The American "Wild" West RV Trip – Traveling Robert

(tense music) ♫ I’m riding, riding, riding ♫ Riding with my RV, my RV ♫ Wherever I want to be ♫ Because I’m free in my RV, yeah – [Robert] Hello, everybody! In this video, we are flying to Denver, Colorado, and from there, we are going to explore the Four Corners region of the United States, also more colloquially known as The Wild West We are going to do this journey on a rental class C motorhome, so let’s check it out So this is the RV we have rented It’s actually bigger than I expected Although I would have preferred a smaller rig, this 28-footer has a nice bedroom in the back, with a queen bed and pretty decent storage, a separate shower for which I would rather have a sliding door instead of a curtain, but whatever A separate bathroom with a sink and a toilet, and overall, pretty spacious Let’s see the outside So here’s the outside of the RV So as you can see overall, it’s a pretty good rig I would have preferred something smaller, as I said, a 23 or a 25-footer, but it drives great, so let’s get on the road In order to reach this stunningly beautiful area of the country, we must cross the mighty Rocky Mountains As we advance west, the landscape becomes increasingly rugged and beautiful, the highest peaks covered in perpetual snow Well, we continue on our journey west, slowly climbing the Rocky Mountains Pretty soon, we’ll reach the Continental Divide, and then, down we go (upbeat music) Before 1973, you had to climb all the way up to the Loveland Pass to go across the Continental Divide, but not anymore Nowadays, we can take the Eisenhower Tunnel, opened in 1973 and fully completed in 1979 It’s a much faster route At over 11,000 feet, it is the highest point in the US interstate highway system We might take the scenic route over the Continental Divide on the way back We make a quick stop by Lake Dillon to stretch our legs and admire this beautiful scenery (upbeat music) A few miles further to the west, we pass by the skiing resort town of Vail Established in the 1960s, it is the third largest ski mountain in North America (upbeat music) We also pass by Avon As we continue, the terrain becomes increasingly arid, perhaps a preview of what’s to come, a sign that we’re getting closer to the sandstone landscape of the high desert of the Colorado Plateau, which we’ll visit later in our trip This part of the highway, along with the Eisenhower Tunnel and the Vail Pass, are considered engineering marvels of the interstate highway system (bright pensive music) We also pass by the picturesque Glenwood Springs, home to the Colorado Mountain College, and named the most fun town in America

by Rand McNally back in 2011 We must revisit this nice town on the way back, but right now, I want to check out the canyon one more time I’ll be honest with you, one of the cameras malfunctioned, and I went to get some footage of Glenwood Canyon and the swelling Colorado River just in case I don’t return this way So let’s make a left and take I-70 back east towards Denver, if only for a few miles (bright pensive music) Let’s get out of this rest area Apparently, this is called the Glenwood Canyon Resort Let’s check out the swelling Colorado River Actually, the whole area is under a flood watch To think, this is the same stream that will later form Lake Powell, the same water that carved the Grand Canyon and powers Hoover Dam, and created the environmental disaster that is the Salton Sea To think, it is reduced to a trickle by the time it reaches the Gulf of California (bright pensive music) (water roaring) We stop one last time to check out the river, and west we go! (bright pensive music) In the original plan, I was going to drive all the way to Utah today, and then some, but as you will soon find out, sometimes, I make overly ambitious plans, and this one is one of those times It turns I’m tired, it is getting late, so we decide to change the plan and spend the night at the beautiful Island Acres campground, part of the James M. Robb Colorado River State Park We are just a few miles away from Grand Junction We finally arrive at the campground (bright pensive music) We park at our designated site, and first thing’s first: let’s hook up the RV I decide to do the sewer first, but now that I think about it, I probably should have done that last, it being the dirtiest part of the operation It’s here Boom And then This one, all the way Perfect Then I proceed to hook up the city water connection, pretty straightforward, and finally, the electric power Looks good Aye! And the three prongs match this, so, here goes nothing We should have power That was it, our demonstration of the connections Well, looks like we are fully hooked, so let’s relax, and enjoy the sunset Hello, everybody, we have driven all the way from Denver, Colorado to here, this campground at the James M. Robb Colorado State Park I have to read it because it’s a mouthful, but it’s very nice, look at the scenery Look at the scenery all around us That’s the RV back there, and it’s very nice Tomorrow, we will continue towards Moab (fire crackling) Brian made fire Nice I like this place, we should stay here longer Yeah, very nice indeed (warm pensive music) Good morning! Coming to you from the Island Acres campground in Western Colorado By the way, this is the view from our bedroom Nice, huh? (warm pensive music) In the morning, we walk around the campground wishing we had more time to explore,

