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Discussion Starter #1
My spouse and I are planning a trip out west this summer (dates to be determined). We welcome any “must see” suggestions from those of you who live along the way or who have visited these places in the past. We are mostly interested in the “wonders of nature” but since we are both architects, we are also interested in great examples of architecture.

We are driving down to meet and team up with some friends in Hot Springs, AR (1958 “resto-mod” Corvette) then heading up along the scenic byway Arkansas Highway 7 and the “pig trail” to Crystal Bridges then west along I-40 through OKC, Amarillo, Albuquerque and up to Monument Valley, Four Corners, Grand Canyon, Arches National Park and back home via I-70.

Any “must see” suggestions? Thank you!

PS We are wondering should we take our 981 Cayman on the trip and let it get the “wear and tear” or wait until our 2018 Cayman arrives and take it?
 

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Monument Valley, Four Corners, Grand Canyon, Arches National Park and back home via I-70.
Forget 4 corners, its just a sign. Do not drive into Monument valley, bad idea. Take the tour. Take a 4 x 4 tour or rent into Canyonlands (across from Arches). See the Goosenecks. Across from 4 corners is Mesa Verde NP. Very cool. Arches is beautiful See the Island in the Sky and take short hikes to the Arches. Bring water. You will be on the North Rim of the GC. Not bad but probably not the same as the South Rim. Been everywhere. Don't forget ZION. Hike the beginning of the Narrows. All very nice.

Of course, they all might be closed. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My spouse and I are planning a trip out west this summer (dates to be determined). We welcome any “must see” suggestions from those of you who live along the way or who have visited these places in the past. We are mostly interested in the “wonders of nature” but since we are both architects, we are also interested in great examples of architecture.

We are driving down to meet and team up with some friends in Hot Springs, AR (1958 “resto-mod” Corvette) then heading up along the scenic byway Arkansas Highway 7 and the “pig trail” to Crystal Bridges then west along I-40 through OKC, Amarillo, Albuquerque and up to Monument Valley, Four Corners, Grand Canyon, Arches National Park and back home via I-70.

Any “must see” suggestions? Thank you!

PS We are wondering should we take our 2014 981 Cayman on the trip and let it get the “wear and tear” or wait until our 2018 Cayman arrives and take it?
 

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LOL, true! Thank you Chows4us this is helpful. Also, we are both relatively fit so the hiking suggestions are excellent.
 

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LOL, true! Thank you Chows4us this is helpful. Also, we are both relatively fit so the hiking suggestions are excellent.
No problem, we've done it all. Find some guidebooks on Arches. Great short trails to Delicate Arch and some others. Mesa Verde is very cool, much better than I thought. Zion is great. You can do part of the water hike into the Narrows. Bring sandals for the water. I forget Bryce Canyon. Its a short distance from Zion and Arches. Do NOT drive in Monument Valley or Canyonland. Rent a jeep or do a tour.

Its all fun. Horse back riding tour. Lots of places in Moab for both 4 x 4 and horseback riding. Lots of Westerns were shot in Moab.
 

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What's your point of origin? You have N/A in your profile.

I don't recall much in the Texas panhandle. I meant to check out Palo Duro Canyon the few times I have been out there but just never made it.

We really liked Zion and it looks to be on your route.

Sandia Peak in the Albuquerque area at sunset is nice -- we took the tram.

We drove a bit of 70 between Denver & Glenwood Springs and it was a beautiful drive. There are a lot of great back roads in that area as well. IIRC we drove Loveland Pass based on the suggestion of a local.

We are wondering should we take our 2014 981 Cayman on the trip and let it get the “wear and tear” or wait until our 2018 Cayman arrives and take it?
Either one would be great. We drove through those areas back when we had an S2000 which was also great.
 

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I don't have any suggestions, just jealousy. Every time I utter the words "road trip in the Cayman" I get an unprintable response from whatshername--and not the good kind.
 

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Any “must see” suggestions? Thank you!
Great itinerary! Near ABQ Tent Rocks and Bandelier national monuments. Not super well known stops but very worth it!


