Taos Pueblo and Peacock (days 9 and 10)

Peacock in TaosTaos was a very long drive, made longer by the snowy mountains we drove through, but the sky was clear and sunny (albeit cold) the next day. We stayed at American Artists Gallery House for two nights, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Our room was charming, breakfast was delicious, and the resident peacock flirted with us throughout our game of Scrabble on the patio. Continue reading

Arches National Park, Four Corners, Mesa Verde (days 7 and 8)

Arches National ParkThe next morning, it took us a long time to drive up to Arches National Park, due to sleet and road construction, but then it cleared up for a couple of hours. We hiked to one arch, but on our way to another, it started raining and got very cold, so we headed back.

Mesa Verde - Cliff PalaceOur next stop was Kelly Place, a bed + breakfast and retreat center near Cortez, Colorado, where we enjoyed chatting with a hiking club from California. The next morning the weather wasn’t very nice, so we drove many miles out of our way to Four Corners to experience being in four different states at once, then drove back to Mesa Verde and got a great look at Cliff Palace.

Grand Canyon, Canyon de Chelly (day 6)

Rainbow BridgeIn looking over our itinerary, we realized that we had just enough unallocated time to zip over to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon before heading east, so that’s what we did. We didn’t have time to hike down into it, but we did stop at several viewpoints, including a lookout tower. Then we drove through the Hopi Indian reservation, which was one of the things I had really wanted to see. Continue reading

Leaving Las Vegas, Zion, Lake Powell (days 4 and 5)

During our three days in Vegas, we didn’t do any gambling – other than, apparently, with our lives each time we left our car in a parking garage. According to the B+B owner, there have been some robberies and you should *never* park in a garage. We found them well-lit and full of people, so we “risked” it anyway.

Rainbow BridgeOur next stop was Zion National Park where it was, unfortunately, cold and drizzly. We took the scenic bus and watched the movie at one of the stops, but we weren’t able to take any pictures or walk around at all. Then we drove to Page, AZ, where, the next day, we took the Rainbow Bridge Cruise on Lake Powell. It’s a scenic 7-hour trip, but I still think it was too expensive (well over $100 each).

Las Vegas, Valley of Fire, O (day 2)

Around 9am, we packed a picnic lunch and headed out to Valley of Fire, which is less than an hour’s drive from Vegas. Just before the entrance to the park, we came upon a car parked haphazardly in the middle of the road. I admit that for a second I thought it might be some sort of a scam, but in fact the couple had spotted several bighorn sheep. We watched these rare creatures for a while before continuing into the park.
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Las Vegas (day 1)

Our trip to the southwest started with a major hiccup: our flight was cancelled (see Adventures in air travel). So instead of flying to Phoenix on Monday, we flew directly to Las Vegas on Tuesday, which meant missing out on the Grand Canyon, but avoiding several hours driving. We got into Vegas around 2pm, picked up the car, and went straight to the bed and breakfast. Then we went down to the Strip to walk around a bit, have dinner, and see V: The Ultimate Variety Show. We weren’t really sure what to expect, but it was really fun – a bit of dancing, a hint of magic, amazing feats of strength and balancing, some neat juggling, and a lot of humor. I definitely recommend it.

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