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Old 08-24-2010, 08:16 PM   #1
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Back from Vacation... amazing scenic drives

Got back this morning... We left Santa Fe NM and drove straight down the interstates back home to Atlanta. This roughly a 24 hour haul taking turns sleeping and driving. After 12 days in Grand Tetons and Yellowstone and driving their and back, we put 6000 miles on the Rav-4.

I didnt regret not having my SS until we hit Wyoming. Basically 2 lane flat roads with 70 mph speed limits and no one else insight for hours. Sharp curves with warning signs suggesting that you take curves at 60 mph? There were places so desolate at night, people were camping out at gas stations waiting for them to open.

Stretch of road 1: Green River WY to Grand Junction CO. (passing through the towns of Vernal and Dinosaur.)

http://www.mapquest.com/maps?1c=Gree...550003&2v=CITY

This is flatlands of western WY that give way to canyons and eventually cross over into Utah through sharp switch backs. Higher elevations quickly give way to a dense forest of white aspen trees and great views (see Ashley National Forest.) Exiting down into Dinosaur land where the view changes to layered earth and signs pointing out all the fossils that were found here. From there you go back further into Colorado, via another set of switch backs and road. (see Douglas Pass.) Douglas Pass empties back into civilization known as Grand Junction.
The road south of Grand Junction is relatively uneventful until you reach Ouray Colorado.

Ouray to Silverton to Durango to Mesa Verde NP

http://www.mapquest.com/maps?1c=Oura...492203&2v=CITY

If you dont ever make any other ride in your life, you need to make Ouray to Silverton CO. This is by far the most amazing stretch of road I have ever seen. High peaks, sharp curves, and green beyond belief. It seemed that half the turns were adorned by waterfalls. (Ouray rented out alot of Rubicons, and there seemed to be alot of Jeep trails for side roads) Finally you pass down into Silverton and back up to head to Durango then onto Mesa Verde. We took a quick spin around Mesa Verde, stopped to see the ancient cliff dwellings then kept on moving.
The next part I stumbled on. I looked down at the GPS the road was labelled "The Trail of the Ancients."

Cortez to Shiprock

http://www.mapquest.com/maps?1c=Cort...686401&2v=CITY

This section of "Trail of the Ancients" was relatively short. Though heading south, the view was high mesas with chimney rock and shiprock at the end. We then drove onto Santa Fe.

Ill have to post pictures when I get a chance.
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:24 PM   #2
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Well. You explain it very well. Great job. Can't wait to see some pics.

NO WAY, I go on that trip without my Camaro.
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:19 PM   #3
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Ya, I've got to agree with PQ this time (don't tell him) - I would have taken my Camaro too. Especially with stops at the national parks - awesome scenery out there.

Glad you're back safe and sound...
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:31 PM   #4
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There were some Camaros "rentals". Base model V-6. If you saw how close 2000lb bison got to your vehicle on the road, you might reconsider taking it to Yellowstone.

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Old 08-24-2010, 09:49 PM   #5
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Long wyoming roads

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Old 08-24-2010, 09:53 PM   #6
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Approaching Utah

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Old 08-24-2010, 10:04 PM   #7
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Ouray CO.. the pics dont do it justice.

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Old 08-25-2010, 08:25 AM   #8
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Million dollar highway is amazing! There's also a train that runs Durango to Silverton, I wanna do that one day.
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Old 08-25-2010, 10:45 AM   #9
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Thanks Eric for the pics. Ouray is one of my favorite places on the planet. The drive from Durango to Ouray is unbelievable.
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Old 08-25-2010, 10:50 AM   #10
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I remember when Randy and I drove down from Seattle to BatonRouge we passed through Wyoming, Colorodo, Utah, It was just so beautiful!!!! Thanks for sharing those pics it brought back alot of great memories!!!!!
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric's Blue View Post
Ouray, CO
Oh hell ya. I wanna drive my Camaro though there.

Awesome pics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonnie View Post
I remember when Randy and I drove down from Seattle to BatonRouge we passed through Wyoming, Colorodo, Utah, It was just so beautiful!!!! Thanks for sharing those pics it brought back alot of great memories!!!!!
Cept we were in a Ryder truck towing a Suzuki Sidekick and had a 1 yr. old and 4 year old with us.

12 years ago. Wow, time flies.

BUT, we did see a cool tornado. In Louisiana of all places.
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:12 AM   #12
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America the beautiful! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Oh hell ya. I wanna drive my Camaro though there.

Awesome pics.

Cept we were in a Ryder truck towing a Suzuki Sidekick and had a 1 yr. old and 4 year old with us.

12 years ago. Wow, time flies.

BUT, we did see a cool tornado. In Louisiana of all places.
We dove it twice, think of the first time before children!
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Old 08-25-2010, 10:08 PM   #14
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Now that sounds like fun PQ...kinda like being beaten with your own arm....after it has been ripped off...and apparently you were drunk on the second drive...
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