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Southwest Road Trip

Today is the day.  I’ve had a fantastic summer full of new and beautiful experiences, but the hour has come to move on to my next destination.  For a time, my future was uncertain beyond the Grand Teton summer season, but after weeks of interviews and a number of offers, I’ve happily accepted a position at a ski resort in lovely South Lake Tahoe.

To reach my destination I had a number of options.  I had the option to stay a bit longer at my current diggs and drive out west in a straight shot.  However, after some careful thought (about 10 seconds worth) I quickly realized that I would not have the opportunity to visit the Southwest again for quite some time.  How could I pass up an opportunity to explore some of our nation’s greatest treasures?  Mark Twain’s quote comes to mind… “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. Explore. Dream. Discover.”  

So instead of driving a day west to reach my new home, I’m taking a bit of a detour.  I’m embarking on a week and a half road trip that will involve hiking, photographing, biking, and camping through some of the most beautiful places in Southwest United States.  I’ll stop in Zion National Park where I’ll hike the narrows, stand atop Angels Landing, and see the arches of it’s mysterious Kolob Canyon.  I’ll stare out across the vastness that is the Grand Canyon and hike across it’s masterfully painted landscape. I’ll see the black of night turn to day in the lights of Las Vegas and I’ll walk the strip that has earned both notoriety and infamy the world over.  I’ll round out my adventure in the shadow of dramatic rock cliffs in Yosemite National Park.

Have you visited any of these places?  What is the best way to experience them on a shoestring budget? 

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Grandma K #

    We’ve been to Las Vegas several times and spent little $$ (we stayed in our time share trade) and rented a car. We spent our time walking through the hotel where they had FREE shows: a talking/moving statues in Caesars Palace; a Pirates show in front of another (better at night); NY NY with roller coaster going in & out of the building (not free). I even got a laugh in the ladies room which was like going into the NY subway – oopps I almost forgot – you can’t go in there: you should experience Freemont street experience at night after dark. I don’t think the Liberace museum is in operation any more – that was a Wow!place; the Elthel M candy factory outside the free samples had a wonderful southwestern garden to go through when you were leaving. Gosh I even got a laugh at the cathedral on the strip – it was stipulated that you can put chips in the offertory and then the Priest brought the hips over to the casino. The Piests are referred to as the “Chip-monks.”

    Most of our time was taken up with travelling to Hoover Dam tour, up to Death Valley, the Red Rock Canyons and doing the Grand Canyon which we saw while in a helicopter (WONDERFUL!!!). Besides us we had 3 Japanese fellows with up and after lift off they immediately fell asleep. On the return, as soon as we hit the Tarmac the jumped up and started taking pictures of the airport “Crick, Crick.” I’m sure you’ll have a good time whatever you choose to do…
    Love you,

    September 15, 2013

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