Travelogue "Color Country Trail"
June 13 to July 9, 2008
Distance traveled: 4512 km

Again, we booked a two-week tour through the American Midwest through the travel agency Travel Agency Spillemaecker . This trip formula is offered by Whings & Wheels and covers for nights booked, a roadmap and a rental car from Alamo . Unlike previous trips we choose this time for a tour through the American interior, mainly in and around the Rocky Mountains. We'll do ourselves a number of changes to the proposed roadmap, where extra time is provided in certain places, so we can see even more quietly. Due to the favorable exchange rate of the euro against the dollar was the whole trip considerably cheaper and saves more than 25%. For our flights we choose Lufthasa , which offers the best timetable and it is most advantageous. Moreover, we did not back through the hassle London Heathrow, which the German airline offered the best assets. In addition to the purchase of some Capitol - and Lannoo guides was also our TomTom navigation set and the whole trip is preparing thoroughly. So ready to go ...


Day 1 Monday 23/06/2008: Brussels-Denver 11:00
Up early ... to 04:00 you get the van already pick us up and take us to Zaventem, where we can take our 7:10 flight to Munich. From there we fly with an Airbus A340 directly to Denver, the capital of the State of Colorado and countries to 12.10u local time. An official of the Immigration act quickly and decisively all the formalities, after which we pick up our luggage and the shuttle ride to the car rental. Because this trip mainly goes through the mountains, we chose a powerful Chevrolet Trailblazer . The car was already reserved in advance and paid for, so we could get in right away and towards downtown Denver drive to our first hotel Comfort Inn Denver . After checking in we still have ample time to explore the surroundings here and take a walk through the shopping streets. The large mall with shopping centers and taverns offer a fun pastime, especially for the last day of our trip, where we will spend here an extra day. After dinner we visit as the local Hard Rock Café , talk about the past long day and take it to the road book for the next few days. Timely return to the hotel, so we can start our trip tomorrow after a good night's sleep.

Colorado ~ Wyoming ~ Nebraska

Day 2 Tuesday 24/06/2008: Denver Scottsbluff 420 km / 5:58 pm
After a hearty breakfast we check out and leave Denver through Boulder direction Estes Park . access to Rocky Mountain National Park . We enjoy a moment of nature, hiking along the numerous "art galleries" and drink a cup of coffee. On the lake Lake Estes you can make boat trips or by funicular railway to a beautiful go high plateau, but we decide to drive to Cheyenne , the capital of the state of Wyoming , created during the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad . The city is famous for its annual " Frontier Days ", the largest rodeo event in the US and is considered the world championship. Here we stop at the Holiday Park where the Big Steam Engine is the largest steam locomotive ever built. An incredible example of what already constructed the man, while the locomotive housed several families of squirrels. The park is also one of the eight Cheyenne Big Boots (giant painted cowboy boots), the others can be seen elsewhere in the city. After the visit we leave Cheyenne north to Scottsbluff in Nebraska. Just before we reach the city, we visit at first the Scottsbluff National Monument . This includes a landscape around a 244 meter high cliff, accessible through three tunnels of the " Summit Road ', the oldest officially registered road in America, and you have a beautiful panorama of the region. We immediately bought a toegangpas for all National Parks of the US, so it suits a lot cheaper for the upcoming visits to other parks that are still on the program. An 8 km away we go into our motel reservations Days Inn Scottsbluff . In a nearby steakhouse we ordered a typical T-bone with a nice Budweiser. A perfect ending to the first day of our tour ...

