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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My spouse and I are planning a trip out west this summer (dates to be determined). We welcome any “must see” suggestions from those of you who live along the way or who have visited these places in the past. We are mostly interested in the “wonders of nature” but since we are both architects, we are also interested in great examples of architecture.

We are driving down to meet and team up with some friends in Hot Springs, AR (1958 “resto-mod” Corvette) then heading up along the scenic byway Arkansas Highway 7 and the “pig trail” to Crystal Bridges then west along I-40 through OKC, Amarillo, Albuquerque and up to Monument Valley, Four Corners, GrandCanyon, Arches National Park and back home via I-70.

Any “must see” suggestions? Thank you!

PS We are wondering should we take our 2014 981 Cayman on the trip and let it get the “wear and tear” or wait until our 2018 Cayman arrives and take it?
 

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My spouse and I are planning a trip out west this summer (dates to be determined). We welcome any“must see” suggestions from those of you who live along the way or who have visited these places in the past. We are mostly interested in the “wonders of nature” but since we are both architects, we are also interested in great examples of architecture.

We are driving down to meet and team up with some friends in Hot Springs, AR (1958 “resto-mod” Corvette) then heading up along the scenic byway Arkansas Highway 7 and the “pig trail” to Crystal Bridges then west along I-40 through OKC, Amarillo, Albuquerque and up to Monument Valley, Four Corners, GrandCanyon, Arches National Park and back home via I-70.

Any “must see” suggestions? Thank you!

PS We are wondering should we take our 981 Cayman on the trip and let it get the “wear and tear” or wait until our 2018 Cayman arrives and take it?
Obviously being U.K based I can't give any must see recommendations, not unless you get very very lost in any case. But why not wait for your new car & get at least chunk of that extremely long running in mileage out of the way? It'll still keep pace with most everything else & if you're covering varying different types of road which require multiple gear changes then it'll be ideal.
 

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It's funny but we've been talking about doing something similar in 2019, heading south (from here in NJ) and eventually going to Arches, Four Corners, etc.

So while I can't offer any tips, I'll be interested to hear how this went.

We have friends in Calif who drove up to Banff, then across Canada to PEI (where we met them) and then down to through the eastern USA and roughly similar to your route (but then back to Calif). It was 14,000 in all, in a Cayman for them....and they took a small dog.

They told us they had a great time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Guys! Chilli we hope we do not get that lost in 2018 but will possibly be in Liverpool in 2019 to visit some friends as part of another "Grand Tour" for us. aeronca65tl, we will definitely post photos upon our return this summer.
 

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Thanks Guys! Chilli we hope we do not get that lost in 2018 but will possibly be in Liverpool in 2019 to visit some friends as part of another "Grand Tour" for us. aeronca65tl, we will definitely post photos upon our return this summer.
When you get to Liverpool then do yourselves a favour & try to visit Snowdonia National Park in North Wales whilst you're there. It's stunningly beautiful & whilst you obviously couldn't possibly see everything, it is easily close enough to where you're staying to visit on a day trip. Especially the areas around Llanberis & Betws-Y-Coed near the foot of mount Snowdon. Probably best for you not to attempt some of the name pronunciation unless you've had some prior coaching in gaelic languages though. Just to give you more of an idea what I'm talking about:
:)
 

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Don't miss Mesa Verde National Park, near the Four Corners area. Not only will you enjoy the architecture of the ancient cliff dwellings, but the ride through the park would be incredible in a Porsche!
 

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It may be a little out of your way, but I highly recommend a run from Durango, CO up to Ouray, CO. Just a fantastic mountain drive.

I second the comment on visiting Sante Fe, a definite stop for architects....
 