but we’re already two hours behind schedule, and Utah awaits Time to go (bright pensive music) We are on the road again (bright pensive music) An hour later, we are greeted by this colorful sign (camera clicks) We have arrived at the state of Utah (pensive instrumental music) And we are taking the isolated State Route 128, with no services for 54 miles It is called the Upper Colorado River Scenic Byway, not very scenic yet In fact, it’s pretty desolate We even pass by the ghost town of Cisco, a former typical Old West railroad town We are crossing this desert, and to the left, we see the La Sal Mountains in the distance, getting a glimpse of Fisher Tower, which we’ll see up close in a few As we continue, the terrain becomes increasingly rugged We join the north bank of the Colorado River (bright pensive music) Right before crossing the river, if you look to the left of the screen, we’ll get a glimpse of the Dewey Bridge, accidentally burned in 2008, and until then, it was the longest suspension bridge in Utah Very sad, it got burned, allegedly, by a child playing with matches Actually, I’d like to thank one of my viewers for recommending this route because I might have missed it otherwise This scenery on our way to Arches National Park is truly breathtaking (warm pensive music) Here, we stop a few minutes by the river to admire this view of the Fisher Towers and the mountains in the distance (warm pensive music) Let’s continue driving through the gorge We are approaching Castle Valley We see Castleton Tower in the distance, and this place is slightly reminiscent of Monument Valley, where we’re going the day after tomorrow And, like Monument Valley, it has been used as the location for many classic Western movies, such as Wagon Master, Rio Grande It was around here that I originally intended to spend the night boondocking It is called boondocking when you stay without hook-ups Actually, it was going to be through this dirt road This is all BLM land BLM stands for Bureau of Land Management, so you are allowed to camp for the night at certain places The dirt road is a little too rough for the RV, so we go back to State Route 128 Besides, we are already a few hours behind schedule (bright pensive music) We stop one more time to take a few pictures I just can’t help myself Let’s continue (bright pensive music) A couple of miles down the road, we reach US-191, and we turn right, north towards Arches national Park As you can see, there is already a pretty long line to go into the park (warm pensive music) As soon as we enter, we are greeted by all these unique rock formations We stop at this viewpoint to admire the beauty of this place and to see this view of the Moab Fault from above (wind blustering) We continue going deeper into the park, and everywhere you look, you see something worth pointing the camera at (bright pensive music) We stop by the La Sal Mountains Viewpoint, but really,

who cares about the La Sal Mountains at this point? Take a look at this place, this valley In front of us, the rock formation called The Organ To the left, the Three Gossips, part of this collection of sandstone columns called the Courthouse Towers (bright pensive music) We continue driving along the scenic drive, and although we would like to stop at every single viewpoint, we have one main attraction in mind, towards the far side of the park, towards the east This is one of those places where the camera just doesn’t do it justice It is impossible to capture the grandeur, the magnificence, of these massive rock formations We pass by the Petrified Dunes, and the Great Wall, (warm pensive music) and the Window Arches (warm pensive music) Of course, we must make a quick stop by the Balanced Rock, one of the most well-known formations of this park It looks like it is about to tip over, but trust me, it’s been there for a long time We continue, and eventually make a right This is the main attraction of the park, so the parking lot is, not surprisingly, very crowded (bright pensive music) – [Brian] Is there one here, or is there a car there? – [Robert] We are the luckiest mother (censored beeping) on Earth (Brian laughs) (Robert laughing) So lucky to find that spot, it was meant to be We are hiking to the Delicate Arch Yes, we out-of-shape, indoor, flat-landers are about to embark in this great adventure First, we pass by the remains of the Wolfe Ranch, built in 1888 by a Civil War veteran, John Wesley Wolfe We will stop again on the way back to see it, as well as some Ute petroglyphs that are nearby The whole hike is a little over three miles roundtrip, and a sign said moderate to strenuous Let me tell you, it is really hot We chose the worst possible time of the day, noon We’re almost having second thoughts, but we are prepared We have plenty of water and are in good spirits We have to go all the way up there This first half mile is not so bad The terrain can be a little irregular, but there’s not too much elevation gained or lost (breathing heavily) Here comes the hard part, the slickrock slab It is said to be very