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Old 03-18-2011, 09:23 AM   #15
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I love the two lane roads, but coming from Denver it's fairly difficult to get to a lot of places without using the Interstates. So I consider them a necessary evil. I find a Delorme Atlas useful for bigger roads but they seem to be fairly useless for dirt roads. So I tend to Google a lot, trying to find BLM land and other places to boondock. I don't have a GPS but did add a compass to the TV after spending a couple hours in Wyoming heading down dirt roads and trying to navigate by keeping the sun on my left.

A lot of it is just trial and error. I see something on the map and try to research it. Examples would be the off-by-itself section of the Medicine Bow National Forest near Douglas where few people go. Or Wells Canyon, a wonderful free BLM campground in Northern New Mexico, East of Springer. Or Madera Canyon Campground in the National Forest South of Tucson. ($5 a night with a Senior Pass) Or the Cimarron National Grassland Campground in far Southwestern Kansas which has outstanding birding but few campers.

You've got to have a bit of adventurous spirit to travel this way but I've always managed to find a place to camp.
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Old 03-19-2011, 01:54 PM   #16
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Melissa, What is Hwy 82 like across GA, AL, 45 north when one reaches MS?

Joy does wonderful trip planning and I envy the time she allows herself. You never mentioned how much time you have. I think that would be very significant on the route you take.

Fred and I had fun on the secondary, twisty roads in KY, TN area. But those kinds of roads are very time consuming. We often take the fun roads out on a trip and the Interstate home. By then we are done and just ready to get back.

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Old 03-19-2011, 03:01 PM   #17
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Good idea on using the interstates when you're in a time crunch. Going to WY we have no schedule other than my folks wanting us to hurry up and arrive, lol. We usually stay about a month and leave a week before school starts so I dont have as much time returning. I have not been on Hwy 82 but it looks awesome and goes straight to I-30 (in TX) which then runs into Hwy 380 then Hwy 114 straight into my inlaws town of Bridgeport, TX. Hubby is going there next month so I'll have him use Hwy 82 to check it out. If it's good then I'll use it to hit 45 and head North. Thanks so much! See? I would have never found those highways just looking at the maps. There are soooooooo many! I guess I should look for the "orange roads", LOL. They seem to be major highways w/o being interstates. I have the "Rand McNally 2011 Road Atlas", is there a better maybe more clearer guide I should purchase?

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Melissa, What is Hwy 82 like across GA, AL, 45 north when one reaches MS?

Joy does wonderful trip planning and I envy the time she allows herself. You never mentioned how much time you have. I think that would be very significant on the route you take.

Fred and I had fun on the secondary, twisty roads in KY, TN area. But those kinds of roads are very time consuming. We often take the fun roads out on a trip and the Interstate home. By then we are done and just ready to get back.

Nancy
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Old 03-19-2011, 04:38 PM   #18
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Good idea on using the interstates when you're in a time crunch. Going to WY we have no schedule other than my folks wanting us to hurry up and arrive, lol. We usually stay about a week or so till school starts so I dont have as much time returning. I have not been on Hwy 82 but it looks awesome and goes straight to I-30 (in TX) which then runs into Hwy 380 then Hwy 114 straight into my inlaws town of Bridgeport, TX. Hubby is going there next month so I'll have him use Hwy 82 to check it out. If it's good then I'll use it to hit 45 and head North. Thanks so much! See? I would have never found those highways just looking at the maps. There are soooooooo many! I guess I should look for the "orange roads", LOL. They seem to be major highways w/o being interstates. I have the "Rand McNally 2011 Road Atlas", is there a better maybe more clearer guide I should purchase?
In many western states, and even in Florida there are a lot of straight as an arrow grey roads that have virtually no traffic. My wife/navigator used to avoid these roads, now she hunts them out. Here in FL people fly along at 70 all the time on these roads. It's very similar in the non-mountainous portions of your western travels. We have found very often when we stop for the night, local people will provide good input as will some state welcome centers.

