2007 Canyons and Deserts of the Southwest

  • Grand Canyon Nat'l Park •
  • Santa Fe • Taos •
  • Bryce & Zion Nat'l Parks •
  • The Painted Desert •
  • Colorado River Float Trip •
  • Oak Creek Canyon • Sedona •


  • If the thought of marveling at Monument Valley, chowin' down at an old fashioned "Western" Ho-Down, peering with awe into the Grand Canyon, or riding the Durango & Silverton Rail brings a sparkle to your eye, this may be the perfect vacation for you. With its canyons, deserts, and stone monoliths of unmatched natural beauty, the Southwestern United States has been the backdrop for hundreds of "Westerns" that dramatized the life of the cowboy hero. And as an added bonus, we'll enjoy a multitude of bridge tournaments with local players throughout New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona.

    Dates: September 21 to October 4, 2007 - 14 days
    Cost: $3,492.00 (land only)


    Tour Schedule
    Day 1 Albuquerque to Santa Fe, NM
      Greetings! You will be met at the Albuquerque Airport by our staff and transferred to our wonderful southwest hotel in Santa Fe. Tonight you’re invited to join Fred, our guides, and fellow travelers for cocktails followed by a Welcome Dinner.
    Hotel: El Dorado Hotel and Spa
    Meal(s): , Dinner
    Day 2 Santa Fe, NM
      Today we’ll tour Santa Fe by an open air tram ride including the Palace of Governors built in 1610, St. Francis Cathedral and the Loretto Chapel, a miniature of Saint-Chapelle in Paris. Enjoy a stroll through the Indian Market to shop for native arts and crafts and buy directly from the Indians who create them. What a delightful day here in New Mexico's capital city.
    Hotel: El Dorado Hotel and Spa
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner

      Kay Enfield and local players welcome us to the Santa Fe Country Club tonight as we enjoy dinner and bridge with our New Mexican hosts. We have requested an authentic meal that is not too spicy!
    Day 3 Santa Fe to Taos, NM
     

    Taos Pueblo
    After a leisurely morning in Santa Fe we drive north to visit Chimayo, the home of the Native American weavers. We continue on to Taos Pueblo where Taos Indian guides take us through this ancient structure still functioning today. Taos is a little village, which has been inhabited by pueblo Indians for over 800 years. With Taos Mountain for a backdrop and its beautiful adobe dwellings, little has changed here since the first Spanish explorers arrived in 1540.
    Hotel: Holiday Inn Don Fernando Hotel
    Meal(s): Breakfast
    Day 4 Taos to Durango, CO
      We head for Durango this morning alongside the awesome Rio Grande Gorge, plunging 600 feet into the rolling rapids of the Rio Grande River. Crossing the Continental Divide, we arrive in the Old West mining town of Durango in time to enjoy the late afternoon at your leisure.
    Hotel: Doubletree Hotel
    Meal(s): Breakfast
    Day 5 Durango, CO
     

    Cliff dwellings of the Anasazi Indians (Mesa Verde N.P.)
    Our sightseeing continues today as we visit Mesa Verde National Park. A score of large canyons seam the mesa, and in the shelter of the hundreds of alcoves eroded in the cliffs are the world's largest and best preserved Indian cliff dwellings. These dwellings and pit houses were first inhabited by the Anasazi Indians, and were abandoned mysteriously in the late 1200's.
    Hotel: Doubletree Hotel
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner

     We are guests tonight of the friendly players in Durango. Enjoy dinner and bridge in one of the most beautiful places in all of Colorado.
    Day 6 Durango to Moab, UT
     

    Ride the historic Durango & Silverton Narrow
    Gauge Railroad.
    It’s "All aboard" this morning for a ride on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. This delightful trip takes us through the Colorado Rockies between Durango and Silverton. The rugged peaks, alpine meadows, and crystal lakes take us back to the early days of the West, when mountain men searched this untouched land for beaver. Upon arrival in Silverton, we’ll have time to browse this wild west town before venturing into Utah.
    Hotel: Moab Valley Inn
    Meal(s): Breakfast
    Day 7 Moab, UT
     

    Dead Horse Point
    After breakfast at Smitty’s, canyon country beckons us as we arrive at fascinating Arches National Park. Along with more than 200 arches, there are many red-rock canyons, spires, fins and balancing rocks. We will continue on to Canyonlands National Park. Canyonlands is the Wild West: rugged, wide open, a land with a past. Many filmmakers have chosen this area for their backdrop. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch viewing these stone fantasies from the most famous vantage point of all - Dead Horse Point.
    Hotel: Moab Valley Inn
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch

     Get ready, tonight, for bridge just with "our own group" of hardy travelers. There aren't any sanctioned bridge games out here. We are in the middle of nowhere.
    Day 8 Moab to Lake Powell, UT
      Our first destination today will be Monument Valley, the most filmed area in the entire West, reached by 4-wheel drive vehicles. We will revel at the isolated monoliths of red sandstone as they tower as much as 1,000 feet above the valley floor. After a Navajo taco lunch at Goulding’s, we’ll head for Glen Canyon Dam, the last dam constructed to tame the mighty Colorado River. We’ll overnight at the famous Wahweap Marina with spectacular views of Lake Powell and the dam itself right at our feet.
    Hotel: Lake Powell Resort
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch
    Day 9 Lake Powell to Kanab, UT
     

