Remember when I was on Facebook and I was like, “Hey, Hailey has never seen real snow so tell me where to go to sled in tubes and ride in dog sleds and shit?” and you were like, “GO TO THIS PLACE BECAUSE IT’S AMAZING” and then I looked at the place and it was all, “Um…did you know that snowy lodges are for rich people and are crazy expensive when you wait until the week before Spring Break to book it? Do you even own a coat?” and that’s when I decided that maybe instead we should just take a road trip. The problem though is that Victor and Hailey are extroverts who love people and I’m a hermit whose best idea of a vacation is a closet filled with books and cats who can’t poop. So then we settled on a Spring Break road trip through Arizona, New Mexico, and maybe Utah and whatever other State we accidentally get lost in. And it’s good because we’re going to see ghost towns and deserts and the Grand Canyon and those are all places that sound like fun and that are basically defined by a lack of people (and dirt) so everyone wins.
Also, we’re going ghost hunting and looking for outlaw cemeteries and maybe sleep in campy teepees and see the world’s largest pistachio. So, yeah, it’s gonna be pretty bad-ass. And yes, we’ll probably all strangle each other after spending a week in a car but I think it’ll be fine because this time I agreed to not loudly read books about human decomposition because apparently Victor hates science and knowledge. But it’s okay because for Christmas I got one of those portable smart guitar jamstiks that you plug into your phone and I’ve never actually opened it so now I can learn how to play the guitar while we’re driving.
So we leave tomorrow and you should follow me on instagram because then it’s like you’re with me on a road trip. It’s gonna be awesome. Where should we go? Besides to see the giant pistachio. Because that’s a given.
PS. I got a house sitter, burglars, and he’s packing heat. And by that I mean that I told him to bring his own space heater because sometimes it gets cold here. But also he probably has a gun because this is Texas. Long story short, don’t come to my house.
PPS. I just realized that for once my instagram is not going to be of cats and screenshots of video games about cats. Now it’s gonna be a bunch of pictures of Victor looking really pissed.
PPPS. This is where I’d post a picture of the beautiful places I’m gonna go but I haven’t been there yet to take pictures so instead I’m going to post pictures of things I’m going to miss starting tomorrow when we leave.
Victor watching Cops and not being mad at me. Dorothy Barker farting on Hunter S. Thomcat:
And Ferris Mewler lightly molesting the refrigerator while he begs for food:
These are the few of my favorite things. Especially the refrigerator. This pistachio better be fucking amazing. Also, that Grand Canyon thing.
280 thoughts on “ROAD TRIP!”
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Yay I love road trips. You should bring Hailey and Victor and Beyonce on a road trip through Australia!
You can see snow on your road trip (most likely!) There will probably still be snow around the Grand Canyon, and if not, stop in Flagstaff and go to the Snow Bowl (ski area) and there should definitely be snow. No sledding at the ski area, but there are some sledding areas around there might “may” still have snow.
Hey burglars, I’m away too, but I have cemetery people guarding my house. But I suppose that might be enticing if you are undead burglars, so never mind. I’m home.
I would think that this website would be right up your traveling alley (so to speak); there are some amazing roadside attractions http://www.roadsideamerica.com/
Ok that 3rd photo of Ferris is priceless.
FYI go to Sedona! All magical, spooky and oh so lovely.
Growing up in the SF bay area, snow has always been something that you go out of your way to visit and not something that happens where you live. When my husband told me he’d never seen snow in his life (having spent the first part of his life in a tropical country before moving to the US and never leaving silicon valley) and wasn’t entirely convinced that Hollywood wasn’t just lying about the whole thing, I threw him in the car and we drove east for a few hours until we were high enough in the mountains that there was snow on the ground. We got out, played with it for a while until I’d convinced him it was real, then got back in the car and went home.
It’s a good thing you decided not to come to Ottawa in Canada… It’s raining like hell and almost all the snow is gone. :/
If you make it to Colorado there’s snow in the mountains and you could go skiing even thought it’s warm and springlike in the Boulder Valley. The best of both worlds!
The link to my post shows lots of snow and fun to be had-
p.s. Did you know you can get ghost hunting tool apps for your phone?
The Grand Canyon’s pretty rad– my S.O. and I made sure to see it when we were road tripping. I almost walked into an elk. It was an experience.
If you like haunted towns, you should swing by Jerome AZ while you’re here. It’s an old mining town (of course its in the side of a cliff and you have to climb hundreds of stairs. But if you’re into that kind of thing…). It’s pretty cool.
Ahhhh! Come through El Paso! I will make you PIE!
Going to the Grand Canyon next month, so I can’t wait to see what you see!
Bonus points if you Instagram a photo of the giant pistachio in the Grand Canyon. Because perspective.
Pistachios are lovely on salmon. You should try and eat salmon. Bonus, it might smell like cat food and you can post it on Instagram for Ferris and Hunter S–so they don’t miss you as much. Have a great trip!
Have you seen The Thing?
Read all the Mary Roach books! READ THEM.
Where does one get constipated cats for extended closet-reading vacations? Asking for a friend.
It’s hard to (learn to) play guitar while you’re driving. Or, so I’ve been told.
Utah!! you need to go to 4 corners.. if you contort enough you can be in 4 states at once! And Bryce Canyon, it is fantastic in winter!
Your cats are a comedy show unto themselves! I love them.
Aw. That was almost my spring break trip. Except mine starts two weeks from tomorrow so I can’t even say that I might have run into you, sadly. If you drive through Tuba City, Arizona, will you take a picture for my husband?
I second the Roadside America site! We road-tripped to New Orleans and saw SO MANY weird dead things! (Living things too, but this is you we’re talking about.) (By “we” I mean my fiancé and I. I don’t think you were there. Wait… were you?!)
Road trips! I grew up on them. People usually get them wrong. The point is not that you can drive all day. The point is that you can stop whenever and as often as you want to.
Short-mileage days are the key to awesome road trips. And if you string them together, you can still cover a lot of ground. You just want to think of your trip as a loop with a midpoint.
Have some crazy ass fun! Also — there’s an app for learning how to play guitar on your smart phone? Totally gonna check THAT out.
Fyi, the drive from Flagstaff to Phoenix is pretty amazing.
Take an umbrella and rain boots!!
OOH! You should totally write a Kerouac-style memoir of your travels and define a generation (maybe called the “Blog-nicks”)
While in AZ, drive SOUTH and hit up Benson AZ and see “THE THING”….a classic 50’s road side attraction….and then of course there is the Wigwam Hotel by the Grand Canyon, and did you know you could surf in the dessert? Yep- in Tempe AZ, Big Surf- the original water park…and take your daughter on a tour of ASU while you are here- she would love going to ASU……Sedona is beautiful- but the flakey people have overtaken it and made it all about ‘new religion’ I think you would like Jerome too, it was a mining town, then a Ghost Town and now it’s an “artist town’. Complete with a haunted hotel. And there are two cool haunted hotels in Prescott and one in downtown Phoenix. I am an AZ native, and would love to be your tour guide.
Jerome, AZ is an old mining/ghost town. I believe they even have a haunted hotel.
We did this road trip last year , and I had a good time despite myself, the Druery Inn in flaggstaff is great! North rim is closed so go south rim, see the old watch tower, go to slide Rock In Sonoma . The inn in flaggstaff is next to Lowell observation. Center, and has a Mausoleum on site (I took pictures with it). There’s also a meterior on the way to NM. Despite PTSD, GAD and CNMD I was able to enjoy myself, not a lot of people and south rim has a bus to take on the whole rim free. Have fun , we are rooting for you here!
I read you are leaving, and then I was like, oh no! You aren’t supposed to say that on the internet! But then immediately after you addressed it, but your sentence structure seemed to indicate you already HAD burglars, so any additional ones would be SOL. You got a housesitter, you got burglars, and they got guns. Not a party you want to crash.
Have a great time! <3
So glad you’ve found Mary Roach. Her writing reminds me of yours, except you don’t write about gastrointestinal and/or sexual (dys)functions or human decomposition (yet!) Have a great time and thank you for all you’ve written – you rock!
I was bummed out when we visited Roswell, NM. Not enough aliens.
Getting lost is western Utah is amazing. Plus the roads eventually lead to Moab, and Arches National Park, although really it should be called BIG GIANT ROCKS Park, because there’s way more of those than Arches. They still amaze me.
Give Albuquerque a miss but The Taos area is nice, tent rocks is worth the trip and southern Utah is beautiful. Moab is entertaining as it is full of the retired and stoners.
Ohhhh, New Mexico is my absolute favorite! We road tripped there on spring break two years ago and I’ve been there many other times. If you need ideas, holla! Have fun!
You and Haily should get ukuleles and learn to play them instead of the guitar thing. I’m sure Victor would love dueling beginning ukus in his car.
Since you’ll be seeing the giant pistachio, stop at White Sands National Monument, too! It’s not snow, but Hailey can still sled down the dunes.