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Old 03-19-2011, 08:04 PM   #19
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Nancy,

82 looks like a divided highway (generally a 4 lane what we call a freeway) from the coast to within 45 miles of the Alabama border. Not a road I'd be on.

If I were leaving the coast going into and thru Alabama here's what I'd do.

Take 32 west to Tifton where I'd pick up 319 on to Moultrie then I'd head west on 37 to Alabama border. 37 becomes 10 in Alabama and goes all the way across the state to MS.

At the Alabama border I'd only be about 25 or so miles south of where 82 meets the border. Now I know there is a point of interest at Eufaula (Antebellum homes) so I'd simply detour north to Eufaula on 97, then I'd come back to 10 on 30/51.

Any way that's how I travel.
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:34 PM   #20
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Wow Joy, there are at least 3 state parks on that route you found. Fred and I never take enough time to drive those kinds of roads for such a long distance. We generally like to hit some of those roads and some divided. Yeah, I wondered if that other way was more like an interstate than country road.

Melissa, the Rand McNally should do ok. I like the WalMart ones as they list all the WalMarts for when we have no other choice after driving all day, their lots often are make do. If you are going to enter states where there is no tourist information you might want to contact the states you will drive through and see if they will send you their state map. The state maps should give you better information on what the roads are like, and have better information on points of interest. So far the only state I wasn't able to get a free map from was California, at least not at the tourist info place we stopped.

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Old 03-20-2011, 11:35 AM   #21
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I too have the Walmart Rand McNally! I didnt know you could request maps from states. I thought I'd need to buy maps for each state I was traveling in. Thank you!So are the state maps better detailed/clearer than a road atlas? Isn't an atlas suppose to eliminate the need for individual state maps? Boy, I've missed a lot traveling exclusively on interstates all my life. Well, I'm only 40 so I still have a lot of years to learn to navigate by ways other than interstates. I worry about folks who cant read a map period and rely 100% on their GPS. I've always carried an atlas in my vehicle 100% of the time for just in case. How did you find those 3 state parks on the route Joy mentioned?

Joy, how did you know Hwy 82 was four lane like an interstate? And how do you know the route you chose didnt go through miles of town with stoplights or turn into a dirt road? This is the stuff I have to learn. I can go coast to coast on an interstate system but now I need to expand beyond that and actually enjoy the journey unless I'm time crunched. But I do hate a gazillion stop lights, lol.

Keep the info flowing! Thanks!
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Old 03-20-2011, 12:07 PM   #22
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Hi Melissa,
I travel long distances a few times each year; 2,000 miles plus. I usually start with Google maps and avoid tolls. Then I switch on 'terrain' to see if the initial route provided has lots of hills or mountains. I can drag the route line to avoid terrain I'm not happy with....
Cheers,
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I would like to know where you are finding these features! Terrain view sounds very handy. But when I go to maps.google.com all it lets me do (as far as I can tell) is type in a location, and it shows that place. I can zoom in or out, and that's all. Where are these terrain and route features?

I am aware of yahoo maps, which take beginning and destination points and show a route. But I don't know of any terrain feature there, either.

Are you going to a different web address than I? Or am I missing the obvious? (It wouldn't be the first time.) Thanks for educating me.
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Old 03-20-2011, 12:47 PM   #23
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Mike, I put Tulsa in my search box, then I clicked on the map of Tulsa.

You need to keep poking at stuff till you find stuff! Go over to the top right of the map, you should see Earth and Map. Scroll down map (more info) and find terrain. You should then have the view from space. There is also a place to find pictures, someone might even have taken one of your street!

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Old 03-20-2011, 12:59 PM   #24
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Mike, I put Tulsa in my search box, then I clicked on the map of Tulsa.

You need to keep poking at stuff till you find stuff! Go over to the top right of the map, you should see Earth and Map. Scroll down map (more info) and find terrain. You should then have the view from space. There is also a place to find pictures, someone might even have taken one of your street!

