OUR FAVORITE trip is the section of
U.S. ;;; that stretches more than ;;;
miles from just north of San Bernardino,
California, to the Oregon border.
Along the way it passes through
remarkable landscapes dotted only with
a few small towns. Its most spectacular
section lies between the base of the
Sierra Nevada’s eastern slopes and the
western slopes of the White Mountains.
The two ranges create the Owens Valley.
With the floor at an altitude of ;,;;; feet
and peaks on each side higher than ;;,;;;
feet, it is twice as deep as the Grand
Canyon and, during the fall season, just
as visually amazing.
Driving along the route presents
Angie and Jim Byrne
heart-stopping views and vistas of the
turning fall colors against the granite
wall of the Sierra Nevada range. And the
side roads leading up the canyons and
beside rushing mountain streams allow
IN JUNE ;;;;, my husband and I and our four kids (ages ;;,
;;, ; and ;) packed up our minivan and hit the road. We trav-
eled from Kalamazoo, Michigan, to Winter Park, Colorado,
with many stops along the way—Wisconsin Dells; Sioux
Falls, South Dakota, with a day trip to the Laura Ingalls
Homestead in De Smet; the Badlands; Mount Rushmore;
Yellowstone National Park; Grand Teton; and then Arches
National Park near Moab, Utah. Our next stop was Mesa
Verde National Park in Colorado, where we toured the cliff
dwellings of the ancient Pueblo people. From there we drove
through the Rocky Mountains, crossed the Continental
Divide and spent time in Rocky Mountain National Park
near Winter Park. It was an incredible adventure and an
unforgettable family bonding experience.
A traveler (below
left) soaking up the
color and a bristle-cone pine (inset) in
the Ancient Bristle-cone Pine Forest
along U.S. 395.
Jim and Angie Byrne with
their children Elli, Isaac,
Hannah and Caleb at Mount
Rushmore (left) and Arches
National Park (below).
CONTINUED ON PAGE 40
an even more thrilling and intimate connection with nature.
The landscape is filled by groves of
aspens showing off their bright yellow
leaves, and cottonwoods and rabbitbrush
with their orange and yellow foliage—all
backdropped by the rocky wall of the
Sierra abruptly rising ;;,;;; feet.
San Jose, California
© DAVID BURCKHARD