As a devout night owl, I still say sunrise on the (north) rim of the Grand Canyon is soooo worth the effort (link to one of my pictures as proof https://flic.kr/p/mHidBC)! Ooh and the Desert botanical gardens in Phoenix. And Taliesin west is almost on the way from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon. And Sedona, the road I picked to get there was more exciting then I would have liked but the scenery once there was spectacular! Can you tell I took a road trip from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon not too long ago.
PS. You will want your winter coat up by the Grand Canyon. It is cold up there in March
Sounds excellent! I hope y’all have a great trip.
Utah is some of the most gorgeous hiking I’ve ever done in my life. I view physical exertion with about the enthusiasm as I’d view a root canal, but honestly, Utah is an amazingly beautiful bit of country.
I hope you make it to Utah, the red rocks are beautiful and it’s not too hot in the spring. The National Parks like Zions and Bryce Canyon aren’t crowded either (and there could still be snow here and there). I also highly recommend the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary near Kanab, Utah. I’ve done the free tours twice, which features a bus tour of the Angel Canyon and, at least a few year ago, the chance to snuggle kitties in the special FIV house. See http://bestfriends.org/sanctuary/visit-our-utah-sanctuary/tours-sanctuary.
Northern Arizona / Utah / New Mexico is probably the prettiest region in the world. The painted desert and petrified forest are pure beauty and magic. The Grand Canyon aint bad either.
If you have time to swing through Phoenix there is a store you might enjoy called http://curiousnatureshop.com/
Curious Nature. Among other great stuff they sell baculum! They also have a taxidermy class April 2nd.
And if you do come to phoenix, my Daughter-In-Law and I would be happy to have you for dinner.
I plan all my road trips around food and tourist attractions from Roadside America! Guaranteed fun & randomness! Route 66 has lots of that. Of course we did ‘Standing on the corner’ in Winslow Arizona. Meteor crater was kinda interesting. In Salt Lake City, the awesome library, the Gilgal gardens & stop by Les Madeleines bakery for a kouing-aman pastry: Deeeeelicious. Four corners of course. I wish we’d stopped at Roswell. But there were so many oddities we missed, we’ll have to drive through again. You’ll find plenty of places to have fun without too many people I’m sure.
Superior, AZ (small mining town just East of Phoenix) has the world’s smallest museum, and is a historical location for the Apache’s. Tombstone, AZ is pretty amazing too. I’ve lived in southern Arizona for 22 years, and have never been to the Grand Canyon.
How on earth do you get photos at the right place and the right time? I just snorted at Hunter’s agony.
PS… have an awesome time – was in Utah and quickly saw the dam and skirted the Grand Canyon in September.
PSS… also stopped in Vegas but we can’t talk about that because it is Vegas (but I can say I saw many weird humans there).
The dog fart, cat reaction, angry hubby shot is quite possible the greatest picture ever taken. Also I’m in AZ but my paperwork to be declared a national monument is still “in processing” so you can’t see me 🙁
Go to Roswell and say hi to my friends! It’ll be like I’m vicariously there!
I traveled around Utah in March ’01 and saw a TON of snow at Bryce Canyon but my favorite place was Zion National Park. Go there!
I don’t have an Instagram account <gasp!> but you are probably the only reason why I’d get one.
This is unsolicited, but PLEASE be careful. My husband and I were involved in a near-fatal car accident on HWY-160 (a gorgeous 2 lane highway near the Grand Canyon) and were later told that the area surrounding the Canyon is notorious for drunk driving accidents and that they (health professionals) recommend only driving in daylight hours to minimize chances of incident. Please get a big car and stay extremely cautious.
Antelope canyon is a must- on a sunny day it really looks like the pics. Try book it if u can. We didn’t and still managed to get a tour the next day. Bryce canyon is also spectacular. Meteor crater too if you go bear flagstaff – what’s more awesome than a big hole in the ground?!?
Is there even snow in any of those States right meow? I actually have no idea but MAYBE. Being from Canada I just assume there is no snow anywhere but here.
Take the train from Williams to the Grand Canyon. It’s a lot of fun. I second the Sedona and Jerome suggestions. I grew up in Tempe and skied at Sunrise and Snow Bowl every year. They are both in AZ, so you can still get snow this time of year.
Listen, I’ve dealt with constipated cats and really, you can enjoy the closet full of books better if the cats are in good health.
New Mexico is both beautiful and largely empty– I miss it so much!! If you have time, go by the VLA (http://www.vla.nrao.edu/) it’s one of the largest (the largest) radio telescope in the world and is so cool and hardly anybody visits, and it’s in a gorgeous part of the state.
If you hit the top left corner of New Mexico (somewhat near Four Corners, where you can be in four states at once, because HOW COOL IS THAT) then you should stop by Aztec, NM and see the Great Kiva and Aztec ruins. It won’t take more than 30 minutes to see the whole thing (unless you’re like me and want to search for fingerprints in every ruin and sit and imagine what it was like to live there 900 years ago, and sit in the Great Kiva and listen for the drums). There usually isn’t a ton of people there, but not because it’s uninteresting. The coolest part of this national park is that you can walk right on the same ground the Anasazi walked on and crawl through the ruins themselves (at least you could last time I was there, which was several years ago). Aztec is small and remote so it’s not a big stop on people’s lists, but the ruins are worth the trip, in my opinion. 🙂 Very hands-on. Also, from Aztec, it’s only 25 miles to Durango, CO which is a SUPER cool place to see some steam trains, have lunch, shop a bit, and possibly take the railroad up to Silverton, which is an artist community up in the mountains (with more shopping for things you’ll never need once you get home, but will love looking at). If you do decide to ride the train, understand that it’s slow as molasses in winter, and if you’re afraid of heights don’t do it because there are some heart-stopping pieces of track that have you wondering how many people died putting it there and if you might join them. The scenery is awesome, but after about 20 minutes of oohs and ahhhhhs I was more than ready to jump out and we still had several HOURS of trip left. (We ended up taking the bus back to Durango, which only took an hour.) My aunt lives in Aztec, which is how I know about all this. 🙂 Good luck! Have a safe trip!
Hope you through Tucson! If you do check out 4th Ave (especially Lindy’s burgers) and send a shout out to lisa_ann_author on instagram!
There is snow in the southwest… I know! I went to Santa Fe on March 17th in shorts and was totally snowed on. Utah, AZ, NM…they all have snow. I bet you find some!
In Durango, CO there is a haunted hotel and supposedly one in Aztec, NM (which is where I happen to live, but not at the haunted hotel because that would be scary). Durango and Aztec are about 30 minutes from each other and are in the Four Corners area so that would be educational. You could also go to the Four Corners Monument. I have never been but I hear it is cool because you can be in four states at once.
Carlsbad Canyon in New Mexico is worth the trip! Self guided tours for the antisocial and flocks of bats at dusk. How could you go wrong?
I love ya, and I will totally miss you when Victor kills you and dumps the body in the rotting cemetery of a forgotten ghost town for playing the phone-guitar in the car on a road trip. Have fun!
Yay! Road trip! If you are by the giant pistachio, make sure to check out White Sands. It’s awesome! There is also a strange little train museum somewhere around with a ride on park train. If you’re coming through Albuquerque, go to the Rattlesnake Museum. The tram and the Atomic Museum are cool, too. If headed through Sante Fe, check out Meow Wolf – an interactive art show. It opens next week. Happy trails!
We lived in Utah for 13 months and loved the national parks. Our kids are 5 and 11. Some easy-ish hikes/outings are here, findyourwest.wordpress.com … one day I’ll catch up with it 🙂
I recommend stopping in Alpine on your way thru west Texas. (Spell check made that into “stripping” in Alpine. Could be entertaining.) You could do a book signing at Front Street Books. Then you could go to the Terlingua ghost town. And you could check out Clay Henry, the goat mayor of Lajitas.
Grand Canyon is so awesome. We listened to books on tape on our last road trip. “The Book Thief ” was our favorite. Death talking to us across Death Valley. Poetic. Enjoy your trip. Will check out Instagram!
OK, if you are going to be in Arizona and want to hunt ghosts, then you should be sure to go to Jerome Arizona. An old mining town that is supposed to be really haunted. The Jerome Grand Hotel is the haunted hotel to stay in. I think there is another haunted hotel in Bisbee Arizona. I guess if you are an old mining town then you are guaranteed to have ghosts. http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/arts/nine-infamously-haunted-places-in-arizona-6554798
They are both pretty cool though.
Years ago I took a weeklong road trip with husband and two sons. I used the AAA site to map lots of roadside attractions like the giant pistachio for each leg of the trip. We got to see cliff dwellings, an ice cave, volcano, and meteor crater all in one day, but after the third day we my husband refused to take anymore of my suggested side trips.
