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Anyone Know Of Cool Places To Visit From Alabama To Nevada.


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My wife & I are flying out west in a few months so we can rent a vehicle & take a week long road trip through some picturesque areas.

Our routing is a big loop that goes like this:

Day 1 - Fly into Vegas around noon, rent the vehicle, and drive 4 hours to cabin located between Zion National Park & Bryce Canyon

Day 2 - Spend the day in Zion National Park

Day 3 - Spend the day at Bryce Canyon

Day 4 - Drive south 3 hours to Page, AZ & spend the day at Antelope Canyon

Day 5 - Drive east 2 hours to Monument Valley, UT & spend the day there.

Day 6 - Drive 3 hours southwest & spend the day at the Grand Canyon

Day 7 - Drive 4.5 hours northwest to Vegas, turn in the car & fly home

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If you are looking for more unusual sights, I strongly suggest checking out roadsideamerica.com

They have a ton of odd attractions listed in each state. You can choose a state you will be passing through & then see if anything of interest is in any of the towns along your route.

Some things are just strange novelties... like a coffee shop shaped like a giant coffee pot, or strange collections of folk art, odd buildings, bizarre museums, etc... but occasionally you can find some spots that make for fantastic photo ops. (I've seen your stuff in the photography thread, so I know that like myself, these kind of places may be of some interest to you)

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My wife & I are flying out west in a few months so we can rent a vehicle & take a week long road trip through some picturesque areas.

Our routing is a big loop that goes like this:

Day 1 - Fly into Vegas around noon, rent the vehicle, and drive 4 hours to cabin located between Zion National Park & Bryce Canyon

Day 2 - Spend the day in Zion National Park

Day 3 - Spend the day at Bryce Canyon

Day 4 - Drive south 3 hours to Page, AZ & spend the day at Antelope Canyon

Day 5 - Drive east 2 hours to Monument Valley, UT & spend the day there.

Day 6 - Drive 3 hours southwest & spend the day at the Grand Canyon

Day 7 - Drive 4.5 hours northwest to Vegas, turn in the car & fly home

thanks. I'll be adding monument valley to my list. :D

when I get back. I'll send you pictures of where we went so you can see if you would want to go there

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thanks. I'll be adding monument valley to my list. biggrin.png

when I get back. I'll send you pictures of where we went so you can see if you would want to go there

Are you planning on taking I-40 most of the way, or do you have a different route in mind?

If you are indeed going to Death Valley & you have the time, I would make a point to get down to Joshua Tree. It's about a 4-4.5 hour drive south of DV & absolutely a must see. There is also an area near Joshua Tree & The Salton Sea called the Anza-Borrego Desert that looks cool. There is a small town near there called Borrego Springs that has a few dozen massive metal sculptures scattered throughout the desert surrounding the town.

Here are some shots I took in Borrego Springs a while back:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/thegreatkevinclark/sets/72157640168792144/

Many of those sculptures are HUGE. I'm 5'11" & could easily stand right under the dragon's chin & walk beneath the curved sections of its body... which are the head & two body segments rising out of the ground and then across the highway are two more body segments & the tail. MASSIVE!

The scorpion is probably 10-15 feet wide. The grasshopper was taller than I am, as was the Native American statue. There are dinosaurs, cowboys on horses, giant turtles, mammoths, etc., etc. We had our 5 year old nephew & my mother-in-law with us on that trip, so unfortunately I didn't get see all of them or take my time getting more shots. I've been itching to get back out there (and Joshua Tree) for some time now. My in-laws are only about two hours from there, between San Diego & L.A., so hopefully the wife & I can take a day to head out there by ourselves the next time we visit.

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I'm going on a road trip out to death Valley and making a u-turn. It is mostly for scenery. And some cool places to go to.

Of course I'll be spending a day in Death Valley. A day in Vegas. A few days around Grand Canyon.

Other things that interest me are ghost towns and abandonment.

Thanks

Driving through the Mountains of Colorado is always beautiful. Numerous ways you can go between Nevade and Arizona, though it will add alot of time to your drive.

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Are you planning on taking I-40 most of the way, or do you have a different route in mind?