Nebraska ~ South Dakota

Day 3 Wednesday 25/06/2008: Scottsbluff-Keystone 345 km / 6:47 pm
Since we already yesterday Scottsbluff National Monument visited, we do not have to drive back an end and also allow the Agate Fossil Beds National Park are left. We saw on previous trips already enough about fossils and decide immediately to go to Hot Springs , the southern gateway to the Black Hills in the state of South Dakota. A little further we reach the Wind Cave National Park and stop for a visit to the wonderful immense caves. We immediately get a private guide who takes us through some of the caves and told us about its origin, the first operation and how everything (thankfully) ended up in the hands of the state. The most different from any other cave is this one here not find some stalactite or stalagmite, but merely honeycomb caused by ice and the damp wind that made the caves for what they are. Throughout the only original entrance to the cave, which was only 30cm tall, the wind blew in and out of the cavities, so the caves also obtained their name. Now, there are disposed air locks on the other accesses, so that the temperature and humidity inside remains constant and in this way the caves are not damaged. The beautiful and instructive visit ended with a walk to the original entrance, where you wondered how people are able to get the hell through the small opening in the caves. After a short lunch we drive through the Custer State Park and take immediately large herds of bison that simply walking on the roads and do not care about traffic. Also you will find here various other types of animals, such as deer, elk, coyotes, prairie dogs, donkeys, etc. You simply drive through a reserve where the animals have priority over all others and get them at every turn on or just off the road or found in herds. However, it is recommended to stay in the car, especially when you have some bison passes, each more than 1,000 kg and with their hum let you understand who the boss is. You can also save time around the park to Keystone ride, but you can really admire the flora and fauna along the beautiful, quiet, winding road through the park as it should. In the late afternoon we arrive to Keystone and take up residence there in the Mt. Rushmore's White House Resort for the next two nights. At the motel is a good restaurant provided we satisfy our hungry stomachs. Then we go on walking through the picturesque town with its typical saloons and shops that make you think back to the old Wild West. While middle of the street holding cowboy gunfights (and tried to lure audiences to their saloons), stop at the old train depot, the 1880 Train , which you can make tourist trip through the surrounding canyons. In short, a lively tourist town with lots of experiences for everyone. We conclude the evening with a visit to a saloon with live music and where the waitresses in traditional attire you get control. You find yourself right back in time as the sheriff through the swing doors as well as his thirst coming lessons, but a glance at the clock tells us that it is about time to crawl under the sheets. Tomorrow we have here a whole day, so ...

South Dakota

Day 4 Thursday 26/06/2008: Keystone
Today we need to drive long distances, because we only plan to visit the two most important local landmarks that are a short distance from the center. First, this is the Mount Rushmore National Memorial , one of the best known and most famous city in America, where the faces of four former American presidents are carved into the massive granite mountains. They are the heads viz. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln to photograph the most beautiful in the morning or during the morning. It is a very big work with heads of ± 18 m high and mouths over 5 m wide. In 1927 started the work and it was 15 years later with the help of 400 employees Gutzon Borglum life dream ready. You'll find a visitor center with a museum, a gift shop, a restaurant and an amphitheater. Moreover, you are walking through a portico which all 50 US states are represented with their shield, flag and date of entry to the US Access to the grounds is free, but to park your car, you pay $ 15. Afterwards we went to the Crazy Horse Memorial , a 35 km from Keystone. Since 1948 there is this monument to work, and if it ever gets off the largest sculpture ever made by man. The image of Crazy Horse, the Sioux chief, seated on a horse, a tribute to the North American Indians. You can see the monument from afar on the highway, but to get you have to pay per car to $ 27 at the visitor center. This prize is a visit to the Indian Museum of Native Americans included, which belongs to the visitor, is made up of gifts from current descendants of the Sioux Indians. Moreover, you can with (rickety) bus you can come up with the work. Afterwards we drove back into town and visited there as the Borglum Historical Museum , where you can hear more of the creator of Mount Rushmore and his motivation to design the sculpture. We conclude this quiet day with a pleasant dinner in the town and are planning a long night's sleep, because tomorrow we wait the longest stage of our tour and we want to go, and equipped to begin.

South Dakota ~ Wyoming

Day 5 Friday, 27/06/2008: Keystone Cody 664 km / 8:38 pm
Up early, because there is a long trip on the program. Through Rapid City we drive to Spearfish for the state of Wyoming. Just past Sundance we leave the highway and drive to the Devil's Tower National Monument , a 386 high monolith of intrusive rock and whose summit is at 1558 meters above sea level. This natural phenomenon is part of the first United States National Monument, opened by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. This site was an important part in the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind Steven Spielberg Bergh. Then back to the highway I-90 West we past Buffalo track to Sheridan. Here we are near the Bighorn National Forrest , the almost legendary hunting grounds of the Crow, the Cheyenne and Sioux Indians, the whites have started their colonization. Just before the border with the state of Montana, we take Highway US14 direction Burgess Junction , where we cross the 3140m high Bighorn Pass and through Lovell beautiful detour to the southern part of the Bighorn Canyon Recreation Area . This road passes by the beautiful nature of forests, lakes, rivers and some serious mountain passes. We pass " Medicine Wheel ", a building of prehistoric Indians. Just past Lovell we drive to our next place Cody and make it move into the Comfort Inn at Buffalo Bill Village Resort . The town was founded by none other than William F. Cody, a legendary pioneer and showman who is better known to us as Buffalo Bill . In the Buffalo Bill Historic Center , with its 5 museums and interesting exhibits, you also hear all about this historic figure. During the walk through the streets, we see the famous Gunfighters at work, holding a cowboy street fight every summer evening at the entrance to the Irma Hotel. Cody is also the " Rodeo Capital of The World " and organizes it in an evening rodeo daily during the summer, the ideal way to soak up the atmosphere of the Wild West. You notice it in the dozens of trailers with horses to and fro through the streets driving with participants at this event. The long (boring) trip without many highlights today was just asked a little too much to still live at a show, so we chose to dine quietly on a terrace with a glass of beer.