You need to stop at my house in Phoenix because Haley and my 12 year old daughter would be besties totally. AND, we have 3 cats and a beardie. Oh and by the way we have a 1300 square foot ranch style bungalow so hope you’re not averse to close quarters. The price is you have to bring me with you if you go ghost hunting because I want that to be my new career.
Since you’re going Arizona and Utah, go to Monument Valley. I’m sure it’s on your list but if not, put it there now, please. It’s the area that Forrest Gump was in and stopped running and decided he was tired and gonna go home now. People get excited about that. Mostly I get excited because it’s gorgeous.
Antelope Canyon. It’s a slot canyon. Very cool.
If you’re doing Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, you’ll definitely be driving through Colorado, so stop at Cave of the Winds. I’m copying Wikipedia because I’m lazy: “Cave of the Winds is a cave in the Pikes Peak region of Colorado. It is located just west of Colorado Springs on U.S. Highway 24, near the Manitou Cliff Dwellings. Tours of the complex of caves are given daily.” I’ve gone a couple of times with my daughter and it’s pretty awesome. You can even get discount tickets online.
You must go to Oatman, AZ. It may or may not be haunted. But it does have a crazy donkey infestation. No. Really. Donkeys roam the streets, beg for food, and and molest visitors for food. Apparently, they are descendants of the donkeys (or are they mules?) that assisted the miners that settled in that town long ago. It’s awesome. The whole town is super kitschy. So worth it. Just be careful feeding them. They have been know to chase people down for more.
We drove from Florida to Utah with two vomiting toddlers, me 7 months pregnant, and two sweaty hairy men in a minivan, and we didn’t kill each other, so I think you guys will be okay.
If you make it to Salt Lake City and need a place to sleep, shower or hide, you’re more than welcome to stop by. You can stand and make obscene gestures in front of the Mormon temple and take lots of photos while doing so and see how long it takes someone to offer to baptize you and your dead family members. My record is 27 minutes.
Also, we have snow in the mountains here.
Finally – if you go to Four Corners, you can stand on 4 states at once, and that can make it SEEM like you’ve been on a way better road trip.
The biggest takeaway from this (and I freaking love it) is that I never know how to add that one line in a Facebook post that lets people know that even though I am saying I am going to go on a trip, SOMEONE will still be at my house. I usually try to work it in generically: “I am leaving for two weeks to India. I am so sad my son can’t go”. I really should be putting: “Don’t come to my house. My son is there and he is big and likes to shoot people in the face.”
You’ll find some snow. I enjoy being IN snow for small increments of time. After that, I enjoy looking at snow out of the window from a comfy chair holding a hot toddy. (That’s a drink, not a dude named Todd but hey, both would be good if they’re hot.)
My 11 year old got a Guinness Book of World Records before one of our road trips. She must have said 1,000 times “Did you know…”. I almost killed my husband for deeming that an appropriate gift. So, you could totally get one and educate Victor the whole trip! I’m sure he would LOVE it as much as I did.
Hope you take all the back roads possible and see “Wild America” including lost cemeteries, one of my favorite things! Lots of dead baby gravestones which are heartbreaking but really pretty!
I live in Northern New Mexico (Los Alamos) and there’s still snow in our mountains. I hope you guys have a wonderful fun trip! New Mexico has so many cool things to check out! Safe travels
To second what Belladonna said back at 43, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in southern Utah. You can totally find your closet filled with books and cats who can’t poop. They have a house just for that. (Not really. But they do have cats who can’t poop. And lots of animals who need snuggling. And you might think it’d make you sad like a Sarah McLachlan commercial, but it won’t. I promise.)
You should absolutely write your travel experiences on a roll of toilet paper. For posterity. Or posterior.
The BF & I are leaving for a 5-month road trip, starting in the SF Bay Area, heading South. Death Valley is supposed to be rampant with wild flowers. I’m already blogging about the trip (www.tccurrie.com) and will have to finally give in and start an IG account.; I’ll follow your trip and we’re in the same place at the same time, I’ll say hi to Victor and Hailey (respecting your privacy) :). I am so stoked about this trip I can hardly sleep.
Of course giant pistachios, but be careful of the little ones – this recall was announced today: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm489959.htm
If you have a phobia about heights, stay away from Grand Canyon cuz if you’re like me, you will instantly imagine your loved ones hurtling over the edge and then spend the next hour beating yourself up (alone, in the car) because that mental picture even popped into your brain and like, “what did that even mean???)
And also, visit Organ Stop Pizza in Mesa. The coolest pipe organ you’ll ever see!
You (and I mean specifically you, not merely “everybody”) should go to Sedona. It’s a town in Arizona two hours south of the Grand Canyon. It is one of the most naturally beautiful places in the U.S., in a totally unique way. (Google some pictures, you’ll see.) Even the drive to get there once you leave the interstate is gorgeous. But also for you, it is also full of people who are totally into the supernatural powers of crystals, “vortexes,” psychic healing, etc. I recommend that you do not pay the $20-30 for a “photo of you with your aura,” which are advertised every 15 feet downtown. You can take your own picture and photoshop around your head with some pretty colors; that’s all the shops do anyway. 🙂
Unrelated, but have you seen this guy Zach Anner who wrote the book “If at birth you don’t succeed”? He is a comedian who happens to have cerebral palsy and he’s sooo good! I hear he’s all over YouTube, too. He reminds me a lot of you with the making lemonade thing.
Valley of Fire. Go. ELEPHANT ROCK.
So sad that you didn’t come through Tucson last weekend when we had the biggest, best Steampunk Convention in the Southwest at Old Tucson, an old movie set and theme park. I know you would have enjoyed seeing all the regular visitors gawking at all of us dressed up in gears and goggles!
Come to Northern Nevada! We have Tahoe! And Virginia City! And Reno! Or don’t go that far north and head here instead: http://goldwellmuseum.org/
You should go to Tucson! There’s a ski resort there! For real!
Well, I think you need to go to Bisbee, Tombstone, & the Saguaro National Park – most beautiful sunsets in the world! http://www.nps.gov/sagu/index.htm
Totally make sure you go to a place where theres actual real made by nature snow, not that fake shit thats just fan blasted misted water sprayed onto a hill at some resort by some college drop out weed smoker called Lance…Lance as opposed to his weed, only has the weak shit when it comes to snow….
omg!!! Are you coming through Holbrook, AZ? Are you staying in our teepees???? That would kick ass!!! Cause you are kind of my hero… sort of. You and Jesus. 🙂
As a small piece of advice, figure out how to get a National Parks Pass $80 (often available at entrances but maddeningly, not always) as then you won’t mind skipping in and out of parks for a half a day here and there and not getting your “money’s worth”. Also provides some free parking at Natl Monuments etc.
Oh and you should probably come back to Australia again at some point. you’ll be safe, the dropbears only eat Asian and European visitors nowadays, theyve gone all fucking fusion…
Plus it will be a safe haven, at least for a year or so, after Trumpgeddon sets in
Come to St. George! It’s the most southern town in Utah. If you go to Zion national park you’ll drive right through
You have to go to Rooster Cogburn’s Ostrich ranch. Seriously, go.
You might find some weird (fun) stuff here.
Awesome! Though I’m mildly concerned that the world hasn’t given you all the money yet.
Snow and cold are waaaayyyy overrated. Just want to jump in with some things from years of roadtripping and photography:
Get state park passes in advance. They save a ton of money and are usually better maintained and less busy that national parks. Check out: the charmingly named and completely gorgeous Dead Horse Point SP http://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/dead-horse/ (near Moab)
Goblin Valley SP, Utah, where they shot that rock planet scene in Galaxy Quest (still hurting over Alan’s recent passing.) http://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/goblin-valley/ (seriously in middle of nowhere)
The Lightening Field – Science, art, danger! (ok not really any danger.)
Also, I think Victor needs to hear more Mary Roach read aloud. And be sure to erase his 80’s playlists from all devices before you leave!
I am so jealous! I can’t wait until I can afford to go on road trips like that with my son! I hope you guys have a blast. Don’t annoy Victor too much…oh, who am I kidding? Sing show tunes at the top of your lungs and point out every different state you see on license plates along the way. You only live once!
I live in the Ruidoso NM area and we still have snow at the ski resort–of course half of Texas is up here for spring break so there are a lot of people around. If you are looking for a cool funky little town to visit with haunted buildings, visit Carrizozo, NM (I work in there and could suggest the best places to eat–ok there are only 4 places to eat but I could tell you which one is the best 😉 ). There is a great lava flow outside of town to explore. Nearby White Oaks, NM is a ghost town. Also nearby Capitan, NM is the Home of Smokey Bear–there is a museum to visit.
Oh, Jenny. Never change!
We should all take bets on how long you get to keep your guitar stick thingy.
I guess 2 hours.
Oatman, Arizona is a blast. It’s an old mining town on Route 66. They have shoot outs on Main St. (Not really, just pretend) and the wild burros have discovered that they can wander into town and mooch carrots off of the tourists. It’s where Carole Lombard and Clark Gable had their honeymoon, and you can still the hotel room. Also, spell check keeps wanting to change the name of the town to “Batman”, so there’s that.