If you are indeed going to Death Valley & you have the time, I would make a point to get down to Joshua Tree. It's about a 4-4.5 hour drive south of DV & absolutely a must see. There is also an area near Joshua Tree & The Salton Sea called the Anza-Borrego Desert that looks cool. There is a small town near there called Borrego Springs that has a few dozen massive metal sculptures scattered throughout the desert surrounding the town.

Here are some shots I took in Borrego Springs a while back:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/thegreatkevinclark/sets/72157640168792144/

Many of those sculptures are HUGE. I'm 5'11" & could easily stand right under the dragon's chin & walk beneath the curved sections of its body... which are the head & two body segments rising out of the ground and then across the highway are two more body segments & the tail. MASSIVE!

The scorpion is probably 10-15 feet wide. The grasshopper was taller than I am, as was the Native American statue. There are dinosaurs, cowboys on horses, giant turtles, mammoths, etc., etc. We had our 5 year old nephew & my mother-in-law with us on that trip, so unfortunately I didn't get see all of them or take my time getting more shots. I've been itching to get back out there (and Joshua Tree) for some time now. My in-laws are only about two hours from there, between San Diego & L.A., so hopefully the wife & I can take a day to head out there by ourselves the next time we visit.

jshua tree is cool. and I will check it out. but the Salton sea I forgot all about. thank you for reminding me. but if I find something in phoenix. then I could leave from there and go to those spots. then back to Las Vegas and then on to death valley. like a zig zag.

those sculptures are very very cool. and with a high F stop you make the sun have a sunburst. and put that near the dragon mouth. :D

thanks. I really think I am going to make my trip into a zig zag for these

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Are you planning on taking I-40 most of the way, or do you have a different route in mind?

If you are indeed going to Death Valley & you have the time, I would make a point to get down to Joshua Tree. It's about a 4-4.5 hour drive south of DV & absolutely a must see. There is also an area near Joshua Tree & The Salton Sea called the Anza-Borrego Desert that looks cool. There is a small town near there called Borrego Springs that has a few dozen massive metal sculptures scattered throughout the desert surrounding the town.

Here are some shots I took in Borrego Springs a while back:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/thegreatkevinclark/sets/72157640168792144/

Many of those sculptures are HUGE. I'm 5'11" & could easily stand right under the dragon's chin & walk beneath the curved sections of its body... which are the head & two body segments rising out of the ground and then across the highway are two more body segments & the tail. MASSIVE!

The scorpion is probably 10-15 feet wide. The grasshopper was taller than I am, as was the Native American statue. There are dinosaurs, cowboys on horses, giant turtles, mammoths, etc., etc. We had our 5 year old nephew & my mother-in-law with us on that trip, so unfortunately I didn't get see all of them or take my time getting more shots. I've been itching to get back out there (and Joshua Tree) for some time now. My in-laws are only about two hours from there, between San Diego & L.A., so hopefully the wife & I can take a day to head out there by ourselves the next time we visit.

You can also go see where Gram Parsons died in Joshua Tree. Several memorials to him there, Parsons fans flock there.

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What parts of Alabama? Lots of nature to take in Northern Alabama.......some great caves and falls.

Little River Canyon

Desoto Falls

Neversink Pit

Cathedral Caverns

Limrock Blowing Caves

As far as food goes....look into Top O The River

http://www.topotheriverrestaurant.com/

Thanks. I might turn a lot of Bama and new Orleans into weekend trips just with it being so close to me.
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Awesome itinerary k-train. Will you plan my next vacation please?

Man, I'm forever coming up with travel plans. I mentioned this in another thread, but once we got our most recent vehicle paid off my wife & I decided to keep putting the amount we were spending on car payment into a travel fund each month. This allows us to take two week long trips a year (this year was Dominica last month & the desert trip this fall) or one mega trip overseas... plus a few weekends to the beach or mountains here & there.

We played in touring bands together for years, and while we don't miss hauling all the gear around, we do miss traveling around, seeing new places and meeting new people. Plus, through all the booking, routing, and budgeting we had to do for the band's tours, we know how to travel comfortably while keeping it extremely affordable.

This desert trip will be it for this year. Then, around late April-early May of 2016 we're planning on a 10-12 day trip to Portugal & a little bit of Spain.

