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Thread: American Southwest in full Autumn

  1. #31

    Join Date
    Dec 2000
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    Tonopah, Nevada, USA
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    6,338

    Re: American Southwest in full Autumn

    Eastern Sierra / Mono lake is usually lit up around October 5 - 15th. From there, next stop is ancient Bristlecones in the White mountains. Then as long as you're close you may as well shoot wild west ghost towny stuff in Tonopah (where I live) and Goldfield Nevada. Pictures are where you find them. Utah and AZ are gorgeous, but too many people for my tastes.

  2. #32

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    Feb 2007
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    Canyon Country, California
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    Re: American Southwest in full Autumn

    Jim:

    What is your recommended route-of-travel from LA to Tonopah? Up 395 through Bishop & US 6, or I15 to Baker, up through Shoshone to US95? Or some other way? I have Tonopah on my list of places to go.

  3. #33

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    Re: American Southwest in full Autumn

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeH View Post
    Jim:

    What is your recommended route-of-travel from LA to Tonopah? Up 395 through Bishop & US 6, or I15 to Baker, up through Shoshone to US95? Or some other way? I have Tonopah on my list of places to go.
    Mike, both routes are exquisite. If you live in Canyon country (I was in the first grad class at Canyon High 49 years ago) then 6 and 395 are the obvious route and you're probably already familiar with that country. That's the way we always return to So. Cal. on our rare pilgrimages these days.

    But Baker up through the desert country of the Amargosa is just as beautiful in it's way. If I need to go to San Gabriel country I always look forward to that drive, even Baker to Cajon is interesting, sort of, but I'm terrified of the freeway conditions and the traffic beyond there. Usually if I'm on that road, I'm pulling a car trailer, and you can understand my discomfort from Cajon south. Or from Ridgecrest south for that matter with a car trailer. I thrive away from the crush of other folks.

  4. #34

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    Feb 2007
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    Re: American Southwest in full Autumn

    Jim: Thanks. BTW, in case you don't know, Caltrans is converting the last "non-freeway" portion of CA 58 that runs through Four Corners into a Freeway. Overpasses are being built ... might be "finished enough" for the overpasses to be open by Thanksgiving. Of course, that will probably give the "speedos" on 395 an excuse to go even faster ... not fun if you're pulling a trailer. :-)

  5. #35
    Drew Wiley
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    Sep 2008
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    SF Bay area, CA
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    14,146

    Re: American Southwest in full Autumn

    I thought the question was about the Southwest. They'll never get there after all the prescribed destinations in California and Nevada. Yes- some interesting places many of us have been; but on how many cumulative trips over outright decades? If people just drive from point to point almost full time during a vacation, I sure hope they have a soft pillow on the car seat. My butt would be throbbing after 20% of those kinds of distances. Every one of these Western states if pretty darn big. If somebody just wants to see all the mandatory official tourists turnouts, just cram yourself onto on of those abominable tour bus gigs. You'll get ten minutes each at Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Grand Canyon, provided you don't need to use the restroom, but lots of time at neurotic Casinos and greasy smorgies. What ever happened to quality time? And how realistic is it getting certain places. Yes, Coyote Gulch is wonderful. But are they prepared to carry heavy packs and wade in ice cold water for several days, or else slither down a rope after miles of bumpy washboard road? - when a beginner to the area can simply stop at the little visitor center at the intersection of the Escalante and Hwy 12 and have a selection of wonderful moderate dayhikes three different directions, plus the seasonal flashflood forecast?
    One could use their whole supply of 4x5 film on just one of those mini-outings. I'm obviously a big exponent of "micro-exploration", at least at some point on a larger trip. It's the kind of intimate places you discover for yourself that are the most memorable, and not what the stereotypes of scenery everyone expects after seeing thousands of published images from getting elbow to elbow with the tour bus herds at the same trampled turnouts. I often drove the long highway sections at night, just so I'd have more time during the day for exploring the little nooks and crannies so abundant in that part of the world. But if you like photographing rusty clutter, upside down old cars, old mining gear, etc, Nevada is hard to beat.

