaza and the Texas School Book Depository from the JFK assasination. Dallas has other attractions, but that's what immediately comes to mind.

Well, that's all I can think of off the top of my head. Hope you guys have a great trip!
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Old 08-16-2008, 10:49 PM
 
11 posts, read 39,613 times
Reputation: 10
Awesome, Crew Chief, Awesome!

That's exactly the type of info I am looking for. Now if a few other people ad some specifics like that, I'll have one heck of a nice drive on my hands!

Thanks again!

-Landon
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Old 08-17-2008, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Assisi, Italy
1,845 posts, read 3,888,914 times
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Big Texan. Gotta try! There was a Simpson's episode about it. I was discouraged by my 75 year old dad who ragged on me not to do it so by the time I arrived, I could hardly eat a thing.

What about Devils Tower? Yellowstone? Tetons? The Monument parks in Utah? Grand Canyon?
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Old 08-17-2008, 10:33 AM
 
11 posts, read 39,613 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob The Builder View Post
Big Texan. ...What about Devils Tower? Yellowstone? Tetons? The Monument parks in Utah? Grand Canyon?
I am gonna try the Big Texan - I've eaten a 48oz steak and fries and felt full but not overly stuffed. I've always wanted to try so I'd better do it!

As for the National Parks and Monuments, most of them are off of our route too far and even if they weren't, it's slow driving through and often requires hours of hiking and such to truly appreciate them. I've done other separate trips for most of them and since I love hiking and the outdoors so much I'm sure I'll do most of them again.

I'm really looking for quick less-than-an-hour kind of stops that will give us a chance to rest and stretch a little - breakup the monotony of driving and keep us invigorated.

Food recommendations are great too!

Thanks again, though! All input is greatly valued!
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Old 08-17-2008, 03:23 PM
 
6,351 posts, read 19,348,200 times
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Glad I could be of help, Landon! I really envy you. I sure enjoyed trucking out West anad hope you guys have a wonderful trip. On U.S. 287, there's a large Air Force base (Sheppard AFB) in Wichita Falls, TX. Not sure what's open to the public, but they may have some kind of museum there. Sheppard is the home of a pilot training wing and also has a number of technical training schools. I went through for my initial aircraft maintenance training back when the USAF still flew some aircraft with propellers...

When my wife rode in the truck with me, we stopped at the Big Texan. I didn't want to be overweight on my truck axles, so we didn't try the 72 oz. steak. But we watched as two strapping young footbal-player types goaded their similarly-built friend into taking the challenge. About 25 minutes into the meal, the guy cried "Uncle"...
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:29 AM
 
Location: The Big D
14,874 posts, read 37,256,926 times
Reputation: 5787
Quote:
Originally Posted by landon1850 View Post
Howdy!

A buddy and have reason to drive from Seattle, WA to Waco, TX. We don't have a lot of time to mess around, but as long as we're driving such a long way we should have a little fun.

What I would love some help with is finding interesting things to do and see that take less than an hour and are really close to our driving route.

Here's our route and I'll give a few examples of the kind of things we are talking about:

[Then, South of Provo, we switch to US 6 and drive until we hit I-70 near Green River, UT. This is one of the areas I am most excited about. The Rockies in CO are beautiful! We will be driving along I-70 until we hit Silverthorne and I am sure there are plenty of things to do and see right off the highway.

In Silverthorne, CO we get on Highway 9. I figured we'd check out Breckenridge, but there's got to be more along this Highway.

Outside of Canon City, we change to US-50. This is near Royal Gorge Bridge which we plan on visiting.

In Pueblo we swing South on I-25. Starting here is where I really have no idea what to do.

Raton, NM sees us change to US Route 87. Where we take a series of state and US highways until...

We hit I-40 outside of Amarillo, TX then take US-287 toward Dallas. I've been told the drive from Raton, NM to Dallas-Ft. Worth will be the most boring part of our drive - prove them wrong!

Change to I-35 in Ft. Worth. Almost there!

Arrive in Waco, TX. Whew!

Any ideas? This is my first post though I have relied on the collective knowledge of the CD forums before.

Thanks!

-Landon

Now this is the area I'm familiar with - minus the part thru Utah.

