West Trip 2013

West Trip, Day 1 – Rocky Mountain National Park

We left Chicago at around 6:30AM flying into Denver on Southwest.  This was my first time flying Southwest after a lot of flying, mostly on Delta.  A few things were different – the main one being no predetermined seats.  Southwest has everyone line up by check in number and then … Continue reading

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West Trip, Day 2 – Mt. Ida

We woke up, packed and headed back into Rocky Mountain National Park to hike up Mt. Ida – one of the mountains Janet had hiked on her last visit to the area.  We started up the mountain around 9:30 – 10:00 which was a bit later than expected, but it … Continue reading

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West Trip, Day 3 – Mt. Elbert

Out of Leadville we headed to Mt. Elbert.  We got to the trailhead and started hiking around 9:00 – 9:30, which was again kind of late compared to when we should have been getting started.  We should have been on the trail right around sunrise, which I think was about … Continue reading

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West Trip Day 10 – Grand Canyon

We only spent one day at the Grand Canyon, having decided not to spend the two days or so it would have taken to drive around to the South rim. The South is the more tourist laden We stayed in Kenab, AZ which is the closest town to stay in, … Continue reading

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West Trip Day 11 – Grand Staircase Escalante

The Sun-n-Sand Motel was where Janet had stayed during her last visit to the area, and is an interesting enough place that it was kind of the destination in and of itself. The next morning, we got to meet Wayne in person, and the reviews are accurate – he is … Continue reading

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West Trip Day 12 – Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon is known, at least by Janet, for two things – lots of expansive views of the canyon full of hoodoos and bristle cone pines. We’ll start with the latter item first. Bristle cone pines are a very slow growing tree, which will easily be out competed by other … Continue reading

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West Trip Day 13 – Continental Divide

Saturday was largely a travel day, but we routed the trip through Aspen, Colorado to do a bit of hiking on the way. We stopped off at the Maroon Belles and hiked back into the valley a bit. We went in as far as the lake, which I think was … Continue reading

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West Trip, Day 14 – Flying Out of Denver

We had an evening flight back to Chicago, and most of a day to kill in Denver.  It’s possible we could have avoided spending the day in Denver and instead have had an extra day elsewhere, but that was not how things worked out. There were two options to continue … Continue reading

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West Trip Summary

As wrap up for the West Trip (no pictures in this one), here was our basic itinerary. This was recorded after the fact, so it doesn’t show any options or contingencies and some of the drive times are from memory or are otherwise inaccurate. The rough color coding is this: … Continue reading

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