Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
on line
Joined
·
853 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We recently completed a 2-week, 6-state, 3,500+ mile road trip (in the Xterra, of course). Thought I would share a few photos and thoughts about the road trip.

Starting from San Diego on the Sunday before Memorial Day we headed for Montana to meet up with my brother. Since we did not have to be in Missoula until Thursday mid-day we took our time and the lesser travelled roads, rather than just flying up I-15.

We picked up US Hwy 93 (the Great Basin Highway) just north of Las Vegas; with a few scenic detours it took us all the way to Missoula, MT. From Missoula we continued north on US 93 to Flathead Lake, then took lesser roads around the lake and back south to Helena for the weekend.

Leaving Helena the following Monday, we headed into northern Utah for a night, then on to central and southern Utah, including a day at Bryce Canyon. From southern Utah we took US 89 and 89A south around the eastern side of the Grand Canyon to Flagstaff. From there we wandered through Sedona, Jerome, Prescott and on to Phoenix, finally returning to San Diego after 14 days on the road. Of the just over 3,500 miles we covered, only about 900 were on Interstate highways, the rest on 2-lane (or smaller) roads, including a few unpaved "shortcuts". Even on US 93 we went over 1/2 hour at times without seeing another vehicle. For someone like me from California that's quite a change. It was great to see the country from "the road less travelled".







For those that have not been there, the Great Basin is an amazing place, full of interesting history and beautiful scenery. While it is primarily a high-elevation desert between the western slope of the Rockies and the eastern slope of the Sierras, the landscape is really a series of basins and (mountain) ranges. Highway 93 works its way north, traveling up through the middle of a basin, then crossing over a range, and repeating the process all the way across Nevada.





The Ward Charcoal Ovens, built by Italian craftsmen in the late 1870's to provide fuel for the mining operations. Outside of Ely, Nevada.


Heading back down to US 50 towards Ely, NV, on one of our unpaved "shortcuts" after visiting Great Basin National Park.


It was great to have the Xterra for this road trip, as it allowed us the flexibility to take whatever route we wanted, paved or unpaved. Even though we spent the nights in hotels, we carried several days worth of supplies and basic camp equipment with us at all times.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
853 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
When we left Ely, NV we took the 33-mile unpaved Success Loop road instead of the highway for a small portion of the route north. Scenery was great, the road goes up to just over 9,000' elevation.







All of the routes we traveled were what could be referred to as "stock friendly". Livestock, that is.






Outside of Emery, UT


So, how did the Xterra do for a long road trip. In a word, great. It is just the right size for 2 people and gear/luggage without being overloaded.

The PRG lift (TC UCA's with Radflos in the front and Deaver Mini-Pack in the rear) worked great on the open highway. Handling at speed is much better than stock. I'm sure the BFG AT KO's helped some too. Never needed the skids or sliders, but it was nice to know they were there.

For navigation we relied on a combination of Benchmark Road & Rec atlases, AAA maps and Garmin City Nav 8 loaded on both a 60CSx and a laptop. We would work out the next day's route the night before on the laptop and transfer the routes and waypoints to the GPSr. With the western 1/3 of the US loaded on the 60CSx in both City Nav and Topo, any time we deviated from our original plan it recalculated for us. The Benchmark atlases were very helpful as well, it is easy to get a feel for terrain and elevation from them when planning routes.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
853 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
At Craters of the Moon National Monument in southern Idaho.




I never expected to see this much vegetation growing on a lava flow.




In 1983 an earthquake near Challis, Idaho dropped the ground level about 7.5 feet, leaving a clearly visible "scarp" about 21 miles long at the edge of the basin. The forest service has put up a nice little interpretive spot with panels to point out and explain what happened.




Found some interesting "wildlife" in Salmon, Idaho.




