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McLean, TX; Clover, TX, or...? (CA-AR) Also, sanity check!

Fremont, California
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McLean, TX; Clover, TX, or...? (CA-AR) Also, sanity check!

Hey, we're doing a long trip and I'm having trouble making the final decision. I've just had to make too many decisions already, I guess! I've made parts of this trip before, but it was years ago, and I haven't made all legs of it -- and I wasn't a well-informed traveler then.

Here's what's already set up, using TripAdvisor recs for the most part:

Leaving in mid-December

Fremont, CA-Barstow, CA (Rodeway Inn)

Barstow-Flagstaff, AZ (Ramada)

Flagstaff-Albuquerque (Monterey Nonsmokers Motel)

->>> ABQ-McLean? Clover? OKC?

???-Fayetteville, AR

Stay in Fayetteville till the day after Christmas (Inn at the Mill)

Fayetteville, AR-El Dorado, AR

Stay in El Dorado through New Year's Eve

New Year's Day

El Dorado-Wichita Falls, TX (Day's Inn)

Stay over another night to visit a friend in WF

WF-ABQ (Monterey Nonsmokers Motel)

ABQ-Grand Canyon, AZ (Bright Angel cabin) -- via 89 N

Stay over at Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon to Barstow (Rodeway Inn) -- via 64 S


Constraints: I REALLY want to avoid super long days. I have to stop every couple of hours (let's just say I want to avoid any more lithotripsies!), we like to have a hot lunch to keep ourselves sane on road trips, and that adds up to a long day if just the driving is 8 hours.

Any thoughts on where we should stop between ABQ and Fayetteville? Fayetteville is our first major end point, where we'll visit family for a few days. I'm concerned that going on to OKC would make that day too long.

Also, it's winter, so if any of our other routes look bad, please let us know. It's mostly the obvious I-40 stuff; the only choices are whether we take 412 or 540 to Fayetteville (I'm more familiar with 540 due to years of driving between Fayetteville and LR/El Dorado, but if the Tulsa route is better, I'll do it), how we rejoin I-40 from Wichita Falls, and going up to the Grand Canyon.

Any other suggestions are welcome. :)

Thank you!

Marina, California
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for Tucson
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1. Re: McLean, TX; Clover, TX, or...? (CA-AR) Also, sanity check!

I don't think your drive times will be too bad but, of course, you won't really be able to do anything along the way.

So you're doing two nights at the Grand Canyon? Have you already reserved this?

412 is a toll road (as is I-44) and I-40 is not. Up to you if you want to pay the toll. You're actually putting yourself through another city to reach 412 (Tulsa), so it may be best to just take I-40 to I-540.

Regarding your specific question: I think you should find a hotel you like in a city west of Oklahoma City. Very little experience with that route, but it's the old Route 66, so there should be quite a few choices because of the tourist track.

Failing that, you could also go a little further past Albuquerque to Santa Rosa (nice little town, a few motels) or Tucumcari (not a great town, but lots of cheap motels) on your Albuquerque day to be able to stay in OKC.

There are two sections of western I-40 where you run the risk of encountering inclement weather: around Flagstaff and on the east edge of Albuquerque. Going up to the Grand Canyon also, obviously, you'll risk hitting some snow. US 180 between the Canyon and Flagstaff hits 9000' and typically closes first, but you can usually get by.

There are two Ramadas in Flagstaff. Which one are you staying at?

Fremont, California
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2. Re: McLean, TX; Clover, TX, or...? (CA-AR) Also, sanity check!

Yeah, unfortunately this is mostly a functional trip.

Yes, we've already reserved all of the lodging listed, just missing that one night. We have a cabin at Bright Angel confirmed. :)

We're staying at the Ramada West Grand Canyon in Flagstaff. It sounds OK.

Fremont, California
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38 posts
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3. Re: McLean, TX; Clover, TX, or...? (CA-AR) Also, sanity check!

(Sheesh, I meant Shamrock, not Clover.)

4. Re: McLean, TX; Clover, TX, or...? (CA-AR) Also, sanity check!

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