August 2010 - The American West

That's it, our mind is made up, our next vacation will be in the American West, land of legends and stunning scenery, of cowboys and Indians (well, Native Americans), where 18-wheelers cruise next to Harley-Davidsons on endlessly straight highways. I already accomplished this initiatic journey a while ago but for my family, it's the first time.

Since it does not make too much sense to plan a short trip, we think of at least three weeks. It will actually be slightly longer. And we start the preparation :

  • What do we want to see ? Nature or cities ? Museums or national parks ?
  • Organised circuit or independent journey ?
  • Where to start ? Where to end ?
  • How many miles (or kilometers ...) should we travel ? And how ? Rental car, bus, train, flight ? Hitch-hiking, anyone ?
  • How to find our way ? How to get lost ?
  • Where to eat ? Where to sleep ? How to make reservations ? Should we make reservations ?
  • Do we need a visa ? A vaccine ? An insurance ? What kind of passport should we have with us ?
  • If we get some health issue while in the States, what should we do ?
  • Do we really need to speak fluent English ? The answer may seem obvious, but reality could be more nuanced.
  • And, of course, how much is the expedition going to cost ?

To be ready in August 2010, we started to plan in December 2009 and made the first hotel reservations in January 2010. That may seem long but, in some highly touristic places, it was far from overly premature.

We used the notes we took while preparing, and later during the trip, as the basis for this site's content. Most of the material is here, updated, in the following pages.

We now wish you an excellent journey in our company.

  Monument Valley, the Mittens
Do we really need to introduce that pure American West icon ?