Wyoming ~ Montana

Day 6 Saturday, 28/06/2008: Cody West Yellowstone 286 km / 4:33 pm
Today a relatively short trip ahead of us, which we first through the Buffalo Bill Reservoir drive, an artificial lake formed by the building of the local dam. An hour later we were already at the East Entrance of the beautiful Yellowstone National Park and drive through part of the Shoshone National Forest , about 2850 meters high Sylvan Pass , to the center of the park. Since we stay in West Yellowstone in the state of Montana, on the western side of the park, and the distances between the different places are quite large in the park, today we drive already using the " North Loop " and discover impressive canyons, turbulent waterfalls , glistening rocks. Some acquaintances below are to Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone , a canyon that was carved out by the river in the yellow rock. Main viewpoints are Artist Point, Inspiration Point and Point Lookout, where you latter have a magnificent view of the 94 m high Lower Falls . Later you'll reach Roosevelt Area , which consists of volcanic hills, meadows and woods and looks a little less spectacular. In the far north of the park you will find the wonderful Mammoth Hot Springs to, characterized by colorful water pools and terraced limestone rock formations. Through marked footpaths You can view the sources nearby. Through the Norris Geyser Basin (steam and vapor pools) and the junction Madison, we drive to the west entrance of the park and see just outside our stay Stagecoach Inn , where we will stay 2 nights. The town of West Yellowstone is truly a winter resort, where they live is much spectacular. Apart from a few restaurants, supermarkets, souvenir shops and angling you can not hit here much longer. Somewhere logical because most who spend here only the night and stay in the park during the day. We saw today already a major part of tomorrow and decide to visit the other attractions.

Montana ~ Wyoming ~ Montana

Day 7 Sunday 29/06/2008: Yellowstone
The Yellowstone National Park covers an area of 2170 km2 and located on the border of three states. It was the first National Park in 1872 and one of the most popular in the world, with more than 4 million visitors annually. You will find here several animals in the wild, which often impede traffic while they are grazing middle of the road. We notice when we come driving into the park and to stand every turn in a queue of people taking out car pictures of the animals are grazing along the road. As in previous parks here too often bison, elk and deer that can be found in herds. All money in the entire park a speed limit of 45 miles and you must at all times for each animal can stop on the way, however, you will find regularly a dead animal along the way that the sudden crossing could be evaded anymore. Mostly small immature deer that pop up unexpectedly from the scrub, including the cars severely damaged. So it's watch out and very quiet, we drive through the Midway Geyser Basin and Lower Geyser Basin to our first location in the South Loop , the most spectacular site of the park, Old Faithful area . This is where the greatest concentration of geysers, hot springs and mud pools. The Old Faithful geyser is the most reliable in the park and spray every 90 minutes a 45 meter tall steaming water jet into the air. Around the geyser is a huge walkway constructed with benches, which always goes geyser in full force are full of look-spirited tourists who want to photograph the event and / or filming. It is a great and noisy spectacle when the steaming water high opspuit. We continue our trip and drive along the beautiful Yellowstone Lake Region , the largest lake in the park and a summer attraction. Even in this huge body of water you will find here and a column of smoke steaming or bubbling spool, pointing to the underground volcanic presence that characterizes the entire area. Ahead you see this really good at Mud Vulcano , a bubbling mud pool in the crater of the volcano's mouth. Also, the noisy steam pointing escaping from the holes on a still highly active surface. What nature can be beautiful ... We are pleased that yesterday we already visited the northern part of the park, for all the distances of the two loops not exactly huge, yet you would be very long if you like it should halt keeps track of each attraction. So you're soon lost half an hour when even the Virginia Cascades course take that long just 3 kilometers away. Like most of these types of smaller one-way roads you may just here with a car through it and you'll often very steep and narrow sections. Still, it pays to eg. This whitewater river view this way closer because of the main road you will see this not lie. One last stop, we keep the most active area, the Norris Geyser Basin and its steam and vapor pools. Back all cars are suddenly stopped on the main road through the Park Rangers, which places across the road their vehicles with flashing lights. When a grizzly storm on the road and just past our car invlucht the forest, we understand why. Moments later everyone should quietly back farther away, but warn the Rangers to be alert for these types of animals. You may not think that you are about to take a picture and suddenly such a colossus coming your way. Even with the camera in hand, we were so frightened that we forgot to include a photo. Moreover, the animal was very fast and we had hardly any chance. We did see some time later out of the way a wolf walk and took it nice pictures. You have to be lucky to see such animals. The day is again low and drive back via the western entrance to our stay in West Yellowstone . After a refreshing shower we enjoy a nice meal in one of the restaurants and then talk some more about what we had seen. Another small warning to anyone ever comes to this region: provide you a product at the mosquitoes, because these creatures are flying around with thousands and even stabbing through your shirt. In itself, a mosquito bite nothing compared to what these types of mosquitoes: the small wound grows into a fire red bump on your body these days enormously itchy. You will be simply crazy!

