2004 Family Vacation
July 8th - We left about 4PM. We drove to Tulsa, OK and stayed at the Flying J for the night.
July 9th - We drove to Oklahoma City and went to Six Flags Frontier Park. We left the park about 6pm and drove to another Flying J about 20 miles from the Texas Border.
July 10th We left Oklahoma and drove to the Cadillac Ranch Just outside of Armarillo, TX. After that we drove to New Mexico. We then drove straight through to Arizona. We stayed at a Shell Station about 20 miles from Petrified Forest/Painted Desert National Park.
July 11th (Joshua Birthday) We went to the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park. After we were done with the park we drove to Meteor Crater RV Park. We visited Meteor Crater for a few hours.
July 12th We went back to Meteor Crater to take a Rim Tour. After that we headed to Slide Rock State Park in Sedona, AZ. It was a steep and windy road to get to the Park with wonderful views. The water was closed to swimmers at the park, so we did not stay as long as we expected. We then headed to TenX Campground in the Kabiab National Forest just outside of the Grand Canyon Nation Park.
July 13th We got to the campground early (before check-in) so we went to the store. We bought lots of souvenirs before we even saw the Canyon. We got checked into the campground. We then rode the shuttle to the visitors center. We then went to check out the big hole. Incredible! Pictures just dont prepare you for the actual thing. We walked the rim trail for about a mile then caught the shuttle back to the campground. We cleaned up and took the car to the Arizona Room for Joshuas Birthday. The Arizona Room is a steak house on the Rim of the Canyon in the National Park. We sat at a large picture window with a great view of the Grand Canyon. The condors were flying around. They were neat to watch. Page 1 Page 2
July 14th We left the park to take a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon. It was great, expensive, but worth it. The flight was about 45 minutes over the Grand Canyon. After that we went to the IMAX Theater and watched a 45-minute video on the Grand Canyon. We then went horseback riding in the National Forest. It tried to rain, but never came down more than a couple drops. After that, since the weather was bad, we decided to go back to the camper. We had a flat tire on the camper. I called the Towing Service. A guy came out from Flagstaff (78 miles one way) to change it. Since I had to wait for him, I ordered brake pads for the car the day before, I decided to change the brake pads on the car.
July 15th Back to the Canyon. We walked the Bright Angel Trail about a mile into the canyon. The temperature was about 84 degrees, not bad. We went about 1 mile (1 hour) down and decided it was time to turn back. We took many breaks on the way up. Well Debby, Jen, and myself did. Joshua and Jessica kept walking up, then coming back to get us. I think they walked up twice as far as we did. We even gave Josh the Camelback (2 liters of water) and the camera. That did not slow him down. I think he was getting annoyed with how often we were stopping. I didnt even see him break a sweat on the way up. After that we took the shuttle to Hermits Rest. On the way back it started to lightning. It was real loud and real close. We got to the car just in time for the skies to let loose. Boy, did it rain, and hail, and rain, and hail. We let Debby, Josh, and Jessica off at the trailer. There was not any place to drop them off that did not have at least 4 inches of rain/hail. Jen and I went back to the gift shop. The locals were glad to see it raining. We were told by a couple different people that this was there first significant rain of the year. The temperature had dropped almost 30 degrees.
July 16th We left early. We had to go to the service station because the spare tire we had just put on was low. We decide to check all the tires. We then hooked the car up and headed out the Desert View. We took many pictures on the way out and stopped at the Watch Tower for out final view of the Grand Canyon. We then topped off the fuel tank at $2.22/gallon OUCH! But, we were going to drive through some barren land and wanted to make sure we had enough fuel. We then drove to the Four Corners Area. After that we headed to Cortez. We stopped at a KOA park in Cortez about 10 mile Mesa Verde.
July 17th Jessica woke up feeling ill. She had stomach problems and could not keep anything down. We headed to Mesa Verde. We dropped the RV off and drove the car through the park. We were not able to see much because Jessica was still feeling pretty sick. We went to Spruce Tree house. Jessica and Debby stayed in the car while Josh, Jen, and myself went to Spruce Tree House. I then came back and Debby checked it out. After the Jessica said she was not feeling good and wanted to leave. So we left. We headed toward Durango and the up the Million Dollar Highway. We stopped for the night at Ridgeway State Park and stayed in the Pa-Co-Chu-Puk campground, about 20 miles north of Ouray, CO.
July 18th We headed to The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. We stayed there for quite a while. After that we headed East on Highway 50 to Royal Gorge. We went to Seven Falls while we were on the south side of Colorado Springs. We then went to Manitou Springs and Stayed at Pikes Peak RV Park.
July 19th - We drove to the summit on Pikes Peak. (Page 1 Page 2) Wonderful drive On the way down we stopped at a patch of snow and had a snowball fight. We then went to Garden of the Gods. The weather started getting bad, so we did not stay long. After that we went to Cave of the Winds.
July 20th We left the Manitou Area and drove to Denver. We went to Six Flags Elicth Gardens for the day. Once again the weather was bad. Rides were intermittently open though out the day. We drove to the Flying J in Aurora for the evening.
July 21st We drove to Estes Park and stayed in Estes Park campground. We then drove into Rocky Mountain National Park. It was another cold, cloudy day. We did not see as many animals as we hoped for, but did see some. We drove all the way across Trail Ridge Road to Grand Lake.
July 22nd We walked through Estes Park for the day. We bought lots of souvenirs and spent lots of money. For lunch we went to the Estes Parks Brewery.
July 23rd We drove to Georgetown, CO. We rode the Georgetown Loop Railroad and took a tour of a silver mine. After that we drove through the Eisenhower Tunnel. It was a cloudy day, so the view was not that good. After that we drove through the town of Georgetown. Everyone was pretty tired so we headed back to the camper after that.
July 24th Time to head home. We left a cloudy Estes Park, Co about 8AM. We drove north to Wyoming the east on highway 80 through Nebraska. We drove 16 hours that day and made it about 3 hours from home before we decided to stop for the night in a rest area.
July 25th We left the rest area about 6AM. We pulled into the driveway about 9AM.
Some Vacation Stats We drove 3408 miles total. We used 399.59 gallons of gas. We got 8.52 miles per gallon. The average gas price per gallon was $1.85 The highest was 2.229 at the Grand Canyon NP. The lowest was $1.599 in Tulsa, OK. We spent a total of 733.40 in gas.