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Sound fun! I covered US and Canada for my previous position for several years. I've had a chance to see a great deal of this country, the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you asked me for 1 place to visit and see with your own eyes in the Western part of the US, I would have to say Sedona, AZ. Is a MUST see! It's what you might expect landing on Mars is like, if it were populated with humans. My wife and I go to Sedona at least twice a year. For me it's close, but even if it were far, I'd make it a point to come out to Sedona every few years or so. It's not only stunningly beautiful, but there's a strange sense of relaxation there that I can't quite describe. Plus, if you're in Sedona, you would be under 2 hours away from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is obviously amazing, but to me, Sedona is much more special. Also, Kilcar above mentioned Ouray, CO. That's a beautiful place with absolutely amazing driving roads...
 
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My must see things leading up to Moab are: The monument valley stretch from Kayenta AZ to Bluff UT. At one time the only lodging in Monument Valley was Goulding's Lodge (The Lodge -) which is still popular. Two highlights in Moab are Arches National Park, which you mentioned, and Dead Horse Point (https://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/dead-horse/). There are lots of lodging units in Moab, but two that are very nice - Red Cliffs Lodge (https://redcliffslodge.com/) and Sorrel River Ranch (https://www.sorrelriver.com/the-resort/), both on the Colorado river. When leaving Moab, you can get to I70 by driving on SR 128 (turn where 191 crosses the Colorado just north of Moab) up along the Colorado River - nicely twisty.

One possible route is to get to Flagstaff, then the Grand Canyon, then Kayenta to Bluff, then Bluff to Mesa Verde (Cortez CO), then MV to Monticello UT, then to Moab.

For alternative driving pleasure...route 550 north from Durango through Ouray is much loved by Porsche people. Continuing on to Delta CO there is Black Canyon (https://www.nps.gov/blca/index.htm), which is pretty spectacular. But then you are up to I70.

Last Fall we drove a new 718 Cayman from Atlanta PEC to Moab staying off interstates as much as possible. Rather than Kayenta we went north through Gunnison CO for some nice Rocky mountain driving. (I drive Moab to Phoenix a few times a year, so go through Monument Valley frequently.) The 718 was very comfortable on that trip.

Have a great trip - so much to see, so little time....
 

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if you could go far west enough i would suggest the PCH :) i did that from san fran to san diego 2 years ago as a bucket list item and it was probably the best trip i have ever drove. lots to see and do, from beaches and local communities to thinks like hurst castle and the breath-taking views in big sur.
 
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You can’t go wrong on the Pig Trail! Once you are done at Crystal Bridges, don’t just take I49 down to I40. Take Highway 59 down via Siloam Springs, or 71 south of Fayetteville instead. Once you hit I40, you will wind up driving about a mile from my house.

Unfortunately there is no interesting way to get across Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle that I know about. I40 is about as boring as it gets.

If you are exploring, I highly recommend buying a map for showing the best motorcycle routes. The same thing that makes a great motorcycle tour also applies to a Cayman. I like Butler Motorcycle Maps. They have a bunch for various regions and they highlight roads you would never find otherwise.

Have fun!
 

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We are driving down to meet and team up with some friends in Hot Springs, AR (1958 “resto-mod” Corvette) then heading up along the scenic byway Arkansas Highway 7 and the “pig trail” to Crystal Bridges then west along I-40 through OKC, Amarillo, Albuquerque and up to Monument Valley, Four Corners, GrandCanyon, Arches National Park and back home via I-70.[/FONT]

Any “must see” suggestions? Thank you!
I take a multi-thousand-mile road trip almost every year and I've been out west a number of times (latest: Drove a friend's Fiat 500 Sport from Dallas to San Fran about three years ago ... Of course I took the scenic route!), so I can chime in on this:

- If you're in Hot Springs, consider visiting the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock before you start off. The building is incredible.
- For the route from Hot Springs: Why are you taking Highway 7? It runs north-south ... If you're heading toward OKC, I HIGHLY recommend driving the Cherohala Skyway west of Mena. Your friend with the 'vette will know it. It's the best road in the Ozarks.
- I concur with @Ironman : skip Albuquerque and visit Santa Fe.
- @Yipekiye is right: Motorcycle guides are great.
- I assume you're going through Amarillo to see Cadillac Ranch? Before that, make a point to drive through Palo Duro Canyon to the southeast of the city (Tx 207). It'll cost you a couple of hours, but it is totally worth it since Palo Duro is the second-largest canyon in the U.S. behind Grand Canyon ...
- Through Eastern New Mexico: The central and southern part is far, far more interesting geologically than the northern. If you can, make a point to drive through Ruidoso and the 'black scar' and White Sands west of it... but don't do it if Santa Fe is a goal.
- If you're diving into southern Colorado from New Mexico, these are must-visits: Taos (and the drive from Santa Fe to it; it's twisty and eye-opening), Great Sand Dunes N.P., then U.S. 160 through Durango, then as many national parks as you can hit between there and Las Vegas. Prioritize Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, Zion.
- Hoover Dam. A true man-made architectural wonder when it was built. Duh!
- Do drive through Vegas. Architecture gone wild.
- Head northwest from there and visit Death Valley N.P., then drive the roads in the western part of the park (among California's best) and head northward to the shadow of the Sierra Nevadas and Mt. Whitney at Lone Pine. From there, pick your direction to L.A. (south) or San Fran (north).

One last thing: PICTURES. Lots of pictures!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you All! These are very helpful as we plan, revise, and continue to plan the routes. We only have two weeks total so a lot of these great suggestions can be incorporated into the next trip(s).
 
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Lots of good suggestions there, so I'll just mention our trips around the West... Our purchase of the 718 Cayman S last August was hurried by anticipation of a September road trip from Washington to SW Colorado, a place we had not visited before. Moab UT was this trip's first glimpse of the dramatic red-rock country. Roads were not as well maintained in Utah as they smoothed out noticeably as soon as we crossed into Colorado through Cortez and Durango. And suddenly, lovely green forests! We stayed two weeks in Pagosa Springs, 50 miles east of Durango, and while there explored the area including a day trip to Taos, very interesting to see the deep canyon of the Rio Grande there, and of course the Taos Pueblo. From Pagosa, hwy 160 turns northward over the continental divide, with some great landscape views over the San Juan River valley, and switchbacks.

One of the more memorable drives was returning from a shopping trip to Farmington NM... heading east on 64 through Bloomfield we turned left just after Blanco onto 511, a twisty road past Navajo Dam. Just after the dam we encountered the only other traffic, a newer sedan. I don't know what kind, as I was concentrating on passing safely on this narrow and bumpy highway. He picked up speed to follow me and I put on some more speed. Due to visibility around corners, the undulating surface, and unfamiliarity, I didn't go full out, but I will say that ~70mph was plenty thrilling! He kept up all the way to Ignacio CO (again the road got a lot better after crossing into Colorado), so I was impressed with his skill in staying on the road.

I'll agree with the value of visiting Mesa Verde for the cultural/historical value of the native structures, and it's a one-way in and back out experience with major interest out where the road loops around the end. Pretty much the same for Bryce Canyon which has not been mentioned... I'd add that as a must-see. Here it's the fantastic red-rock formations around the ridge that one drives out on. Go first all the way to the south end of the road and putter around on the return.

We also passed through Monument Valley and I think we didn't do it justice by driving straight through, but it's spectacular. Four Corners is just a spot on the map in the middle of "nowhere", no other reason for interest IMO, and the structure there is simply a large group of souvenir stands operated by local tribes. And they charge admission!

Some years ago we spent a week in Oak Creek / Sedona, and I have to say I'm fond of it. Agree about the restful atmosphere there, as I was recuperating from a bruised rib at the time, and sat reading in the warm shade. There is one spot off the road up to the Sedona airport, a saddle between two mesas, that is said to have a spiritual nature... saw later that it was mentioned as such in an online search. Restful, and a calm place for meditation. Indeed when I visited this spot there was an East Indian gent in the lotus position on a comfy boulder meditating in the warm breeze overlooking the Oak Creek valley.

We'll be back in that area again this May with the Cayman, staying two weeks in Flagstaff, a good base for explorations I think. Already looking at the maps... :) Back I think through Las Vegas, Pahrump, Tonopah, Lee Vining, and over the pass to Angels Camp...

Doug
 
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