Montana ~ Wyoming

Day 8 Monday, 30/06/2008: West Yellowstone Jackson 202 km / 3:31 pm
Today is not that far away, so we do not all have to leave early. We must always have an end through Yellowstone Park to exit through the south side. You also notice that the weekend is over, because the number of cars in the park is significantly less than the previous days. Yet we must keep still forced a stop, because a large male bison standing with his offspring staring middle of the road to the cars that stop them unconscious. Fortunately they already go back to the fields after 5 minutes and we get the opportunity to make a beautiful picture. An hour later we drive outside the park and are located in the beautiful Grand Teton National Park , an offshoot of Yellowstone Park. The panoramic route along the Jenny Lake we pass several glaciers and pine forests. It may here from September to May are very cool and summer does not here very long, though we should not complain, because since our arrival in the US will prevail all day long heat wave in this region, so the air conditioning in the car ever cool air to blow. In this area one does the most to mountaineering, trekking, hiking, fishing, boating and horseback riding. Just past Jackson Lake Lodge , we drive to a narrow road in Signal Mountain . It is very steep all the way at the top and at the end of the road you have one of the finest views of all the mountains and lakes of this park. Afterwards, back down to near one of the finest viewpoints in the park that you often find on postcards, the Cathedral Group Turnout . Here you can see the highest mountain in the park, Grand Teton , with a height of 4170 meters. Just before we Moose reach the end of this panoramic route, we pass Menor's Ferry Historic Site and the Chapel of the Transfiguration . Through the window of the chapel you enjoy a magnificent view of the mountains, although this is not used to us because slowly but surely draws the dark clouds together and we see several lightning strike in the mountains. There is likely to be a serious storm, so we forced further drive to our destination for today, the town of Jackson . It counts ± 8,500 inhabitants, both in winter and in summer very popular for various activities (skiing, rodeo, etc.). The Town Square is the most popular place of the city, with the famous Million Dollar Cowboy Bar , the numerous shops with wooden sidewalks and a huge arch of elk antlers . Imagine yourself here actually in a really small town in the wild west, where only the streets with asphalt covered instead of the original sand. The numerous lovely shops indicate that there are very many tourists. We overnight at the motel Painted Buffalo Inn .