Not sure what these 2 are, but since they were just outside the cemetery there wasn't anyone to ask.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
13,466 Posts
DUDE! Thats awesome. It looks like you had a blast. I have to saymy favorite photos were the ones next to your truck showing no one in front or behind you, or any sort of life to speak of. Very cool trip. I see your sporting the BFG AT'S...........Kick ass arent they? Post mroe photos, really nice scenery.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
278 Posts
Awesome photos. Being from the east coast, I don't get to experience those types of drives very often, if at all. The scenery was beautiful, too. Glad you were able to enjoy that. :thumbup:
 

·
on line
Joined
·
853 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Late May / early June is a great time of year for a western road trip, lots to see, and it's not yet too hot.

At Great Basin National Park.




Red Canyon, on the way to Bryce.


At Bryce Canyon.




Perfect time of year for flowers.




 

·
on line
Joined
·
853 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
From Utah we drove south into Arizona by way of Kanab and Fredoina, dropping down off the Kaibab Plateau, past the Vermillion Cliffs and crossing the Colorado River at the Navajo Bridge on US 89A.



The original bridge was built in 1928, the new one (on the left) in 1995. You can walk across the old bridge and visit the interpretive center that the Navajo have built.



After a brief stop at Wupatki Pueblo ruins and Sunset Crater NM we headed into Flagstaff for the night.



Thanks to suggestions from Dbax and others from AZXC we took the "old" road (Schnebly Hill) into Sedona from Flagstaff. I read somewhere that when it was first put in, around 1901, it cut the travel time between Flagstaff and Sedona down from 4 days to 1 day. Incredible views as you drop down 2,500 feet into Sedona from the pine forests off I-17.



It's a really easy drive, actually, that sign notwithstanding. The biggest risk seems to be the "professionals" driving the tour jeeps and Hummers. Is it just me or are these guys too good to acknowledge another driver on the road?



 

·
on line
Joined
·
853 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
A few more random shots, in no particular order:

CA Hwy 78, south of Blythe.


Somewhere in central Utah.




Extensive lunch menu at The Sitting Duck on Flathead Lake, Montana.


Lost Trail Pass between Salmon, ID and Missoula, MT.


Any Griz fans out there? What a great town (Missoula, that is.)


Ely, Nevada on Memorial Day. Another great town.


Last set of steps on the way to the inside of the dome at the top of the Montana State Capital building.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
3,218 Posts
Is it just me or are these guys too good to acknowledge another driver on the road?
lol, no it's not you. It's pre-requisite you're an ass to accept one of those jobs.. You were less than 2 miles from the trailhead to BrokenArrow (in Sedona) where the PinkJeeps make their money. They can get really rude while driving on the trail.
Yes, it's algae.

Same shot from the bridge in '02 on the way to fish the Parriah riffle in Lee's Ferry. :whax: <--We need a fishing smiley.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
3,272 Posts
hattrik21 said:
I wanna go on a road trip :(
x2

I love the pics but hate looking at them at work. I need a breathe of fresh air.

Break Time! :cheers: LoL!!!


Hey Frank, did you get a chance to take or post shots of the big bear trip anywhere? I was curious to see how that turned out. Thanks!
 

·
on line
Joined
·
1,716 Posts
DBAX said:
Is it just me or are these guys too good to acknowledge another driver on the road?
lol, no it's not you. It's pre-requisite you're an ass to accept one of those jobs.. You were less than 2 miles from the trailhead to BrokenArrow (in Sedona) where the PinkJeeps make their money. They can get really rude while driving on the trail.
Yes, it's algae.

Same shot from the bridge in '02 on the way to fish the Parriah riffle in Lee's Ferry. :whax: <--We need a fishing smiley.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
853 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
KillJoy LosAngeles said:
Hey Frank, did you get a chance to take or post shots of the big bear trip anywhere? I was curious to see how that turned out. Thanks!
I was not at the Big Bear run, but there are pics posted on SCCX and, I think, XOC. Of course, that either means going to SCCX which is running, but slow, or to XOC. Maybe PaulXyZ will start a post on this site with his Big Bear pics.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top