Colorado Wedding Road Trip

A Trip Through the Southwest


  Last Update: 20180521

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  Montezuma's Castle, Cottonwood, AZ
Sony A7RM3: 1/250 sec, ISO 100, 70mm at f/5.6
All photos copyright, Bill Caid 2018. All rights reserved.

The Trip

My niece's daughter, Rachel, announced her wedding which was to be held in Leadville, CO on April 28th.  After evaluating our alternatives for getting there, we concluded that the best option was to take Thor, our Mercedes 1017A camper.  Having just gotten back from three weeks in Argentina, we were still a bit disoriented, but loaded our stuff into the camper and headed out.  Our plan was to go from San Diego, CA to Leadville, CO via central Arizona, northwestern New Mexico and then transit into Colorado at Four Corners.  From there, we will visit our close friends Brad and Laura in Durango and then hop over several 11,000 foot passes to get to Leadville.

Tracking Our Location Via The SPOT

Some years ago, after a scary mechanical failure in the canyons and mesas of southern Utah, we decided that we need a better way to advertise our position and call for assistance if needed.  Kathleen found out about the SPOT which is a GPS locator that transmits your coordinates via satellite so that others can see your location.  The location is plotted on Google maps and a "bread crumb" feature is available for an additional fee.  We have the enhanced service, so you can see our historical path back 50 updates or so.  See our current location plotted on Google Maps in Real-Time via SPOT satellite geo-locator device.  This page is "book-markable" and is updated approximately every 15 minutes, but may miss updates due to inability of our transmitter to reach the satellite.  The communication is "open loop" so the device never knows if it's messages are actually going anywhere, it just keeps trying until the next update is available.  If we are in a congested urban area with high buildings (like Manhattan) or in deep canyons, the position may not update.  We try to send an "OK" message once a day just to let everyone know that we are, in fact, OK.  Given that this is a remote area and has many obstacles (like mountains), it is not clear how well this capability will perform.

Connecting and Contacting Us While on the Trip

Because of internet connectivity issues on a previous trip, we purchased a MiFi cell phone modem that allows us to connect nearly anywhere there is at least 3G service via cell phone (which is most of the cell phone service area available today).  But, as we all know, cell phones are useful many places, but not everywhere has coverage, particularly in the remote areas of the country and outlying territories.  Our phones and the modem are enabled daily so you may contact us, although it may take a few days for us to respond.  But, we will respond.  My email, spelled out, is "bcaid at yahoo dot com".

Trip Details

The link table below contains links to the photos and dialog for each of the days of the expedition.  This table will be updated as the trip progresses.  For this trip, the bulk of the photos were shot with my Sony A7RM3 with either a fully manual 35mm Voightlander, Sony 24-70 f/2.8, or Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 lens.

Links to Daily Adventures
Part Dates Adventure Locations
San Diego to Cottonwood, AZ
Verde Canyon Railroad, Cottonwood, AZ
Cottonwood, AZ to Cortez, NM
Durango, CO and Mesa Verde, CO
Hovenweep Ruin
Jimmy and Rachael's Leadville, CO Wedding
Leadville, CO to Canyon City, CO
Royal Gorge Railroad Excursion
Canyon City, CO to Dead Horse Point, UT
Canyonlands and Arches National Parks
Green River, UT to Escalante, UT
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
Zion National Park, UT to Flagstaff, AZ
Overland Expo, Flagstaff, AZ


Conclusions and Advice to Travelers

The American southwest is a big, big place.  In addition to plenty of miles between destinations, the weather can be very cold in the winter and really hot in the summer.  Our trip was on the cusp of summer and the weather oscillated between cold, windy and hot.  If you travel in the area, you should be prepared for extremes in the weather, particularly if you are traveling to high altitude.  Leadville, CO is at 10,100 feet and it can be quite cold at night, even in high summer.


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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2018, all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.