Wyoming Idaho ~ ~ Utah

Day 9 Tuesday 01/07/2008: Jackson Salt Lake City 435 km / 6:43 pm
From Jackson we drive to Alpine Junction, through a beautiful Caribou National Forest and take a piece over the Snake River. Through Montpelier , in the state of Idaho, we pass the lake " Bear Lake ", a true angler's paradise, and continue towards Logan in the state of Utah. The whole route is an official "scenic road", part of the historic Oregon Trail who led the first adventurers westward, through high rocky cliffs, narrow canyons and narrow rivers, very varied and enjoyable to drive. At Brigham City , we follow the motorway I-15 South, which through Salt Lake City runs and us to the center brings to our next stay at Best Western Garden Inn Salt Lake City . The city lies in a wide valley, at 1320m above sea level, surrounded by the rugged peaks of the Wasatch Mountains and the Great Salt Lake , one of the largest salt lakes in the world. Salt Lake City was founded in 1847 by the Mormon leader Brigham Young and has since become the global headquarters of the religion, " The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints . We are therefore timely to our destination, so we have enough time to visit Temple Square , the location of the Salt Lake Temple of the Mormons. This is the main attraction of the city with the majestic temple and the large "Tabernacle" in which the world-famous Mormon Choir brings his performances. Often there at the end of the morning concerts, the huge church organ with more than 12,000 pipes, one of the largest in the world. A walk through the visitor center introduces us with the teaching of the Mormons as well as their beautiful paintings and sculptures upon them that they exhibit here. After the visit we drive up the hill to take a look at the state capitol , the capitol of the state of Utah, based in its capital, Salt Lake City. This building was founded in 1896 and houses a wonderful collection of sculptures and paintings.


Day 10 Wednesday, 07/02/2008: Salt Lake City Moab 373 km / 5:20 pm
The today to make route is fairly easy route with few highlights, which we drive directly to our next destination. From the highway I-15 South Drive to Price and then via Highway 6 from Assistant to Green River , cataloged a way as "scenic highway" and quite enjoyable to drive. Near Green River towards Cresent Junction and Grand Junction, to track down exit 180 passing through the center of Moab is our destination today. Just before the town take our stay for the next two nights, very pleasant motel Aarchway Inn . Here, the heat wave is really palpable, with more than 40 ° C in the shade for everyone too much. Fortunately, there is air conditioning throughout and it is within most enjoyable. To visit the parks, it is already too late, so we decide to go to the information center in town visiting and ask them what we can do to get this day. Moreover, we already today have covered enough kilometers and tomorrow to visit the whole day for the parks. A boat trip on the Colorado river is also possible, but everything was already booked for tonight. Moreover, there are also such small but exciting mosquitoes, those clothes through you deliver large and itchy bites which we take a trip on the river front views. A flight over this area also seemed impossible and moreover very expensive, so we limited ourselves only to visit the town of Moab itself. This heat was what you did already tiring, so we visited but the shops where the air conditioner running at full strength and it was somewhat bearable. The slightly cooler and time for a nice terrace was towards evening. Back at the motel we took a dip in the pool and a refreshing shower. Another day passed in the cozy America.


Day 11 Thursday 03/07/2008: Moab
We have breakfast in time so we visited the Arches National Park can begin while the temperature is still bearable. This nature, barely 3km from the motel, is best known for its arches (arches) in sandstone, caused by water that is collected in cracks and holes and the sandstone slowly wears away. Bit by bit he peels off, until the rock is completely pink. In the park you will find almost two thousand Arches. At the entrance of the park, near the park office, you get all the information you need. Since you with shade nowhere places in the park, the average temperature rises in summer to above 40 ° C, making it advises not to walk during the afternoon, the hottest part of the day and the sun is at its highest is about. From the entrance starts the 68 km long "scenic drive", along which you will find all the important viewpoints and panoramas. The road goes between Courthouse Towers by, huge vertical red sandstone walls. Further on you pass Balanced Rock, where you wonder how the stone remains. The unpaved road on to the The windows, the main arches of the park as Double Arch. At the parking lot begins the trail to Delicate Arch , the most famous of the park, and is displayed on the license plates of cars from the state of Utah. Around noon we round off our visit to this park and ride in first return to the center of Moab, to provide us with bottled water and fresh food. A little refill the fuel tank, the windows clean and we head to the Canyonlands National Park , a 15km of Moab. This 1350 km2 park includes a unique wild area around the confluence of the Green River and Colorado. During millions of years of erosion have created a beautiful landscape with countless canyons, natural bridges and arches, mesas and rock formations. From Hwy 191 is still several kilometers away through high rocks down to the junction with the designation to Dead Horse Point State Park to come, which is part of the Canyonlands area. Just before the Visitor Center, you can find the way to Island in the Sky and the Mesa Trail to the stunning Grandview Point. The Canyonlands National Park itself can be reached by driving straight at the fork, so you can drive through the "scenic drive" at two places through the vast canyons: "Upheaval Dome" and "Grand View Point Overlook." The park is so big and vast that you reach for the other viewpoints you have all the way back to Hwy 191 and through other park entrances there only hit. It is already an ordeal to visit a viewpoint in this heat, which you already trying to sit back in the cool car after 10 minutes. We love it even in this three hour long distance covered and go back to the motel for a refreshing dip in the pool. Tonight we treat ourselves once in a typical T-bone in nearby steakhouse. In this way, Son may also drink a beer without them afterwards by car to drive, because in the state of Utah it is very strict when you're with alcohol at the wheel. The day is almost over again.

