This is where the rubber meets the road (pun intended). I’m posting the most up-to-date trip plan and asking for your input.
We’ll be driving an Acura TL; I’m interested to know if there are parts of the road that we should avoid because we aren’t in an SUV.
D-Day – 2
We’ll head out of Portland (maybe on a Friday morning) and head south towards Los Angeles. I figure it will be a two day drive. We’ll do the bulk of the driving the first day.
D-Day – 1
We’ll stay in Los Angeles / Santa Monica. This should be a relatively shourt travel day. We’ll check into a hotel; go swimming; and relax. That night we’ll head to Dodger Stadium to catch a game. I’ve been a Dodger fan since they moved to LA. I still get chills listening to Vin Scully calling the games
It’s Go Day. Santa Monica to San Bernadino
Like the prior day; this day won’t involve a lot of distance – but will probably take a while to navigate.
- We’ll head to the Will Rogers Plaque at Palisades park, then head out from Ocean Ave and Santa Monica Blvd in Santa Monica. I think this is near the pier.
- I grew up in Southern California; north of Los Angeles. and don’t know how excited I am about driving the freeways and surface streets through LA. The last time we went to the Southland, it took us 2 hours to get from Mulholland Drive and the 405 to Dodger Stadium! Let me know what I should not miss! Especially any sites where I can get some good views of trains or historic Route 66 stuff.
- We’ll get into San Bernadino and head up to Cajon Pass to grab some photos of the BNSF and Union Pacific.
Day 4 – San Bernadino to Kingman
This day may have more driving than I want. We might go all the way to Barstow the first night
- If we didn’t make Cajon Pass the day before, we’ll catch it on the way to Barstow.
- We’ll catch the California Route 66 Museum in Victorville. This will be a nice spot for me; it is where we caught Route 66 as a child on our drive from Palmdale to Winslow.
- In Barstow we’ll see the Harvey House and Santa Fe depot. Yes, I’ll take more train pictures. Where is a good vantage point for pictures?
- We’ll take the old road, where possible, through Daggett, Amboy, and head into Needles.
- From here we’ll cross the Colorado river and head into Arizona.
- We’ll stop for the night in Kingman. We’ll eat burgers and shakes at the Sno-Cap drive-in.
Day 5 – Kingman to Winslow
It looks like most of this drive will be on I-40.
- We’ll take the old road through Grand Canyon Caverns, Seligman, Ash Fork and Williams.
- We’ll stop for lunch in Flagstaff. I have a cousin (my only cousin) who lives there. Flagstaff is a beautiful city. I almost ended up going to college at NAU.
- Then we’ll drive into Winslow and check into the La Posada hotel for a few days
Days 6 – 8: Winslow
If we have a “destination” it would have to be Winslow, where my mom lived and where my grandpa took me to the train station to watch the grand old ATSF passenger trains stop for servicing. I still have an uncle and two aunts who still live not far away. We’ll take a side trip into Sedona to visit my aunt. I think my uncle and his wife (my other aunt) may come up to meet us in Winslow. My uncle was a teacher and principal in Winslow for many years. It’s a gas to walk around town with him. I guarantee that you can’t go 30 minutes without someone coming up and introducing themselves to him and saying what a great teacher he was.
We’ll also take some day trips north of Winslow to see the sites.
Day 9 – Winslow to Gallup
I haven’t thought much about this phase yet. But we’ll definitely check out Holbrook where we’ll see the Wig Wam motor hotel. I don’t have a lot of memories about this part of the road; though I travelled it with my grandma and grandpa to visit an aunt who lived in New Mexico.
Days 9 – 13: Head Back Home
Time to go home.
- We’ll turn north on Highway 491 putting our back to the Mother Road.
- We’ll head through Colorado and Utah with a stop in Boise. I went to college in Caldwell, ID (not far from Boise) so we’ll stop and see some friends (unless they’ve read this blog and have scheduled “vacations”!)
- It’s a day’s drive on I-84 from Boise back to Portland. The scenery through Eastern Oregon and up the Columbia Gorge is beautiful.
So there it is. What do you think? What should I do differently? What should I be sure to see? What can I afford to miss?