If you’re looking for a place to stay near Monticello, Utah (between 4 corners and Moab) there’s a little place north of town called the Runnin Iron Inn. We were on a road trip of the southern Utah parks and had planned to camp at Canyonlands but the weather turned cold and we were tired and grumpy. We rolled in around dinner time and got the last room. Adorable, clean, well kept, the owners are hilarious, and we had a fantastic steak dinner. So much better than eating ramen and sleeping on the ground again.
Copper Queen Hotel in Bisbee, AZ. It’s supposed to be super haunted.
You probably won’t need lodging so close to home, but I’ve been meaning to take a trip to Marfa and stay at El Cosmico because it’s so funky.
There’s a museum at Los Alamos.
And you have to visit Roswell, NM.
Flashing back to a Southwest road trip 40-some-odd years ago: I changed a vile smelling diaper on the baby. Since we were in the middle of nowhere and the odor was killing us, Hubs directed me to toss the dipe out the window. I did and then watched, horrified, as it went splat all over the windshield of the unfortunate driver behind us. Dude! If you’re reading this now or it was an oft related tale of your grandpa’s, I’M SO SORRY!!!!!
Oh, I love road trips! I’m an introvert, so road trips are awesome. You get to see lovely places without dealing with peppy airline people.
My major reason for posting, though, is that we’re probably visiting family in New Zealand next winter and I’m already panicky. We live on a farm, so we need someone to watch the menagerie of animals! If your house sitter is good, please please please get me in touch! And if he’s bad, please please please let me know to avoid him! I’m terrified I’m going to come home to a burnt out house and dead animals. I need positive stories of house sitters!
Stop at meteor crater, by Winslow. I wanted to walk to the bottom and my family refused. You might have better luck.
So, your itinerary is probably full, but if you have time: I’m a Park Ranger at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. It’s Grand Canyon adjacent. Not only do we have Lone Rock Beach and Glen Canyon Dam, where they filmed scenes from “The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon” episodes of Doctor Who (Arthur Darvil walked RIGHT past me!) but we have a really cool historic area, Lees Ferry. Old pioneer buildings with a hidden cemetery in the back. That’s where they buried all their kids that died of diphtheria, which was kind of sad because it was all the kids within a week. We are also in between Grand Canyon and Best Friends, which I agree, you should definitely go there. I know a bunch of people are recommending Antelope Canyon, and it is amazing and gorgeous, but also has claustophobic and agoraphobic issues. Just saying.
We’ve stayed at the Wigwam Motel (“Have you slept in a wigwam lately?”) right on Route 66 in Holbrook AZ. The mom-and-pop restaurant across the street has great huevos rancheros and an impressive collection of Cars (the movie) paraphernalia.
If you come to Roswell, we’ll totally take you out to dinner at an amazing restaurant AND show you the alien museum. You can’t beat that deal.
We’ve stayed at the Wigwam Motel on Route 66 in Holbrook AZ (“Have you stayed in a wigwam lately?”. The mom-and-pop restaurant across the street had great huevos rancheros and an impressive collection of Cars (the movie) paraphernalia.
I’m gonna blow the dust off of my Instagram account just so I can see your pictures!
Jen, I love your blog. It’s like my inside voice has found its way onto your pages! Very comforting! Check out this website for some fun off-the-beaten path road trip attractions! http://Www.roadsideamerica.com. I’m looking forward to following your adventures. I am a tax preparer, so I’m pretty much chained to my desk until April 19th!
STIFF Is one of the best books ever and it’s a shame that Victor apparently can’t appreciate that.
Bisbee AZ! They have ghosts there and foxy ladies to give you a tour of the haunted stuff. Just down the road from Tombstone.
Wait, you’re not rich enough to go to a ski resort as a bestselling author? Well fuck, I’m just giving up on my dreams now. WHAT’S THE POINT?!
Have you ever been here? I’m thinking every kind of awesome.
Flagstaff has some great restaurants and snow.
Hi dear, if your going to pass through Utah, go to Park City. There may still be snow up there. I can’t promise this though, as we live in the valley. But we did get a snow storm up there on Sunday. And it is beautiful. It’s where all the rich people seem to want to go for The Film Festival and to ski. And definitely google scary/haunted places to visit. It seems we have many old ghost towns that are supposed to be haunted. I have not been to any of them. And I could totally be pointing you towards a crappy day during your road trip. Hmmm, maybe you better not take my advice after all. Our mountains still have snow, maybe this counts. I hope you all have a great trip. And thank you for posting the pictures, I was unable to see those beauties as I listened to your book at work. My neighboring typists didn’t seem to mind my constant muffled shouts of laughter, so it was all good. 😀
Sounds like a fun trip : D. I love traveling vicariously! And Hunter’s expression is priceless lol
Yay road trip! Looking forward to following your fam’s trip!
And what the frack is up with Dorothy Barker gassing poor Hunter?
don’t go to Sedona. People there want to talk about vortexes and shit. But just north is Oak Creek canyon one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Best tourist dollars I ever spent was a half hour helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon. Nothing like it.
Has anyone mentioned Atlas Obscura? Sometimes you can find cool stuff to see there.
Grand Canyon, sure, but don’t forget about Canada. We have big holes too.
Mesa Verde National Park. Just go.
Please give the Grand Canyon a hug for me. I am trying to make it there to see it this year before I turn 40, after 25 years of yearning (see this for the whole sad story – http://cheeseblarg.blogspot.com/2011/06/grand-canyon-incident.html) but I am not good at following through on things that require money so, I trust you to pass on my affections for it in case I can’t make it. I look forward to pictures!
Sedona, Santa Fe, Bandelier Natl Monument (New Mexico and Durango, CO if you can make it. Can’t wait for pictures!
BISBEE AZ!!!! Super haunted. Close to Tombstone too.
If you are heading into Utah you might like Grafton Ghost Town! Me and my siblings hit it up on our way to the North Rim of The Grand Canyon (we are from SLC so it was on our way lol). Its just after Zion National Park if you are coming from the South.
You head into the uber small town of Rockville after passing through Zion NP (so small if you blink you’ll miss it) and across this neat bridge and out along this dirt road. It also has a old graveyard!
The very large array is somewhere south of Albuquerque.
There are concrete tipis to sleep in, In Holbrook AZ (need reservation).
Walnut Canyon NP was pretty good.
There was also the Road Kill Cafe somewhere along RT 66 in AZ.
There was along rt 66 in NM a mining museum near El Morro and El Malpais. Led by a former miner. Where you can hear about Uranium mining being safe “as smoking cigarettes.
El Morro NM was interesting, historical graffitti near a watering hole.
Snoball Cafe, near Road Kill Cafe, pretty bizarre.
Ps roadside america website …..
Nobody is allowed to enjoy snow until the driveway is shoveled. Best you’re going to the dessert. Or the desert. Whichever is tastier.
Night tubing at Snowbird in Utah is awesome but even better is Canyonland national park. Goblin Valley is also awesome. Read The Monkey Wrench Gang while you travel! Arizona has awesome not too sweaty hikes up in Scottsdale (and I’m sure everywhere else) with few people if you go mid day on a weekday. There’s a really good app for that called AllTrails.
Also, my two favorite words are awesome and also. Jeeze.
Have an amazing trip my family went from Ohio to Oregon.It was the best of times it was the worst of time,and in the end we had a blast
Three days in something will happen that just jumps on your last nerve. It will happen, trust me, but after you blow everything will be fine. Enjoy your trip.
Does Dorothy Barker get to go?
Oh man! Can’t believe no one has mentioned Sunset Crater and Wapatki national parks. Wapatki has a Mayan ball court, step in and hear the past come alive around you. Coolest place ever!
Cool! My fam and I are doing the same road trip only we are leaving on Saturday and from Austin.If you spot the Firefly sticker on my truck’s back window, we are gonna beat you to the canyon!!
Santa Fe: hit the Plaza and the Palace of the Governors. There are usually Native Americans (only Navajo can sell their wares here) lined up on the sidewalk in front of the Palace of the Governors. The jewelry is gorgeous, all handmade. Also, go to the Rosetta Chapel, right off the Plaza. It was built in like 1750 or something and has a spiral staircase that has NO SUPPORT at all, and is still used every week by the freaking choir. It’s amazing, and so beautiful. Just north of the Cerillos road exit (south side of Santa Fe) is this weird steel building that has enormous life-size dinosaurs crashing out of it. It’s nuts. Albuquerque has a nice Natural History museum with ridiculous (but awesome) gigantic animatronic dinosaurs. Truth or Consequences is way far south and kind of a shit hole, but it’s the home of Richard Branson’s spaceport for the sub-orbital flights. I have no idea if any flights have ever actually happened. Ha! The Grand Canyon is totally surreal. It looks just like a picture – like you’re not really there, but are looking at a photo. It’s really pretty amazing. Meteor Crater is pretty cool, too – it’s not far from the Grand Canyon. It’s just a gigantic hole in the ground, but it might be from the motor that caused the dinosaurs to go extinct, so it’s interesting. The Cubs are in Spring training right now (along with other teams) at HoHoKam field in Tucson, if you guys like pro ball. Oooh! If you’re around there anyway, you should go to Mesa Verde! It’s in the far South…west? corner of Colorado, just north of New Mexico. It’s an ancient Anasazi civilization, and it’s like the world’s first apartments. They carved out multi-story dwellings from the side of a cliff. It’s really cool. I grew up in southern Colorado and my grandparents lived in Truth or Consequences, NM, so I’ve done some time round those parts!