Nancy
Wow, thanks! All I had to do was mouse over the 'satellite' box and the terrain option appeared. Nice!
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:00 PM   #25
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Melissa,

Usually the US road atlas type things have a page something like "Tourism Tools at your Service" where they give 800 numbers for state tourism. Better hurry, with all the state budget cuts there may no longer be free maps.

I found the state parks just by following the route on the map that Joy suggested. In Alabama there is a ?Blandon/Biadon? state park just north of Camden on the Alabama River. East there is a Blue Springs State Park just near Blue Springs. My map is quite old, maybe these parks are now gone. I'll go look at a more recent atlas.

Also I noticed on the state maps that the route I mentioned had yellow line which means divided.

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Old 03-20-2011, 01:13 PM   #26
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Alabama State Parks

There are only 10 campsites at Bladon Springs and 50 campsites at Blue Springs.

I'll bet one has to be like Joy and have reservations for every night of one's trip (almost).
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:25 PM   #27
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Ok, I'm starting to get it now. Once you start looking hard your eyes kindof block out other distracting lines and you can follow the roads better. I did find 2 of the state parks when I began looking for the little tree signs on the map. Those were in Alabama, didnt find a 3rd but maybe I missed it in GA. So the more you look at the map the more you can pick out I gather. At least till you go crosseyed, lol. My Atlas calls Hwy 82 "other multilane highway" since it's orange. Then the red lines are "other through highway". So I guess that means like through the state?

Thank you, I'm learning and figuring out how to decipher this Atlas, lol. Now I wonder what the state maps look like??? I'll order them right away. Shoot, maybe I'll order as many as I can so I'll have them before they go away.
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Old 03-20-2011, 02:59 PM   #28
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((Joy, how did you know Hwy 82 was four lane like an interstate? And how do you know the route you chose didnt go through miles of town with stoplights or turn into a dirt road? This is the stuff I have to learn. I can go coast to coast on an interstate system but now I need to expand beyond that and actually enjoy the journey unless I'm time crunched. But I do hate a gazillion stop lights, lol.))

Melissa, I generally start with the Atlas just sitting around looking at it for the best way to avoid large towns. At the top of the page it shows map symbols for type of roadway. Unpaved roads are identified. As far as town sizes the size of the dot will give you an idea of the size of the town. In the Atlas Atlanta and other large towns are hilighted in yellow, the next smaller towns are a circle and then the little towns are black dots. I'll bet most of the black dots don't have signal lights maybe a stop sign or two and some barely have a building or sign to identify them as you travel through. It's amazing how many little towns are still on maps but really don't exist anymore. "barely a dry spot in the road"

State Maps are generally twice the size of a state map in an Atlas therefore are more finite with information, roads, historical sites etc. Such as "Georgia's Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village" in Tifton. Far enough out from the coast that it would be a good stopping point to stretch ones legs. Maybe interesting and may not. But that's how you find the little gems in this big country.



<<<There are only 10 campsites at Bladon Springs and 50 campsites at Blue Springs.
I'll bet one has to be like Joy and have reservations for every night of one's trip (almost).>>>

Nancy, I don't have reservations for every night of my trips. Generally only in populated areas, holiday weekends or areas I know are very popular with people.

I wouldn't have reservations at any of those SP's you mentioned as they are not near populated areas. And Roland Cooper SP near Camden is on my route 10 not Blandon Springs.

I'd probably go into Blue Springs for a site for the night, then head up to Eufaula to tour the Homes. This would depend on what time I arrived. If it was late I might stay 2 nights giving me the next day to tour the Homes and not be rushed.


Melissa,
I have to preface all my remarks by saying that I have virtually all the time in the world to do a trip. But all this jabbering gives you an idea of how to plan a trip based on your time frame. Being young and maybe working you might just have to do freeway/expressways/multilaned highways.
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