S: 2011 Southwest Vacation
BC: 2011 Family Vacation....3,117 miles, 13 days, numerous National Parks, Forests & Monuments. | 2011 Southwest Vacation
FC: Highways & Byways | 2011 Southwest Vacation
1: EMBARKING ON A ONCE IN A LIFETIME | We started out from Lubbock at 4:45AM! Day 1 would take us through Lincoln County and the old jail where Billy the Kid killed the deputies guarding him, then through Smokey The Bear territory, across White Sands and into the streets of Tombstone! 646 miles!
2: Capitan, NM - home to the original Smokey the Bear, where he's buried.... | GO THIS WAY
3: ....cutting across New Mexico, we headed to Arizona! | Across the mountains, through Ruidoso, NM to Alamogordo and the White Sands National Monument....
4: We arrived in Tombstone late in the evening, most places were closed, but we walked the streets and took in the sites...
5: LIFE IS A JOURNEY, NOT A DESTINATION. | RALPH WALDO EMERSON | We walked the streets where Wyatt Earp, along with his brothers and Doc Holliday had walked....
6: Our last stop on the first night was at the Boot Hill Cemetery....where the Clanton's and McLaury's were buried after the gunfight at the OK Corral.
7: Day two of our vacation Betty and I took a Jeep Tour to several old ghost towns and to Johnny Ringo's Grave site. We then toured Tombstone and watched the gunfight. | City Limits Sign | Remains of an old Ghost Town, Pearce, AZ | Restored jail in Gleeson, AZ. built in 1910 | Another old jail near Pearce, AZ. | Same jail design as in Gleeson, near Pearce. | McLaury's farm house
8: Johnny Ringo's grave site, a few feet from where his body was found. | No one really knows who killed him, it was ruled a suicide....
9: Wyatt Earp's home was directly across the street from the OK Corral. His home and statute in front mark this national landmark. The Tombstone Epitaph was and is the official newspaper of Tombstone and Cochise County.
10: After the gunfight, we drove to Tucson and picked Ashley up, then drove on to Phoenix where we spent the night. End of Day 2 - 823 Miles! | Our final stop in Tombstone was at the gunfight site at the OK Corral. The reenactment was fun to watch....
12: Day 3! We headed out of Phoenix and stopped at Montezuma's Castle - a beautiful Indian dwelling built into the side of a cliff.
13: After our stop at Montezuma's Castle, we headed to Prescott, AZ for a quick visit at Big Nose Kate's grave site. She was the common law wife of Doc Holliday. | People leave change on the grave to buy her a drink in the after-life.
14: IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MEMORIES | Next stop was in Sedona at the Chapel of the Holy Cross - a beautiful chapel built into the side of the Red Rocks of Arizona.
15: IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MEMORIES | After touring the Chapel, we headed into Sedona for shopping and then drove around checking out the incredible red rock formations.
16: Cathedral Rock
17: Courthouse Rock and Bell Rock
18: After touring around Sedona, we headed to Williams, AZ for dinner on Historic Route 66....After dinner, we drove on to Peach Springs, AZ to the Hualapai Reservation and our hotel....1202 miles.... | Snoopy Rock | Cathedral Rock
20: Day 4! On the Colorado River, with canyon walls climbing to more than 1,000 feet | The road down was long and bumpy | Betty & Ashley on our drive down during our break. | This little fella was hanging out on the road to the river. | The three of us! | A boat heads down river. | Our boat pointing down river
23: LIFE IS A JOURNEY, NOT A DESTINATION. | RALPH WALDO EMERSON | After rafting, we took a long van ride to the Glass Walkway, where we walked out over the edge of the Grand Canyon. The Eagle Rock is one of the formations that the Hualapai Indians worship. After that we headed pack to Williams to spend the night before our train ride to the South Rim. 1,289 miles.
24: Day 5 started out with a train ride from Williams, AZ to the South Rim, where we took a tour bus for a few hours before checking into the Maswik Lodge.
26: LIFE IS A JOURNEY, NOT A DESTINATION. | We stopped at Maricopa Point, Hopi Point, Powell Point, Mohavi, The Abyss, Monument Creek Vista, Pima Point, Hermit's Rest....
27: At the end of day five, we headed out to Mather's Point to catch the sunset....then back the lodge. Our mileage stayed the same, since we had the train ride. (1,289 miles)
28: Day Six! We started out very early, heading out to Yavapai Point to watch the sunrise and capture the light between rocks that only occurs for a few minutes at sunrise....
29: We walked around the various lodges around the South Rim. | We took the train back to Williams and then drove back to check in at the Thunderbird Lodge
30: WE WANDER FOR DISTRACTION, BUT WE TRAVEL FOR FULFILLMENT. | HILAIRE BELLOC | After checking in at the Thunderbird Lodge, we saw a group of Elk outside....we had a great dinner, then off to bed. 1,352 miles
31: Day 7: We started out this morning driving across the Desert View roadway, headed to the North Rim with a few stops along the way....
32: The drive from the South Rim to North rim was long....but lots of beautiful scenery along the way....
33: We said goodbye to the South Rim after our stop at the Desert View Tower. Our next stop would be as we crossed the Colorado River at Glen Canyon and then headed up to Lee's Ferry launch.....
