Missing States I
May 2006 - Route Overview

S t a t e s    W e ' l l    V i s i t
Reading left to right

Georgia (6)

Alabama (3)

Mississippi (2)

Louisiana (1)

Texas (New!)

New Mexico (New!)

Arizona (New!)

Oklahoma (New!)

Arkansas (1)

South Carolina (-)

The number after each state name is the number of times we have visited that state since these trips started in June, 2004. South Carolina, our home state, is unrated.

R o u t e    O v e r v i e w
Click on the map for a larger view
As you can see from the map to the left, we'll be driving from Aiken, SC to Arizona and then back.

The pink line on the map is "going West." The blue line is "coming East."

If you'll recall, a rule we've had on these trips is that we avoid driving Interstate highways. The goal has been to travel the "backroads" as much as possible. This trip is gonna break that rule somewhat. I'm going to try and use the Interstates as a backbone to the trip and take short, defined trips using the backroads to sightsee. This is experimental. I may get to the point that I get tired of driving the Interstates. If I do, the route can be changed. We'll see.

Oh, The Navigator did four cartwheels when I told him we'll be on the Interstates a lot. That greatly simplifies his job. If fact, he said something about leaving the GPS unit at home for this trip. I doubt he'll do that. He obsesses over the GPS unit.

The routes through each state we'll visit are shown below. If you need more detail than is shown on the maps (and I'll grant you the map pictures don't have a lot of detail), please click here for a detailed state by state itinerary including the sights we plan to see.

G e o r g i a,   A l a b a m a,   M i s s i s s i p p i,   A r k a n s a s
Click on the map for a larger view

These states are grouped together as we'll be driving across them without stopping. Going West to get to the New Orleans area where the trip really begins. And coming East to return to Aiken.

Going, pink line: We'll drive to Atlanta then get on I85 and head Southwest into Alabama. We'll pick up I-65 in Montgomery and continue Southwest to Mobile where we'll get on I-10. Then into the New Orleans area.

Coming, blue line: We'll enter Arkansas from Oklahoma and drive east to Memphis TN where we'll get on US-78 and go into Mississippi in the Northwest corner and take US-78 Southeast to Birmingham, AL. Then we'll get on I-20 for the final drive back to Aiken.

L o u i s i a n a
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We'll continue on I-10 through New Orleans. Might get off and do some touring around the city.

We'll get off I-10 and take Hwy-90 to the West. We might even drive down to the Gulf of Mexico.

Back on I-10, we'll head for Texas.

T e x a s
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In Houston we'll take a detour South to League City to visit with my Cousin.

Then we'll take I-10 West to San Antonio where we'll visit The Alamo. Looking forward to that.

Back on I-10 until we get to Hwy-285 which we'll take Northwest into Loving County. This county has the smallest population of any county in the US. We'll visit Mentone, the County Seat.

Then we'll continue Northwest into New Mexico.

N e w   M e x i c o
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Going West (pink line): We'll continue North on US-285 and visit Carlsbad Caverns. Or, more properly, I'll visit the caverns. The Navigator will spend his time at the caverns in their free, air conditioned, staffed kennel. How nice to find a National Park that is dog friendly!

Then we'll go north on US-285 to Roswell, home to aliens from outer space, space ships, etc. We'll visit the UFO Museum & Research Center. That should be interesting.

We'll get on US-70 and head Southwest towards Las Cruces where we'll take I-25 North for 60 miles or so. We'll get off on Hwy-152 which skirts the South side of Gila National Forest. I've been told this road, which runs through the mountains is a pretty ride. At Silver City we'll get on Hwy-90 and go Southeast and get back on I-10.

Coming East (blue line): We'll be on I-40 until we get to Albuquerque. Then we'll make a major detour to the North to visit mountains, ski resorts, etc. Then we'll get back on I-40 for the ride to Texas.

A r i z o n a
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Going West (pink line): We'll continue West on I-10 until we get to Tucson. There we'll visit a dog park and the Saguaro National Park. (For the Rio Linda folks, Saguaro is a type of cactus.) Then we'll get back on I-10 and travel Northwest to Phoenix where we'll visit a High School friend. Then I-10 again almost to California.

We'll go North on Hwy-95 to Golden Shores. This is where we stop going West and start going East.

We'll get on the orginal, one and only, Route 66. We'll stay on Route 66, where we can get our kicks, for about 130 miles until Route 66 merges into I-40. Someday I hope to drive all of Route 66. THAT will be an interesting trip!

We'll take I-40 to Williams where we'll go North to visit the South Rim at Grand Canyon National Park. They, like Carlsbad Caverns mentioned above, offer kennel service. I'm not sure if The Navigator will need this or not. We may visit the North Rim. It's a three hour drive each way and the road (Hwy-67) may not be open. We'll see.

We'll get back on I-40 East and drive to visit Petrified Forest National Park. This also includes the Painted Desert.

Then we'll get back onto I-40 East and drive to New Mexico.

T e x a s   ( a g a i n )
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Coming East (blue line): We'll stay on I-40 East to Amarillo, where I was born. We'll visit my Aunt. Then we'll drive a little ways Northeast on US-60 to White Deer, TX where my Mom was born. Then we'll get back on I-40 and head East to Oklahoma.

O k l a h o m a
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Coming East (blue line): We'll stay on I-40 to Clinton where we'll visit a Route 66 museum. I hope to gather information to help plan a Route 66 trip.

Then we'll drive I-40 East to Oklahoma City where I (The Navigator won't be allowed) will visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial. This commemorates the terrorist bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in April of 1995. The memorial is a very solemn place.

We'll get back on I-40 and head East to Arkansas.

N a v i g a t i o n
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