slippery in the winter and during rainy season, but today, it’s not too bad (breathing heavily) This is, perhaps, the most strenuous part of this hike, a little more than halfway there We’ll make it (people chattering) We see the La Sal Mountains on the way up The steep trail is marked by these stacks of rocks called cairns We continue The next part of the trail is more rocks and sand, and no shade Rocks and sand Hard surface (people chattering) – [Man] Where’s Adam? – [Woman] I don’t know where Adam is – [Robert] Eventually, we reach this section along this ledge with this wall to the right and the desert to our left A little scary, but the trail is wide enough, so as long as we play it safe, I think we’ll be all right As we pass the Frame Arch, we know we are almost there This is not it (breathing heavily) – [Child] Bye-bye! – [Robert] Bye! And here it is, Delicate Arch, pretty much the symbol of Utah, its most famous rock formation It was definitely worth the hike (delicate piano music)

At last, we have arrived at the Delicate Arch, and here it is Isn’t that wonderful? Beautiful place I laid down under the arch for a few seconds to cherish the moment, if you will Okay, it’s time to head back Okay, let’s head back down, but let’s stop by the Window Arch first And here I am Here I am at the Double Arch This is another great view I have no idea how I’m gonna get back down there We’ll see The good thing about the return trip is that we are going mostly downhill Down, down we go Okay, let’s check out the petroglyphs now These are historic Ute images depicting men on horseback, which were introduced by the Spanish We cross the creek, and once again, we see the Wolfe Ranch We can even see inside the ranch Not a whole lot to see, though Let’s get back in the RV (lively music) We continue along the scenic drive towards this area called the Fiery Furnace, a natural labyrinth of narrow passages between sandstone walls, and a very difficult hike (lively music) We continue driving west On the right, we’ll see the Skyline Arch We are approaching this area called the Devil’s Garden, with more trails and natural arches They even have a campground, so we know where we’re going to stay the next time we come this way The area is pretty congested, same as the Delicate Arch, and the campground is full, of course And honestly, I don’t have the stamina, nor the time to do another serious hike today I do get off the RV, check out the crows, and what the heck, let’s walk a little bit on this Devil’s Garden Trail The whole trail is 7.2 miles, way too long to start right now, but it is only .8 miles to the Landscape Arch and two miles to the Double O Arch, so I’m torn between my desire to see these arches and my own exhaustion And although I know I’m going to regret it, I decide to go back Off we go, reluctantly saying goodbye to Arches National Park (lively music) We stop for a few minutes by the Fiery Furnace trail head This hike is so strenuous and dangerous that a hiking permit is required, and they even recommend that you take a guided tour on your first time (lively music) That’s it, we’re getting out of the park, the Courthouse Towers bidding us farewell (lively music) I stop one last time by the Park Avenue Trail head, and off to Moab we go The small city of Moab caters to all the tourists,

hikers, off-roaders, rafters, bikers, rock climbers, and all the people who come to visit the two major national parks of the area, Arches, where we just were, and Canyonlands, which we will visit some day some other time (lively music) We buy supplies at the KOA campground, fill up the tank, and off we go towards Cortez (lively music) We encounter this arch on the side of the road, and naturally, we stop for the photo op (lively music) A little over two hours later, we arrive at the Sundance RV Resort in Cortez, Colorado (lively music) We end the day at this Mexican restaurant called El Burro Pancho The food is great, their margaritas are perfect, and it feels overall authentic Good morning! Nothing like a shot of Cuban coffee to start your day Yup, I’m awake now! Today, we are visiting Mesa Verde National Park near Cortez, Colorado This area was home to the Ancestral Pueblo people for about 700 years, and then, in the late 1200s, for reasons that are not entirely clear, they all moved away The brand new visitor’s center opened in 2012, and it has all these displays depicting how archeologists think the Ancestral Pueblo people lived daily life, the tools they used, how they made their pottery, and how they built their different types of dwellings Let’s go into the park Oh, by the way, one very important thing to keep in mind is that in order to visit the main sights, such as the Cliff Palace, the Balcony House, the Long House, you must purchase the tickets beforehand at the visitor’s center It would really suck to drive all the way into the park and not be able to see at least one of these sights We have a pretty long uphill drive here to the mesa’s top at 8,500 feet Fantastic panoramic views of the Mancos and Montezuma Valleys (bright music) We stop here briefly at the Montezuma Valley Overlook, very nice views of the valley, and it’s also where the old Knife Edge Road used to go through Sometimes, I leave the