On Vegas to Denver


The morning after the trip orientation in Las Vegas, we boarded the bus. We stopped about every 90 minutes for things like restrooms, snacks, sights, or lunch. The first stop was quite the surprise – WalMart. It opened the eyes of some in the foreign contingent.

Williams, Arizona (for first lunch stop) is a small town located on US Route 66. It’s a gateway stop for many going to Grand Canyon, and also serves as the depot for the Grand Canyon Railroad, which takes visitors to the south rim.

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We overnighted at Grand Canyon National Park. It’s a spectacular place and much larger than most ever imagine: 277 miles (446 km) long, about 1 mile (1.6 km) deep, average width is 10 miles (16 km) … and to think visitors only see a small portion of the canyon.

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Monument Valley is an icon, but not a national park because it is located on Navajo land – therefore the name Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. Isolated red (from exposed iron oxide) mesas and buttes formed by erosion create the image that many have about the west. Located along the Arizona-Utah border, this iconic landscape served as the backdrop to many movie westerns and television commercials.

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Arches National Park is located in eastern Utah near Moab. Formed by geologic forces wrinkling, folding, and pushing the sandstone upward millions of years ago, wind and water erosion created over 2,000 arches and windows, plus numerous pinnacles, spires, and shapes that gives the park its distinct feel. Every geologic feature has a unique geologic story to tell.

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After an evening in Moab, the next day was a long-day of riding. The Western Slope is Colorado’s wine region, so we had lunch at a winery. The afternoon was traveling through the Rockies for an overnight in downtown Denver before a long day of riding to South Dakota.

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For other posts about this trip, click here or see (in the right sidebar) Categories > Travel > Western US National Parks Tour

Next Post: South Dakota and to the West

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43 thoughts on “On Vegas to Denver

  1. I’m really glad you saw the Grand Canyon, Frank, and I agree with you that most visitors until they’ve encountered it, had no idea how huge it really is. I really want to visit again and we do keep trying. It just hasn’t come together. The southwest is incredibly varied and beautiful and depending on the time of year is like a completely different terrain. I like the way your trip was organized and think I’d do very well on a long-distance bus tour. The pace would suit me perfectly!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Debra,
      The pace on this tour was hectic – but after our recent Eastern Europe tour, I think that’s a characteristic of bus tours. Riding alone (not driving) is a huge plus!

      This was our second trip to Grand Canyon – and that is one big ditch! Views and colors are incredible!

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  2. What a fabulous tour, Frank; and you took some wonderful images.
    The length of the Grand Canyon has certainly surprised, as has the average width; quite remarkable.And you are so right regarding the iconic Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park being a landscape many know from the movie westerns of time past. I’m not a ‘western’ fan, as such. However, this landscape is very familiar!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your country is so huge bus touring seems a most sensible way to see the sights. Imagine driving all that way – I guess you changed drivers and guides regularly? Those iconic sites are well recognised outside the States and its nice to glimpse the lesser known too.

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  4. Enjoyed this post very much. I had the great pleasure of visiting the grand canyon once, and it has stayed with me since then, many years ago. I went slowly in a car, and it was a great adventure, but I’m sure that there are many ways to see this great national treasure, and each of us probably sees it a bit differently. The pictures are impressive.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your post brought back fond memories for me too, especially Monument Valley and Arches National Park where I took an off the beaten path horse ride. Am I correct that you had been to the Grand Canyon but not the other places?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fabulous photos of the Grand Canyon ~ brought back many memories or a time, long ago (1979)…. And yes, visitors really do only see a very small snapshot of it.
    I was fortunate enough to fly along parts of it with my father. He was living in Durango Co. at the time, and I recall the amazingly rich colours of the rock, and the bright blue of the water held by the Hoover Dam.
    Your trip sounds wonderful.
    x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Melanie,
      Glad this post rekindled some good memories for you. The first time I saw Grand Canyon was from the air. Probably on a flight to Las Vegas. I recall the captain mentioning it then moving the plane so people on each side could see it. Awesome sight from the air! I imagine you had a great view!!!!! … Thanks for sharing. Hope you stop by for the rest of the trip. Check in on your Monday morning for the next segment. (and then the Monday after that).

      Like

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