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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Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 315

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So far, the plays we’ve seen while ushering have been enjoyable. Definitely a variety of styles.

If it’s not already, Cincinnati will soon be in the national news because the jury is deliberating a case involving a police office shooting an unarmed black male.

Photo Credit: Andrew Evans

Photo Credit: Andrew Evans

The handbell piece we played last weekend was very well received. Here it is again.

My Italian cousin Gino has a good sense of humor. At dinner my cousins were asking us about chefs in America. After showing Gino this picture of Giada de Laurentiis, he raised his eyebrows, paused, then said, “Do you think she will cook for me and wash my underwear?”

I’ve made limoncello, orangecello, meloncello, gingercello, and basilcello. For this holiday season, I’m making cranberry-orangecello. It’s in the extraction phase at the moment, so I hope to have it ready for sampling when the family gathers for Thanksgiving (November 24th). For those who want to make limoncello, click here for my recipe.

I recently heard this story. Two guys hired a cab to pick them up, take them to a specific address, wait, then return them home. After the complete trip, the two passengers refused to pay – so the cab driver called the police to report not only the failure to pay, but the fact the two guys committed a robbery at a specific address and were now at a designated address. Book ‘em, Danno, and then give them a Darwin Award.

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This column about the election by a local sports columnist is worth the read.

The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Editorial Board offered these words: “This is a time to respect the will of the people and find a way to move forward as a nation. This is a time for civility. There’s been too much vitriol on both sides, and Americans must learn how to talk to each other again, treating fellow citizens with respect regardless of their differences. Without question, Trump was the more appealing candidate to the darker forces among us, but it would be a grave mistake to paint all – or even a majority with the same “deplorable” brush. … This is a time for healing …. This is a time for change and moving past the same old cynical politics …. This is a time for reflection …. We should all want President-elect Trump to succeed, just as we should all have wanted the same for President Barack Obama. That’s what patriotism means. That’s the key for finding our way again as a country.”

In a related note, I’m very proud of the readers here for many reasons – including the civil tone on my post following the election (the previous post). Thanks to all.

“Repeal and replace” is going to be a common phrase in the months ahead. There will be a time when we start hearing actual proposals. If we hear the insurance industry squealing about a proposal, that may be the one to use.

News of children in a Michigan school chanting “Build a wall” to Latino students is disturbing.

Some Things that Concern Me (listed in increasing importance)

  • Democrats acting like Republicans
  • The Nincompoop getting a cabinet position
  • A Republican Congress proclaiming a mandate, thus shoving an agenda down everyone’s throat
  • The loud, obnoxious portion of the electorate thinking they are in control
  • Ted Cruz on the Supreme Court

Now that the election is over, it’s time to return to the Supreme Court vacancy. Too bad the Republican Senate who proclaimed the Biden Rule aren’t following it. I was hoping for a divided government between the Senate and the White House so we could play a game of Last Judge Standing! Therefore, no nominees until the court is completely vacant …. Damn the results!

President Obama’s Five Faults of the Week
Hillary Clinton losing
A ganglion cyst returning to my leg
Sharna’s injury on Dancing With the Stars
Cleveland Browns not winning a game yet (but they are playing at the time of this post)
Donald Trump winning

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion provides tips for handling social anxieties.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Winning lottery numbers obvious in hindsight
Woman worried she’s doing bad job enjoying massage
New premium Uber service lets users commandeer any car
Bungled Apocalypse causes light drizzle over southern Ohio
Man praying job interviewer doesn’t ask any questions

Interesting Reads
Escape from Syria in a wheelchair
Successes in Finnish education
A different look at historic Route 66
Sightseer’s guide to Mars
Poverty and parties from Brookings with a state-by-state drop-down menu at the end.
The Beatles Final Concert
3-D printing and prosthetics
(Photos) Glasgow’s mural trail

To lead you into the weekend, here’s a popular oldie. Besides, I mentioned it in the Interesting Reads. Hope all is well with you, and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.