Thursday, June 26, 2008

Last Day in Santa Fe

Today was a bit sad. It was my last tour day in Santa Fe. Of all the Southwest cities we visit, Santa Fe is by far my favorite. There are numerous art galleries, beautiful architecture and the tours are great! If you can't find something to do in Santa Fe, you're a corpse!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Three Down, One More to Go

The Parks of the West tours are coming to a close. There is only one more remaining for me, and we pick up the guests tomorrow in Albuquerque. I've loved seeing the Southwest, but it's time to stop because it's getting pretty H-O-T. I'll end in beautiful Jackson, Wyo., July 4 and I'll fly home the same day.

In August I'll be back at it again with the Parks of the Northwest trips. Here's hoping the next group is ready to have a fun-filled vacation!

Friday, June 20, 2008

I'm melting!

No, not really, but we were in Vegas yesterday, and it was possible for me to melt. We went to Hoover Dam, and the guide said it was registering at 116 degrees on the dam. The train did get hot, but not as hot as it could.

This has been a great tour with great people. This group has had the most fun and they're ready to have a good time, no matter the situation.

My big news is that my brother Darin and his wife Conda had their baby. It's a boy! Born June 18, 9 lb. 3 oz., 21 in. long, named Wade Cooper. I can't wait to meet him in July!!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Break Time in Colorado

Right now I'm checking people into the tour while overlooking the Grand Teton Mountains. I had a wonderful 10 days which was spent in Grand Junction with John. He had to work quite a bit, but we still managed to gallivant about.

View of the Bookcliffs in Grand Junction.

We took a gorgeous drive down to Gateway, Colo., where John Hendricks, the creator of the Discovery Channel and all its affiliates has a resort and car museum.

John driving down to Gateway.

The "rock" that's the centerpiece of the Gateway skyline.

The car I will one day drive that's in the Gateway museum...

A thrilling adventure we also took was a flight to Moab, Utah, with John as the pilot. It was a lot of fun. I was John's first passenger that didn't have a clue about flying. He did a great job. On the way back from Moab to Grand Junction, he let me take the "wheel," which is not my idea of fun. It made me too nervous. Don't expect me to get my pilot's license any time soon!

John and the plane in Moab.

Me and John flying - Can you hear me now?

Sunday, June 08, 2008

National Park Pix

View of train going through Calliente Canyon

Me and Tasha at Zion National Park
Zion National Park - One of the most beautiful parks on the tour. My favorites are the Grand Tetons, Bryce Canyon and Zion. Zion reminds me of Yosemite with redder rocks.
Bison in Yellowstone National Park

Valley of Fire State Park near Las Vegas, NV

Petroglyphs at Valley of Fire - The day I went, it was record temps for this time of year 110 degrees.
Me and the Grand Canyon. I enjoyed the Grand Canyon, but I think we've all been spoiled by the fabulous pictures taken at sunrise/sunset. It's beautiful, but you don't get the reflections and colors at mid-day.
St. Francis Cathedral in Santa Fe, NM
Bandelier National Monument near Santa Fe. This is where there are Pueblo dwellings. It's amazing to see them all. It's the first condo or apartment system. Some of the areas were only accessible by shimmying up a couple rocks - no ladders.

Grand Tetons in Jackson, Wy.

Fountain Paint Pots in Yellowstone. The colors in the pots help you figure out its temperature because only certain bacteria survive in specific temperatures and create the vivid blues, greens and oranges.

My room on the train. I slept on the bottom bunk. The sofa folds down, then we stored tour supplies on the top bunk. Very "quaint" and "cozy." I did have my own toilet and sink, and we shared a shower down the hall. It's not all that bad.

Ernest and me at the Temple Square in Salt Lake City, UT.

Bryce Canyon National Park near Cedar City, UT. This is one of my favorites because of the Hoodoos, which are the sandstone pillars formed by wind and rain erosion.