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Ryan and Megan's 'Out West' Itinerary
Thursday, May 18, 2006 - Monday, May 22, 2006

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Holy cow!  That's about all I have to say about this upcoming trip.  Well, okay, based on the size of this paragraph, I'm obviously going to say a lot more.  Here's the deal - Megan and I have traveled a lot over the past year, and a lot of that has involved a lot of driving, particularly with the Midwest Trip.  The thing about that trip is that most of the driving was unexpected.  This time, we have a lot of miles ahead of us, and that has been planned ahead of time.  Barely ahead of time.  For you see, none of this trip was booked until less than a week prior to our departure date.  Southwest Airlines had given us another free trip anywhere, but that was due to expire at the end of May, so we were basically "forced" into taking another trip.  But the question was "where??"  For a while, the choice was obvious for the two of us - Albuquerque.  We would drive down to Carlsbad Caverns and up to Four Corners.  I guess neither of us realized just how big New Mexico was, and that our rental car wouldn't be allowed out of the state.  Then the thought of Yellowstone National Park came about, but we soon realized that most of the facilities would not be open until Memorial Day weekend - and neither of us were in any hurry to travel then.  Then we thought about Northern California and the Redwoods, but that would have been too long of a flight for the time we had.  All in all, it came down to where we could make the most of our time with the fewest tourists and the lowest cost - that was Yellowstone.
Of course, none of our trips would be a true vacation visiting only one destination, so we expanded our trip from Montana to Arizona.  Unfortunately, that involves driving on the same long highway in both directions, whereas traditionally our trips have been in a circle so that we can cover more ground.  Even still, the plan is to visit a whopping 7 states!  That adds 5 new states for me and 2 new ones for Megan.  According to Microsoft Streets and Trips, we will be travelling over 1,700 miles and driving over 32 hours, spending over $200 in gas (there goes the "free" flight...).  That all being said, I'm a little nervous about this whole thing, just based on how much ground we will be covering, but I'm sure it'll still be interesting!
~ Ryan

All times are local to the particular city.  The entire trip is in Mountain Time - 2 hours behind Eastern Standard Time.  If you can't do that math and you live on the east coast, we've included EST in [brackets].  Note:  All links open in a new window.
 

Emergency Contact Information:
Phone (Ryan's Cell): 410-259-4180
Phone (Megan's Cell): 443-564-1301
E-mail: webmaster@ryanandmegan.net (will be checked as often as possible)


Vitals:

Flight:
OUTBOUND

Flight #1a: Thursday, May 18, 2006 - TRACK IT!

Southwest Airlines - Flight 1158 (Baltimore to Denver)
DEPART Baltimore, MD (BWI) at 5:00 PM [5:00 PM]
ARRIVE Denver, CO (DEN) at 6:50 PM [8:50 PM]

Flight #1b: Thursday, May 18, 2006 - TRACK IT!
Southwest Airlines - Flight 1158 (Denver to Salt Lake City)
DEPART Denver, CO (DEN) at 7:20 PM [9:20 PM]
ARRIVE Salt Lake City, UT (SLC) at 8:40 PM [10:40 PM]


INBOUND
Flight #2: Monday, May 22, 2006 - TRACK IT!

Southwest Airlines - Flight 1972 (Salt Lake City to Baltimore)
DEPART Salt Lake City, UT (SLC) at 1:35 PM [3:35 PM]
ARRIVE Baltimore, MD (BWI) at 7:45 PM [7:45 PM]


Lodging:
Hotel: Thursday
Night, May 18, 2006
Best Western CottonTree Inn
450 W. 4th Street
Rexburg, Idaho 83440
1-208-356-4646

Hotel: Friday Night, May 19, 2006
Days Inn Jackson Hole
350 South Highway 89
Jackson, Wyoming 83001
1-307-733-0033

Hotel: Saturday Night, May 20, 2006
Best Western River Terrace
880 E. Main Street
Green River, Utah 84525
1-435-564-3401

Hotel: Sunday Night, May 21, 2006
Best Western Carriage House Inn
590 E Main Street
Price, Utah 84501
1-435-637-5660

 

Transportation:
Car Rental: Thursday, May 18 (8:30pm) - Monday, May 22 (1:00pm)
Enterprise Rent-a-Car
SLC Airport (In-Terminal)
776 N. Terminal Drive
Salt Lake City, Utah 84122
1-801-537-7433
 


Itinerary:

Weather Forecast:
Let's see - we are going from the cold, snowy mountains of northern Wyoming to the desert canyons of Utah.  You tell me what the weather is going to be!  Based on early weather reports, there is a chance of rain during our first couple days up north, and a good deal of sun to wrap up our trip in the south.  Check out the banners below for the current conditions.

