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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Going Mobile

Sometimes, the journey is as much fun as the destination

We’ve written tons about exploring beautiful destinations, but it’s now time to shout out the roads that get us where we want to go. Here’s a salute to the memorable scenic highways and byways we’ve experienced in the three months since we kicked off this chapter of RV life starting with… I-90!

Across Washington state: Yes, that stretch of interstate can feel like an endless push, but traveling from west to the east delivered a flood of sweet memories of past trips. Plus, it’s hard to beat the thrill of driving over the Columbia River before making the ascent to the broad expanse that lets you know you’ve arrived in Eastern Washington and are that much closer to having dinner with dear friends.

Yellowstone’s traffic jams: America’s first national park is massive, roughly the size of Delaware. So getting from Point A to Old Faithful can take a long time, especially if a herd of bison wander onto the asphalt. And they often do, followed by hordes of visitors snapping pics. Relax, be patient, enjoy the show.

All American Road: The Scenic Byway known as Utah Highway 12 is considered 122 miles of driving bliss and we agree. The trip between Capitol Reef National Park and Kodachrome Basin State Park was nonstop eye candy. We pulled over a few times to admire the stark beauty of the Grand Staircase that’s the colorful centerpiece of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, vowing to return for a deeper dive.

Snow going in Colorado: Traveling from Pagosa Springs east and then south to Taos, N.M., we traveled on US 84 before picking up US 64. That lonely stretch of road served up stunning mountain scenery and a whole bunch of white stuff as we climbed up to the top of spectacular Brazos Summit at 10,528 feet. Wow, so beautiful. But keep your eyes on those winding roads! Continue on 64 south and you’ll end up in the Four Corners area.

The long, winding road: When we mentioned to a fellow traveler that we were planning on taking New Mexico 152 between Truth or Consequences and Silver City, he warned us: You don’t want to do that in a motorhome. Ha! You’re not the boss of us. We admit it was slow going on those twisty turns, but the views of the Black Range and its lightly used campgrounds were inspiring. When you’re in Silver City, don’t miss a side trip out to City of Rocks, an exceptional state park distinguished by a skyline full of boulder formations.

A moving detour: While making the trip between Sedona and Morro Bay, we broke the 600-plus miles into digestible chunks with overnighters at Needles, Calif., and a stellar park outside Bakersfield. We made one deliberate stop along the way at the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument near Keene, Calif. This memorial honors the life of the civil rights activist, who died at age 66. We were moved by the exhibit and paid our respects at the final resting place of Chavez and his wife and fellow activist, Helen, alongside a fountain memorializing martyrs who died during the protests demanding better pay and working conditions for farm workers.

Back on the 101: We’re so happy to be back on the Central Coast of California -- more on that in next week’s Going Mobile. We’ve traveled extensively on Highway 101, as well as California Highway 1. Yes, it absolutely lives up to the considerable hype. During our recent stay in Morro Bay, we truly enjoyed taking the 1, aka the Cabrillo Highway, up to the cute beachside community of Cayucos. We walked along the bluff, admiring the jagged coastline and, wait, what’s this? A real life shipwreck.

 



Leslie Kelly
Leslie Kelly is a freelance writer.