Saturday, December 6, 2008

"4 Corners" Loop Ride

In early September 2008, I headed south out of Boise, for a 10-day tour of the "Four Corners" states - Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.

[NOTE: Click on the map, or any photo for larger viewing options. Also - a "slide show" of my favorite photos can be viewed by clicking HERE.]


As I'm sure you're already aware, there's only one place where there's a meeting of four state boundaries in one place. I went to that actual monument/location back in 2003, but this time I did a big loop around it.

Highlights: Grand Mesa (above Grand Junction, CO), several 11,000 foot passes (also in Colorado), Taos area, Navajo Nation, Canyon de Chelly, Flagstaff, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Moki Dugway, Natural Bridges, Capitol Reef.

One of my constant objectives is to avoid travel on the Superslab. It's essentially impossible to travel off the Interstate from Boise to Provo, but other than that, I probably only had maybe 50 miles of Interstate travel, on the entire 3200-mile trip.

Another constant hope/desire is to not have inclement weather. And I got REAL lucky on this trip. I experienced one day (the "Grand Canyon Day") when the sky was overcast. And I put on my rain gear - twice. But I literally spent more time putting the gear on, than getting rained on. Sweeeeeet!

I stayed with friends 2 nights, in motels 2 nights, and camped 4 nights. Other than the price of gas - which was still hovering around $4/gallon in most places - the trip was a bargain.

Just off the road near Moab:

Colorado High Country:

Crazy New Mexico Geology:

Canyon de Chelly, Arizona:

Sunset Crater, near Flagstaff:

Grand Canyon:

Monument Valley:


Moki Dugway:

Natural Bridges:

Glen Canyon:

Capitol Reef:

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Cowboy Country Tour - ID/WY/MT

For centuries, this country was home to huge buffalo herds, stretching as far as the eye could see. And Indians, who lived off the abundance of the land. Lewis and Clark were the first white explorers to this neck of the woods, at the beginning of the 19th Century. They were followed by mountain men - explorers, trappers, prospectors. Later followed by pioneers, seeking their piece of ground and the American Dream. And cowboys.

WY - Teton Range

100 years after Lewis and Clark, western artist Charles M. Russell settled in Great Falls, Montana. From there, he ventured out to portray the American West - the world of cowboys - in his artwork. His home and studio - and a big museum full of his work - still stand in Great Falls, and was perhaps the centerpiece of this particular adventure. (I ventured to the area over 8 days in the summer of 2004.)

MT - Big Sky Country!

MT - Glacier, near Logan Pass

Other highlights included:
- Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks,
- A loop side-trip to enjoy the Wind River Mountains, Atlantic City (Wyoming, not New Jersey!), and retracing some of my pioneer forefathers' footsteps along the Mormon/Oregon Trail (South Pass is where they crossed the Continental Divide... in the center of a high mountain prairie),
- Big Sky Country of western Montana,
- A side trip to Cardston, Alberta,
- Glacier National Park (including the lesser-known "Many Glacier Road"),
- Flathead Lake
- Highway 12 in north Idaho - Motorcycle Nirvana, home to the legendary sign: "Winding Road Next 77 miles."

Click on the photos, and the map, for larger views.
More info:
- More photos, and/or a slide show - click HERE.
- Google Earth detailed route and points of interest - click HERE. (Note - you need to have Google Earth installed on your computer, for it to be useful).