Archive for June, 2021

My wife and I have always enjoyed a road trip and while I was Arkansas Tourism Director, I became even more aware of their significance … personally and to the huge Tourism Industry. Virtually every state now lays out suggested routes for one, two or three day trips within their respective state borders.

Clearly, we enjoy new routes in our home state of Arkansas but this year Arkansas was the starting point and ending spot. As I recap nearly three weeks … 4500 miles, 10 states, 10 different motels, 7 nights in a VRBO and one night with friends, it seems a bit overwhelming … sure travel can be tiring … but it was awesome!

I’ll save you some of the early details and focus on the target destinations. However, I must mention one of our favorite restaurants along the route … Napoli’s Italian Restaurant … in downtown Amarillo, Texas. It’s worth a night in Amarillo just for a meal at Napoli’s.

Now for some photos

For this blog, I’m trying something new and different … a slideshow. As a reference, it follows our route … Chaco Canyon, Monument Valley, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon North Rim, Jackson Hole, Grand Teton, Casper/Cheyenne, Wy and Lawrence, Ks. So, click on the arrow and take the road trip with two Arkansas travelers …

I must comment on Chaco Canyon … not the easiest place to get to but well worth it. It is located in New Mexico between Albuquerque and Farmington … washboard dirt road for roughly 20 miles. On the road in, i spotted the horses … i think they are wild horses … that’s what I am saying regardless. I really lucked out on this photo because they were close together and when I hollered at them the perked up, separated a little, looked straight at me and I took the shot.

Chaco is a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site dating back 800 – 1200 years.

After a day at Chaco Canyon, we spent the night in Farmington, New Mexico and then on to Monument Valley. This was a special treat. Not only is it one of the most beautiful spots in the West, it has a hotel and small cabins … very small but adequate. Plus, the cabins overlook the valley of natural monuments and we were able to experience sunset and sunrise … truly amazing!

From Monument Valley we drove thru Page, Az. … FYI, Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Canyons were closed due to Covid ,,, and on to Kanab, Ut. where we set up base camp for a week and took day trips to Zion, Bryce and the Canyon Rim. each of which has a photo in the above slide show.

From Kanab, we went to Ogden, Ut., Idaho Falls and then to Jackson Hole … a place of which I never tire. When we left Jackson we had a magical early morning drive along the Grand Teton Mountains. If you have not seen the Tetons … put it on your bucket list now. Always looking for animals, we spotted a moose … with my 400mm lens I captured a pretty decent shot (shown in the above slides).

Destination Casper, Wyoming was next … we spent two nights there enjoying a unique and beautiful Western City and dinner with the Director of Visit Casper discussing the 2017 Eclipse of the Sun. Casper has literally written the book on how to prepare for this once in a lifetime natural phenomena. Thanks to Brook Kaufman for helping Arkansas prepare for the April 8, 2024 total solar eclipse. I am helping Morrilton prepare. More about this at another posting.

Casper is definitely a city to which Patti and I will return … beautiful setting, great restaurants, active downtown, awesome museums such as the National Trails Interpretive Center featuring the history of settlement and transportation Westward.

I will wrap up by again stating how we enjoy road trips and how this was one of the best. So, pick a destination, plan a route or JUST LET IT HAPPEN.


As a little something extra, I have included the link to a musical slideshow I did on Vimeo. Take a look if you have an extra 3minutes and 22 seconds. Jimd

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