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American Dream Holiday
By Georgie & John
USA 2008What a privilege to have the opportunity to go the States and visit five of them in one go:- Colorado, South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah and back to Colorado.

Well that was the opportunity that John and I had, when Wendy and Geraint asked us if we would like to do the American Dream holiday with them this year, as they needed another driver for a second vehicle because they had eight guests wanting to do the American Dream, this year around the American Rockies.

We had no expectation of how it was to be, but it stretched our own travel experience limitations to the point where we are already planning to go again next year on our own, to explore more of the USA – complete with sat-nav. (her ladyship!!) - the best & most intelligent way to get around.

However, our first encounter with ‘her ladyship’ who happened to be of an earlier softwear version than the one Geraint had in his car, proceeded to give us different direction from the airport to the Loews Hotel, Denver, to the ones that Geraint’s lady was obviously giving him, combined with now driving a left-handed drive vehicle on the left hand side of the road, trying to sort out the various controls, eg., seat adjustment, window openings, lights etc., then launching off immediately into the busy Denver night time traffic, frozen because the drivers’ window was fully open till we stopped at the diner!!!!. The result was, that we were directed to Mississippi Ave, West instead of East!!!! (Could that actually have been Geraint’s mistake, not her Ladyship, who only takes orders!!)

Georgie managed to find a lovely black guy, called Tracey, who was in the local diner when asking for directions. Bless him, he took us to the hotel with us following his pick up, arriving half an hour after the other vehicle. Geraint pacing at the door wondered if he would ever see us again!!!

That was probably the most testing moment of the whole two weeks.

USA 2008The rest of the holiday was an absolute joy, a dream. An amazing journey where we experienced a feast of sights and delights for all the senses.

Millions of years old canyons and mountains, mouth-watering sunsets over Yellowstone Lake, geysers and hot springs that shrouded the whole group in steam;the two weeks bathed in glorious sunshine; awesome views of snow-capped mountains; rugged red sandstone rocks soaring thousands of feet directly above our heads; looking into deep canyons with white water rapids racing through the gorges; the first experience of having lunch in a wayside gas station with the truckers in their own diner; driving along with huge balls of tumble weed bouncing along the road; driving a magnificent automatic vehicle along hundreds of miles of wide open road, taking in awesome scenery never viewed before; the amazing sight of yellow freight trains slowly shunting along from one of the many coal mines; the happy group in our vehicle, singing along with USA 2008Elvis and many others in between the numerous pit-stops that were necessary when covering such mammoth distances; black and brown bears padding alongside Geraint’s vehicle in the bear park; four presidents heads looking out at Mount Rushmore; driving through towns with evocative names that brought back memories from old cowboy movies, Sundance, Cody, Cheyenne, Buffalo, Dayton, Lovell, Victor; prairies with herds of bison and horses grazing, elk & moose; their antlers making stunning chandeliers and door arches; the Rustic Inn at Jackson, Wyoming with its cute log cabins with pictures of cowboys and indians overhanging each of the huge double beds and its’ own pretty, meandering creek; in every hotel room the ubiquitous coffee maker, each one different, needing its own lesson in its’ usage; biscuits and gravy for breakfast served by a voluptuous Little Red Riding Hood and her side kick Batwoman on Halloween morning, and eggs over easy or sunny side up, one needed an interpreter to differentiate the many options; the Wal-Mart experience armed with hundreds of USA 2008dollars; the cowboy gear that was purchased, hats, waistcoats, shirts, belts and the wonderful authentic scene that was created by a passionate photographer in Jackson with all the group dressed up outside the Jackson Hole Saloon, how Michael transformed into Billy the Kid, Lionel into Wyatt Earp, Jane into Annie Oakley, Orett into Big Chief Sitting Bull, David into the Town Sheriff, Michael as the shrewd, prosperous bank manager, Sylvia looking every inch of a gracious lady, James as Doc Holliday - an extremely enjoyable morning videoed by Geraint; negotiating our way hairily around the Salt Lake City road system – a nail biting experience; the unexpected out of town settlements in the middle of nowhere and the domestic trailer parks; the modest motels compared to our luxurious hotels; the huge gleaming trucks and battered pickups which frequently thundered passed us on the highway; the delight of Michael Garmans' ‘Magic Town’ in Old Colorado City’s Main Street complete with mind-blowing holograms; buffalo burgers & fries not chips!!; being there for the election of the first black president, “Hail ‘Barack Obama, the new Mr President,’” the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway museum – how did they build those tracks and bridges with no mechanical help? the Mesa Verde National Park, home of the Ancestral USA 2008Puebloans with their cliff dwellings, how did they build their homes with no mechanical help???????? etc., etc., etc., etc.,

Magic, totally awesome, over 3000 miles covered, five states, hundreds of photographs taken, incredible irreplaceable memories, great fun & company, what an amazing feast of sights and delights for the senses,
what a dream of holiday!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you,