OMG, that was long. Sorry! Also, I wasn’t trying to be shady and “anonymous,” I just got all excited and wordy and then the name box disappeared on my phone. 🙂
In Albuquerque you NEED to stop at Frontier restaurant – across from UNM! A must – every time I’m there we stop. Tortilla’s are out if this world!
If you get to Las Vegas (I don’t recommend it, really) go to the Neon Boneyard Museum.
I’m going to also seventh the Jerome Grand Hotel (I’d second it, but it’s already been mentioned like six times) because it’s creepy and apparently haunted and when we stayed there, my husband got up in the middle of the night and tried to unlock the balcony door and he doesn’t remember this and when I told him in the morning he freaked the f*ck out and was sure he was possessed and was going to fling himself off the balcony because he never sleep-walks. (We had a recorder on, not because we are pervy but because we wanted to hear real life ghosts and you could hear the lock jostling. That’s when he metaphorically peed his pants.) And we also kept hearing a what sounded like an air-raid siren like from Silent Hill between midnight and one, but when we tried to record it, it went away and the inn-keeper (guy at the main desk, but “inn-keeper” sounds more of this story’s genre) he was like, “oh, that only sounded when there was a cave in at the mines years ago…” it was like we were in a Scooby-Doo episode, so yeah… go there.
Also, there’s a ghost cat. Honest to God.
Okay, so I looked at your instagram for the first time tonight. And apparently, while I wasn’t looking, you let Hailey grow up into a lovely young lady/grown-ass adult, which I think was very irresponsible of you because in my head she was still 5 years old (thereabouts) so that was quite a shock to my system.
Enjoy your trip.
Do some of the ranger talks at Grand Canyon-they were great. There was a book in the gift shop documenting all the dumb ways people died there. Petrified Rocks were cool. We did some geocaching there, and we later learned there are geocaches along Route 66 we could have done. There’s an observatory in Flagstaff where you can look through the telescope they used to discover Pluto. Have fun!
Everyone is mentioning scenery stuff, which is all well and good but the most important thing if you hit route 66 West of flagstaff is Westside Lilo’s amazing pies. They are in seligman, and I have in fact had my husband drive me out there just for the pie (3.5 hrs one way from Phoenix)
Ok, no time to read all the other comments, so maybe someone already mentioned…but if not…get thee to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. One of the most awesomest places in the world! : )
What about Roswell, NM? Never been there, but I’m sure the opportunities for awesome Instagram photos are endless.
They say that we’re going to lose the north country snowpack by the end of March, which is a full month before normal. So if you want to see snow, come SOON. The Grand Canyon is actually as good as the hype. Really! And it’s safe to come to Arizona… (I’ll even refrain from the rude political comment I was planning on saying).
If you are considering Bryce Canyon, throw the warmest clothes and hats and scarves you own in the car. We were there in April and the snow was mostly gone, but we still got single-digit wind chills. I haven’t looked at the phases of the moon lately, but if your timing is right the “full moon hike” is awesome. Sunrise is also beautiful at Bryce but also really cold. Do you sense a theme?
This sounds like it’s going to be so much fun!!!!! Victor needs to lighten up when you’re reading about science. I absolutely LOVE Hunter S. Thi cat’s expression in the picture where Dorothy Barker’s farting on him. It’s perfect! I can’t wait to see your pictures on vacation. Come home with lots of weird taxidermy!
That was supposed to be Thomcat!!! WTF???
Have fun & safe travels!!
4 corners is a must. Plant a tiny flag and declare the whole area to be yours. Bloggessland. Or world. Whatever. Also to echo comment 102 (I think), Goblin Valley is ridiculously fun. I went when I was about Hailey’s age and I have never forgotten it.
Please go to Encino, NM. We drove through but by the time I got my camera out it was over. I have in my notes, “What happened in Encino NM?” I found this page: http://cityofdust.blogspot.com/2013/05/after-depot-encino-new-mexico.html.
Also, we went to Sedona, but I didn’t get it.
The Grand Canyon is beautiful in Spring! Less people than in the freaking hot Summer. Enjoy route 66, weird roadside attractions, ghost towns, and rekax.
Relax! Dang typos on mobile phones. 🙂
Sedona – for the vortexes (Bell vortex is gorgeous at sunrise). The Tlaquepaque shopping center is so cute, and has good stores w local stuff. I had a nice meal at Oak Creek Brewery & Grill. I didn’t get to go to the Enchantment Resort when I was there, but wish that I had (for a spa day). Jerome is just the coolest old west town – don’t miss it. I got a really good margarita at a Mexican restaurant there. And you have amazing views from the town. Breathtaking.
Dierks Bently has a bar in Arizona.each table has its own tap of wine, beer, and whiskey. You never have to leave your table, which is good because after sticking your head underneath the tap of your choice you really shouldn’t walk.I wonder if they have catheters? Let me know.
I suspect there is something Wong with me when I got super excited that I am not the only person who reads books about human decomposition and that you linked a book of that nature for me to read as soon as I finish with the book I am currently reading about violent murders that happened in 1973. Also- have you read Smoke Gets in your eye ( or eyes. Or their eyes? I dunno, it’s about cremation. ) Or Crime scene cleaners? Both were horrifically awesome.
Oh and yay Grand canyon! I grew up in Upstate NY and I can assure you are that snow is just really cold water. Sledding is fun on the way down. Once. And I have never seen a sled dog although I have driven through blizzards that would make your hair curl. Or freeze. Plus snow is only pretty till it isn’t. And that is about 45 seconds after it falls.Bring Hailey to a water part if she wants to sled and bring her to the beach and she can build a snow man with sand. Same concept, way warmer.
I moved to Florida 8 years ago and if I never see snow again it will be too soon.
Be safe and have tons of fun.
Look up Philip Varney…he wrote a bunch of guidebooks about ghost towns in New Mexico, Arizona, California. I think they’re all still in print.
(Bonus: he was my high school English teacher and an extremely awesome man)
Have a great trip!
That cadaver book was great. Also good (and related) is Blood and Guts: A History of Surgery http://www.amazon.com/dp/1250057736/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_NGL4wb0KABEG8
There was a tv series as well.
Read “On the Road” while you’re on the road, out loud. That’s what we did on a road trip. Even though the road trip was to the grocery store and back.
Road Trip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Best thing ever. Until it sucks, but don’t worry about that for a day or two. Such fun! P.S. I’ve done road trips from Canada to Florida and from Canada to New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California avec cat (and not only could she poop, she shat inside the truck once – that did suck).
I’m not on Instagram (trying to leave one social media doo-dah to the cool kids), so I’ll miss everything. I expect one bad-ass blog report (or two) with pictures!! Gracias (Just practicing up. We’re off to Spain next week… house sitting a cat!).
If you’re looking for creepy and haunted, you should check out the St. James hotel in Cimmaron, NM. As a native New Mexican, I have stayed there several times, and have barely slept a wink. It’s an old-west historical hotel with one particularly haunted room that will give you goose bumps just walking past it. 10/10 for sure. 🙂
Damn you, Jenny! You’ve stolen my road trip! I’ve wanted to camp and explore the desert southwest for years and was hoping I could this spring break, but once again finances foiled my plans. 😞 Well, at least I can see your pictures, make sure to visit the cliff dwellings for me!! And maybe Moab, Bryce Canyon, Arches… Or you know, stuff you guys might want to see…
There are so many pretty state and national parks in Utah. I noticed others mention Goblin Valley, definitely try to go there. All of the national parks in Utah are beautiful, but I didn’t see already mentioned so I want to suggest Capitol Reef as well.
I second shoutout to the Atlas Obscura site. Best way ever to discover the weirdest places near you. Also if you’re able to locate it, the Mars research facility in southern Utah is right up your alley. My parents were working in the area and ran into scientists in spacesuits gathering samples who invited them to a stargazing party.
If you’re near it, Jerome is a really cool little town. There’s a neat old cemetery there too! Sedona is beautiful, but a little new-agey. Have fun!.
In New Mexico, if you want to feel like you’re in a whole different country, go to the sancuary in Chimayo. If you want to feel like you’re on a whole different planet, walk all the way down inside Carlsbad Caverns. Have a great trip!
