USA – Mountain (Colorado, Arizona, Utah & Nevada)

We’ve been busy these past few weeks! We hit the ground running in Colorado when we visited the Burns family in Denver. Our weekend with them included cheering on the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field, watching Norah & Liam play soccer while Delaney did gymnastics, a dinner reunion at the Plumbs, celebrating Mother’s Day with a Union Station breakfast at Snooze, sightseeing around Red Rocks, driving up Boulder Canyon Drive and hiking to Boulder Falls, strolling around Boulder, Sunday BBQ at the Burns house, checking out Denver’s botanical gardens with Anna, and watching Norah at ballet recital. After a sad goodbye with our wonderful hosts, we drove down to the Garden of the Gods sandstone formations and then over to Black Canyon of the Gunnison (where we finally bought an “America the Beautiful” annual park pass for $80). Next up was a quick visit to scenic Ouray and then a few days around the Moab area, soaking up the sights and hiking around both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. After leaving Utah for Arizona, we did an Antelope Canyon tour, and visited the Glen Canyon Dam and Horseshoe Bend. Then we hopped back into Utah as we made our way to Kanab for a few days to stay with our wonderful friend Vicky (who we met in Antarctica). She has a gorgeous home in Kanab and invited us to stay as long as we wanted. She also treated us to several meals at her restaurant in town, the Wild Thyme Cafe. What a lovely, generous soul – we can never repay her kindness. While in Kanab, our goal was to try to win the Coyote Buttes North and South lottery, which we had been told was an impossible feat. However, the Coyote Buttes South lottery is easier to win, so we tried for that and won it on our first attempt. Yay! Since we didn’t have 4WD, we opted to organize a tour with Dreamland Safari Tours for a combo tour to Coyote Buttes South and White Pocket. Luckily for us, another couple who had won the lottery, Stephen and Kia, opted to do the combo tour with us so we managed to get the tour at a discount. And boy did it not disappoint…our full day excursion to Coyote Buttes South and White Pocket was stunning. We took hundreds of photos and could not believe how drop-dead gorgeous the scenery was out there! On our second attempt for the Wave lottery (Coyote Buttes North), we won and couldn’t believe our luck. It had been raining heavily and the road was impassible for all vehicles except 4WD with high clearance so we guessed that the bad weather worked in our favor as there were fewer applicants than normal. For this trip, we knew our camper van wouldn’t be able to make the drive out there so we booked a day tour with Kanab Tour Company. It was fabulous…the wave was every bit as spectacular as what we had seen on the internet! Just wow…we were so unbelievably lucky and our streak continued. We had submitted for an online lottery for Zion’s subway and found out that we had won that lottery as well. Whoopee! That meant our time in Kanab was quickly coming to a close so we thanked Vicky for her amazing hospitality, and made our way over to Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks. Both were spectacular and we enjoyed our Subway bottom up hike despite the super cold water…good thing we wore wet suits the whole time! Angel’s landing on Memorial Day weekend was a bit bonkers but we were on one of the first buses out to the start of the hike and we managed to beat the crowds. Well worth getting up at the ungodly hour of 4:30 am! From Zion, we drove towards Nevada where it was Vegas baby…VEGAS! Neither one of us had been to Sin City before and it was worth the wait. We walked the strip, gambled a bit at the casinos, took in a Cirque du Soleil show, and relaxed at our very first campsite (KOA at Sam’s Town). Oh, and we got a bit of camper van maintenance taken care of too (the automatic door locks and fixing the AC). From Vegas, we checked out the Hoover Dam and that was it. Our time in this section of the US had come to a close and next up will be the West Coast (California, Oregon and Washington). Boy is time flying by and we are having a blast!

