Each year my parents come out to visit for a week and each year they make it into a bit of an adventure. Sometimes they see and explore and sometimes they try things out and learn. In the past my mom learned to weld, my dad drove a bulldozer and both have found their way along trails and more. I make my way along with them for some of their adventures and they do others on their own.
This year I flew to Las Vegas to join them for a quick roadtrip back to Denver. For my birthday this year they gave me a driving experience. 5 laps in a Ferrari F430 F1! Yes, that sounds pretty good right?! So our first stop was to the track. Now, my parents aren’t exactly race car people, but my mom is up for adventure and she decided to try this out as well. We signed her up for an Aston Martin. After a short briefing and two discovery laps she was on her way. She stepped into the car and her instructor walked her through the operations of the car then onto the track! The track is a 1.4 mile road course. Pretty short but it had a very nice variety of corners to play on.
As mom was continuing her laps I was being introduced to my own driving instructor. He walked me through the setup of the car, the operation of the car and asked me about my driving experience. “Ice racing, some karts, a little bit of play time in a Rally car… But I’ve seen it on TV.” I think he was a bit nervous at first. We headed out and wow, that thing handles so well! Very neutral, very balanced and incredibly smooth. in a lap or two I felt reasonably comfortable. by lap 5 I was wishing that it wasn’t my last lap!
The experience was great and if you ever want to try out an exotic car on the track I’d definitely head over to Exotics Racing.
From there we headed out, a long drive that took us to Page Arizona. What is in Page? Well, it exists solely because of a large Dam. The reason we were there was because of Antelope Canyon. This is a slot canyon that is known for its absolute beauty. When we got there I was excited. I have heard of this, i have seen the pictures and the reports and it was exciting to be able to see it myself. Since Antelope Canyon is on Native American lands you need an escort in order to get into the Canyon. We selected Overland Canyon Tours because they had a photographers tour that sounded pretty exciting. When we arrived we realized that we were not alone. Wow, this is worse than a shopping mall! There were a ton of people in there. Probably 12-15 shuttles out front of the canyon including ours! I got some photos and I am glad that I went, but I think if I went again to something like this I would find a much less popular place to explore. I feel bad, the traffic that is in that canyon will definitely have an impact on it’s longterm viability.
After a while I decided to embrace the crowds and use them in my photos. I think that the experience of the canyon was “crowded” so I think that people should see that when they see photos…
After the adventure we headed over to see this Dam. It is the dam that holds back the water to create Lake Powell and it is a slightly smaller version of the Hoover dam. These things are always facinating. One small piece of concrete that holds back the 17 years of water that would have flowed through the canyon. That is a huge amount of water and no matter how big the dam is, it is small compared to the impact it has!
From there we were off to Durango. Durango is a really cool town but it is also the home of the Durango to Silverton railroad. This is a long running narrow gauge railroad that runs Steam Locomotives from Durango to Silverton and back. Originally it was used for mining and transportation. But over time it has evolved to a tourist destination. You can arrive and hop on a train and ride the route that has been around for over 100 years. As you bump along the tracks you can look out on the river and the hillsides and imagine people camping along the shores panning for gold. You can imagine the mines on the hillsides and something about that old train makes all this come alive.
Oh and of course there was a quick stop in Silverton before we headed back to Durango.
The trip was very nice and relaxed. We had a great time and saw some beautiful things. It’s always good to take a short adventure with the family!