    Our Colordao River float trip on pontoon rafts.
    Be prepared for excitement today. After a leisurely morning, we’ll head for an in-depth tour of Glen Canyon Dam. Following a break for lunch, we’ll load special vehicles to descend the steep walls of Glen Canyon to base camp on the Colorado River. Here our river guides will help us load pontoon rafts and begin our exciting float trip down the mighty Colorado River for thrills and super-natural beauty. Don’t forget your camera! Then it is on to Hollywood! (Little Hollywood, that is...) Kanab. This area has been the setting for 50+ major motion pictures since the 1930's. This evening, enjoy an exceptional western cookout with a very special surprise!
    Hotel: Shilo Inn
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner
    Day 10 Kanab, UT
     

    Bryce National Park
    Today our sights are set on Bryce and Zion. As we turn north again, we pass through Red Canyon to enter Bryce Canyon National Park. Time and nature have created thousands of pillars (called "hoodoos") and rocky temples, all whimsically arranged in a huge amphitheater. The Paiute Indian name for the area translates as "red rocks standing like men in a bowl-shaped canyon." After a short lunch break at Ruby’s, we’re off for Zion National Park, unique among other parks in the West, with sheer narrow canyons, dramatic buttes and mesas, as well as soaring monoliths that an early explorer called "temples." We’ve made dinner reservations at the Zion Lodge – a relaxing dinner for all to reflect on this dramatic day.
    Hotel: Shilo Inn
    Meal(s): Breakfast
    Day 11 Kanab to Grand Canyon, AZ
     

    The awe-inspiring Grand Canyon
    The days of cowboys and Indians come alive as we enter the Navajo Indian Reservation of Northeastern Arizona. We will stop for lunch at Cameron’s Trading Post. At the Trading Post, authentic Indian jewelry, blankets, and other craft items produced by the Navajo are available. Browse for a while before we drive on to the granddaddy of them all - Grand Canyon National Park. Accommodations tonight are at the Maswick Lodge - North, in the heart of Grand Canyon's South Rim.
    Hotel: Maswik Lodge
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch

     Be prepared for fun and games tonight - the subject is bridge. Tour host, Fred Theurkauf, has planned a bridge event for Novices and Life Masters alike – right on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
    Day 12 Grand Canyon to Sedona, AZ
     

    Cathedral Rock in Oak Creek Canyon
    Look into the Grand Canyon and find yourself mesmerized - maybe by its grandeur, maybe by its color, or maybe by the unbelievable realization that its vastness is the result of nothing more than simple erosion! On this morning's guided tour, we will make many photography stops to capture the canyon in all its glory. After lunch, we will continue through Northern Arizona and into Oak Creek Canyon. This canyon is known for its spectacularly colored white, yellow and red cliffs dotted with foliage, as well as home to mountain lions, raccoons, ring-tailed cats, and hundreds of varieties of birds. Sedona is our final stop today.
    Hotel: Radisson's Poco Diablo Resort
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner

     Tonight we are honored guests of Sedona bridge players organized by Peter Wahl. Local players will join us for a fancy buffet-style dinner and bridge evening right at the Poco Diablo Resort.
    Day 13 Sedona, AZ
      Set off for Jerome, a historic old mining town. This “billion dollar Copper Camp,” located high on the side of Cleopatra Hill, once had a population of over 15,000. When the mine was closed in 1953, Jerome became a virtual ghost town. Enjoy spectacular views and renovated cobblestone streets and structures that house art galleries, restaurants, and gift shops. We’ll return to Sedona where you can take a trolley from our hotel into town for shopping and browsing.

    Sedona is situated amid the red-hued rocks of Oak Creek Canyon and is a thriving mecca for art lovers and collectors. You can browse and shop at all the wonderful stores in town, then head to Tlaquepaque, a Mexican/Spanish-style village, with specialty shops featuring pottery, sculptures, painting, and jewelry.

    Tonight, Fred Theurkauf invites you to a grand Farewell cocktails & dinner party. This special evening will be a lively finale to a great vacation as we recount fond memories of our trip and toast to many new friends.
    Hotel: Radisson's Poco Diablo Resort
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner
    Day 14 Sedona to Phoenix, AZ
     

    Scenic Sedona
    Fly home from Phoenix this afternoon knowing, not only that you have seen some of nature's most incredible masterpieces, but that you have made many new friends with whom to share your memories.
    Meal(s): Breakfast


    Your 14-Day Package Includes

     First class air-conditioned motor coach transportation

     Twin or double bedded first class hotel accommodations

     22 meals – 13 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 6 dinners

     Professional tour guides throughout; all entry fees


     Airport transfers, porterage, and hotel service charges

     5 bridge sessions, including card fees, prizes, and quizzes


    Click here for a full-color brochure.