The Grand Canyon is amazing! I also highly recommend Oak Creek Canyon/Sedona too!
Ok,Jenny, I did this same trip idea with my kids, being from Houston and just planning to wing a trip ’til we reached snow. Where we wound up — remember the blizzard of Dec. 2000? Those were my prayers for snow for my kids — was at Sandia Peak in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and it was magical. There’s a sweet cozy Lodge when you take the tram to the top! Also, in our search for hot springs, we got lost and ended up at the Jemez reservation wayyyy off course, for a Christmas Day celebration that I do NOT think we were invited to. But it was beautiful. Y’all would love it!
P.S. For the love of God, please don’t sneak any photos if you go to the reservation. Lol
Oh, yeah, and I stress the fact that that trip was based on affordability on a near-broke budget…like lunch meat in the cooler cheap…’cept for the tram ride. Also, no attempts at photos on the reservation or you will have one helluva blog post when y’all return.
Have an amazing trip! I promise not to attempt to break into your place while you’re away especially as I don’t live in the US right now and it’s an awful long way to go just to be potentially thrown into jail.
I suggest you pick just one song and play it, on the jamstick, CONSTANTLY. People really love that. Like maybe Robert Palmer’s Addicted to Love? Just non-stop and then make some instagram pics of the JOY on peoples’ faces after 10 hours of Addicted to Love.
Right below your link to this post on my Facebook post was this picture:
Looked like something you might need on your trip. (I hope it shows up in the comments)
Poop. didn’t work. It was a dollhouse made out of a suitcase. I’m internet-clueless. Don’t know how to transmit it to you.
I hope you see this before you get to Arizona – I highly recommend the Verde Valley. You drive through it on the interstate between Pheonix and Flagstaff. The cliffs are amazing at sunset, Jerome is a little toursty town set on the side of the mountain with all kinds of wonderful shops, and Out of Africa is there. If you do nothing else, look up Out of Africa! It’s a rescue park for big cats – lions, tigers and bears oh my! We loved it when we lived there.
Have fun on your road trip! Can’t wait to see photos. 🙂
I’ve only been to the SW once, as a kid, but the thing that made the biggest impression on me was Meteor Crater. It’s the world’s best preserved meteorite impact site. You can pretend you are visitors from the future to see what killed off all the humans. That’s what my brother and I did!
It’s funny, because I so vividly remember this, while the Grand Canyon was just MEH.
On a cross-country road trip my wife and I had the radio on and near Flagstaff, AZ kept hearing these ads that said “See THE ROCK,” which was apparently some badass meteor and giant crater. I would have loved to see both but we were on a schedule and it was 5am and the crater wasn’t open.
How they close a crater up for the night, though, is something I would love to see.
I know I’m in the minority here, but I’m wildly unimpressed by the Grand Canyon. It’s just…like…a big hole in the ground. I’ve been twice, and I get what the fuss is about, but it’s not for me. Yawn.
Have an awesome time!
PS the Monte Vista Hotel in Flagstaff is totally haunted, and very much worth a night. My last room in the hotel had angel busts on all the walls and ceiling and I was woken up at 2am with a huge thud and then a man screaming and running out of his room above me. Fun!
I hope you can get this, because you’ve got to see it. IT’S SO YOU!! http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/video-wonder-a-musical-instrument-made-from-a-badger?utm_source=Atlas+Obscura&utm_campaign=f76bb9c319-Newsletter_3_11_20163_10_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_62ba9246c0-f76bb9c319-61149901&ct=t(Newsletter_3_11_20163_10_2016)&mc_cid=f76bb9c319&mc_eid=80fb565648
Oh NICE! Have fun! And I loved “Stiff”. If I could read it while eating Victor needs HTFU. I mean, seriously. Come on bruh.
I’m a former Durango/Aztec resident and I second that rec–especially Durango! As a current Santa Fe resident, we’ve got snow up at the ski area–it’s just a super-short drive up into the mountains (pretty too). Be safe and have a great time!
Road trips are our favorite thing. Santa Fe Santa Fe Santa Fe! Stay at the El Rey Inn on the outskirts of town or rent a house from Two Casitas. Go to the Folk Art Museum– so much Day of the Dead stuff, your head’ll spin. Eat at Pasqual’s in downtown. We just went back after 10 years and it was as delicious as we remembered. And if for some crazy reason you get as far as California, I just learned about this place: http://www.winchestermysteryhouse.com/sarahwinchester.cfm
from the amazing book The World is on Fire by Joni Tevis: http://www.amazon.com/The-World-Is-Fire-Apocalypse/dp/1571313478. Have so much fun!!!!!
Addendum to Santa Fe recommendations: Pasqual’s is super tiny and super crowded so I take it back! (I just really love the food– maybe take out?). Maria’s Kitchen though was all spread out and we ate all by ourselves in a separate room and the sopapillas were amazeballs.
The cat is like “F my life”
The giant pistachio is totally worth it and THEY HAVE WINE TASTINGS in the back of the store. Yeah, its a win – drink- win.
As one of your Arizona fans, I’d like to recommend a couple of places.
Tombstone – very touristy, but Boot Hill Graveyard, the old courthouse, and the Bird Cage Theater are all haunted (speaking from personal experience, here, not just rumors). The Bird Cage gives ghost tours at night, which is where I had my first physical contact with a ghost.
Prescott – specifically the Vendome Hotel. Room 16 is haunted, as their website will tell you. I spent a night in that room alone, and had major physical contact with both Abby and her cat, Noble. With a cat ghost, how can you say no? Check out ghost hunter footage on YouTube for the Vendome.
Happy haunting hunting!
A giant pistachio! Looks exciting!
I’ll try to remember to invite you to Winnipeg when it is the best toboganning / winter-seeing time. (I think you were here to speak at a blogging conference a year or two ago.)
In the mean time, enjoy that giant pistachio. Here is what you can see in Manitoba during the summer: https://www.google.ca/search?q=giant+mosquito+komarno&biw=1600&bih=775&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiflIyag7nLAhXHloMKHbTQCTgQsAQIJw.
No pressure or anything, but I started following you (on Instagram, not in real life, cuz that would be one more restraining order I just don’t need), so I expect this road trip to be pretty amazing.
It is curious how empty my life feels now. There has been this giant pistachio out there and I never knew.
You will love New Mexico! NO ONE looks you in the eye, they’ve all been hiding from the Federales too long.
I HIGHLY recommend Arches National Park in Moab, Utah. It’s indescribably beautiful and Moab proper is a cute little town. I’m getting married out there in November and I can’t wait!
If you end up lost in Nevada, the absolutely coolest place I’ve ever been was the trail to Mouse’s Tank in Valley of Fire park. So silent you can hear the whoosh of air from the wing beats of birds flying overhead. The red sand underfoot is fine as talcum powder, so I took my shoes off and walked barefoot. And then, you look up (it’s a little bitty canyon), and there are ancient petroglyphs. You can walk right up to them and put your hands where another human who lived a life I can’t even imagine thousands of years ago made art. Chills.
Also, watch Chuck Cannon’s youtube videos on alternate guitar tuning. You’ll be playing like a pro in a day and a half. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxPzrzmdYes. It gets really good at 2:30.
As a veterinarian, I can tell you with great certainty that cats that can’t poop are not something that makes for a pleasant vacation. Ever. It does make for some very cranky cats who are very lucky that I have smaller hands than many of my colleagues (although I doubt the cats would consider themselves lucky about anything right then). Also, enemas and sometimes sedation as well as long metal tongs that look like something the ancient Egyptians would have used to remove your brain via your nose. No fun. Plus, for some reason, they seem to come in waves. As in “what, another cat that can’t poop? Didn’t we just go through this this morning and yesterday and the day before? Is it a full moon or something?”
Prescott, AZ is a wonderful town with a haunted hotel. Everyone on road trips through Arizona should try to go there.
You should get a GPS (or a GPS app for a phone, whatevs) and do Geocaching as you travel!!
“Stiff” is one of my top 5 favorite books and if that makes me weird I’m totally ok with it. If you want a book that gives you an amazing amount of “fun facts” to throw out at dinner parties, this is for you. I mean, people will hate you for it, but it’s totally worth it.
You might want to watch Planes, Trains and Automobiles at some point during the trip when you’re all sick of each other. Because that movie always makes me laugh and will make your car companions seem like complete angels in comparison:). Bon voyage!
Carlsbad Caverns, AMAZING! Marfa is very cool http://www.afterall.org/online/a.politics.of.tears.the.museum.of.useless.efforts.marfa.tx#.VuMS_ZMrK1s
It also has mysterious lights that skim across the desert at night and a really interesting cemetery my daughter and I explored when she was 12. We also spent a night at Prude Ranch that was not too expensive and the horseback ride was fun http://www.prude-ranch.com/. Actually I think the really interesting cemetery was in the town near Prude Ranch but the ones in Marfa are interesting too. Lot’s of haunted places in that area.