I-70 thru Colorado is great. Stop in Glenwood Springs, CO for the natural springs pools. If you want to drive by and pop into the "haunted" Hotel Colorado you can. It is pretty and kind of neat. The one great thing your going to miss by getting off of 70 at Silverthorne is the Eisenhower Tunnel. Honestly, it is a short drive down to Breckinridge if all your wanting to see is the town itself. In Breckinridge is the Alpine Slide. You ride the ski lift up and then get off and go down this concrete pike on a plastic sled. Can be VERY FUN! Another attraction that few people experience in Colorado is Mt Evans - but you would have to stay on I-70 towards Denver to do this as it is near Evergreen, CO. The highest paved road in the Continental United States goes up to the peak of Mt Evans. Pretty awesome to be on the top of the mountain way up there and it is soooooo quiet. But, if you want to see the Royal Gorge and I do HIGHLY recommend it then your planned route is best unless you want to backtrack or take a LOT of back roads.

After you get out of Breckinridge you will still be in some mountains and then it will drop. The drive now is going to be ehhh. A few teeny small towns but that is about it with Hartsel being about it. If you still want to see some mountains in Hartsel take 24 towards Buena Vista and then down to Salida then 50 to Canon City and the Royal Gorge. A bit longer but more interesting.

I-25 from Pueblo down. Trinidad is a neat little city. Raton Pass is pretty cool. Not much in Raton, NM. A Dairy Queen to stop and get a bite to eat and I DO recommend this. If this happens to be where you hit ANYTIME near when your getting close to wanting to find lodging DO IT!!!!!! Otherwise it will be Dalhart or Dumas before you MIGHT find anything.

The Cadillac Ranch outside of Amarillo. This is where a LONG time ago this old farmer got old Caddies and planted them nose down into the ground. Their bodies and fins sticking up. Take a can of spray paint and leave your mark. Stanley Marsh's Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, Texas

Dalhart and Dumas are neat little towns. If your in one of them around dinner time stop at the local K-Bob's Steakhouse. Nothing fancy at all but you will see the locals all coming in for a "night out". Dumas is the largest of the two towns.

Amarillo - not much here but I do LOVE this city. The Big Texan is okay. Oh, and your sinuses will be cleared up when you reach Amarillo by the smell of the cattle lots .

Outside of Amarillo down towards Canyon, TX is Palo Duro Canyon. GOTTA SEE IT!!!!! Do not miss the chance to see this attraction. Take a few hours and you can see it. If you spend the night in Amarillo after eating the night before at The Big Texan, get up early and get a good breakfast and head out out to Palo Duro Canyon. Spend a few hours checking it out. Once your done here then you can make it to Waco by that night IF you REALLY want to.

The drive on 287 is kind of fun. It can be boring but you have to find the fun in it. Lots of great little small towns. Just - DRIVE THE SPEED LIMIT THRU EVERY ONE OF THE LITTLE TOWNS ALONG THE WAY!!!!! Oh, and every one of them has a Dairy Queen
Claude - small and not much. Used to have a really good place to eat decades ago. The movie "Hud" was filmed here back in 1963.
Clarendon - small and not much.
Hedley - nada
Memphis - small town
Estelline - blink and you miss it
Childress - one of the largest towns you will go thru.
Quanah - named for Quanah Parker (look it up ). Time for a pitstop here. Stop at one of the gas stations/convience stores.
Chillicothe - small town w/ a cool name
Vernon - gets a bit bigger now. Not a dinky little town like the others. Between Vernon and Chillicothie is a really nice and large rest stop. This one stays packed. If you pick something up to eat in Chillicothe bring it out here to eat and stretch your legs.
Wichita Falls - the new highway bypasses much of the city now. Used to end and dumped you off to wind thru town.

Once you start getting closer to Decatur you will see more trees and rolling hills. Go to the square in Decatur and see one of the most beautiful courthouses in the state. BEAUTIFUL!!!

Down to Ft Worth. Sundance Square, the Water Gardens, Billy Bob's, the cattle drives........... Justin Boot Outlet store.

I-35 from Ft Worth to Waco:
Hillsboro - has a "factory outlet" stores mall. ehhh. Skip it.

West - STOP HERE at The Czech Stop. Get you a sandwich and some Kolaches. YUM!!!! You can find all kinds of great places to eat in this little town.

Waco - hmm, Baylor your destination???

