by Marshall Lewis
This summer was unlike any other that I have had. I say this because I got to visit other states. These states included Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and a little bit of Arizona. It was an awesome experience! I recommend going to these places even if you weren’t thinking about it.
We left my hometown of Gorum, Louisiana at 5:30 A.M., and we picked up Johnathon and Emmett Bull at Flora, Louisiana at 6;00 A.M. Then we headed toward Amarillo, Texas. We stopped at Shreveport for a Taco Bell breakfast, and then stopped at the Texas Tourist Bureau for maps and brochures. When we got to Dallas, we took a wrong turn and had to get turned around. We had driven about 13 hours when we arrived in Amarillo at the hotel. We ate fried chicken for supper and went to the swimming pool.
On Saturday morning we drove through New Mexico and arrived at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings at Manitou Springs where we toured the ruins and pueblos containing the museum and gift shops. We spent 2 nights at the Ramada Monument. The next morning we went to the Royal Gorge Amusement Park. This place was so cool! Even though it is located on top of two mountains, there is a cable car that will take you across the gorge, over 2000 feet below, so that you get the best view of the place, or you can walk across the long bridge. We also went to the Dinosaur Resource Museum, outside of Colorado Springs. That was o.k.
The next day we went to Leadville, Colorado to the Israel Museum. We ate some bad food at a local cafe and rode the train up the mountain. I fell asleep on the way up the mountain, but I managed to stay awake on the trip down the mountain. It was a long ride, but it was worth it! From the train station, we drove up through the mountains to Fruita, Colorado where we stayed at Monument RV Resort.
On the 13th of July, we drove into Utah for the first time. We went to Arches National Park and also Canyonlands that day. The next day we drove to Dinosaur, Colorado to Dinosaur National Monument. At the Visitor Center we got on the shuttle bus and rode to the quarry. There was a huge wall of fossils on the side of the mountain that we could see. It was enclosed in a two-story building and very interesting.
The next morning we went to the Colorado National Monument, which was a couple of miles from Monument RV Resort. Then we drove to Naturita, Colorado and spent 4 more days at High Country RV. This was a great place to stay even though I slept in a tent! The San Miguel River was great as well. It was a couple of blocks away, with a nice park beside it. The river was clear to the bottom, with rapids in the middle, a shallow area by the park, and some deep spots on the other side. I went swimming in it a few times. The last night there I cooked for everyone and they seemed to enjoy it. The dish of bow tie pasta with chicken and alfredo sauce was empty!
We headed to Blanding, Utah the next morning. Through the canyon area, a front end noise that we thought was the cv joint was getting louder, so we pulled over and got out of the van. The lug nuts on the left front tire had to be tightened. We had already lost one. We stopped again at the base of the canyon and tightened them again. Slowly we went up through Slick Rock Canyon and made it out to a straight section, when w had to stop on the road. Only one lug nut was barely holding the tire on the car. We spent the afternoon on the side of the road, with 1 bar of AT&T service and the Allstate Road Service refusing to take our information because the phone kept fading in and out. The Allstate Insurance Office in Mansfield, Louisiana spent 2 hours trying to help us, with no luck. Finally help came when the Colorado Department of Transportation came to our rescue. They went up the mountain, called a wrecker, had a mechanic to wait for us at the Ford place in Dove Creek, and even called Napa at Dove Creek to make sure they had the right parts for the wheel. We had the wheel fixed and then were on our way to Blanding. That night we ate at the A & W Restaurant, watched a lightening storm, and went bowling with Johnathon Bull. I beat him 3 times in a row, but we had fun.
The next day we went to a dinosaur museum and to the water park. We had a lot of fun. The last night in Blanding, we all went bowling. Emmett Bull won at the end of the first game, but in true fashion, I won overall at the end of the second game. We also went to Natural Bridges National Park, which was a great place.
On the way to Albuquerque, we stopped at the Four Corners Monument, which was very hot at mid-day. Later, we stopped to eat at Burger King, then drove on to our hotel. It was being evacuated due to a transformer blowing up. The manager at Cascada Hotel made arrangements for us to stay at Home 2 Suites by Hilton. We went to Hinkles Amusement Park on Saturday and 2 museums on Sunday. We saw a laser light show at the planetarium that night, but I fell asleep during the main part. When they played AC DC, I woke up and recorded that on my phone.
On Monday we went to Petroglyph National Park and walked the Lower Canyon Trail and the Macaw Trail in Boca Negra Canyon. That afternoon we moved to the Rodeway Inn. The next day we played games and rode go-carts all day at Hinkles Family Fun Park. Another day we went to Cliff’s Amusement Park. I got to ride a roller coaster there for the first time. I rode it 5 more times after that. We went to another laser show about Orion, which was o.k. The next day we drove back to Amarillo. We stopped at Cline’s Corner for souvenirs and junk food, then we stopped at the Cadillac Ranch on the edge of Amarillo. They let you paint on the cars, so in big, bright yellow letters I painted LSU on the first one. We stayed one night at the Travel Lodge, then at last, headed home. So 3 weeks in all – that was the trip!
I would also like to say THANK YOU to Mrs. Mellissa Coles, Mrs. Marjorie Bull, and Mr. Jimmy Bull for making this experience possible for me. Thank you for everything.
Marshall S. Lewis