Utah ~ Colorado

Day 12 Friday 04/07/2008: Moab Durango 260 km / 4:18 pm
We are very curious what we're experiencing today. It's July 4th, the US national holiday ( Independence Day ) and the American patriotism knowing we can expect various festivities on our trip. We leave Moab and just past La Sal Junction we can make a photo stop at the Wilson Arch and Looking Glass Rock , both still in the Canyonlands National Park region. About 19 km away, where the left side of the runway Church Rock state, you can right to " The Needles ", the most rugged and wild region of Canyonlands National Park which is accessible with a normal car. This, however, is similar to the park visit what we already did yesterday and must always return via the same route. The only point of interest that may be worthwhile to visit your reach to ride on some 16 kilometers by road to " Newspaper Rock ", an impressive rock formation with hundreds of petroglyphs of ± 2000 years old, most still do not be deciphered. We prefer to let this literally right place and continue our way to Cortez , a typical small town with ± 7000 inhabitants. Our suspicions were correct, and because of the national holiday loves it here too a parade, which involves all official service cars, fully decked in American colors and lots of flags. We should like all the others put our car on the side and let the procession passing by, who reads honking, sirens blaring slowly pulls through the city, under the watchful eye of hundreds of people with American flags. We create the necessity than just a virtue and pushing occasionally but once on the horn of our car, matter of sympathetic come across ... Half an hour later we can again continue our journey and reach a good 15 km Cortez beyond the (only) access to the unique Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado. It is the only National Park in America where it is not about nature, but to the history of the ancient inhabitants. About 1500 years ago, Indians established a group on a dense plateau in the southwest of the state of Colorado. The name of this area, Mesa Verde means "green table". In the south of this area are a lot of ravines, where the Indians in sheltered places have built cliff dwellings. Towards the end of the 13th century, they left their settlements down yet unexplained reasons, which they left many of their personal belongings. The rock settlements and other early traces of human habitation in this area, among the most extensive and best preserved archaeological discoveries across America. Some of the settlements may only be visited with guidance. This unique park is since 1906 in the oldest national parks in the US and since 1978 by the UNESCO officially recognized as a World Heritage Site (World Heritage). From the entrance you arrive after 4 miles at Morefield Village, where you'll find a campsite, a shop, a petrol station and an amphitheater. Here are regularly organized activities. The distance between Morefield Village and the Far View Visitor Center is 6 miles. You'll meet three viewpoints at the Montezuma Valley Overlook, Park Point and North Rim Overlook. Park Point is located on a short side road, and is 2,621 meters the highest point in the park. There is a fire watchtower, where you have a 360º view of portions of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona. Throughout America, this tower is one of the places that is most often struck by lightning. At the Far View Visitor Center are restaurants, a hotel and a petrol station. The road splits into two, the Wetherill Mesa Road is to the southwest of the park, and the Ruins Road to the southeast. Both area's organized tours, where to buy tickets here first. If it is busy, the tickets can get sold out quickly. We drive through the Ruins Road to the southeast, toward Chapin Mesa. A little further you can down a short side road to the Far View Ruins which you can visit without guidance. 10 km further you can link to the Far View Visitor Center. At the end of this road you can see the remains of the Cedar Tree Tower, built in the Classic Period (built in 1300) and almost always in combination with a kiva. Just past the exit to the Cedar Tree Tower you come to a junction where you left the Ruins Road and go right to the Headquarters and Museum Area. In this part of the park you'll find the Chapin Mesa Museum, where the history of Mesa Verde central. Every hour will also be shown a film. Near the museum are a snack bar, a gift shop, a bookshop and a post office. There are also toilets here. Just like most viewpoints of the park includes the Headquarters and Museum Area one-way traffic. You will get back to the junction where you turn right now to go to the Ruins Road. You'll come soon with a fork. Straight ahead you can go to the Mesa Top Loop Road, the last section of the road is a long loop. From the road you can see several pithouses and Cliff Dwellings, but to take a short walk to some viewpoints, you must first. Turn left, go to the Cliff Palace Loop Road, which is also the last part of the road is a long loop. You can see five Cliff Dwellings, two under the supervision of a Ranger. First you reach the lookout at Sun Temple. This building has probably never had a roof, one suspects that the construction is stopped abruptly when the Pueblo Indians left the area. Sun Temple is central with respect to the other Cliff Dwellings and was likely not intended for residential purposes, but as a ceremonial space for the different strains. This would be the largest ceremonial room at Mesa Verde. Directly off this vantage point you will, after a short walk, at a point where you have a very good view of Cliff Palace, the largest and best known of Mesa Verde. At this point also gather people who have booked a guided tour of Cliff Palace and Balcony House. Both places are just to visit on foot and under supervision. From the entrance of the park to here the more than 48 km was driving and we decided to drive back and continue our way to Durango , our destination today. The city name comes from the Basque word "Urango ', meaning' city of water means. It is a picturesque town in the southwest of the State of Colorado, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. A very attractive place in which the typical "Western" atmosphere of being previously stored in include the fully restored main street. Moreover Durango still one of the few American cities where the kind of places exist where the miners at that time destitute came out. You can also enjoy a lot of ragtime and other country & western tunes. The atmosphere is always very boisterous and especially on Saturday nights there is a lot to experience. We stayed at the motel Holiday Inn Durango . On the occasion of the national holiday, moreover, was our offered a pleasant and spectacular ending to this day in the form of a huge fireworks display over the city. As in all American cities, the population will be treated to this sound and light show and we were on the terrace of our room this happen pretty sight. A nice surprise ...