camera on inadvertently and get these nice time lapses Further along, we have a fortuitous encounter with a baby black bear, and leave it up to me to show up with a big RV and scare him away Sorry to spoil the show, folks And another great view of the valley The camera just doesn’t do it justice And another pretty time lapse You gotta love the clouds We reach the top of the mesa and stop by a primitive pithouse, one of the many in the area Because of their partial underground construction with a roof, they were warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and typically, had a small antechamber and a larger main chamber Our next stop is the Navajo Canyon Overlook, where we get this pretty good view of the canyon (triumphant music) As the weather begins to deteriorate, we stop by the Sun Temple From here, we can see the Cliff Palace, which we will visit next In our excitement, we forgot to see the actual Sun Temple Maybe we’ll have time later Let’s visit the Cliff Palace First, we go down these abrupt stairs with these great views of the canyon, and then other dwelling on the other side Here we are, waiting for the guide We go up this ladder right next to the structure

We are treated to this very thorough exposition by this very enthusiastic and knowledgeable ranger We learn about their water source, which apparently seeped through the rocks from snowmelt above – A seep spring Pretty much, if you think about it, it’s a leaky faucet Possibly four generations just putting this together, and it seems that it goes up in four cycles The first is right here, where we find they’re probably building in the left-hand corner first because this is going to capture the most winter sun And we got a nice source of easy, free heat But then the community gets bigger, might have gotten more popular, and over time, room by room, they add on As the family expands, the city expands Archeologists think that most of these structures, especially in the middle, probably went up to three stories, if not any more You had storage in the upper attic there Only thing we don’t find are Christmas ornaments But some places, we did find a couple pots, blankets, tools left up there, not too much, though And then down below, all the square structures, you have your living rooms, your family rooms, storage and bedrooms And they had trails very similar to what we came down, just not very deep steps like that, they’re very shallow, dug into the rock just enough to get you toe perches, but they’re hidden, for the most part They have to know where it is, gotta know what to look for We will see an original trail as we make our way out That is an original exit and entrance, the way we’re gonna leave today Maybe a rope system bringin’ the pots and water up, down, maybe just bringing all the materials that you need down into the site, probably some industrial accidents here – [Woman] Mm-hmm – ‘Cause all the rope was made out of yucca plant Over at Step House, we found 1,300 feet double-ply yucca fiber rope – [Man] Continuous? – Continuous strand – Wow – Coiled up in a basket Somebody had nothing else better to do, or that was that person’s main job We don’t know too much about society when we’re looking at these structures All we find are pots and utility tools That’s it No writing, very little pictographs or petroglyphs Just a ghost town sitting inside the cliff So some think maybe the smaller dwellings up top in the cliffs, they might have been your potters, your weavers, your rope makers – [Woman] Well, no, we see across, you see one from up above, across, just kinda all by itself – All by itself, and that’s how most of them are About every 500 feet, usually, down the canyon, there’s some dwelling, some structure inside, either just hangin’ off on one of the shelves that’s maybe two feet wide, or they’ve got a nice little alcove right there This was the center, possibly So, when we think about putting this together, you want to take it apart block by block And if you want, as we make our way down to the middle in just a minute here, I’m gonna leave this here Pick this up See what a small block feels like, and just imagine coming down the trail or roping this down two, three, five of these pieces, amassing the materials to put your home together – [Robert] This was, perhaps, the aqueduct Fascinating, the ingenuity of these ancient dwellers – What we find is that these people had to start relearning how to build inside the alcove For a good 200 years, at least, they’re building stone pueblos up on top They knew how to work on a flat surface, building up from there, but if you look at all these boulders hanging out around us, you gotta work around that They’re using the original material left, so if you look at this bottom wall here, that is very sad compared to this And I do have to put a disclaimer on that That is partial park service reconstruction It looks like, from the original foundation that we found, they’re using all those angular pieces, just getting it up in a hurry so they can start building it, and then the master masons show up The walls are almost perfectly smooth, or they were at one time originally But there’s a problem Anybody pick up that small block up over there? – [Audience] Mm-hmm – Is that light?