A few months after that will be a road trip like the one we are taking through the desert, but making a loop in northern California.

day 1 - Fly into San Francisco, rent a car, drive an hour or two north into the redwoods

day 2 - Drive south along the bay to Monterrey & spend the day there

day 3 - Drive south along the Pacific Coast Highway to Morro Bay, stopping along the way for a picnic & exploration in Big Sur

day 4 - Drive 2-3 hours northeast to Yosemite

day 5 - Spend the day in Yosemite

day 6 - Drive 3 hours to San Francisco & spend the evening with friends there

day 7 - Fly back home

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funny story about little river canyon. When I was a teenager some friends and I were tubing down it. Went past a no trespassing sign. Minutes later had someone show up pointing a gun at us yelling to get off of his property. It was the lead singer of Alabama lol

I don't doubt that Randy Owens would own some prime real estate on Little River. He is known as really great guy though....Jeff Cook on the other hand is not as highly thought of.

alabama.jpg

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We got our flights booked for our desert trip yesterday. I'm really excited about this trip, because despite touring the country several times in bands, we've never gotten to spend much time in the southwest. We passed through it, playing Phoenix, Albuquerque, etc., but never got to see much other than the highway, the venues in those cities, and a few gas stations along the way.

People have the misconception that touring in a band is some kind of glamorous thing. It might be for about 1% of the musicians in the world, but in most cases it's a long (usually anywhere from 4-10 hour) drive in a cramped vehicle followed by immediately having to load a few tons of gear into the venue upon arrival.

Then, it's an hour or so of sound checking... and if you are a support act, you have to wait (headliner checks first, then direct support, then the band who will play before them, and so on). If you're lucky you have an hour or two to run around the area near the venue for something to eat, sightseeing, shopping, whatever.

The venues are often not located near anything of very much interest though, and there's not enough time to explore too far away. You have to be back at the venue in plenty of time to get yourself prepared to play & keep the show running on time.

When the show's over, you have to spend an hour or so packing everything up & loading it all back into the vehicle. Then on to where you are sleeping that night (usually not the most comfortable of accommodations). At this point you are lucky to be in bed by 3am & you are going to likely need to be up and on the road again by 10am... which means maybe 6 hours of sleep.

You are lucky to get a shower once every 3-4 days, and doing laundry means using those very few precious exploring hours you have in a city by sitting in some sketchy laundromat near the venue.

Once in a while you have a day off on tour, but these are often drive days... meaning you have a show in Denver on a Wednesday & your next show is in Seattle on Friday. You don't get to spend Thursday seeing cool stuff. You spend it driving in shifts (and sleeping in the cramped vehicle when it's not your turn to drive) for the entire day & most of the night, then again Friday morning just so you can make it to the Seattle gig on time. Then immediately load the gear, what to sound check, etc., etc.

Bus tours aren't much better. If you are on a bus, you don't have to drive & that's advantageous in some ways. You also have pretty much no freedom & are absolutely anchored to staying near the venue. When the show is going on (from load in, through the check, through the show, and until the load out is done), the bus driver goes to a hotel & sleeps. Then, the bus rolls out at 3am-4am & drives all night. The band & crew sleep in tiny bunks that look like something from one of those odd Japanese hotels where people sleep in a wall of little pods because they are too overpopulated to have room for spacious hotel rooms.

Also, let's say you're in Chicago & you really need to hit a music store because some of your gear broke the night before. Unfortunately there isn't one with what you need within walking distance, or that is easy to get to via public transit. If you are lucky, the venue might have someone who can run you there... otherwise you're kinda screwed because the bus isn't going to be able to leave after if arrives at the club.

There's also the idea of "if you're not playing, you're paying" - It's expensive to be on the road. You have to get insurance on all the gear, pay for gas for the vehicle, food (the venue might cover one meal day, but you still have the rest for everyone), tolls, you have to pay the crew & cover their meals (this could be a tour manager, a sound guy, a lighting director, a guitar tech, a drum tech, a monitor engineer, and a march person), if you are on a bus you have to pay the huge rental cost plus the driver's hotel rooms, etc. The venues take a portion of the ticket sales, and very often take around 15% of the money you make from selling merch. That's the potential for a whole lot of expenses, which means it's REALLY hard to justify taking a day off.

