The reason we took our trip this summer was to see Keith Urban in concert in Cheyenne Wyoming at the Frontier Days festival. Our whole family are country western fans and we've liked Keith Urban for a long time, so it was an easy excuse to take a road trip. As part of the road trip we wanted to stop in Durango Colorado and see if we could look up some of Jan's history. Her great great grandfather was a conductor on the railroad in Durango. Jan's great great grandmother played piano in the churches there too.
Not much to say about our trip through Kingman or Gallup New Mexico they were both just stopovers to get us to Durango. We did however stop at four corners monument to take some pictures. The monument is spot where Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico all come together in one corner as well as the Navajo, Ute, and United States nations come together so it's four states and three nations. The scenery driving up to four corners was flat desert except for some interesting outcroppings that I'm putting in pictures below.
We arrived at our hotel in Durango and we're very excited. We were looking forward to a nice hotel room overlooking the Animas river and that is what we got. It was nice having a balcony overlooking the river and the weather treated us with thunderstorms almost every afternoon which is refreshing after the boring sunny weather in LA.
We didn't have time to take the all day train from Durango to Silverton which is the one that Jan's great great grandfather was a conductor on, but we did take the shorter trip that was only a couple of hours long and it went from Rockwood to Cascade Canyon. It was really a very pretty ride overlooking the river.
We spent three days in Durango and I wish we had spent a lot longer. We really love the town and we really enjoyed our stay there. While we were there we did manage to go over to Mesa Verde to look at the cliff dwellings and took a tour at Cliff Palace given by a park ranger. It was very interesting.
Leaving Durango we headed to Colorado Springs as a stop over bef Co ore heading to Cheyenne. The trip from Durango to Colorado Springs was very beautiful. Just east of Durango was wide open spaces and beautiful green rolling hills. I certainly wouldn't mind living there or at least having a second home there to go to in the spring and fall. After Colorado springs we drove through Denver to Cheyenne. Sam did most of the driving and there was a lot of construction on the freeway and a little bit a rain. She got the worst of the driving I'm afraid.
In Cheyenne we stayed at Springhill suites, it was the only place available and they were charging three times their normal rate because of the Frontier Days fair. Cheyenne Frontier Days is a really big deal in that area and people come from all over Wyoming, Nebraska, and Colorado to go there. The hotels in the area are usually all sold out six months in advance. Because it was so crowded we took an Uber from the hotel to the event for both the concert on Friday night and the rodeo the next day. That made it a lot easier and I didn't have to worry about parking my brand new truck in a crowded parking lot. The concert Friday night with Keith Urban was the main reason we went on this trip. It was an amazing concert and we had a really good time. The rodeo on Saturday was also very fun and we enjoyed that a lot too. The actual fairgrounds resemble the LA County fairs that we go to every year at home.
We spent a total of two days in Cheyenne and made the long trip from Cheyenne to Moab Utah. It was our longest day driving except from Scottsdale to home. The drive wasn't too bad though because we went through the Rocky Mountains and it was really beautiful. In Moab we went to Arches National Park which we had seen before. The last time we were there we didn't have much time and we had to rush through it. This time we spent more time there and were able to see a lot more of the park. That night Sam and I returned to the park after dark and I took pictures of the Milky Way. They have a rule in the park that you can't do light painting to light the landscape. With pictures of the night sky you really need to light the foreground or it's just a big silhouette. We took advantage of passing car's headlights to light paint the landscape. We met up with a guy that was on a tour of all the national parks as a bucket list of his and he was taking pictures of the Milky Way as well.
From Moab we went south through Monument Valley on our way to Page, Arizona. Monument Valley was really breathtaking. We stopped at The View hotel where they had a little museum, a gift shop and restaurant. The museum talked about the Navajo Code Talker's, a group of Navajo Indians that served during WWII. They created the special code to encrypt messages so the Japanese could not intercept them. This is a topic that Sam just got done writing a report on in school, and it was very interesting. The land around the hotel and most of the area in monument valley is on the Navajo Indian reservation.
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In page Arizona we had dinner at the Lake Powell Resort Rainbow room at the Wahweap marina so we could look at the lake. It was a beautiful view and I wish we had more time to spend and take some of the tours of the lake. The next day we got up early and stop by Horseshoe Bend and took pictures on our way down to Scottsdale. The drive from Page to Scottsdale was nice. I love driving on smaller state highways instead of the big interstate because you get to see so much more of the countryside. Northern Arizona is quite beautiful.
We didn't do a whole lot in Scottsdale. We simply walked around old Scottsdale. Most of the shops were closed up for the summer, probably because of the heat. The next day we headed home to LA. findings along the way. Welcome home
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