Coast to Coast Driving Tour
Tom and I, together with Tom's brother, Bruce and our precious poodle, Perky set off on a 36-day driving tour from Melbourne, FL to Edmonton, Canada on the morning of June 22, 2008 in Bruce's fully stuffed SUV. I will feature over time, the highlights of our trip.
Stopovers included the Grand Canyon and Salt Lake City before crossing over to Alberta, Canada where we explored Maligne Canyon, Pyramid Lake, Maligne Lake & Spirit Island, Mt Edith Cavel, Athabasca Falls, Athabasca Glacier, Lake Louise, Johnston Canyon, Moraine Lake, Bow Summit, Bow Falls and saw mountain goats and elk alongside the world famous Icefields Parkway.
Our 1st overnight was at Pensacola in the panhandle of Florida and we stayed over in Memphis, Tennessee the 2nd night before arriving in El Reno, Oklahoma the next night. We then stayed in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was Day 5 before we arrived at Flagstaff, the gateway town to the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
We briefly visited the Painted Desert in northern Arizona and Sedona before heading for our first major tourist stopover.
I had been to the Grand Canyon a couple of times before on my vacations to the States from Singapore. I was still awed by its raw magnificence when I saw it again. Both Tom and Bruce were impressed too.
We were leaving Grand Canyon when we chanced upon a spot from which we could see a winding silver thread gleaming at the bottom of the canyon.
The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long and varies from 4 to 18 miles in width and is over a mile deep !!! It is visually overwhelming and its varied and colorful landscape is a feast for the senses.
It is burning hot during the day and can get really cold at night.
Those willing to splurge can book a year ahead to go down the canyon on donkeys. Others can go white water rafting on the Colorado River at the bottom of the canyon.
Our Kodak camera had a zoom feature and we were rewarded with a closeup look of the Colorado River which through millions of years of erosion carved out one of the 7 wonders of the world.
Many people have visited the Grand Canyon but relatively few were blessed to have the backdrop we did for the above photos. We had to stoop low to the ground, a few feet from the canyon's edge in order to zoom in the Colorado River !!!
Alberta - CANADA
We drove to Great Falls in Montana after spending the weekend in Salt Lake City.
We crossed over into Alberta on July 1st (Day 10) and overnight in Red Deer before driving north to Edmonton.
We were in Alberta for 2 weeks before crossing back into Butte in Montana. While in Alberta, we explore : -
b) Pyramid Lake
d) Mt Edith Cavel
f) Athabasca Glacier
g) Lake Louise
i) Johnson Canyon
j) Moraine Lake
i) Bow Falls
Morman Church of Latter Day Saints - Salt Lake City
I had timed our arrival into Salt Lake City to fall on Saturday so that we could attend Sunday service on June 29, 2008 at the Morman Temple of the Latter Day Saints which immense tabanacle organ and choir were world famous.
The experience was well worth the planning. It was an impressive community with stunning buildings and beautiful landscaped grounds with a huge fountain and reflection pool.
Highlights on our short homebound trip from Alberta back to Florida included : -
a) Snake River Float Trip - Teton National Park
c) Huge herd of Bison at Hayden Valley
e) Mammoth Hot Springs
f) Mount Rushmore