Denver to New Orleans
5 friends of mine are going to drive from Denver to New Orleans. We have about 4 days to do it, and we're more than OK taking a weird route, crisscrossing etc. We're all very experienced travelers so not gun shy on flying by the seat of our pants. Long days are expected and part of the fun, so that's fine, and we are very experienced driving in bad weather/have a good car to do it in.
So, my question is, do you have any recommendations on which route to take? Initially the plan was the head east through Kansas all the way to Buffalo River in Arkansas, and then head south towards Grand Bay, Alabama, before finishing off in NOLA. However, driving through Kansas in winter is pretty meh (and yes we'll be paying attention to weather).
I recently started toying with the idea of heading to the Sand Dunes down south, then going to the Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma, back up to Buffalo River, then down to Grand Bay, finishing in NOLA.
However, there are a few caveats this trip has to satisfy:
Have to get into Kansas in some regard (trying to hit all 50 states, and I'm 4 away…will be 2 away after this) – I don't care if it takes us an hour or two out of the way
Must do Grand Bay/National Seashore area
Would like to take a scenic route and hit things like Ozark National Forest/Ouachita National Forest
We probably won't be doing a ton of trekking, maybe a few hours at a time, but would like to drive through some interesting spots – much more interested in areas that may have wildlife/be scenic, rather than cities.
We're not picky on lodging or amenities.
Any recommendations for some creativity? As long as the drive time is under around 35 hours, I think we're game.
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