On your way out of Texas, if you are going through Amarillo, stop at Cadillac Ranch. This is an art installation with Cadillac cars buried in the dirt that have been spray painted over the years with graffiti and pictures. It’s weird and cool.
Stop in Santa Fe and smell the pinion wood burning in the air from fireplaces. Such a great smell. Go to the Governors Square and check out all the wares for sale by the natives. Good prices on turquoise.
Taos has the pueblo that you can tour but I think it’s more restrictive on where you can go than it used to be. If you can get some of the bread they bake in the outdoor oven, buy 3. They are delicious.
Highly recommend taking a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon. It’s amazing.
It’s a little far, but there’s a Clown Motel in Tonopah, NV that is also right next to an old cemetery. I stayed there and didn’t die. Also, it’s super cheap. Here’s a youtube video about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrHM6-UWGFg
Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico is totally worth going to, as is Bryce Canyon and Zion in Utah. If you head back through Colorado on 70, then I highly recommend eating at The Pullman in Glenwood Springs. The Garden of the Gods is also totally worth stopping and spending some time walking around (you can walk as little as half a mile around some rock formations I think).
We road trip a lot…
What is it about husbands and watching COPS? I’ve seen every episode I swear because my husband LOVES that show. You should ask yours why he likes it so much, because mine gets mad at me when I interrupt the TV (even though I told him that’s why they made DVR. To pause, listen to your wife, or rewind when she continues to talk and you miss everything). Have a great time on your road trip! I can’t wait to see what you will find!
You should stay at the El Tovar hotel by the Grand Canyon. Yes, it is hellu expensive (maybe just get an expensive dinner?) BUT it was also where National Lampoon’s Vacation was filmed. Clark Griswold grabbing the money and running? Classic!
Hunter S. Thomcat’s face in that photo ACTUALLY MADE ME LAUGH OUT LOUD. Thank you.
I second (or third or fourth) the vote for Goblin Valley. I spent Thanksgiving there once and thoroughly enjoyed the wall of noses, the lizards and the stars there.
Where to go? Mesa Verde is amazing and really high up in altitude. Canyon de Chelly (pronounced de shay) is lovely. Monument Valley is humbling. Try the Hatch Chilies and always get sopapillas with honey to wash down the firey chilli. Instagram everything as your alibi!
OK. So I ADORE New Mexico. I don’t know how far south you’re going in New Mexico, but you totally need to check out Carlsbad Caverns (creepy, subterranean and science-y) and Lincoln, NM… which is where Billy the Kid did all of his Billy the Kid stuff. There’re still bullet holes in the wall and everything! Carlsbad and Lincoln are a ways apart from each other, but you can go by way of Roswell and see some cool alien-y stuff.
Regarding the Grand Canyon, skip the south edge and drive around to the north. It avoids the largest crowds, takes you through the Vermillion Cliffs, and leads to Utah via old US 89/89A and the Kaibab reservation. A much better drive than the interstate. Just be sure to have a flu tank of gas and a supply of water.
We took this same road trip (leaving from a different coastline) 2 years ago. Highlights were an unexpected night at the Zion Lodge, which was remarkably not expensive, but that could have been because we walked in at dinner time and filled a cancellation. Most amazing thing we didn’t even know about before a motel owner tipped us off was White Sands, NM – and you can totally go sledding there. Take a snow saucer!
Best family trip we ever took was a road trip down the California coast. Hope you have a wonderful time! Check out Roadtrippers.com Destination Strange. Might find something up your alley.
If you’re going to the Grand Canyon via I-40 you should check out the Meteor Crater in Arizona. Sure, it’s a big hole in the ground but it’s a cool big hole in the ground created by an exploding meteor.
Someone has probably already mentioned Roadside America in this thread, but just in case they haven’t: Roadside America. An online collection of the best tourist attractions in America. Organized by state. If you’re looking for high-quality le perish es like the largest pistachio, they’re right up your alley.
Taos, NM still has snow, as does Santa Fe ski hill. Tour of the haunted parts of Santa Fe every Saturday evening. and you can stay at my house! get a dog and cat fix using mine as substitutes. I also have a nice big closet if you need it. The old jail in Taos has a mug shot posted of Dennis Hopper from his stay – from the looks of it, that was one rough night.
Oh- if you want a weird book to read about the Grand Canyon, try Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon. It chronicles “…many gripping accounts of all known fatal mishaps in the most famous of the World’s Seven Natural Wonders.” But maybe keep it to yourself. It might give the family ideas if you’re really hating each other’s existence. Some of these deaths were murders.
BEST human decomposition book ever. And now I’m questioning my own definition of “best”. But it totally is!
You should take a super short, but exciting, road trip to Dallas! I’ll be there next week and how awesome if I got to run into one of my internet idols! I promise I wouldn’t go too squirrelly on you. I’m sure Dallas has something haunted you could visit. It’s a big city. Have a fun trip!
Good luck on the snow thing…last time I flew over the rockies/ranier, there wasn’t much. Even here in the berkshires we’ve had less than a foot (and it was just 80 here earlier this week).
Never been but have seen beautiful pictures of the grand canyon and yellowstone. If I ever traveled have to admit those would be couple of my stops. Also red rock…coworker went to visit his daughter and the pics (and Dall sheep) were awesome.
Enjoy your trip!! Because, Giant Pistachio!! 😀
When I was Hailey’s age, I went on a road trip from IL to CA & back…with my parents. Dad drove an enormous RV! We made memories for a lifetime; Grand Canyon, lots of amusement parks, the Hearst Castle, a giant redwood forest, Disneyland 💜, restaurants & campgrounds & quality time together. I’m excited for Hailey to experience this, she will never forget this trip w you & Victor!! Safe travels, I will miss your pets SO much, I love them all. Hope you find a👻 ghost town! 😊
Whatever you do, don’t google “Grand Canyon Deaths” until after you leave. We were just there last month. With all the selfie sticks and people stumbling around on the WRONG SIDE of the railings, we were all surprised that the number isn’t higher.
Howdy. I live in Flagstaff, Az, which you kinda have to drive thru, at least, to get to the Grand Canyon. I have had the unique experience of growing up at the grand canyon (my dad did hotel business) The town is tiny, the Hole is pretty. Go see the el Tovar hotel, while you are there, for a Vast collection of taxidermy heads. Should you be in Flag for any time, go see The Weatherford/Charleys and hotel Monte Vista, (both downtown) for super awesome haunty stuff. Eat supper at Salsa Brava, or Kachina downtown, and tell me when so I can sit at the next table and watch you guys eat. (I’ll bring my family, so it’ll only be a little weird…) As for snow, it’s pretty melty here in flag proper, but the area around Mt Humphrey will still have snow. Plus, its still winter, at 7000 feet, so it could snow again any day. for real. like in May. or like June 6, 1995, when I graduated from high school…. You will want jackets, its 18-20 at night, 50-60 during the day… Yay! for road trips!
Try White Sands National Monument it’s like 30 minutes from the giant pistachio. You can sled down the huge sand dunes. Take water and a big umbrella to picnic under. Oh, and lots of sunblock.
Awesome! I love road trips, can’t wait to hear all about it…and see the pics…
You are so very funny! However do you get your cats to take these pictures you are always taking? Mine revolt! Enjoy your road trip, especially the Grand Canyon, but sometimes there are a lot of people there.
The Grand Canyon was a life-changer for me. It feels like a postcard pinned on the horizon because it’s so huge it doesn’t seem real. Hats with brims are recommended. The rail doesn’t really go around the GC, by the way; it’s fun but the depot is 60 miles away from the south rim. Have a great time – your photos will be awesome!!
My family agreed that Bryce National Park in Utah is the best. You gotta love the hoodoos.
Stop at THE FOUR CORNERS and you can stand in four states at once! (Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah!
Come to Colorado!!!!!’ We will hook you up with real NY pizza!
You should check out Bodie if you make it to California! Super creepy.
Oh and no people in Bodie…except the dead ones
“…we’re going to see ghost towns and deserts….and those are all places that sound like fun and that are basically defined by a lack of people (and dirt)”… OH HONEY… you totally need to come to Australia. Our Outback is freaking enormous and TOTALLY fits that description. You’d love it!!! 😉 BB
I just left NM after 8 years, and miss it like crazy.
Truth or Consequences is a fantastically bizarre little town, and worth it for a soak in the hot springs. Taos is really fun for the day, but Santa Fe is an overrated, overpriced tourist trap. Tent Rocks is one of my favorite day hikes, and Bandalier National Monument is a great stop to climb inside ancient cave dwellings. Carlsbad Caverns is worth the drive, especially if you’re there in the evening to see the zillions of bat swirling out of the cave.
Have an amazing trip!
If you come through Phoenix, stop for ice cream at Churn or Sweet Republic! You could have breakfast at Luci’s on Bethany Home & 16th street.
