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I am an ardent blogger and a web enthusiast. My blogs include varied topics from the picturesque details of my travelogue to theology and worldly facts. My passions are reading English and Tamil classics, Management Topics, Playing Tennis and taking long walks. I live with my wife in Bangalore. Visit regularly my children in Michigan and Colorado to spend time with them and three grandsons. Please brief your opinions there in when you read my blog :-

Sunday, August 24, 2014

2014 U.S. Diary - Visiting Places of Tourist' Interest ( Part 1 )

2014 U.S. Diary - Visiting Places of Tourist’ Interest ( part 1 )
-  P.Natarajan, Camp: Canton MI

I am calling the tour as great as it was a complete family unit of Natarajans & Sekhars making it mostly by road and partly by flight and naturally the tour would stay in the memory for a long time to come. Long distance travelling in a convenient eight seater vehicle in the company of children and grandchildren is something special and dear to the parents. Further the  places visited are of importance and best known for the beauty and uniqueness. Aparna and Sekhar & Ajay and Ritu had meticulously planned the itinerary by way of selecting the places, reserving accommodation for stay, booking air tickets, etc., even before we left Bangalore in June.The plan  worked out well with God’s grace and we had a wonderful time together.

It was around 11A.M. we started our fortnight journey on July 30,2014 from Denver. We were seated comfortably in the Odyssey - a short puja for the vehicle was performed at start - Sekhar, our son-in-law took the wheels. Parvathy and Aparna started preparing the food stuff for the journey right from 5A.M. which included puri, potato, methi masala, puliyodharai, curd rice, papad, sandwiches, avocado and mint chutney. Sekhar got a new roof carrier ‘Thule’ fixed to the top of the vehicle and loaded the travel bags comfortably inside it. The house was made tidy before start. We drank vegetable juice along with a light breakfast before boarding the van. We had placed  lemons below the tyres as we do in India when we embark on a long journey, the boys (Vignesh & Karthik our grandsons) were curious to know the reason. We explained the same & after chanting ‘vanamali Gadi sarangi’ three times we started our road trip braving the heavy downpour .

(  Loading the luggage at start in the new roof carrier ‘THULE’  )

It was raining for at least 2 hours continuously on the highway.The road and traffic were orderly and Sekhar drove on for 180 miles non-stop at 60 to 70 miles per hour. We reached the first sightseeing location Glenwood Springs by 2.45 p.m. after crossing Eisenhower tunnel (built as early as 1979). and Silverthorne Mall. The Eisenhower Tunnel has the reputation of being the highest vehicular tunnel in the world with an elevation of 11158 feet above the sea level and 2,72 k.m. long.

In 2002, during our first visit to Denver, we purchased a travelling bag from this outlet mall which we were carrying during this trip. A coincidence!! There is another tunnel  Johnson Tunnel built around the same time which is used for return journey. Both Tunnels serve one way only

( Canon shot shows the vehicle passing through the “E” Tunnel )

Glenwood Springs was named  the ‘Most Fun Town’ in America by ‘USA TODAY’ -  its original name was ‘Defiance’. It was a camp of tents, saloons in 1883 when unhealthy practices were prevalent - a place where gamblers and gunslingers used to gather often. The scenario changed in the years to come and famous personalities like Teddy Roosevelt had spent an entire summer vacation in Colorado Hotel in Glenwood Springs. The G.Springs was one of the first places in U.S. to have electric lights. It also has a reputation as one of the most walkable towns in U.S. The area surrounding the Springs is contoured on all sides with numerous caves. We travelled through a scenic route through the mountains between Denver and Glenwood Springs.  Further the great Colorado river was flowing all along in line with the route which was a treat to the eyes.

 ( Colorado river flowing along the route was a treat to the eyes )

The Glenwood Springs is situated at the confluence of Colorado river and Roaring Fork river. Aspen and Vail which are famous for the scenic settings are near Glenwood Springs and naturally the place gets enhanced weightage for Tourists’ delight in U.S. Outdoor recreation opportunities abound the Springs include White Water rafting, Kayaking, Caving, Cycling, Rock-Climbing, Horseback Riding and so on.

We visited the Glenwood Caverns Adventure and Amusement Park - that is fun for all ages.


The park includes a roller-coaster & a giant carry-on swing which swings the riders out over the edge of Glenwood Canyon looking down the Colorado river @ 1300 feet below. We boarded the 4300 feet Gondola Ride at  Iron Mountain Station located in Glenwood Springs. The Tramway has a state of art of European gondola design, one of the first ever installed in U.S.  We experienced towering panoramic view of the spectacular Rocky Mountain Scenery as we skimmed over the tops of the trees up to the top of the Iron Mountain and the entrance to the Glenwood Caverns & Historic Fairy Caves. The tramway carries 6 riders in a fully enclosed Gondolas fitted with large clear glass windows for viewing the beauty of Nature and we enjoyed looking at the expanse of the clear blue sky. A point needs mention here that even motorised wheelchairs are accessible inside the gondolas.


(  picture showing us on the top of the Glenwood Springs - the spectacular Rocky Mountain View is behind. Karthik , Aparna’s younger son Karthik, seen holding the rails  in joy on the right. Others in the picture (L to R ): Parvathy, Natarajan and Aparna.  Glenwood Springs catalogue is in P’s hand. )
( What a view to behold  - cheese!! Sekha &, Vignesh are also seen in smiles in this picture.)

( Riders inside the Gondola)

After the thrill drive in the tramway, we got down from the Gondola and reached our car. We started driving till we found a fuelling station as we had to travel a further distance of about 250 miles to reach Moab in Utah. We had there ‘Java Ridge Arabica Coffee- its label read:- “You are holding one Feel Good cup of joy-getting a truly great brew”. Vignesh and Karthik opted to see a movie and Aparna switched on the DVD in the car, as we were sipping the brew coffee. The sky became more clear and Sekhar drove comfortably. It was about 8p.m. when we reached the Super 8 Hotel in MOAB (Utah) for our stay that night.

IMG_6851.JPG (  P, V and K are in a carefree mood after reaching the Hotel Super 8 in MOAB, Utah  )

We unpacked the food packets in the dining area and relished the delicious homemade  food items( which we were going to miss the next 10 days) with a ravenous appetite.Though we were planning to go for a stroll it was very hot - so we called it a day and retired to  bed reminding ourselves to be ready by 8 A.M. the next day for the onward journey to our next destination.

(.. to be continued ..) .

Natarajan and Parvathy


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