(audience murmuring) No, and this mortar is just a basic sand, clay, water mixture You put that down, let it set up If your block is too heavy, it might make that ooze out all over the place So they figure out a tool It’s all these little tiny stones that either they’re chipping away, or they’re the remnants of all these carvings, and they start pressing them into the mortar from both sides of the wall, forcing that mortar into the middle Once the chinking stones reach the outside, they’re flush with the wall, they then patch those gaps with more mortar to smooth it out and to finish So, you have stabilization with recycled material And in some places with original walls, you can still see fingerprints where they pushed that mortar in and smoothed it out so many years ago You get high enough, you need to add a roof, you need to add a floor – [Robert] They made their roof supports with wood from juniper trees – [Park Ranger] But the one thing we ask: Where are they finding straight juniper? – [Robert] Apparently, there are not enough straight juniper trees in this area to build the many rooms in this dwelling Here, we can see the other smaller dwelling on the other side of the canyon, and our only chance to see the Cliff Palace without any tourists in it A little further along, we learn about these rooms called kivas The ingenuity involved in their construction is amazing Kiva means, literally, underground in the Hopi language – And they start building the roof halfway inside this room, hexagonal ring after hexagonal ring, each one getting smaller and smaller as it made its way higher and higher Eventually, once it got about right where I’m standing here, there would be a square hole directly in the center of the roof All three of these kivas that we just walked by, this was one large open courtyard From what we know for this size kiva here in the park, especially in the cliff dwellings, this is a family room, this is where they probably were sleeping in the winter, it’s going to be the warmest place We find anchor points in the floor where they’re doing weaving and they’re tying their looms off to the ceiling, probably the classroom for the children while the parents are out farming Grandparents might take the little ones in, tell them the stories, the histories And at certain times of the year, it’s also going to be a ceremonial site as well This is a prayer room where they contacted their ancestors to bring the rain, which almost scared us today, to call for healing, to keep the family alive This was the center of the family Each one represents at least one family group But when we think about the functionality of this room, you’ve got a fire pit in the middle, you’ve got a chimney, you need one more thing You need a lot of air going into that room to keep the fire alive and to push the smoke up and out – [Man] That’s the problem – So what we find is that the vent shaft starts just beyond that little wall there on the planking, goes straight down to that little door That’s the fresh air intake pulling that air in And they realized you get too much of a draft, you’re gonna blow your fire out, you’re gonna blow ash all over the inside of the room So they build that wall to deflect the air around the fire, push the smoke up and out, and reflect the heat back into the room And just that little simple unit right there is ancient technology for these people The pithouses in the 400s are built almost identically, just not as deep And the round tower right in the middle – [Robert] The round tower, besides being an observation tower to spy on the neighbors across, was, apparently, also their observatory The window would frame solstices and equinoxes, and so they knew when to plant and harvest It was their clock tower, if you will It is incredible to think that we had no idea this civilization existed until 1888, when these ruins were discovered by ranchers That was one great tour, wasn’t it? Let me tell you, I have nothing but praise for the National Park Service I have not met one person who wasn’t pleasant, helpful, or extremely passionate about their job (warm pensive music) Before traveling further west, we stop one last time by the Fire Lookout, the highest point in the park, at 8,572 feet above sea level

From the Park Point Overlook, we get to see these spectacular panoramic views of the Montezuma Valley We can even see the town of Cortez in the distance (bright pensive music) That’s it! We are leaving the park for good, with beautiful views as we descend from the mesa We pass by the Ute Mountain Indian Reservation, and yes, they do have a casino The Chimney Rock to our left (bright pensive music) We turn to the west, immersing ourselves into one of the most remote areas of North America It is our intent to reach the epicenter of the Four Corners region, the very spot where the borders of Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico intersect Two hours later, we arrive at the Four Corners Monument (bright pensive music) Here I am at the Four Corners Monument That’s Utah back there, and here, I’m walking, and now I’m in Colorado. (mumbles) Now I’m in New Mexico And now I am in Arizona, one hour earlier, or later, I forgot Recent surveys have determined that the