34: ARE WE THERE YET? | The Colorado River | Betty & I along the river | The rushing river...great beach area | Betty & Ashley at the river | Ashley cooling off | Multi day rafting trips start here
35: ARE WE THERE YET? | The original crossing site... | Old buildings near Lee's Ferry | Balanced Rock | Snake head rock | Formations in Glen Canyon | Glen Canyon
36: As we left Glen Canyon, it was back on the road thru Kaibab Forest and onto the North Rim.
37: Day 7 ended with us watching the sunset from Bright Angel Trail, then we had dinner at the Lodge and headed to the cabin. 1,565 miles....
38: Day 8 - North Rim of the Grand Canyon! It was nice and cool, raining in the area as we headed off to hike the Cliff Springs. It was a short hike to a neat spring that drips from the sandstone cliffs. We then drove out to Angel's Window, Cape Point and Imperial Point
39: HALF THE FUN OF TRAVEL IS THE ESTHETIC OF LOSTNESS.
42: LIFE IS A JOURNEY, NOT A DESTINATION. | RALPH WALDO EMERSON
43: At the end of the day, we returned to the meadow and watched the Bison herd grazing. We then headed to Cape Point to capture the sunset. Rain clouds could be seen across the canyon, as well as rainbow. The sunset was beautiful...we headed back to the cabin, had pizza. 1,687 miles.
44: Day 9! We said goodbye to the North Rim and headed towards Page, AZ....Along the way, we stopped at Horseshoe Bend - a beautiful curve in the Colorado River
45: We checked out the area, had a great lunch in Page, then headed to the hotel. We booked a special photography tour of Antelope Canyon. Went back to Horseshoe Bend for the sunset. This ended Day 9 1856 miles.
46: Day 10! We slept in this morning, then had a special photographers tour at the famous slot canyon, Antelope Canyon. The light in the canyon is incredible, but only occurs for about two hours every day.
56: Antelope Canyon was beautiful. The deep, rich colors were spectacular and our Indian guides constantly put on a great show for us.
59: After wrapping up at Antelope Canyon, we began the drive to Zion National Park. On the way we cruised around Lake Powell, crossed into Utah and then drove thru Grand Staircase Escalante on our way to Zion.
60: The next stop was Zion National Park, a beautiful park in Southern Utah with huge mountain formations.
62: After arriving at Zion, we hiked a nearby trail, then had dinner at the Lodge. Day 10 came to a close...1,998 miles...
63: A GRAND ADVENTURE IS ABOUT TO BEGIN | Day 11: We spent most of the day hiking various areas of Zion, seeing many of the key features that make this beautiful canyon. The Virgin River runs through Zion and provides water to numerous deer and Big Horn Sheep
64: The scenic views around Zion were amazing...
67: HALF THE FUN OF TRAVEL IS THE ESTHETIC OF LOSTNESS. | We hiked up to Weeping Rock, where there was a hanging garden seeping from the cliffs. We then headed out along the Riverside walk, saw lots of squirrels. After that we headed back to the Lodge for dinner. 2,024 miles.
68: ARE WE THERE YET? | Day 12! We started out very early this morning, leaving Zion and heading a little further North to Bryce Canyon. On the drive out, we captured a few more shots of the high peaks and beautiful mountains. We also spotted several deer and a large number of Big Horn Sheep!
71: 89 | OUR GREAT ADVENTURE
72: THAT WAY | GO THIS WAY | This herd of Big Horn Sheep headed off into the canyon after a quick photo-op with us.....
73: The next stop was Bryce Canyon and the Hoodoos! The scenic views were incredible. The colors of the Hoodoos ranged from white to red to orange to brown.....
74: Windows to the world....
75: Fairyland | Poodle Rock in the center
76: Bright sunlight lit up the Hoodoos bringing out their bright colors... | Ashley and I at Rainbow Point
77: Awesome view of the canyon....Thor's Hammer!
78: Another look at Thor's Hammer | Natural Bridge | A deer near Fairyland
79: 89 | Another great view of Bryce Canyon and the Hoodoos
80: Betty and Ashely checking out the hoodoos... Thor's Hammer and Lookout Point view.
81: Day 12 ended with us wrapping up at Bryce Canyon, then driving back down Highway 89 to Flagstaff, where we spent the night. 2,436 miles. | On the way out of Bryce, we stopped at a small canyon draw where Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid used as a hide out with the Hole In The Wall Gang.
83: Day 13, we started out early from Flagstaff, AZ starting the long drive home...... | Along the way, we stopped at the Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert, along Route 66....
84: OUR BAGS ARE PACKED, WE'RE READY TO GO HOME.... | The Petrified Forest was colorful and very cool...huge trees turned to stone.
85: The Agate Bridge is made of a petrified tree that bridges a small ravine.
87: The Painted Desert could be seen in the distance, displaying beautiful colors of red, purple, brown, white and gray. This road was a part of the old Route 66....and old truck sits as a monument to the famous highway.
89: At the end of Day 13, we arrived back home, driving a total of 3,117 miles. We say many beautiful national parks, forests and monuments. We took hundreds of photos and made thousands of memories that we will carry with us forever. | Photos by Jeff, Betty & Ashley