“I like the mountains because they make me feel small, they help me sort out what’s important in life” – Mike Obmascik
Today marks our 6th day on Contiki and our 10th day in the USA. Still going strong and loving every minute. Today was a huge driving day. We woke up at 6 to be on the coach at 7:15 to depart for Colorado.
As we were leaving the Grand Canyon we had some pretty stunning views of it from the coach. It was nice to catch that last glimpse to burn it into our memories. We had our first small stop about 20 minutes later at the Colorado gorge. The title is misleading as it is still in Arizona, it is named that as the Colorado river runs through it. It is similar to the Grand Canyon but much more narrow. It is kind of an off-shoot to the Grand Canyon.
There were little American Indian stores set up shipping their merch, which we didn’t even look at really. About an hour of driving later and we had our next stop at a town called Cameron, Arizona. This was just a quick road stop for bathroom + snacks. This time we bought some starbursts unwrapped. They are like normal starbursts but mini and don’t have the wrappers and come in a little bag haha they’re addictive, we ate the whole bag on the coach.
The next stop was at Kayenta, Arizona. This was just a little tourist spot that is run by the Native American Navajo tribe. They had some cool stuff, Aimee bought some earrings but other than that, it was not real exciting. We did buy some Corn Nuts here. Ronnie seen these bad boys advertised and wanted to give them a crack. “Corn Nuts: Corn to the core.” They were alright.
Back on the road and we had now entered our 4th US State – Utah, home of the Mormon. Luckily we didn’t have a door for them to knock on. We drove through Monument Valley, Utah which was absolutely stunning. It is the scene of an uncountable amount of country and western films and tv shows. It’s basically made up of large rock formations that the native Americans consider sacred. Really nice.
A little bit up the road and we pulled over to the place that Forrest Gump stopped running in the movie.
So naturally, we got out on the road and got a picture of the whole group running on the road. The thing about it though is that it is a really busy road, so we all had to stand on the side of the road until Braden gave us the signal then we ran on the road and quickly back.
After monument valley we entered our 5th US state – Colorado.
Our first stop here was in a little town called Cortez, Colorado. We stopped at the Walmart for supplies. We needed to buy socks because we have not had a chance at all to do any laundry and we are running out of clean clothes. We are hoping that we can get some laundry done tomorrow. We grabbed our first USA McDonalds here and honestly, pretty similar to Aussie Maccas – not good.
Our last push on and after about 8 hours total driving we arrived at our destination for the night Durango, Colorado. Durango is exceptionally beautiful. It is a pretty classic mountain town. You can see snow covered mountains in the backdrop, it’s very green and the storefronts are all really quaint. It’s so nice.
Colorado has legalised recreational marijuana and there are about 2-3 weed stores here and it is so cheap. A few people from our group were hitting it but not us. Just not into that sort of thing, but if you are, Durango is a dream. We got to our hotel and we just needed a shower and a lay down so we took the liberty of doing this before getting ready to head out for a family dinner.
We ate at this pretty cool place called Carver Brewing Co. Ronnie had a chicken and potato meal which was pretty decent and Aimee had a Native American taco, which kind of looked like tacos ingredients on top of a little pizza base. She said it was average. Dinner was nice overall. We had cocktails as well with some of the lovely people in our group. We then went out to a dive bar called Moe’s for more drinks. We smashed a few martinis and cocktails and got around it. We left about 11:30 because we knew we had some big activities early in the morning and did not want to be hungover for them. Durango is absolutely stunning and I wish we were spending more time here. Though we must get going to Albuquerque tomorrow after some Durango activities in the morning!
Thanks for reading!
Ronnie & Aimee.