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The Ultimate Trip Planning Chllange: Help Oaktown Traveler With Her Trip To The Southwest!

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The Ultimate Trip Planning Chllange: Help Oaktown Traveler With Her Trip To The Southwest!

Old Mar 8th, 2004, 05:21 AM
  #21  
 
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One of the nicest places we've ever stayed at is the Blue Lake Ranch, 15 miles west of Durango. The grounds are gorgeous, full of flowers in a very natural setting. The interior is both elegant and simple, the hosts delightful, and the breakfast fresh and fabulous. It was after our stay here that I went out and bought a new bed and good linens, having decided that I was going to sleep luxuriously every night instead of a few nights a year on vacation! If you decide to visit or pass through Durango, do consider staying at this place.

Skie
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 09:20 AM
  #22  
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Thank you for the additional comments and suggestions.

I am talking to my hubby about the excellent suggestions.

Please feel free to keep the ideas and details coming!

My Best and Most Sincere THANKS!!!!!!

Oaktown Traveler
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 10:09 AM
  #23  
 
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I arrive a litlle late in the discussion...
All the options are good but for an european like me and a "southwest's" lover (we've been there 12 times with my wife), we are always very surprised
by the miles you are droven each day...
In our firsts sejours there we have made the same and finally get tired and
frustrated because we overlooked the sites and not visit really them.
As you are not so far from SW and even US are large with a lot of place to stay/visit(we know, it's difficult to choose every 6 months where to go...),I
would choose or an "east" part of SW(stopping at Zion/Bryce, Gd Cyn,arriving
from california, first part of Utahtea
itinerary...splendid but too "busy"
for us...teh UT's itinerary...) or a "west" part with Arches/Canyonlands Monument Valley/Mesa Verde/Durango Canyon de Chelleey, Chaco canyon,...
and if you take a map you'll see you have sufficient sites to make a
3rd itinerary(Albuquerque/Santa Fe/Taos and Grants/Gallup with the pueblos,
Petrified forest/...).
If you are a good hiker, Canyonlands, Chaco, Cyn de Chelley and even Arches need more than one day each...
Near Monument Valley, in Bluff, there is a tour guide, far out expedition who can organise some full day hikes to see some of the finest "rockart" you can see in the SW and Natural Bridges Nat'l
monument have a 9 mile hike which is splendid.Near Bluff, Gd GFulch primitive area has been one of the gem we've discoverd last summer with Farout
In Monument valley hiking with a guide for a whole day is a inequaled experience...
So I know it's difficult and if I think Utahtea itinerary is perfect for some europeans or others who can only have one SW experience(the poors..), I think
you can find time to get more...
Lucky you to be there soon..
Erik.
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 12:28 PM
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Check out the thread "Durango Co- info wanted" for my recommendations for SW Colorado. I tried to put in a week's worth of activities in that thread. My highlights are the train, the Million Dollar highway, Mesa Verde, jeep trips into the mountains, and the Bar D Wranglers, but others may disagee.
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 02:11 PM
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mompetit,

I'm with you. I would rather concentrate on a smaller area since we live close enough to go often, but that's why I asked if they like to spend a lot of time in one area or keep moving. I got the impression they liked to keep moving.

Utahtea
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Old Mar 9th, 2004, 09:13 AM
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Thanks again and again!

The diverse options are intriguing...

I am so excited and I have all of you to thank!

I have maps and travel books and fodor thread print-outs all over the house and of course I will keep looking for more information as it comes to you.

A Grateful,
Oaktown Traveler
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 10:07 AM
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Hi Oaktown,

Just now saw this thread. And, sorry to say I missed it earlier. Is your itinerary set? I info I can pass on since I have made many a pilgrimage to this part of the world. (Especially northern New Mexico.)

Are you into art galleries? I can suggest some really fine ones... let me know. Ah, and what kind of art do you like?