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Since you are going to the 4 corners make sure you drive the ”Million Dollar Highway” I believe it’s number designation is 550 from the NM border up through Ouray. Telluride is great too and there is a great route from that area to Zion easy to find on the map.
I haven’t driven with a car but I have with my motorcycle BMW 1200 GS. Passed an RV at top speed coming from Zion back to Telluride. Great time and roads.
 

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No problem, we've done it all. Find some guidebooks on Arches. Great short trails to Delicate Arch and some others. Mesa Verde is very cool, much better than I thought. Zion is great. You can do part of the water hike into the Narrows. Bring sandals for the water. I forget Bryce Canyon. Its a short distance from Zion and Arches. Do NOT drive in Monument Valley or Canyonland. Rent a jeep or do a tour.

Its all fun. Horse back riding tour. Lots of places in Moab for both 4 x 4 and horseback riding. Lots of Westerns were shot in Moab.
Good advice chows. Zion is always forgotten and it is just magnificent. One item I am curious about. We drove into Canyonlands NP and didn't have any problem with the roads. Why the suggestion there? We went 2 years ago so maybe it is better now than the last time you visited?

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I'm in central Arkansas and my wife and I are thinking about a road trip for my 40th birthday this summer. My Boxster GTS is my present. :)
 

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My spouse and I are planning a trip out west this summer (dates to be determined). We welcome any “must see” suggestions from those of you who live along the way or who have visited these places in the past. We are mostly interested in the “wonders of nature” but since we are both architects, we are also interested in great examples of architecture.
Threads merged and moved into the appropriate subforum for recommended driving routes. OK, for more info, we've done this twice in 2 seat mid-engined FI, MR2. For the travel. I doubt the box/cay has much more room than MR2s did. My suggestions:

1. Bring twice as much money, 1/2 much clothes, extra underwear, socks, hat, water, real hiking boots, backpack. Expect to use laundromats. Very dusty, can be windy, hot.
2. Pack the car, not the bags
3. Have a plan for a flat. Stuff happens and there will not be the tires you expect in the boondoocks
4. Expect to eat the rear tires.
5. Take lots of pics.
6. Stay in the NP when possible. Much different experience than in gateway town. Holiday Inn is the same everywhere. Not true about the park hotels.
7. Stop your mail. If you buy anything on the road, just mail it home. It will be waiting at the PO.
8. Expect the front end to be filthy on return. Get clearbra or expect to be cleaning it for awhile.
9. I40 is a truckers route. Expect construction, double tandems, beat up slow lane. I doubt this has been fixed. The Interstates are alway under construction. Use Waze when possible.
10. Look carefully at the cell map, like this https://www.att.com/maps/wireless-coverage.html. All those white areas in the desert SW had NO cell coverage. Its more than you might think.

I would get of I40, head north to Durango (million dollar hwy), West to Mesa Verde. Stay in the park. Lots of History. Anasazi, ruins. Great stuff. Forget about 4 corners, it’s a sign and direct to the N. Rim. Not the best place. Not the best accomodations, remote, few people go there compared to the S. Rim. Don't have high expectations. My wife hated it. Then up to Zion. Stay in the park. Hike the beginning of the Narrows, bring water sandals, hiking stick. Up to Bryce Canyon, stay in the park, Nice cottages. Hike some trails or horseback riding. Cut back to four corners area to Monument Valley. Do NOT drive into it. Take the tour. You might get stuck and never get out. Head North and stay in Moab. On the way to Moab is the Goosenecks https://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/goosenecks/

From Moab you can see Canyonland and Arches. Definitely hike in Arches like to Delicate Arch or Landscape Arch. Go at Dawn, not in the middle of the day. Bring lots of water and real hiking boots. Tour Needles by 4 x 4.

From Moab up to I70, then SOUTH to Montrose. Take an hour at the Great Sand Dunes NM. North on I25 to Pikes Peak. No one who likes driving can pass up Pikes Peak. 14K feet. Great drive up the mountain. I think its all paved now. Then back across I70. On I70 turn your head and look back at the Front Range of the Rockies, the purple mountains majesty.