monument is actually 1,807 feet east of the actual Four Corners point Still, fairly accurate, considering the instruments available at the turn of the 20th century, when they originally surveyed the area I do have one complaint The grounds are not very well-maintained You would think that with the $15 the Navajo people charge you to visit the monument, and the revenue from all the souvenir sales, they could afford a paved parking lot Just saying Onward we go! I, of course, take a photo with the nearby signs for New Mexico and Colorado, and let’s include Arizona and Utah as well Nice, huh? This is the only time in our trip where we actually step on New Mexico soil We continue riding into the sunset, now going deep into the Navajo Nation, which is a huge area encompassing North Eastern Arizona, parts of New Mexico, and Utah (warm pensive music) After a little over an hour or so, we start seeing the formations of the Valley of the Gods in the horizon Let me tell you, I would love to do some exploring around this area The Valley of the Gods, it’s like a smaller version of Monument Valley, if you will, where we’re going tomorrow, by the way But, unlike Monument Valley, it’s not part of the Navajo Nation It belongs to the Bureau of Land Management, which means you can camp in the area and have more freedom to roam around As night falls, we arrive at the place where we are going to spend the night boondocking, dry camping, you know, self-contained, off the grid We have decided to spend the night at the Goosenecks State Park in Utah, with this beautiful view overlooking a deep meander of the San Juan River From here, we can see the Alhambra Rock, and Monument Valley in the distance (peaceful instrumental music) This place has very little light pollution, being so remote and all, and after the moon sets, stars we’ve never seen before reveal themselves, and I get to see the Milky Way for the first time in my life I even get to experiment with some long exposure photography Good morning from Goosenecks State Park! (peaceful instrumental music) (tense music) We get on the way again, passing near the Valley of the Gods (tense music) A little further down, we encounter this singular rock formation called the Mexican Hat See the resemblance? There’s a tiny village with this view of the Alhambra Rock and some lodges and a gas station (bold pensive music) And finally, it reveals itself on the horizon, the place we’ve been coming to see, Monument Valley This specific spot is particularly famous

for the movie Forrest Gump (breathing heavily) And this is the very spot where Forrest Gump decided he was tired of running I’m tired of running too Going back to the RV (breathing heavily) (tense music) Here we are, the price of admission, $20 The three-hour tour is $85, and there’s also a two-hour tour for $75 We park at the oversized vehicle area, and it looks like our ride is already waiting for us The road around the valley’s a not very well-maintained dirt road, so I apologize in advance for the shaky camera, especially if you’re prone to motion sickness It is definitely a bumpy ride Fortunately, we get to stop at some of these viewpoints Here, we see the Merrick Butte, and the East and West Mittens What an exceptionally beautiful place this is! (dramatic tense music) We continue bouncing up and down We stop, once again, in order to give our butts a rest, and to see the Mitchell Mesa and these pinnacles called the Three Sisters We also see the Elephant Butte and the Camel Butte on the way (tense music) This formation is called The Thumb We stop, once again, by The North Window, framed by Elephant Butte and Cly Butte We can see the Bear and Rabbit Spires in the distance There are several movies that I want to recommend to you which feature Monument Valley prominently (flag rustling in wind) (soft pensive music) Here, we see this formation called The Rooster, and The Three Healers, and the famous Totem Pole One of the movies I was talking about is The Eiger Sanction by Clint Eastwood, from 1975, in which they were allowed to climb the Totem Pole with the condition that they would remove all the pitons left by previous climbers No one has ever been allowed to climb ever since because the Totem Pole is considered sacred by the Navajo people, thus making Clint Eastwood the last person ever to climb the spire (tense music) We stop for a few minutes by the side of these 2,000-year-old petroglyphs This is also the site of the Eye of the Sun Arch (tense music) We also pass by the Big Hogan as part of the extended tour (tense music) This is very nice, very good tour (wind blustering) I’m going up to the Ear of the Wind And here, I get to climb the sand dune to the Ear of the Wind (bold instrumental music) We stop, once again, by the Indian Head and the Sleeping Dragon You can kinda see the head over there, and the long body to the right (bold instrumental music) We pass by the Three Sisters once again on our way to the John Ford Point John Ford directed a great classic, perhaps the movie that put Monument Valley on the map, the one that epitomized to us the look of the Wild West The movie, Stage Coach from 1939 Ford directed many other movies, such as The Searchers, a classic VistaVision masterpiece from 1956 (tense music) We have a traditional Navajo lunch of sheep camp mutton stew, and fried bread with honey at the appropriately named The View Hotel The food is nothing to write home about, but the panoramic view is priceless (dramatic tense music) We stop on the way out to take one last photo