No days off means even less time available to go exploring when you are passing through these amazing areas of the country.

I loved touring, but it was work. Right now I do not miss it at all. I'm extremely grateful for the experiences it provided, but I'm also happy to finally be in a place in life where I can go see those places & truly enjoy them with much less worry about the pressures of time & money restraints.

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We got our flights booked for our desert trip yesterday. I'm really excited about this trip, because despite touring the country several times in bands, we've never gotten to spend much time in the southwest. We passed through it, playing Phoenix, Albuquerque, etc., but never got to see much other than the highway, the venues in those cities, and a few gas stations along the way.

People have the misconception that touring in a band is some kind of glamorous thing. It might be for about 1% of the musicians in the world, but in most cases it's a long (usually anywhere from 4-10 hour) drive in a cramped vehicle followed by immediately having to load a few tons of gear into the venue upon arrival.

Then, it's an hour or so of sound checking... and if you are a support act, you have to wait (headliner checks first, then direct support, then the band who will play before them, and so on). If you're lucky you have an hour or two to run around the area near the venue for something to eat, sightseeing, shopping, whatever.

The venues are often not located near anything of very much interest though, and there's not enough time to explore too far away. You have to be back at the venue in plenty of time to get yourself prepared to play & keep the show running on time.

When the show's over, you have to spend an hour or so packing everything up & loading it all back into the vehicle. Then on to where you are sleeping that night (usually not the most comfortable of accommodations). At this point you are lucky to be in bed by 3am & you are going to likely need to be up and on the road again by 10am... which means maybe 6 hours of sleep.

You are lucky to get a shower once every 3-4 days, and doing laundry means using those very few precious exploring hours you have in a city by sitting in some sketchy laundromat near the venue.

Once in a while you have a day off on tour, but these are often drive days... meaning you have a show in Denver on a Wednesday & your next show is in Seattle on Friday. You don't get to spend Thursday seeing cool stuff. You spend it driving in shifts (and sleeping in the cramped vehicle when it's not your turn to drive) for the entire day & most of the night, then again Friday morning just so you can make it to the Seattle gig on time. Then immediately load the gear, what to sound check, etc., etc.

Bus tours aren't much better. If you are on a bus, you don't have to drive & that's advantageous in some ways. You also have pretty much no freedom & are absolutely anchored to staying near the venue. When the show is going on (from load in, through the check, through the show, and until the load out is done), the bus driver goes to a hotel & sleeps. Then, the bus rolls out at 3am-4am & drives all night. The band & crew sleep in tiny bunks that look like something from one of those odd Japanese hotels where people sleep in a wall of little pods because they are too overpopulated to have room for spacious hotel rooms.

Also, let's say you're in Chicago & you really need to hit a music store because some of your gear broke the night before. Unfortunately there isn't one with what you need within walking distance, or that is easy to get to via public transit. If you are lucky, the venue might have someone who can run you there... otherwise you're kinda screwed because the bus isn't going to be able to leave after if arrives at the club.

There's also the idea of "if you're not playing, you're paying" - It's expensive to be on the road. You have to get insurance on all the gear, pay for gas for the vehicle, food (the venue might cover one meal day, but you still have the rest for everyone), tolls, you have to pay the crew & cover their meals (this could be a tour manager, a sound guy, a lighting director, a guitar tech, a drum tech, a monitor engineer, and a march person), if you are on a bus you have to pay the huge rental cost plus the driver's hotel rooms, etc. The venues take a portion of the ticket sales, and very often take around 15% of the money you make from selling merch. That's the potential for a whole lot of expenses, which means it's REALLY hard to justify taking a day off.

No days off means even less time available to go exploring when you are passing through these amazing areas of the country.

I loved touring, but it was work. Right now I do not miss it at all. I'm extremely grateful for the experiences it provided, but I'm also happy to finally be in a place in life where I can go see those places & truly enjoy them with much less worry about the pressures of time & money restraints.

Man! As crazy as this may sound....that sounds like a blast! To be free of the 9 to 5 BS and play music (albeit with azzhats you prolly despise by that point).....man....sounds good to me.

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