Ooo, I love a Road Trip. First rule of Road Trip is, no rules on Road Trips! No plans, just drive.Stop whenever anything catches your eye and stay as long as long as you want. When you’re halfway through your allotted holiday time, turn around and start driving back. On a different road!! 🙂
Man i am SO stoked to see that giant pistachio!
you really, really need to visit Santa Fe and Taos. when you get to Taos, have the green chile at Michael’s kitchen- that’s the best in the world, in my not-so-humble opinion. Bandolier National Park is a for real must-see, cliff dwellers.
You need to go to the Cockroach Hall of Fame in Plano, TX. I drove all the way from Virginia to do so. Totally worth it. My relatives were not pleased when I informed them that that was the real reason I was visiting them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUpMxz0Fc3c
If you make it to southern Utah, Brian Head ski resort is only about an hour and half north of St. George and they’ve still got plenty of snow.
If you like nature and hiking at all, you need to check out Zion National Park in southern Utah. It just beautiful and amazing. In Arizona, Sedona and surrounding areas are pretty and Saguaro National Park is full of amazingly large and bizarre looking cacti. And Tombstone has reenactments of old west gun fights, and also randomly a room full of reptiles and a tarantula that you can hold.
Learning to play guitar will be useful when you are driving through nothing but desert nothingness. I’m sure Victor and Hailey will appreciate it.
Try an app called Neko Atsume so you won’t miss your pussycats so much.
Dude, Roswell NM. You would love it here! Aliens and shit man! BLAH! But really, the UFO museum is kinda shit but the game shack across the street and up a block is totally worth it. it’s called Pair-A-Dice, no shit. I might own it. We might have a copy of Furiously Happy under the counter. If you come in and I’m not there I am going to be so mad. I probably wouldn’t be there, thoguh, those Magic the Gathering assholes kind of turned me off to it and now I just make my husband suffer through his dream alone. though I do bring him dinner. EVERY DAMN DAY. Because I don’t have anything better to do?
You should visit the Tinkertown museum! It is near the Sandias about 20 minutes from Albuquerque in NM. On the way is the musical road that plays ” America the Beautiful” if you drive over it going 45 mph! Have fun !
HAHAHAHA my favourite pic is the first one – Hunter looks absolutely disgusted. Can’t wait for the IG pics – I am in desperate need of a road trip but its not school holiday yet so I will be with you driving vicariously.
We are doing this road trip – well, we want to – but we are on the other side of the states…northeast. so.. the trip is in it’s infancy stages. We are trying to sell the kids on it – you know THE GRAND CANYON – THE REDWOODS – RED ROCKS IN AZ. I shout that at them and the response is.. but we’re driving for almost two weeks? Well yes, but – the trees are really big. 😉 (Now I can add the Thing to it and all the ghost stuff.) Can’t wait to see your travels. Be safe. Don’t think you are doing the Redwoods but if you are.. hug one for me. <3
If you are going to see the pistachio in Alamogordo NM, I recommend Caliches for milk shakes and concretes. http://www.caliches.com
Just remember that if you take a clock-wise trip and are anywhere near north-central Kansas, THE WORLD’S LARGEST BALL OF TWINE is in Cawker City, KS on route 24. If you come during daylight, cross the street and get some twine to add to the ball (it’s free!) and get your own “Twine Winder” T-shirt!
There’s a Super Bloom in Death Valley right now. It’s super. I’m just sayin’.
Also, we just found a teenage horned lizard [aka horny toad] in Death Valley and it chilled on my kids’ shoulders and was the cutest thing ever.
We knew it was a teenager b/c it was too little to be a grownup and bigger than those stupidly cute babies from the zoo pic, and also b/c of how chill it was. Horny teenager toads are chill, right?
I hope you see this in time, although as #263 in this list that isn’t likely. There is a book to buy at the Grand Canyon on how people have died at the Grand Canyon (falling in is one of the ways). My husband bought it and then was riding my case as I sat on the canyon wall and painted. He was sure I would accidentally knock my water container over and lunge for it and fall off the wall. I did not, but apparently lots of other people have. Have a great trip.
Getting an Instagram Acct because of you. Damn you.
If you make it to Moab, stop at Hole in the Rock south of town. Homespun taxidermy and a room full of dolls.
A road trip sounds great, especially in the Southwest. I just love the deserts of Arizona and the Grand Canyon is literally breath taking. I can’t wait to hear more about your trip.
If you come through Flagstaff, I have a great, private, 2 bedroom guest house you can stay in. We are 60 miles from the Canyon (locals just call it the Canyon) & it is very cozy in the pines. And we will leave you alone so you can have privacy (even though my book club and our male counterpart book club just read your book & we think you are awesome (and sort of crazy – men just seem to struggle with brilliant women sometimes!)) Meesage me & I will give you directions, door code & leave the fridge stocked with good wine & beer! Safe travels! Marian
PS I am totally serious if you want to use it!
Just got back from a little road trip to Arizona, myself. If you’re in the Yuma area, you should go to the Castle Dome Mines Ghost Town. You drive past the Yuma Proving Ground (interesting in an of itself, though their Heritage Museum is only open Tues-Friday and I was there Sat-Mon, so…) and through the Kofa National Reserve to what is literally the end of the paved road and then drive on a dirt road up into the mountains for about 8 miles. Once you get there, it’s literally a collection of old stuff in rickety shacks, and sometimes there are weirdly creepy mannequins, and and all of the descriptions were written by someone who was both enthusiastic and perhaps not entirely objectively disconnected from the events. It’s pretty awesome. Scratch that. It’s awesomely awesome, especially if you’re someone who enjoys a mixture of kitsch and history and odd assortments of things presented in a semi-museum like fashion.
I live in Alamogordo NM where the WORLDS LARGEST PISTACHIO is! I wish I hadn’t fallen behind reading your blog – you have probably already been here. I would have loved to say hi!
You SLAY me……..love it. I needed big giggles today. Thank you, this is Dorothy Lee, I do not know my Galaxy insists I should be anonymous. Perhaps it thinks I’m a bit crazy. Lol
There is a town in AZ named Bedrock that is just like the town the cartoon Flintstones lived in, and a town called Oatman that has little donkeys that roam free all over the town and harass the tourists….good times!
I just wanted you to know that we once had a ferret named Ferret Bueller. ^5 kindred spirits?
Don’t miss the giant Roadrunner in Alamogordo.
not far from the giant piatachio.
Also, if you’re in the western part of the state:
and you would stay here, please:
And if you happen to be in Alamogordo anytime soon, please do consider:
New Mexico’s first feral pig hunt. Prizes include taxidermy!!!
Great accommodations available:
Hope to see you soon!
Seriously, if you plan to be in Alamogordo in July, the Mescalero Rez has ceremonies for girls coming of age. Plan ahead if you choose to attend:
Like Weed, Mescalero is not too far from the, er, giant pistachio and rusty Roadrunner.
For ghost towns in New Mexico, the very best book may well be, “Haunted Highways: The Ghost Towns of New Mexico” by Ralph Looney. It’s an oldie but a goody.
The Grand Canyon is, IMO, the best road-trip evah. Hailey may or may not appreciate it, because when I was her age, I’m not sure I would have. But in the summer of ’76, my Mommy road-tripped with three younguns in a VW camper from Miami to Alaska and back, and it snowed for us in Yosemite. In AUGUST. We had to bypass the Grand Canyon that year, probably because of the snow in Yosemite, or maybe not. We got back home to Miami much more edumacated about ‘Murica. Mommy got back even more tired than when we left Miami (but she had Chronic Fatigue, back then, before docs had a name for it, so)…
Have fun seein’ ‘Murica!
OMG, I am so very very late to this party 🙁 I HOPE you got to go to Smokey the Bear’s gravesite. It’s not far from the World’s Biggest Pistachio (where I HOPE you got to eat some Atomic Chili Pistachio Brittle, which is the World’s Best). Also? White Sands is right south of the World’s Biggest Pistachio, but don’t go to the missile range, just the monument. There are also two really great little space museums, one in Alamogordo and one at White Sands. If you take a detour to go through Cloudcroft, stop at the Tunnel Stop Gallery, which is also a used book store, so WIN WIN. Really, you wouldn’t have to leave New Mexico, cause there’s so much weird, wild, wonderful stuff there. Don’t forget Roswell – downtown has really cool alien stuff, and you can eat at the “Aliens Welcome” Arby’s. Oh, and remember on the movie “Contact” when they were moving a bunch of really huge antennas around? Well, that’s actually in Socorro, New Mexico, and you can go tour it and they also have a gift shop. OH, and there’s an actual lava flow and it’s not far from Smokey the Bear’s gravesite, which also has a neato mosquito little museum of all kinds of Smokey the Bear memorabilia, including lunchboxes and Cracker Jack toys. I could go on and on, but you get the idea by now!!
I feel you. I want to vacation here. It’s a barn full of antique books, maps & other documents along with numerous reading nooks.