Day 13 Saturday 05/07/2008: Durango-Gunnison 300km / 5:20 pm
The first part of today to take scenic route passes through the San Juan National Forest and slowly but surely we rise to an altitude of 3635 m as we are about the Red Mountains Pass draw. The Silverton Train also follow this route from Durango to the town of Silverton , which as its name suggests mainly rich in the mining of silver. After the pass we reach the town of Ouray , also known as the "Switserland of America", where you have the Box Canyon Falls encounters. A sudden thunderstorm and torrential rain prevent stop there to take us, so we forced to continue our journey to Montrose . From here we drive to Gunnison and get a few kilometers away at the entrance of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park , the second smallest National Park in America and one of the steepest, darkest and most rugged canyons of USA, formed by the Gunnison River. The walls are predominantly black in color and the gap is more than 600 meters deep, no more than 450 meters wide in most places. The canyon seems extra dark because sunlight has little chance to shine on the walls and was originally 80 kilometers long, but the construction of three dams has meant that a large part is flooded. Only 20 kilometers of the canyon is still in its original state, but this section does include the deepest and most beautiful piece. The access road runs through an area with a lot of bushes and climbing over a distance of approximately 12 km to an altitude of over 2500 meters. Within the park this way is called the South Rim Road, which is 8 miles long and 12 has several viewpoints. It takes ± 2 hours to visit this side of the park. Just past the park border you come to the first two viewpoints: Tomichi Point and Gunnison Point. At the latter viewpoint is the Visitor Center. At this point, the canyon is only 350 meters wide. The walls are very steep, the rocks astonishing pointed. Ahead you'll successively at Pulpit Rock Overlook, Cross Fissures View, Rock Point, Devils Lookout, Chasm View, Painted Wall View and Cedar Point. Only Chasm View and Painted Wall View are located directly on the road. The other viewpoints can be reached only on foot. Then you reach the end of the South Rim Road is the place High Point Overlook, where the canyon is shallower and wider. Back to the park entrance you can through the dead-end side street East Portal Road with many sharp bends down to the Gunnison Diversion Dam in the Curecanti National Recreational Area. You will find a ranger station, a picnic area and a campsite. The north side of the canyon is accessible only by unpaved but passable North Rim Road. This path begins at the eastern end of Crawford State Recreation Area, near the town of Crawford. The canyon walls here are almost vertical, and the view of the canyon here is even more impressive than from the south side. We are forced to abort our visit to this park because of a heavy thunderstorm and heavy rains. But then continue along the panoramic Curecanti National Recreation Area , known for it will be water sports facilities and a 100 km to Gunnison and make it move into the Best Western Tomichi Village Inn . The town is not very touristy and has a few shops, restaurants and cafes. After dinner we remain but quiet chat room about what we saw today and what is still on the program.


