From Mesa Verde to Devil’s Gulch: What’s your favorite small U.S. trip?
Kay Morris-Robertson has always been a traveler. But after her newlywed husband suddenly died of a heart attack, she decided to travel the United States — in a different way. She would let America decide where she would go.
For her, it was a way to cope.
Morris-Robertson took off on a spontaneous road trip that would last three years, and followed three rules:
- She would only visit non-major cities.
- She would let America vote to decide on each destination.
- And she would visit each of these towns alphabetically.
Morris-Robertson turned her journey into a book, A to Zee Across America, which was released last month by AuthorHouse. In the book, she chronicles a wide range of destinations, from landmarks like Yellowstone Park, to charming small towns like Franklin, Tenn.
Looking to embark on your own American adventure through undiscovered territory? Here are three of the small-town destinations Morris-Robertson visited, and some highlights to check out while you’re there. Which is your favorite?
1. Mesa Verde, Colo. Explore the park’s thousands of archeological sites and hundreds of cliff dwellings, and learn about the ancestral Pueblo people who lived there from A.D. 600 to 1300.
Do this: Visit the Oak Tree House, one of the biggest cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde. You won’t believe the views.
2. White Mountains, N.H. This rugged mountain range is part of the Appalachian Mountains. Enjoy the various parks and waterfalls, go swimming in the chilly waters around the basin and explore some of the region’s tallest peaks, if you’re feeling brave.
Do this: Visit the Old Man of the Mountain rock formation on Cannon Mountain — the state symbol. Although the formation collapsed in 2003, the region is still beautiful and historically important to New Hampshire.
3. Devil’s Gulch, S.D. Wild West lovers surely know this destination, the home of the famous chasm that Jesse James jumped in a pursuit — at least according to legend.
Do this: Pack a lunch and hike the trail. Stop at the various observation points and gawk at this geological curiosity, dotted with wildflowers, unique rock formations and a bridge you can walk across. No jumping necessary.
Vote on your favorite non-major American city online at atozeeacrossamerica.com.
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