|Main Page||Ken's Page||Nieka's Page||Wedding Page||Remote Grinnellian||Utah Travelog||Olympic Travelog||Europe Travelog||Australia Travelog|
|Zion National Park|
|Bryce National Park|
|Zion National Park|
|Coral Pink Dunes, Cedar Breaks and the Vermilion Cliffs|
|Grand Canyon North Rim|
|Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell|
|Navajo National Monument, Monument Valley, and Natural Bridges|
|Arches National Park|
|Canyonlands National Park|
|Arches and the Drive to Park City|
|Utah Olympic Park|
|Park City and Olympic Cauldron Park|
|2002 Winter Olympics|
Welcome to our Western adventure! We created this travelogue to share our trip with family, friends, and random surfers who just happen by. Initially, we'd considered spending two weeks in France and Italy; however, the state of current affairs at the time we needed to start planning prompted us to change course. We realized that there is a wealth of travel opportunities right here at home. Although Ken had visited several of the National Parks as an adolescent, Nieka had never been to this part of the country (our trip to the 2002 Winter Olympics excepted). We were both awed by the incredible beauty and uniqueness of each of the parks. Apparently, people from other countries (especially Japan) already know this; we often found ourselves the only native English speakers within earshot.
Not being terribly athletic, we wondered whether we'd be able to hike and climb enough to take full advantage of the parks' offerings. We needn't have worried. The Park Service does an outstanding job of rating the trails and hikes -- often underestimating their strenuousness. With a moderate amount of exertion, we were able peer down into cavernous canyons and come face-to-face with a big horned sheep. Now that we've tested our abilities, we're eager to go back to tackle some of the more ambitious trails.
As we re-enter a real life without mountain vistas and awesome red rock formations, we agree that this was our best trip yet. After four years together, we're getting into a nice "travel-planning groove." Ken does the big-picture planning and organizing, making airline, car, and hotel reservations and setting up the general itinerary. Nieka handles the "on the ground" details, scouring Fodor's and the web to schedule daily activities, to find the best restaurants (and the tastiest microbrews!), etc. Although our trips to Europe, the Olympics, and Hawaii are unforgettable, we both feel that this trip -- more than any other -- allowed us to spend quality time together in breath-taking settings. Sharing incredible natural beauty made for an incredibly fulfilling vacation.
We hope you enjoy our travelogue. Feel free to e-mail us if you have questions or comments!
Ken and Nieka