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 Cal's big American odessy

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Cal

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PostSubject: Cal's big American odessy   Fri May 13, 2016 1:37 pm

Hi Everyone   hipup

I've got a big anniversary coming up in the next couple of years --- 40 years together  horsekiss (we met in 1976 and married in 1979)--- and my lovely hubby wants to celebrate with a trip to the States so that we can visit some of those iconic locations like The Grand Canyon and Yellowstone.  Given my Western obsession, I want to plan a trip to include some iconic Western locations too.  bronc

So....

Given that said trip will be sometime in the next three years .....When is the best time to plan a visit for.....Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter?

Any recommendations for places not to miss?  This is probably a once in a life time trip for me .... so I want to take my time and plan it right.

We are outdoor, country people ... (We have to travel to China a lot ... but all the people, skyscrapers and concrete leave me cold) ....so I'm thinking.....views, walks, mountains, forests, lakes, Small towns, interesting people ... we both adore all four footed critters.... we're both getting on a bit, but thankfully are still quite active and love having a go. Hubby hasn't even ruled out a bit of Western style trekking on horseback!  I'm a singer, so love live music, people, dancing, beer....

You get the picture ... Any and all help would be much appreciated .... thankyou
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Ghislaine Emrys
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PostSubject: Re: Cal's big American odessy   Fri May 13, 2016 9:01 pm

Wow, congratulations on 40 years and what an exciting and fun trip to look forward to!  Where you go will dictate when you should go.  sm   If you want to visit the national parks like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon, summer is the most popular time but also the most crowded.  And I've heard that you need to make reservations a year in advance for the famous hotels in the Grand Canyon, so don't delay.  sm  

I live in Tucson, which is about four hours south of the Grand Canyon.  You'd be very welcome to visit here -- lots of Old West things to do in this area and Tombstone is only a couple hours away.  Spring is a better time to visit Arizona but check when places in the Grand Canyon are open for everything you want to do.

One place I would definitely recommend is Moab, Utah.  As you probably already know, part of the 3rd season of ASJ was filmed in that area and Arches National Park is gorgeous.  So is Canyonlands National Park nearby and Dead Horse Point State Park.  You'd probably want to avoid the summer, though, since it's well over 100F/41C then.  But Moab is an adventure destination--you can raft down the Colorado River, go horseback riding, mountain biking and hiking, and stay at a cheap hotel, upscale B&B, or rustic resort type of accommodation.  It's loads of fun!  Here's a blog post I wrote about my trip there some years ago: Visiting Moab.  There's a national forest nearby, too, which makes for a nice contrast with the red rock geography of Moab.  Here's a blog post about that: Manti-La Sal National Forest
.
Also in Utah are Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park, which are also beautiful.  I haven't been there yet but everyone I know who has been loves them.

Another place you might like to visit is Sedona, Arizona.  It's very touristy but there's a lot to do there, too.  What you might also find interesting is visiting the Navajo and Hopi reservations.  Both are fascinating but the Hopi reservation is much smaller and compact so it is easier to see more in a short period of time.  You can visit the three mesas and if you are very lucky, you might be able to watch a kachina dance.  (No photos are allowed, though.) The Navajo reservation has loads of ancient ruins to see; Mesa Verde is just one site; and of course, there's Monument Valley, too.

Lastly, Denver is a [very] likeable town!  Very Happy

If you have any questions about anything Arizona-related, just let me know!

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Penski
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PostSubject: Re: Cal's big American odessy   Fri May 13, 2016 10:10 pm

congrats  on 40 years!

Denver is a likeable town!  I loved having the ASJ Get-Together there a few years back.  Cripple Creek is nearby and has a deep mine with tours and a wonderful train ride.  There were two great museums there, too - one for a jail and another for a brothel.  Another day trip away from Denver is Laramie, Wyoming with the Wyoming Territorial Prison.  Yep, you can visit the place Heyes and Curry tried so hard to avoid.