Good luck! Sounds fun

edit: One thing about the park hotels. Each one is different. You reserve NOW, not in the summer for this summer. You can always cancel. OTH, if you make changes on the road, you can always call ahead and see who cancelled. But popular park hotels fill rapidly. Staffing is seasonal. The maids, workers, waiters, etc. around the hotels/cottages are college kids. I'm sure they still do seasonal hiring. So expect what that means. They were all pretty cool and learning, a good summer job I'm sure.

Good advice chows. Zion is always forgotten and it is just magnificent. One item I am curious about. We drove into Canyonlands NP and didn't have any problem with the roads. Why the suggestion there? We went 2 years ago so maybe it is better now than the last time you visited?
Canyonlands has three major parts, Island in the Sky, Needles, and the Maze.

You probably drove into Island in the Sky. There is a parking overlook and the land below looks like giant fingers squashed the earth. Dead Horse state park is also there https://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/dead-horse/.

The second section is the needles. You didn’t drive into the Needles other than maybe a parking lot. Its all 4 x 4 trail. Google "The confluence of the Colorado and Green River." Here is a scanned pic. You can easily pick out the Muddy Colorado. You either hike or go by 4 x 4 to get here.




The third section is the Maze. No one goes into the maze unless deep into 4 x 4 and likely back packing. https://www.nps.gov/cany/planyourvisit/maze.htm

So I think you might have meant Island in the Sky. Sorry, I was thinking about Needles and knew no one drives into the Maze. Sorry if that was confusing.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you everyone. I sincerely appreciate your responses and am making/adjusting the itinerary accordingly.
 

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"Grand Tour" Suggestions

I did a grand tour for 30 days six years ago in my 72 Mercedes 350SL. Best time of my life. Filled every nook and cranny of space with spare parts, and needed them.

The biggest thing I learned is to get off the freeways where you can. Drive state roads, engage the people, enjoy the local oddities, try out that cafe. You can cover miles on freeways, but they are wasted miles.


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Re: "Grand Tour" Suggestions

I did a grand tour for 30 days six years ago in my 72 Mercedes 350SL. Best time of my life. Filled every nook and cranny of space with spare parts, and needed them.

The biggest thing I learned is to get off the freeways where you can. Drive state roads, engage the people, enjoy the local oddities, try out that cafe. You can cover miles on freeways, but they are wasted miles.
I will support these words.

1. This is why I said "pack the car, not the bags". You will use every bit of space. Get soft bags, not rectangular hard suitcases. I remember, literally, just throwing stuff in nooks and crannies to get everything in, and then leaving stuff I wanted to take behind.

2. I support this too. Wasn't going to say it but time spent on the Interstates are a waste. Boring, long, hot, beaten up roads, full of trucks, construction, and miles and miles of nothing but desert, corn, wheat, soybean, utterly boring. Go from A to B as fast as possible (within the law of course) and enjoy the US highways or state roads.

3. I also support the cafe comment. I've done the grand tour several times, for a month or so at a time. My observation is that there are 4 foods you can buy about anywhere in 49 states (Haven't been to Alaska so don't know about that). They are: hamburger, hotdog, grilled cheese sandwich, and BLT. Surprisingly, pizza is not one of them. I found there were times, I was actually GLAD to see the golden arches, simply because we knew exactly what we would be buying, especially for breakfast.

But each region of the country had different thing. I had the best Tex-Mex in southern Texas. Good steaks in TX too. I never saw blue corn chips before until Moab. Never even heard of huckleberries until in Glacier NP. Navaho fry bread in AZ. etc. Each part of the country has its local specialities. Eat where the locals eat. Of course thats difficult in a NP where you are many miles away but on the road, its easier.
 

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Re: "Grand Tour" Suggestions

I've done three Long road trips covering the Lower-48 and a lot of Canada. All the road trips were with my wife in our 981 BS: (10 Weeks - 14,000 mi, 5 Weeks - 6500 mi, & 12 Weeks - 17,000 Miles). We drove mostly secondary roads, curvy and twisty when possible, with more than a few isolated rural areas w/o cell coverage. For your trip I would look First at what dates you're planning to travel.