FYI, I-35 from Hillsboro all the way to Waco has been under CONSTANT construction for the last 30 years. While it may be two lanes in each direction in many areas........ the traffic MOVES! If your going the posted speed then best to stay your self in the FAR right lane at ALL TIMES! A lot of traffic on this stretch of road tends to travel around 75-80 mph. LOTS of truck traffic as well. If your not familiar with the area, the roads, the construction nor the state troopers, don't go 75 . Yes, they DO patrol this area HEAVILY as well. Out of state tags will not be a good thing if your going 75 or more.

Have a safe trip, have fun and see ya when ya get here.
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Old 08-18-2008, 04:53 PM
 
11 posts, read 39,613 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by momof2dfw View Post
Now this is the area I'm familiar with - minus the part thru Utah...
Wow! Thanks! I'm really excited for the drive through Western Texas now. That was the part I was having trouble with.

The route through the Rockies was chosen primarily because of where relatives live - free places to stay! But you've given more good suggestions.

I'll definitely have to post some pics once I'm back and share with you all what I ended up seeing.

Keep the advice coming - thanks so much!

-Landon
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Old 08-19-2008, 02:06 AM
 
300 posts, read 1,107,160 times
Reputation: 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by landon1850 View Post
Howdy!

A buddy and have reason to drive from Seattle, WA to Waco, TX. We don't have a lot of time to mess around, but as long as we're driving such a long way we should have a little fun.

What I would love some help with is finding interesting things to do and see that take less than an hour and are really close to our driving route.

Here's our route and I'll give a few examples of the kind of things we are talking about:

Start in Seattle on I-90 then change to I-82 near Ellensburg.

Driving into Oregon, we'll get on I-84 by Hermiston. I was planning on checking out some things along the Snake River Gorge (like twin falls) because I know you can drive right to them and they are close to the interstate. Any other good falls or things?

Next, we change Interstates to I-15 by Burly, ID. I was told we should check out some viewpoint of the Great Salt Lake once we get down there. I'm sure there's got to be some hills you can drive to for a great viewpoint. Someone also suggested Antelope Island and Buffalo Point to me.

Then, South of Provo, we switch to US 6 and drive until we hit I-70 near Green River, UT. This is one of the areas I am most excited about. The Rockies in CO are beautiful! We will be driving along I-70 until we hit Silverthorne and I am sure there are plenty of things to do and see right off the highway.

In Silverthorne, CO we get on Highway 9. I figured we'd check out Breckenridge, but there's got to be more along this Highway.

Outside of Canon City, we change to US-50. This is near Royal Gorge Bridge which we plan on visiting.

In Pueblo we swing South on I-25. Starting here is where I really have no idea what to do.

Raton, NM sees us change to US Route 87. Where we take a series of state and US highways until...

We hit I-40 outside of Amarillo, TX then take US-287 toward Dallas. I've been told the drive from Raton, NM to Dallas-Ft. Worth will be the most boring part of our drive - prove them wrong!

Change to I-35 in Ft. Worth. Almost there!

Arrive in Waco, TX. Whew!

Any ideas? This is my first post though I have relied on the collective knowledge of the CD forums before.

Thanks!

-Landon
I've made this trip twice, and parts of it more than twice. It's a decent route.

Raton Pass is a bigtime speed trap area. Don't speed at all until you're well into Texas from the time you enter NM from Colorado. Tons of people from Texas going to Colorado to ski or otherwise visit the Rockies go through that area so it's a major local revenue enhancement zone.

I wouldn't bother with Breckenridge unless you're planning on going when you can ski it. You'll see plenty of mountains along the way, and there's really nothing that special about the area.

Big Texan is interesting to go to once, but don't expect a gourmet meal. The most impressive part of the legend is to read the entries on the leaderboard when you walk in. They record details like the age, weight before, and weight after, of people who manage to eat the monster steak (and sides, and drink).

An interesting sight in that general area (NM/TX) is Capulin mountain. It's a long dormant volcano you can walk to the top of. There are quite a few in the area, and once you're up high enough it looks like a field of giant prarie dog hills.

The drive from Raton to Dallas down 287 is super boring. If you've not been to prarie grasslands before it'll just amaze you how flat and devoid of landmarks that area is. It's not the worst place in the world though, Hobbes, NM is definitely far worse.

Watch your speed in the small towns out that way, they're all revenue enhancement zones for the local government.
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Old 08-19-2008, 10:56 AM
 
6,351 posts, read 19,348,200 times
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Great posts, Momof2dfw and Obsidian97! I didn't remember the Cadillac Ranch until I was rolling ndown the road last night; glad someone else posted info about it! You described US 287 FAR better than I could've!
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