US Road trip: What to see

Your going across the country, what to see? My personal preference is to stay away from over populated areas. Big cities all look the same, to this I answer go west young man, go west. The most spectacular scenery in this country is west of the Mississippi. On the northern route west, you have the Black Hills, Deadwood, and Mt. Rushmore just to name the tip of the iceberg. You can easily spend a week in that area and only scratch the surface, I know I’ve done it. Onward west is Devil’s Tower, an easy hike of about a mile takes you around the base.

The local Ranger will point out the ancient ladder hanging high on the side of this geological wonder. How the Native American’s climbed this vertical stone wall is amazing. Continuing west is the Big Horn Mountains, take the Alternate highway, it takes you right up to 10,000 ft, the view is unbelievable. The pattern of fields below look like a soft green quilt. Dropping a little south as you continue west , you can’t miss Yellow Stone. A day’s drive making the circle around the park will show you things you can’t see anywhere else in the world. And yes you can still count on Old Faithful too. Further west you run into Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, the huge trees and mossy vegetation will amaze you as you swoop through the valley highways with your used Jeep Wrangler.

Washington has the Grand Coulee Dam and following the Columbia River is a must. If your route is more through the center of the country, be sure to go up Pikes Peak, stop along the way up to acclimate to the altitude or you’ll be sorry, we didn’t and had splitting headaches by the time we got to the top. Arches National Park is right on the way and the rock formations are truly unique. Continuing west go to Las Vegas. Even if you don’t gamble a dime, go to Las Vegas. There is so much to see and do there, you can’t miss it.

On a southerly route be sure to see Quartzsite Arizona, if your luck enough to go through in January of February you will see the great migration. RV’ers from all over the country converge on this tiny desert town of 2,000 during the winter months raising the population to 500,000. Trailers and motor homes cover the desert for miles. Flea markets, bazaars, and vendors every where. As you go through Texas be sure to see the Cadillac Ranch, just west of Amarillo.

There are plenty of places east of the Mississippi as well, I’m just a little partial to the wide open spaces of the west.