Northern California is pretty special, too.  I'm in Sacramento where there is lots of history - the end of the Pony Express, the beginning of the transcontinental railroad, Sutter's fort, and a stone's throw from where gold was discovered in Coloma.  Two hours east of here is Donner Lake and Lake Tahoe (the Sierra Nevadas are amazing) and two hours west of here is Soapy's and Silky's San Francisco.  Okay, it a BIG city with skyscrapers, but it's very unique, too.  Coastal redwoods and Sierra sequoia trees are awe-inspiring.  Yosemite National Park is about 4 hours away and... well, its beauty is hard to describe.  Summers get hot here - between 90s-100s - but usually we have a delta breeze in the evening that cools us down for a nice night of sleeping.  May is a great month to visit when the rains have pretty much stopped, the hills are turning from green to a golden color, and the temperatures are 70s-90s.

I would also highly recommend Virginia City, Nevada and the ghost town of Bodie in the Sierras.

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Cal

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PostSubject: wow what a start   Sat May 14, 2016 1:28 am

Just woke up to these fab messages - thankyou Ghislaine Emrys and Penski

I'm going to enjoy reading through these properly over a cup of tea dog18

The maps will be out

Im a bit wimpy when it comes to hot weather  desert so thanks for the tips on that too

very excited! bronc
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Penski
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PostSubject: Re: Cal's big American odessy   Sat May 14, 2016 8:24 am

Silly me, I forgot to mention the Brown Palace in Denver.  Rolling Eyes

Although built in 1892, Hannibal Heyes mentioned it in an episode.  A very elegant hotel with lots of history and an afternoon tea in the beautiful atrium.

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PostSubject: Re: Cal's big American odessy   Mon May 16, 2016 7:12 am

I totally agree with the locales suggested by both Penski and Ghislaine, but I'd highly recommend the Durango, Colorado area, too. Mesa Verde National Park is close by and has some of the best examples of Ancient Puebloan ruins. Canyon of the Ancients is nearby, too and much more rustic and less visited. Chaco Canyon is the grandaddy of all the ruins with many entire pueblos to view, but you have to camp there and it requires a lot of effort to get there. The drive from Durango to Ouray, Colorado is one of the most beautiful in this state and it goes past Silverton which is still an authentically western town with mostly original buildings. In Silverton, you can take a jeep ride up to Animas Forks, a ghost town at 11,000 ft. If you continue past Silverton to Ouray, you'll go over Red Mountain Pass which is breathtaking.

I live very close to Durango and Silverton and have a daughter who lives in Denver, so if you make it to Colorado, would love to meet up with you.

If you do get to the Moab area, I know a lot of pictograph and petroglyph sites worth seeing and would be happy to provide directions. Robbers Roost is near there, too. That's part of the outlaw trail that includes the Hole in the Wall, and Browns Park (park is a term for a broad, open valley here and not to be confused with Browns Park-an actual state park) in northwestern Colorado.

Congrats on 40 years! Jim and I will be celebrating our 30th this year. :)

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Penski
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PostSubject: Re: Cal's big American odessy   Mon May 16, 2016 12:43 pm

I want to retire so I can visit all these places and more! sm

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BeeJay
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PostSubject: Re: Cal's big American odessy   Mon May 16, 2016 8:51 pm

Couple of other spots to consider in Arizona with an old west feel:

Jerome http://www.azjerome.com/jerome/

http://www.arizona-leisure.com/jerome-arizona.html

Jerome is just such a cool ghost town. Jerome, Sedona and Prescott have a bit of a drive between them but are in the same large relative area.

And Prescott

http://www.go-arizona.com/Prescott/

Prescott boasts the World's Oldest Rodeo (the first professional rodeo begun in 1888). It runs end of June beginning of July.

Heck, Yellowstone is great-- I remember Jackson Hole as being wonderful but I haven't seen either since I was a kid.
http://www.jacksonholechamber.com


Spring is more temperate than Summer-but beware. My family traveled to the Grand Canyon in Spring and never made it in due to a late heavy snow.

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Cal

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PostSubject: more fab info   Tue May 17, 2016 1:43 am

Just to say thankyou to InsideOutlaw and BeeJay

More brilliant suggestions wolf

Really appreciating this help awsome

Calx
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