Southwest USA Retirement Trip
29 Days - 6,500 Miles - 19 States - 7 National Parks
Several State Parks - 6,000+ Photos
1 Trillion Insects Squished by Car Windshield
From 108 Degrees to Snow
From 282 Feet Below Sea Level to 12,000+ Feet
Bison, Elk, Prairie Dogs, Lizards, Wild Horses
Elvis, Aliens, John Wayne Westerns
Walking In The Footsteps of Forrest Gump
Beth and I have been talking about visiting the Southwest USA for many years. Now that we are "Retired" (sort of), and thanks to Lya and Joe covering the music at church, we could take an entire month to drive the 6,500-mile round-trip and see the sights we've talked about. We had the trip planned for April of this year, but a last-minute (last minute, as in we had our suitcases half packed) eye problem forced us to delay until now.
We planned to drive mostly 250-300 miles per day max, so that we would have time to sightsee. When we reached major points like National Parks, we generally allowed no more than 100 miles, and sometimes stayed 2 nights in a row so we would have a full day to explore.
Since there are so many places we visited, we decided to break up the travelogue into easy-digestible daily pages.
I hope that makes it easier to navigate.
We hope you enjoy riding along with us over the next 29 days and 6,500 miles. Fasten your seat belt and let's go!
We drove in a clockwise loop - heading west on the southern portion and back home on the northern portion.
**** (Click links on Master Index below to proceed) ****
Click on each Day Number to go directly to that page.
At the end of each page, you can choose to Proceed to Next Day or return here to the Master Index.
Days 1-3 : Home to Scott Air Force Base (AFB), Illinois (Visit our home from 2003-2008)
Day 4 : Scott AFB, Illinois to Joplin, Missouri
Day 5 : Joplin, MO to Altus AFB, Oklahoma
Day 6 : Altus AFB, Oklahoma to Cannon AFB, New Mexico (thru N. Texas, Sharing the road with Bison)
Day 7 : Cannon AFB, New Mexico to Socorro, New Mexico (thru Roswell)
Day 8 : Socorro, New Mexico to Winslow, Arizona (thru Petrified Forest National Park)
Day 9 : Exploring Winslow Arizona and Rt 66 (Standin' on the Corner....)
Day 10 : Winslow, Arizona to Williams, Arizona (thru Sedona)
Day 11 : Grand Canyon (South Rim)
Day 12 : Williams, Arizona to Pahrump, Nevada (thru Rt 66 and Hoover Dam)
Day 13 : Exploring Death Valley (108 Degrees but Beautiful!!)
Day 14 : Pahrump, Nevada to Zion National Park, Utah (Exploring Zion NP)
Day 15 : Zion NP to Kenab, Utah (exploring eastern Zion NP and Grand Canyon North Rim)
Day 16 : Kenab, Utah to Kayenta, Arizona (Vermillion Cliffs and Page)
Day 17 : Kayenta, Arizona to Cortez, Colorado (thru Monument Valley and 4 Corners)
Day 18 : Exploring Cliff Dwellings at Mesa Verde NP, Colorado
Day 19 : Cortez, Colorado to Grand Junction, Colorado (thru Arches NP, Utah)
Days 20-21 : Grand Junction, Colorado to Loveland, Colorado (thru Rocky Mt NP at 12,000+ Feet
Day 22 : Loveland, Colorado to North Platte, Nebraska
Day 23 : North Platte, Nebraska to Offutt AFB, Nebraska (Old Rt 30 Lincoln Hwy, Visit our home from 1996-1999)
Days 24-29 : Offutt AFB, Nebraska to Home, with a stop in Wisconsin to see family