10 Days in the American Southwest: A Photo Essay

road in southwest usWe’re back! After an unbelievable 10-day jaunt through the Southwestern United States, we’re full of stories to share. But first, here’s an overview of our travels, with one photo from each day of the road trip.

 Day One: Route 66

Wigwam Motel on Route 66

The Wigwam Motel at sunset.

After flying to Albuquerque, New Mexico, we rented a car (and what a car it was) and headed west to Holbrook, Arizona—where we spent the night at the Wigwam Motel, a classic piece of Route 66 history.

 Day Two: Flagstaff

Aspens in fall in Flagstaff, Arizona

It may be Arizona, but the leaves turn color during fall here, too.

On the way to the Grand Canyon, we checked out Flagstaff, visiting friends and taking a quick hike at the Arizona Snowbowl to take in the gorgeous and autumnal aspen foliage.

 Day Three: Grand Canyon

Hermit's Rest at sunset

We found a peaceful spot at the end of the bus route on the Grand Canyon’s South Rim to watch the sun set.

We capped a day at the Grand Canyon with an unforgettable sunset. Total bucket list moment!

Day Four: Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon hoodoos

Hoodoos as far as the eye can see at Bryce Canyon.

Heading northeast to Utah, we explored the bright orange hoodoos at this stunning national park.

 Day Five: Arches

window rock at arches national park

A gorgeous day at Arches National Park.

Also in Utah, we soaked up the unusual rock formations—and then went stargazing.

 Day Six: Mesa Verde

Cliff House at Mesa Verde

Pueblo cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde.

While we had mixed feelings about Colorado’s Mesa Verde, we can’t deny that these ancient pueblo dwellings were pretty cool.

Day Seven: Santa Fe

San Miguel Mission in Santa Fe

Santa Fe’s San Miguel Mission, said to be the oldest church in the US.

We hit up Santa Fe’s Old Town and gloried in our fun, comfortable digs at the Silver Saddle Motel.

Day Eight: High Road to Taos

rosaries at Sanctuario De Chimayo

You don’t have to be religious to enjoy the scene at Sanctuario De Chimayo.

A half-day trip to Taos and back allowed us to check out several of the mountain towns along the way, including Chimayo, home to one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the US.

 Day Nine: Albuquerque

magic glow at Albuquerque balloon fiesta

High winds delayed the sunset “magic glow” at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.

We took it easy on our first day in New Mexico’s largest city, but that night’s “magic glow” at the Balloon Fiesta gave us a taste of the next day’s big event.

Day Ten: Albuquerque

mass ascension at 2012 Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.

A perfect ending to the perfect trip: the mass ascension at 2012 Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.

Sure, we were taking the red-eye home. But that didn’t stop us from getting up at 3:30 am (oof) to finish our trip at mass ascension during the final day of the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.


4 thoughts on “10 Days in the American Southwest: A Photo Essay

  1. Oh such great photos!!! I only did a small portion of Rt.66 a few years back (we happened to pass by it), but we didn’t see any of those glorious scenes. I’ll have to go back to see some more of those parks!

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