Participant #6 by d303fW

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									Participant #6

Dear Mary,

         Guess what? Since I have passed my
comps and will graduate with my Masters in
August, Roger and I are planning the vacation
of a lifetime for next summer! We have figured
out where we want to go and what we will do
there. We’ll send postcards!

         Our plan is to drive a big loop of the
western states. There are several National Parks
in this loop, and we plan to visit each of them.
We will begin, of course, by driving west to see
Toni and A.J. and the kids. From there we will
drive southwest, cross-country, to Steamboat
Springs, CO, then on south toward Gunnison,
then Silverton and Telluride. There is a narrow
gauge train at Silverton that you can ride up and
down the mountain, and since we both like train
rides, we will take time for that. We’ll spend a
night in each town so that we have time to
peruse all the shops in Silverton. From here we
will drive on south toward the Grand Canyon.

         At the Grand Canyon we will stay in one
of their cabins, which are more like motels. We
will take the bus tour out to the point and spend
plenty of time walking and looking at the
canyon. There are several Indian ruins to see,
too. While we are in the southwest, I hope to be
able to take some pictures of hogans. I would
really like to be able to step into several of
them, but not sure how to accomplish this.

        As we leave the Grand Canyon, we will
drive through some of the parks in southern
Utah, such as Zion and Bryce Canyon. Zion
National Park is one of my favorite places.
There is so much red rock here. The road
curves and twists around and through the rocks.
The longest tunnel I have ever driven through is
here at Zion. Flash floods are a real threat,
because when it rains, the water has nowhere to
go, so it runs and pools. From here we will
head north several days, driving to Glacier
National Park. The only thing I don’t like about
this park is that the summer nights are only
about 4 hours long! On the way I want to be
sure and stop in Missoula, MT. There is a
wonderful carousel there that is just a riot to ride
on, even for adults. You have to wear a seatbelt
on your horse! Also, there is a museum
dedicated to forest fire fighters here.

        A couple of drives across Glacier will be
sufficient! What a scary, narrow road! From
here we will drive through Great Falls, then on
down to stay in Red Lodge, one of our favorite
spots to visit. I hope we have a little extra time
to shop here. Then, of course, we will drive
over Bear Tooth Pass into Yellowstone National
Park. It was washed out last summer and we
had to use the North Entrance above Mammoth.
I am a little leery of driving over it, but haven’t
heard of any washes or accidents in the past
year. At Yellowstone, I hope we can get a room
at Old Faithful Inn. An evening of dining in
their dining room followed by sitting and
listening to the piano player will be very
satisfying. This time I want to spend some time
walking around the geyser basins near Old
Faithful as well as checking out the wildlife.
Maybe we will see bear or grizzlies this time.

        I imagine we’ll get tired from riding and
driving, so we will take our time and plenty of
breaks along the way. The interstate system is
wonderful, but you miss a lot of beautiful
scenery. So we will drive a lot of the two-lane
highways and side roads. We will plan to stay
in cabins and motels along the way. Restaurant
eating can get kind of old, so we will pick up
picnic food at grocery stores or delis along the
way. We did that last fall on our Black Hills trip
to Spearfish, and had a wonderful picnic at the
foot of Devil’s Tower.


                Love,
                Grace

								
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