Note:  The numbers in the itinerary correspond to the map at the bottom.
 

Thursday, May 18:
Click for Rexburg, Idaho Forecast

Thursday starts off with work for both of us.  But, we do get to cut out a little early to make our 5:00 flight out to Salt Lake City.  We have a half hour stopover in Denver, but our next flight is on the same plane (same flight number), so we don't have to do much other than get better seats once everyone gets off.  From there, it's a short, hour-long flight to the home of the Mormons [1].  Once we get our rental car, we'll drive about 3.5 hours North to a place called Rexburg, Idaho [2], arriving sometime after midnight.

Friday, May 19:
Click for Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming Forecast

Once we wake up, it'll be another 2.5 hours driving north until we enter Yellowstone National Park.  Since most everything won't be open until next weekend, it should keep most of the crowds away.  After all, this is one of the most visited parks in the United States.  The only visitor's center that will be open is near the border of Montana [3], but I'm sure that we'll be spending more of our time checking out the waterfalls and geysers [4] throughout the park.  We've dedicated the entire day on Friday to Yellowstone.  Once we get tired, we'll drive south through Grand Teton [5] National Park to our hotel in Jackson Hole [6] - for once, before midnight.

Saturday, May 20:
Click for Green River, Utah Forecast

Oh what will we be doing Saturday?  Well, for one, we will be doing at least 8 hours of driving to get to our next hotel.  But that leaves a lot of time during the day to catch up on whatever we missed in Yellowstone and Grand Teton.  Depending on when we leave, we should have some time to check out Salt Lake City on our route South.  Other than that, though, we'll just be driving all the way down to a place called Green River to stay at another Best Western [7].

Sunday, May 21:
Click for Mexican Hat, Utah Forecast

Now this is where things get interesting.  We have a lot of ground to cover and a lot of places to visit, all crammed into one day.  To start, we'll be checking out Arches National Park [8], which is about an hour south of our hotel.  From there, we'll see what's going on at Canyonlands National Park [9] before heading all the way down to Mexican Hat, practically to the Arizona border.  This is a place called Monument Valley [10], which may not sound all that impressive, but if you saw it, you would recognize it.  A lot of movies have been filmed here, including 2001, Forrest Gump, and Indiana Jones.  We won't have much time to stick around, though, because after that it's off the Four Corners Monument [11] - the only place in the United States where four states meet and you can literally be in four places at once.  We just need to be there before it closes at 8pm.  From there, it's another few hours drive northward toward Price for our last night's stay out west [12].

Monday, May 22:
Click for Salt Lake City, Utah Forecast

Monday is a day of work for everyone except Megan and I.  We'll be spending the majority of the morning sitting in the car, taking the 2 hour drive north to Salt Lake City, where, depending on when we leave the hotel, we should have a couple hours to do whatever we want.  We have to be at the airport [13] by lunchtime to catch our non-stop flight home.  The good news is that we will be home in time to catch up on all the sleep we lost!  And that ends our trip - well, assuming we don't fall into a canyon or get mauled by a bear.


Map:
Don't have time to read all my nonsense?  I don't blame you.  Just check out the map below to see our guesstimated route.




 


Flight Tracking:

As before, these are some links where you "might" be able to track our flight.  With all of these sites, be sure to hit refresh (F5) and click "Retry" as applicable to view the latest information.

  • Trip.com (http://www.trip.com/trs/cheaptickets/galileo_flight_tracker/galileo_home.xsl)

  • FlyteComm (http://www.flytecomm.com/cgi-bin/trackflight)

  • Flight Explorer (http://fasttrack.flightexplorer.com/)

  • RML Software (http://www.flightview.com/)

 

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