Warren & Emily SwanTrips → 1999

After having seen a pop-up tent trailer with air conditioning on the previous vacation, we purchased our own 1999 Utah model Coleman Fleetwood in January of this year.  However, we couldn’t afford the air conditioning unit yet.  Warren brought along the hammered dulcimer we’d had for a few months and we headed out, spending a little time at the Illinois State Fair on the way. 

At Hannibal, Missouri we spent time visiting some Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) sites.  We camped at Mulberry Creek Campground in Kansas, not far from Sabetha.  The next morning we went to Community Bible Church in Sabetha where Stew Frederick was pastor.  This is the family we had met on our previous vacation at Raccoon Mountain near Chattanooga.  They invited us to their place for lunch, and we had a good visit before pushing on.  We stopped at the Geographical Center of the Contiguous 48 States, as we had done in 1987 and 1993.

At Denver, Colorado we stayed overnight with the House family, who are good friends of ours from Northern Illinois days, but who had moved to Denver a few years earlier.

North Window Arch at Arches National Park We stayed at O. K. RV Park at Moab, Utah, from which we would go out to see various sites.  Most of these we had seen in 1987, when we didn’t have all 4 children, and the 2 we did have were too young to remember.  The first was Arches National Park, where we hiked around some of the interesting formations, such as North Window Arch here.  →

Caņonlands ← We visited Caņonlands for the first time.  It was fascinating.  Moab itself was interesting to walk around and visit the various shops.  Daniel picked up some very white, almost translucent rocks at our campsite.  Later we would tumble them into some interesting polished stones. 

Grand Wash at Capitol Reef One of the lesser known and under-rated national parks is unassuming Capitol Reef.  There are some fascinating hikes and rock formations here, as we found out in 1987.  Here we see the kids sitting in one of the odd erosion formations in the Grand Wash.  →

Bryce Caņon National Park ← Another fascinating National Park in Utah, more well-known than Capitol Reef, is the Hoodoo Capital, Bryce Caņon National Park, which we had also visited in 1987

We left Moab and headed down to the North Rim of the Grand Caņon, where we had not been before.  It is the setting for one of Warren’s favorite childhood stories, Mystery at Rustler’s Fort.  We enjoyed Bright Angel Point, Point Imperial, Cape Royal, Cliff Springs, and a moonlight trip back to Cape Royal.  All the while we were camped at a nearby National Forest (not National Park) campground, with no electric or water hook-up.  But the trailer battery lasted the whole time.  We had to bring water from a big tank by the washrooms. 

When we left the Grand Caņon we drove over the Glen Caņon Dam, which is immense.  We were able to visit the Four Corners of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico, just before the gate was closed.  (It is on Navajo land.)

In Southwest Colorado we dropped our trailer near the entrance of Mesa Verde, which we had visited in 1990, and drove around this park taking some simple hikes.  Back in Denver we went with the Houses to that excellent restaurant / “amusement park” of Casa Bonita, which we’d been to several times before, then stayed the night with the Houses.  The next night we would spend with the Frederick family near Sabetha, Kansas, first enjoying an evening of music together, playing the guitar, hammered dulcimer, harmonica, and so on.  Warren went to a Men’s Breakfast at Stew’s church before we continued on home.

visited 7 states (14%)
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