Hello Colorado! The Burn's welcoming committee - Liam, Norah, John and Delaney Cheering on the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field Margaritas for lunch after watching Delaney's gymnastics practice Delaney makes a new friend on the soccer field while watching Norah play soccer Reunion with army buddies at the Plumb household Union Station; Denver Buying flowers for Mother's Day Driving to Red Rocks Amphitheatre Morning workout club; Red Rocks Robby, John and Liam strike a pose in Boulder Canyon The Burns family at Boulder Falls Norah at the split rock in Boulder Pretty downtown Boulder Delaney and Norah at the buffalo sculpture; Boulder The back seat gang - Liam, Robby and Norah Baseball practice on the front lawn of the Burns' house Sunday BBQ in Denver Orchids; Denver Botanical Garden Chihuly glass exhibition at the Denver Botanic Garden Bronze sculptures on display at the Denver Botanic Gardens Tulips in bloom; Denver Botanic Garden Norah's ballet recital Garden of the Gods is a free park in Colorado Springs - well worth a visit! Robby at Garden of the Gods Balanced Rock; Garden of the Gods Bighorn sheep take over the road Becky admiring the scenery at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park Sunset over Black Canyon of the Gunnison A carved bear greets visitors near Black Canyon of the Gunnison Hot springs pool; Ourey Cascade Falls; Ouray Pretty Ouray, located in the heart of the San Juan Mountains Ouray, a quaint town nestled in a river valley Ouray, touted as the "Switzerland of America" Funny yield to bighorn sheep sign "Welcome to Utah" sign as we exit Colorado Phenomenal geological formations abound at Arches National Park Becky admiring Delicate Arch at sunset; Arches National Park Ute Indian petroglyphs; Arches National Park Becky by the north window; Arches National Park View of Arches National Park from the south window Robby with north and south window arches behind him; Arches National Park Old dead tree; Arches National Park Double arch; Arches National Park Shafer Canyon Road Mesa Arch; Canyonlands National Park Hungry chipmunk at Grand View Point; Canyonlands Dead horse point state park Welcome to Arizona Upper antelope canyon Slot canyon detail; upper Antelope Canyon Glen Canyon Dam Horseshoe Bend Reunion with Vicky at the Wild Thyme Cafe; Kanab Hoodoos known locally as the "Toadstools"; Grand Staircase-Escalante Blue lupine; Grand Staircase-Escalante Dramatic scenery at Grand Staircase-Escalante Spot the caterpillar Lion's head; Johnson Canyon Wooden cabins from the television show "Gunsmoke"; Johnson Canyon The ribs at Wild Thyme are finger-lickin' good! "The Greatest Earth on Show" mural painted on the side of a car wash; Kanab Bowser hungrily looks for treats; Kanab Heavy snow on Rt 89A as we make our way to Coyote Buttes South Stopping at Jacob Lake Inn, world famous for its cookies By the time we reached Coyote Buttes South, the weather had cleared up Dubbed the "micro wave" of Cottonwood Cove; Coyote Buttes South Rock formation known as the Hogwarts sorting hat; Coyote Buttes South Smiling after our visit to Cottonwood Cove; Coyote Buttes South White Pocket; Vermilion Cliffs National Monument Pink and white candy striped rock formations at White Pocket Robby befriends two dog visitors at White Pocket Standing on top of the biggest mound at White Pocket We thought the rock formations at White Pocket were even better than Coyote Buttes South - and no permit is required! Rain threatens on our drive out from White Pocket back to Rt 89A Cosy interior lounge of Jacob Lake Inn Smiling at the end of an epic day with our Dreamland team - Stephen & Kia and our guide Orion We won the wave lottery! Here, the BLM ranger gives us a safety briefing and directions to get to the coveted location Robby at the sand caves, located 6 miles north of Kanab Inside "Belly of the Dragon", a manmade tunnel 16 miles north of Kanab Desert scenery as Becky chats with our guide Nic at Vermillion Cliffs National Monument Winding mariposa lily; Vermillion Cliffs National Monument Maze rock petroglyph; Vermillion Cliffs National Monument Red cactus flowers; Vermillion Cliffs National Monument Hiking over the notch to reach Coyote Buttes North Robby surfing a wave; Coyote Buttes North This cactus plant had yellow and pink flowers! Epic canyon view as we hike deeper into the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument Tadpole shrimp appear in water pockets after a heavy rain; Coyote Buttes North Entranceway to the wave - we can barely contain our excitement! Rock layers of wind blown sand freeze framed in the image of a wave; Coyote Buttes North The wave is even more beautiful than we imagined in person Bodysurfing the wave Pools of water gather after a heavy rain storm; Coyote Buttes North Seeking shelter from the rain; Coyote Buttes North Robby in the window near Melody Arch; Coyote Buttes North Hiking down the psychedelic wave; Coyote Buttes North Tiny green berries; Coyote Buttes North Saying a quick hello to our friend Vic; Kanab Totem pole entranceway on our drive from Kanab to Bryce Canyon Sunny conditions as we drive to Bryce Canyon Hiking trail leading down to the hoodoos (spire shaped rock formations); Bryce Canyon National Park Bryce Canyon on a snowy day Utah's "All American Road", Hwy 12, has dramatic scenery like this to tempt you to drive slow Scenery as we drive towards Zion National Park Towering rock formations leave us gobsmacked at Zion National Park Scenery on our stunning drive through Zion National Park Hiking Zion's subway from the bottom up, the non-technical route After several hours of scrambling, we finally make it to the "waterfall" section of Zion's subway hike What a glorious sight! The subway beckons us to explore How the "subway" hike gets its name Panoramic photo at the subway; Zion National Park For the bottom up Subway hike, we backtrack on the same route we hiked in The trail up to Angel's Landing; Zion National Park Angel's landing - not for those with a fear of heights! At the top of Angel's landing, we are rewarded with this phenomenal view; Zion National Park A cheeky squirrel begs for food; Zion National Park The Venetian; Las Vegas Treasure Island pirate ship; Las Vegas Entrance to the Beatles LOVE Cirque Du Soleil show; Las Vegas Forum shops at Caesar's Palace Interior of Caesar's Palace Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens; Las Vegas Lobby display; Bellagio Fountain show; Bellagio Becky inside the shoe at the Cosmopolitan Hotel; Las Vegas New York-New York in Las Vegas Visiting the Hoover Dam Hoover Dam js photo galleryby v6.1


10 May: Drive to Denver
11 May: Denver
12 May: Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Boulder, Denver
13 May: Denver
14 May: Garden of the Gods, Black Canyon of the Gunnison
15 May: Ouray, Moab, Arches National Park
16 May: Arches & Canyonlands National Parks, Dead Horse Point
17 May: Page, Arizona
18 May: Antelope Canyon, Glen Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Kanab
19 May: Kanab (Toadstools and Johnson Canyon)
20 May: Coyote Buttes South and White Pocket
21 May: Kanab (Sand Caves & Belly of the Dragon)
22 May: Coyote Buttes North
23 May: Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park
24 May: Zion Subway hike
25 May: Zion Angel’s landing, Las Vegas
26 May: Vegas strip
27 May: Las Vegas
28 May: Las Vegas
29 May: Hoover Dam, drive towards Death Valley

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