  6. #36

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    Re: American Southwest in full Autumn

    We've all got favorite locations, but the OP is flying in from Italy with his fiancee and a finite amount of time. Given those parameters and the time of year, what the the most scenic places in the DSW that he can access via rental car?
    HWY 395 for sure--excellent for exploring those nooks and crannies!
    The Virgin River Canyon between Las Vegas & St. George, with Zion and Bryce close by St. George and Red Rock not far from Las Vegas.
    The Enchanted Circle in New Mexico.
    Does anyone know if the fires devastated the Million Dollar Highway on CO? I heard that Durango was hit pretty bad.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  7. #37

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    Re: American Southwest in full Autumn

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeH View Post
    Jim: Thanks. BTW, in case you don't know, Caltrans is converting the last "non-freeway" portion of CA 58 that runs through Four Corners into a Freeway. Overpasses are being built ... might be "finished enough" for the overpasses to be open by Thanksgiving. Of course, that will probably give the "speedos" on 395 an excuse to go even faster ... not fun if you're pulling a trailer. :-)
    Will there at least be an off ramp for the McDonald's in Barstow? LOL!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  8. #38
    Drew Wiley
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    Sep 2008
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    Re: American Southwest in full Autumn

    Once you get a driverless car, it will need to be equipped with a grease sniffer, John, so it can automatically home in on the correct off-ramp. Of course, you might have the bad luck to be following one of those vegi-oil-mobiles on the Freeway, that runs on recycled fastfood grease, and end up following it to Kansas. Haven't you learned that there's an In N Out burger joint on Herdon Ave yet? I think the cooking oil MacDonald's uses is classified as a fossil fuel.

  9. #39

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    Feb 2007
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    Canyon Country, California
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    Re: American Southwest in full Autumn

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian View Post
    OP is flying in from Italy with his fiancee and a finite amount of time. Given those parameters and the time of year, what the the most scenic places in the DSW that he can access via rental car?
    OP says he'll be here October 25 - November 9.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian View Post
    HWY 395 for sure--excellent for exploring those nooks and crannies!
    Probably too late for Sierra Nevada Fall Color, unless it happens late and there is some at the lower elevations around Bishop. AFXStudio: to explain this, the Sierra Nevada Mountains are like the Alps; higher elevations (8,000 feet and up) tend to have great color in very early October. One hour's drive south, you are at 4,000 feet elevation where great color happens about 2 to 3 weeks later... All of this changes from year-to-year.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian View Post
    The Virgin River Canyon between Las Vegas & St. George, with Zion and Bryce close by St. George and Red Rock not far from Las Vegas.
    This is my best bet.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian View Post
    The Enchanted Circle in New Mexico.
    I do nothing about this area.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian View Post
    Does anyone know if the fires devastated the Million Dollar Highway on CO? I heard that Durango was hit pretty bad.
    I was there the year before the fires in late September, and the color was already happening. Someone that is more familiar can correct me, but I think the OP's dates are too late for this, fire or no fire?

    Anyone want to add, correct, or clarify?

  10. #40

    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    North Italy
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    42

    Re: American Southwest in full Autumn

    You guys are being tremendously helpful. I'm taking notes and putting a route together as we speak.
    @Jim Galli Your town looks like something I'd find in a classic American movie. Lovely. Honestly I'm all in for this kind of stuff and so is my fiancee.
    @Drew Wiley I concur, don't get me wrong. It's just the pressure speaking for me. It's one of my dream trips, I would like to see the most but I have limited time, and eventually I don't know when I can visit again. So the emotional part of me just makes me rush, the rational one suggests to see less to see more, feel the spirit and ultimately have a much better time for both of us. Quality time as you put it. We will definitely try to avoid all tourists traps. I'd rather get bed bugs than keep my butt on a tour bus.
    Not related: how should I store my film when driving around? I saw Ben Horne using one of those relatively small fridges in his 4Runner to keep his stock cool, but obviously it's not something I can bring with me...

    Max

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