Day 14 Sunday, 06/07/2008: Gunnison-Denver 400 km / 6:21 pm
We leave Gunnison direction Salida to Cañon City , the main stop of the day. This city is mainly known for its famous landmark, the Royal Gorge Bridge . This suspension bridge, 330 meters above the Arkansas River, is known as the highest suspension bridge in the world. The bridge spans the gorge where the Royal Gorge Railroad is located, built next to the riverbed. The bridge was built in six months in 1929 and was then a toll bridge to one lane. She served until now as a tourist attraction and its construction costed $ 350,000. In the surrounding Royal Gorge Park that you will hit many other attractions, among which the highest cable car, the steepest cable car and several heartbreaking "rides". Definitely worthy of a visit. Afterwards we drove through Penrose and Colorado Springs to Denver , our final destination of our trip. We took up residence again in the Comfort Inn Denver , where we stayed the first night and now will be our last two nights in the US. Along the way we got to endure some heavy rain which we sometimes walking pace could drive on the highway. Apparently there's an end to the nice weather of the past two weeks, though in Denver back nice warm weather with a beautiful blue sky. The storms apparently hang around the Rocky Mountains, where you have a very nice view from the city. We walk tonight around in the vicinity, go have dinner and conclude the evening with a visit to the local live jazz club Jazz @ Jack's . As this kind of music is not exactly our favorite genre, yet you stand amazed at what these musicians be playing. Simply superb!


Day 15 Monday 07/07/2008: Denver
Denver since 1876 the capital of the State of Colorado and lies at the eastern foot of the Rocky Mountains . It was originally a city of gold miners and had 566 974 population in 2006. This Denver is the 26th US city the nickname of the city is "The Mile High City" because the city exactly one mile (1609.344 m) above is the sea level. The weather in the vicinity of the town is mainly determined by the Rocky Mountains and compared with the other surrounding valleys mild climate often unpredictable. Which we encounter when we get up and it's raining. Then we go but to the covered part of the 16th Street Mall , the pedestrian shopping street in the center of town. Throughout this mall driving only electric powered buses where you as much as you want for free can use it. Das only public transport! You can also visit the town from here by horse and carriage. By noon, the sun again plenty of party and we walk through the beautiful cozy and very neat town, including the beautiful area surrounding the state capitol , the capitol of the state of Colorado. From here you have a beautiful panorama of the city and the various skyscrapers rising high. Furthermore, we do it very quiet today, because we drove a lot in recent weeks and daily long distances they have to bridge. Especially the latter were perhaps just a little too much, if you simply can not help but to visit the beautiful sights in the region. It is typical of the Midwest that the important places hundreds of kilometers apart and often endless roads between them have little to offer beyond a look at the vast landscape. You can imagine how long they are then sent over to pull through these areas on horseback in search of new horizons in the far west. This extra day is also very much welcome the luggage what to redeploy our journey tomorrow.


Day 16 Tuesday 08/07/2008: Denver-Brussels 10:00
We have all the time because our flight was only at 17:45 am. First quiet breakfast, pack the suitcase and place it in the lobby, check-out and loading the car for the last time. Around 11 am we set the navigation system in the direction of the car rental company near the airport. You have to unload everything and normally ride the shuttle n ear the terminal, but the friendly gentleman who adopts the car for receipt, our decision soon as himself to drive up there, so we do not have to drag everything. Badger pass service! We are immediately at the check our airline Lufthasa off and can to our surprise already dropping off our luggage, which we handed over our ticketten for the return flight. And at 12 pm, more than 6 hours before departure! A pleasant experience that we experience for the first time. Perhaps operation of Denver International Airport , which built here only since 1995, the cause of this. In any case, the point where one can best on many other airports in envy. Once through customs and security we can quite relaxed stroll around the various shops of the airport building. Meanwhile, pulls out the cloud itself back together and it is very dark. A heavy storm breaks out over Denver and several flights to be diverted to another airport. Miraculously clears again around the time our flight to land and may as planned boarding and takeoff. The first 30 minutes of the flight, we suffer a lot of turbulence, but once informed everything goes smoothly and we set sail for Europe. Goodbye America, Belgium, here we come ...