Arizona and Colorado 1998


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Note: This travelog was written in 2018, so many details have long been forgotten since we took the trip.

Saturday, April 4, 1998: We drove from Indianapolis to Phoenix in a weekend. We don't recall if we drove through the night or stayed at motels or even when we started and arrived, but our Oklahoma Turnpike receipts show that we were in Oklahoma at least between 5:13 PM and 7:56 PM on Saturday.

We also remember stopping at a gift shop in Missouri to buy three Beanie Babies, which was the obsession of every kid Jill's age back then.


Sunday, April 5, 1998: We drove through Albuquerque on Sunday, so we probably got to Phoenix late on Sunday night. Jill had packed some art supplies and notebooks, and at some point during the trip, she made these drawings for us.
The one on the left was for Tom and the one on the right was for Mommy.
Our home-away-from-home for the next several days was the Lodge at Sun Ridge in Surprise. This isn't our photo but it gives a good idea of the size of the place. We had two bedrooms so there was plenty of room for two active little girls.

Monday, April 6, 1998: Here's the exterior of the property. We visited this place several more times in later years for family gatherings.
We took the kids to Wildlife World Zoo, which Debbie's Aunt Beatrice had recommended to us.
Jill gave a treat to a giraffe, ...
... then Claire did the same, with just a little help from Tom.
Claire stood on a step to get a good look at the camels.
Jill played with the goats in the petting zoo.
They were more interested in eating her clothing.
After seeing these adorable ring-tailed lemurs, we had to buy a stuffed lemur in the gift shop.
There were peacocks roaming the grounds, including this white one ...
... and this more traditional one.
Here was a big sleepy kitty just over our heads.
We went to Sun City West to visit Great Aunt Beatrice and Great Uncle Bob.
Claire doesn't warm up to people right away, but Bob kept reaching for her when she walked by until she decided that he was pretty great.
We went into Beatrice and Bob's back yard to admire their sweet acacia tree. Jill picked up some seed pods from the tree and played with them. A couple of weeks later, Beatrice sent us a package containing a note telling us what type of tree it was, plus this beautiful Norwegian rosemaled box that had been owned by her mother, Debbie's great grandmother Josephine Nilsen.

Tuesday, April 7, 1998: We visited Debbie's Grandma Normark in Peoria.
A beautiful rose arbor on the property of the assisted living community provided a nice backdrop for some photos.
Great Aunt Pearl and Great Uncle Bill's home was in the same community a couple of homes away, so we visted them too. The only photo we got then was of this fantastic map in their living room on which they had traced their road trips over the years.
Back in our condo, Claire was in a playful mood and she and Jill had a blast bouncing on the beds in their room.
This may be the only photo of these two girls hugging because Claire doesn't tolerate hugs for long. This moment remains a treasured memory.
That evening, we welcomed a visit from Tom's Aunt Esther and Uncle Ron, plus cousins Dan and Don and their families.

Wednesday, April 8, 1998: The next morning, we checked out of our condo and headed to Flagstaff to visit Debbie's mother's cousin Gail at her job.
We drove up to Sedona and visited Slide Rock State Park, where we went on a short hike along the river. We don't have a single photo of any of this, so here's a photo of the Arizona State Parks brochure. That's Slide Rock in the bottom middle photo. We think we remember that we stayed overnight in Flagstaff.

Thursday, April 9, 1998: We headed to the Grand Canyon, which was the first visit for the girls, Tom's second visit, and Debbie's ninth. Here's Jill at Duck on a Rock Viewpoint.
Here's Tom and the girls at Grandview Point, ...
... and here's Debbie at Moran Point, most likely.
Here's Jill at Lipan Point. We took the girls to Mather Point, which is the most famous and most crowded of the viewpoints, and Claire was visibly nervous about being so close to the edge of the canyon.
We stayed at Grand Canyon Suites in Tusayan. As of 2018, it is now called The Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Grand Canyon. We took no photos, but here's the brochure.

Friday, April 10, 1998: We drove to Four Corners Monument and stood on four states at once. Or so we thought - nowadays, we know that the true intersection of the states is actually northwest of this location.
Then we started our long drive home through Colorado. With fresh snow all around us, it was slow going but the scenery was lovely. Here is Engineer Peak near Cascade Village north of Durango, Colorado.
To the east of us was gorgeous North Twilight Peak.
The sun was going down by the time we got to Silverton, Colorado.
We were cold, tired, and hungry by the time we finally arrived at Ouray Victorian Inn. Tom went out to find some dinner at a local restaurant since there was no fast food to be found anywhere in these mountains.

Saturday, April 11, 1998: We left Ouray nice and early and drove a little bit out of our way to see the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.
Here are some mountain peaks near Salida, Colorado.
We stopped for a little afternoon fun at Five Points Recreation Site.
We practically had to drag Claire out of the van and away from her videos, but she absolutely loved having her feet in the chilly water.
There's Debbie in the middle of this photo.
When it was time to leave, we practically had to drag Claire back to the van. We have no photos or notes or memory of anything that happened after this, so please assume that we made it home safely many, many hours later.

** THE END **


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