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Idaho To New Mexico by Car: A Photo Essay

Updated on June 11, 2017
Sara Krentz profile image

Sara has traveled throughout most of the continental United States. She is always thrilled at the mere mention of a road trip.

California

A view of Mount Shasta from Interstate 5.
A view of Mount Shasta from Interstate 5.

Road Trip 2011

In late December of 2011, we moved from Idaho to New Mexico. The journey was filled with beautiful scenery that was all new to us. It turned out to be an opportunity to add more landscape photographs to our growing collection.

I wanted to share some of the photos, so I decided to create this lens to showcase them. The photos start in northern California. The pictures don't come close to what it was like to be there, but I hope you enjoy them.

All of the photos used in this hub belong to the author, Sara Krentz, all rights reserved.

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(Northern) California - The Golden State

It was pretty but very hazy. And COLD. It was my first time in California, and I was enjoying our journey so far.

Ferry Boat Ride - Lake Shasta Caverns

Lake Shasta
Lake Shasta

This was the only major excursion on our road trip. Spelunking was on my bucket list, and Lake Shasta Caverns was on our route to New Mexico. There are three segments involved - first, you take a ferry boat across Lake Shasta. It turned out to be a beautiful sunny day, and it was relatively warm out. (There were some people walking around in t-shirts and shorts. I was comfortable leaving my coat on).

Bus Ride - To the Caves

Shasta Lake
Shasta Lake

Second, you take a crowded bus ride along a narrow dirt road up a steep hill. As you can see, the view is nice. And no one on the bus was smelly, so that was nice, too. When I say crowded, I mean I was sitting on my husband's lap - people were crammed in like sardines. I'm one of those who can't stand others encroaching on my personal space, but it really wasn't unpleasant at all. Maybe because it wasn't hot, people weren't sweating, and tempers weren't short.

Inside the Caverns - Enormous Chambers

Finally, the best part! The guided tour is about an hour, and then you take a return bus and ferry. Wear a hat, because you will get dripped on inside the caverns. Also, it stays pretty chilly in there, so we both wore our coats the entire time.

More from Inside - Beautiful Formations

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If I recall correctly, this is the name of the person who discovered that particular passageway in 1978.
If I recall correctly, this is the name of the person who discovered that particular passageway in 1978.
If I recall correctly, this is the name of the person who discovered that particular passageway in 1978.

Peggy Sue's Nifty 50's Diner - Yermo, CA

Peggy Sue's Nifty 50's Diner
Peggy Sue's Nifty 50's Diner

If you're ever in the area, it's a neat place to stop and eat. The food was decent, the staff was friendly, and there are many memorabilia items to look at. There's even a gift shop, so you can pick up a souvenir. We had a staff member take our picture in between the Blues Brothers there beside the fireplace.

Las Vegas, Nevada - The Strip

I wasn't all that impressed with Las Vegas. It was one of the places we stopped for the night though. We played some slots, but it was late when we arrived, so we didn't get to see much. I'd love to spend a leisurely weekend there some time. It would be fun to walk around during the day, and maybe check out a show at night. I'd also like to have the chance to shoot more night time photographs. The night we were there, I was feeling run down and a little overwhelmed by all of the hustle and bustle around me. It was after midnight, but there were people everywhere.

Bright Lights - The Night Life

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Even McDonalds is sparkly.Apparently, everyone sleeps during the day.Leaving Las Vegas.
Even McDonalds is sparkly.
Even McDonalds is sparkly.
Apparently, everyone sleeps during the day.
Apparently, everyone sleeps during the day.
Leaving Las Vegas.
Leaving Las Vegas.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area - Landmark

Neither of us cared enough about the Hoover Dam to take time out for a tour, but we did stop near the Lake Mead National Recreation Area to snap a few photos. Unfortunately, the sun was low, and most of the shots are hazy or washed out. Here's one I snapped out the window as we were approaching the area.

Last Stop Arizona - World Famous

The Last Stop
The Last Stop

Even if you don't buy anything, this is a great place to get out and stretch your legs. Here, you can buy souvenirs, take photos (there are aliens and Area 51 drawings, among other themes, on the outside of the buildings), and get something to eat. There's even a bar there.

The Roadkill Cafe - Route 66

The Roadkill Cafe bar and restaurant is located on Route 66 in Seligman, Arizona. Unfortunately, I had the flu by the time we reached Seligman, so I can't tell you how the food was. I ordered soup but couldn't really taste it anyway. As I recall, my husband was happy with his meal. You can browse souvenir items while you wait for your food. This shot was taken outside. They have sort of a miniature old west town on one side of the building.

Near the Arizona/New Mexico Border - Entering NM

Arizona
Arizona

It was really beautiful out there - so sunny and clear. The rock formations are interesting, and I had never seen this type of terrain before.

Church Rock - Red Rock State Park

Red Rock State Park
Red Rock State Park

Located near Gallup, New Mexico. We weren't able to spend as much time in the park as we would have liked to, but it is a gorgeous place to go hiking. There was no park entry fee at the end of December, but that may not be the case all year long.

Grants, New Mexico - The Land of Enchantment

Grants, NM
Grants, NM

This was the last time we stopped to take photos prior to reaching our destination. It was also the place where we saw the most snow accumulation. (Not bad for a winter trip). It sure was was pretty, but I could have done without seeing any of it at all.

Beautiful Country - More of NM

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Not sure what to bring with you?

© 2012 Sara Krentz

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  • lesliesinclair profile image

    lesliesinclair 4 years ago

    I can't remember the last one - maybe when our children were teens, and I prepared all the food we ate for the five day trip. We all loved it, and i found npr.

  • floppypoppygift1 profile image

    floppypoppygift1 4 years ago

    My husband & I went on a huge road trip before we got married. He figured since I was such a good traveling companion we should just get hitched! Cheers~cb

  • profile image

    anonymous 5 years ago

    It has been quite some time we undertook a road journey, it just revives those good old days. The images of your travel are mesmerizing, it reminds me of a great vacation.

  • profile image

    SteveKaye 5 years ago

    Now that you're in New Mexico, you are close to some of the most extraordinary scenery in the country. Enjoy the travels.

  • profile image

    anonymous 5 years ago

    I was lucky enough to travel by car quiet a bit in the western U.S. The beauty throughout makes it so much easier to get closer to God and nature. Thanks for reminding me why I loved this area so much.

  • FunMoneyBusiness profile image

    Sharyn Read 5 years ago from ... either in the kitchen or at my laptop...

    Salt Lake City to Vegas - a picture post card view around every corner. I would most love to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway back east... in the fall!