For the first 2 weeks of this trip we took our friend Ron from Arlington, Virginia (near Washington, DC) along.
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Our first stop for lunch was along Interstate 70 at Dillon Reservoir where Denver gets much of its water. The Aspens were just about at their peak of color.
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On the second day we toured Colorado National Monument in western Colorado near Furta.
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Our next major stop was at Arches National Park in Utah. We took a quick drive into the park, then later that evening we drove back and played with some night photography. The moon was not out so most of the photos didn't show much but in the first night photo you can see the Milky Way framed by one of the monoliths of Arches National Park that happened to get illuminated by a passing car while the camera was taking its thirty second exposure.
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The following day we visited Canyonlnads National park which is near Arches.
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Our next destination was Monument Valley, site of many western movie.
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A visit to the south rim of the Grand Canyon is always a thrill however, the canyon is so large it is hard to realize a proper scale.
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Leaving the Grand Canyon we headed north toward Zion National Park. Along the way we had to take a detour but were rewarded with some grand scenery.
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Zion National Park is one of our favorites. We arrived on the perfect day with just enough clouds to give nice photographs. The day after we left Zion, the region experienced heavy rains which closed Zion for most of the day due to flash floods.
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After Zion we drove north to Bryce Canyon National Park, however, the next day was filled with heavy rains and thunder storms so we didn't' get to see much of the park. By the time the rains had let up, there were trees down on the park road so we didn't get to tour at all. Later that evening though, we went to a dinner show at the Bar G Wranglers in Ruby, Utah right at the entrance to the park.
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We hit Las Vegas and after watching two programs of the Fountains of Bellago, we took a wandered through parts of the casino followed by a performance of "O".
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The next evening we went to see the Fremont Street Experience and shot some video. I was disappointed. The show has lost its quality programming it use to have when the experience was new and is now just a flashy loud commercial. Reminds me of a bad web page. The last time we saw this the screen was only on during a show, and the signs were off. Now the screen is on all the time with commercials which overwhelm the historic signage destroying the experience. I also encountered no fewer than 10 beggars wondering around the street with signs saying such things as lost job need money. I also noticed that there were many more people on the street than there were in the casinos.
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After seeing Ron off at the airport to return to Washington, we drove east to Tucson and visited the Desert Museum. They have a new exhibit of an aquarium with many fish and other animals.
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Finally near Alamogordo, New Mexico we visited White Sands National Monument. This is a large valley with no outlet to the sea, where gypsum accumulates into sand dunes which are extremely white.
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Carlsbad Caverns National Park is one of the most beautiful caves in the world. Look for the people and the railings of the walkway in some of the photos to get an idea of scale of the cave.
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That's it for this trip.