WESTERN VACATION '96


Deanie, Zachary, and I took a month off (May 4th through June 1st) to travel around the western part of the U.S. We took Zachary out of school (with a bunch of assignments to do along the way). We flew into Denver International Airport with all our camping gear, rented a car, and off we went.

Zachary kept a daily journal of our exploits - I've transcribed them for your perusal.

I present here our itinerary (as it turned out - we only had a vague notion of where we would end up at any given point in time). If the National Park Service has a web page for the place, I have linked the name to that page.

The small picture representative of the place links to a larger version of the picture with a slightly longer description, along with other links to the place (if I could find some on Yahoo or Alta Vista).

WHERE

VIEW

SYNOPSIS

Colorado Springs X Pike's Peak, Garden of the Gods, Cave of the Winds. Kind of commercial, but not too bad.
Cripple Creek X Mollie Kathleen (I keep thinking "Katzen", but that's clearly not it) Gold Mine - 1000 feet deep - tres cool.
Royal Gorge X Hey, something else 1000 feet deep. Look through the floor plank of the bridge. Cool bridge.
Great Sand Dunes National Monument X Alas, only 700 feet high :-). Took about 1 1/2 hours to climb and 15 minutes to decend. I live near dunes, and these are pretty impressive.
Mesa Verde National Park X Great cave dwellings (although my mother says Turkey has much better ones for Christians :-) ). Good hikes, as well.
Four Corners X Not worth it, unless you really like tourist traps. Zach's in all four states, here.
Canyon de Chelly National Monument X Who knew? Never even heard of the place, but a great canyon with some nice hikes. Navaho still live in it.
Grand Canyon National Park
(South Rim)
X Words can't describe it, and neither can pictures. Unimaginable. Great hike on the South Kaibab Trail with a ranger.
Glen Canyon Dam X Great display of technological prowess. Incredible ruination of beautiful canyon. Oh well, can't win them all.
Grand Canyon National Park
(North Rim)
X Completely different than the South Rim - you've got to visit both. Great hike on the North Kaibab Trail.
Zion National Park X You're in the canyon. Nice views of "Great White Throne" (named by Mormons, most assuredly with a different connotation than the one that this name gives us now :-). Great hikes on a knife edge 1000 feet up, and up narrow canyons on the Virgin river.
Bryce National Park X Great Mule Ride (get "Leroy"). Beautiful spires and hikes.
Capitol Reef National Park X Hard to describe. Sort of canyonish, sort of a wall of sandstone, depending on which direction you go. Nice hike up to the "Golden Throne" viewpoint. Very secluded.
Canyonlands National Park X Very primitive - great views of the Colorado and the Green River prior to merging in "Island in the Sky" area. Nice hiking, especially at "Salt Dome".
Arches National Park X Never seen so many arches in my life! What's the difference between an arch and a bridge? Great hike in "Fiery Furnace".
Dinosaur National Monument X Not a lot of dinosaur stuff, but what's there is GREAT! Some VERY good hikes - incredible quiet.
Rocky Mountain National Park X Unbelievable vistas of the Rockies. Good hikes in the snow near Bear lake, and without snow in the Moraine area.
Greeley X Visited Lee and Terri Devlin. Got a ride in Lee's Piper Colt with Zachary.

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