Subject: Cross country road trip....
Our trip to France on June 1 is more or less planned so now I'm working on a cross country road trip starting May 2. My friend is moving from DC area to Orange Co., Calif. (boo hoo). She and I are driving her car cross country with her two dogs (small ones). I'll fly home on the 13th.

We know our general route and want to do some touring when we get into Colorado. We are going to NC (I know, out of the way) to visit a friend the first night, then on to Missouri to visit her relatives etc...several places around the state, I haven't gotten these relatives straight yet...she knows Missouri well. On through Kansas City, crossing Kansas to Denver. West through Utah down to Nevada and LA.

We plan on stopping in Arches National Park, the north rim of the Grand Canyon (we've both been to the south rim)and any other places we get recommendations on or read about. I know Canyonlands, Colorado Nat. Mon, Monument Valley are all around there. Is it feasible to go from Arches south through Monument Valley and then to the North Rim? I know it would be a lot slower and we do have to keep our time in mind. How long to go that way and are their places to stay, eat etc?

I'm just asking for any favorite spots to eat(local specialties?), stay or see in any of the states we are going through. We'll probably go through Las Vegas just because we are there. I'd love to wander into a hotel and just look but with two dogs not sure that is possible. I haven't really investigated anything farther west yet, looks like a lot of desert. I'm hoping the desert will be in bloom. I've seen it just ready to bloom in April.

Anyone know hotels/motels that take dogs? I know they are out there. I've collected about 10 lbs. of books and maps from AAA. I've never driven west of St. Louis so it'll all be new to me.

Thanks for any advice/encouragement you can give us! It's Ellie and Lindy's great adventure and we are very excited. ellie