If I had a choice of two Porsches, I'd probably take the older one. You won't have to obsess about how dirty it gets or worry about getting the first scratch or hitting your first roadkill. The flip side to that argument is that your new Porsche will be under warranty and you'll have Roadside Assistance. That was a contributiing factor to me deciding on the longest road trip last summer before the warranty on my 981 ends late this coming March. There's enough room in my Boxster and probably enough room in your Cayman for your stuff if you're selective about what you bring. I echo the comment about sending things home that you purchase along the way. If youre gone long enough you might want to send extra clothing or anything you're not using home too. We've done that on all our trips and it's made packing much easier as the trip goes along and you only have what you need. Soft-sided bags without wheels will help. We've been able to take hiking boots or shoes, along with day packs and hiking poles on our last two trips, and it made our adventures into unfamiliar areas more comfortable.

The southwest parks and areas that many commented on above can be great in April & May, but too hot for serious hiking in the summer. I've hiked, backpacked, & gone down the Colorado River in Dory Boats... mostly in May. Of the parks in the southwest, Zion is great, with the most choices; I haven't done the Narrows yet since it was closed my last two times there. Bryce is nice also; it's higher and colder in April with limited trails compared to Zion. Additional areas to consider are the Grand Canyon, Escalante-Grand Staircase National Monument, Arches, Canyonlands, and Mesa Verde. If you decide to do any long-distance hiking, plan on carrying lots more water and possibly having to dry camp if you're backpacking (depending on snowfall this Spring.)

If you're going mid-summer I'd recommend Sequoia Nat'l Park, Yosemite Nat'l Park, and state parks in California. Nice roads to drive (crowded after Memorial Day), and nice hiking (also crowded). Late summer can be nice, but unless you're at higher elevations or along the coast it gets pretty hot in the lower areas. If you travel in the period from the third-week of July through the third-week of September, I'd recommend the Pacific Northwest. It's usually great during this relatively dry period and there are gorgeous parks like Olympic Nat'l Park and Mt. Rainier Nat'l Park, along with lots of mountains to see in the Cascades.

If time permits on your return route back East consider some of the following Nat'l Parks: Glacier, Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore, Grand Teton, and Rocky Mountain. For finding interesting roads to drive you've got lots of good choices, including Mad Maps, CA Motorcycle Roads, Destination Highways Northern California, the Porsche GTS Routes App, Google Maps & Google Earth.

After you get your plan together, consider if you'll need to get your car serviced or get new tires while away from home. I had to do both last summer and some advance planning will make your time-outs from driving shorter. If you use Porsche Dealers for service, download the "Dealer App" to help you with planned or unplanned visits; if you get way off the beaten path it's good to know where the nearest help is. It you plan to drive a lot out of cell phone reception you might consider either a sat phone or a satellite communicator; I use the Garmin (formerly DeLorme) InReach Explorer. I haven't used it yet for car issues, but I've used it to communicate on backpacking trips outside of cell phone range and it worked every time.

Best of luck with your trip, and let us know how it goes!
 

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Re: "Grand Tour" Suggestions

I just wanted to make a few recommendations. If you are in the four corners area, make time to explore the roads around Ouray, CO. My favorite is CO Hwy 141 from Naturita to WhiteWater. Along the way, you'll come to Gateway. Set aside some time to visit the car museum there. I'm also fond of 145 from Norwood thru Telluride to Rico. 62 from Placerville to Ridgway is very nice too. Driving in and around the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is very nice too (CO 92). And of course there is 550, the "million dollar highway" from Ouray to Durango.
If you find your self in southern AZ, there are a lot of great roads to take north. 191 from Morenci to Alpine is incredible. Less twisty, but till nice is 180 along the NM/AZ border or 60 north of Globe thru the Salt River canyon.
As mentioned before, stay off the highway, ask locals for advice, and enjoy.
 
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