There is a brand new spa in Taos which I stopped by and checked out (didn't stay... but looked into for a future stay with DH) a few weeks ago. It is very pricy... try a couple hundred a night.. ouch... Looks very special. Spa and massage available. Beautiful surroundings. http://www.elmontesagrado.com/

There are other outstanding establishments in Santa Fe with spas also.

OOPS major crises... (I'll cut lunch break short and look for your proposed itinerary later.)

- Sharon
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 11:32 AM
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Oaktown Traveler: I also thank you for your wonderfully entertaining Alaska Journal.

I don't know how one could improve on Utahtea's itinerary. Terry is the resident expert on the southwest. To capitalize on it, I'll add only a couple of comments.

One of my favorite stops along Hwy 12 is Calf Creek, west of Escalante. The view is superb if you only stop at the lookout on Hwy 12. It is even better if you take the easy access road to the bottom of the canyon. There is a hike you can make from the Calf Creek parking area but it is fairly challenging. I like to stop there just to picnic (stock up in Tropic if you are not carrying a cooler and food).

The other amplification is for Durango and has been mentioned in passing but with little detail. The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway runs a 45 mile round trip several times a day in the summer that is appealing on a number of levels. First, it is powered by steam engines so if you are any kind of railroad or nostalgia buff, it is one of the few opportunities to take a steam excursion along a fairly long length of formerly revenue-producing trackage. Second, it runs from Durango to Silverton along the Animas River Canyon. The scenery is magnificent and, in spots, the only way to see it is on the train or by very strenious hiking. Third, on both ends of the route, the railroad has created museums that are of considerable interest to history buffs.

I hope you enjoy your trip and look forward to reading your report when its complete.
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 11:42 AM
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Ignore Albuquerque? Surely you jest!!

If you're coming to NM - and I also missed this thread originally - the annual International Balloon Fiesta is the first two weeks in October. 600 balloons ascending early in the morning is an unforgettable sight!

Lee Ann
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 04:19 PM
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Hello Everyone!

Well SharonNRayMc, as you know I just got back from spending close to two months in South America (Latin America Boards). I am beyond exhusted and our son is a college Freshman as well so we have some mandatory trips to take for him and all of his Freshman Parent stuff...

In short this Southwest journey will come a little later. I had great plans to do this in a few weeks but...my time in Peru, which was the last leg of my South America journey much more taxing on me than I could have ever imagined.

Thanks everyone...this was not in vain.

My Best,
Oaktown Traveler
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 07:58 PM
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Hi Oaktown Traveler,

I certainly understand getting the son off to college routine. When our son went off to school, we all went. It was a big family deal to go and get him delivered.

We flew OKC to Detroit with all of his stuff, something like seven big pieces of luggage including two big boxes for his computer and monitor. We rented a Hertz car (Ford Escape) and then drove the three remaining hours to his school in Canada. Of course, we had to stop at customs and get him the International Student Visa. He had a letter of approval or something like that and had already paid the money. This was just to pick up the phisical visa, er piece of paper... a really fancy certificate that was then stapled into his passport.

Now it's easy. He goes back and forth with a carry-on, a big bag on wheels and one big box for his computer CPU and all the wiring (he leaves the monitor and lots of other stuff with friends in Canada.) Somehow he manages to borrow a monitor here for the summer an life is good.

This spring he drove home with a friend who came to visit the states. Quite a drive from Ontario to OKC!

We all leave this coming Saturday for a long weekend together in Virginia with my husband's family and then grandparents will drive him to school. He's starting his junior year. (Yippee! Half-way!) Grandparents have not yet been to his school and are quite eager to check it out.

Ok. I'm blabbering. You'll have a special time getting your son settled at college. Enjoy!

And, post again when the southwest trip tops your list.

Best,
Sharon
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Old Sep 2nd, 2004, 07:57 AM
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No problem for me with the "babble"...

It is travel related so we are good to go. I am simply overwhelmed by what my child has/not packed, wants to send/buy and the like. We had less "stuff" when I went to college...It all fit into one car with all of my family AND our dog!

Again, the best part is waiting for the really cute UPS guy to arrive...

Oaktown

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