with Monument Valley in the background, and another photo with the Arizona sign We begin the long 2-1/2-hour journey towards Page, Arizona, where we will spend the night Here, we see the Owl Rock, and the Agathla Peak, perhaps better known by its Spanish name, El Capitan (tense music) (upbeat music) The road across this arid area of Arizona seems endless The welcome sight of the Navajo Power Plant tells us we are almost there Eventually, we make it to our destination, the Wahweap Campground by Lake Powell, part of the Glen Canyon Recreational Area We park at our designated spot with this partial view of the lake Very, very nice! In the original plan, tomorrow, we would continue towards the north rim of the Grand Canyon, but this place is so nice that we are going to stay an extra night and relax (upbeat music) Good morning from the Wahweap RV Park, part of the Lake Powell Resort near Page, Arizona So many attractions nearby We walk along this path a little over a mile to the main resort, where we are going to take a boat tour of the lake We’re going to see Antelope Canyon, the part that is underwater, and the Navajo Canyon (bright relaxing music) And we depart, the Navajo power station ever-present And that’s the hotel up there With this view of Castle Rock to the left, we’re going to go around Antelope Island, which, due to the marked fluctuations in water levels, sometimes, it is actually a peninsula Here is the Wahweap Marina, with over 500 vessels, worth, as a whole, many, many millions of dollars The reason the water level shifts so dramatically, historically, over 100 feet, is because Lake Powell is actually an artificial lake, a reservoir, so the water level depends on the seasonal snow runoff of the Colorado River coming from the mountains The lake was created by flooding Glen Canyon when they constructed the Glen Canyon Dam Completed in 1963, it took 11 years for the water level to rise to the high water mark We continue spinning away on the south side of Antelope Island, towards the Antelope Canyon (bright relaxing music) Isn’t that nice? Your own little crack on the side of the canyon, in the shade, to take a break (bright relaxing music) The canyon narrows until the point where we must turn around, back out into the lake, admiring these astounding shapes carved in the sandstone by erosion over the course of thousands of years (bright relaxing music) And we are back by this narrow stretch of water with Antelope Island to our left Our next stop is the Navajo Canyon, but first, we must pass by the Antelope Point Marina Look at all these luxurious houseboats (bright relaxing music) We see the Tower Butte in the distance (bright relaxing music) Once again, we see the butte lurking behind the sandstone We finally start approaching Navajo Canyon, obviously not the same Navajo Canyon we saw back in Mesa Verde National Park (bright pensive music) The Navajo Canyon is one of Lake Powell’s 96 canyons, and it’s one of the longest ones

Here, we see a great example of why it’s called Navajo tapestry This mix of colors found on the sandstone, well, it almost looks like a mural, but made by nature Iron oxide and manganese residue from above drapes down the side of the canyon over the course of centuries, and this nature work of art is what we get (bright peaceful music) We learn the difference between a butte and a mesa It turns a butte is taller than it is wide, and a mesa, well, wider than it is tall (bright relaxing music) We head back, with Castle Rock ahead of us, going back through this narrow canal only because this year, the water level is high enough Otherwise, we would have had to turn around the way we came (bright relaxing music) And we’re back by the Wahweap Marina, and this is the end of our boat tour Yeah, I know, I’m kind of obsessed with that butte What can I say? Time to get on the road again, although we’ll be back here at the campground tonight, once again, to sleep Right now, we’re going to visit Lower Antelope Canyon, which is nearby, not the part we just visited by the lake, but the part above water, which is probably the more famous one It is a slot canyon, which is a canyon which is much narrower than it is tall, and it is formed by the wear of water rushing through the rock The drive from the campground is about 14 miles And here we are The entrance is by this dirt road near the Navajo power station The total price for the one-hour tour is $28 per person, cash only, and that includes a Navajo permit We follow our young Navajo guide down to the canyon, under the scorching sun We begin our descent into the canyon down these steep stairs At the bottom, the temperature is much cooler, thank goodness (mysterious pensive music) The different colors on the rock, we learn, are caused by the way it reflects sunlight at different angles, creating all these surreal effects All the rock is actually pretty much the same color Lower Antelope Canyon is open to the public seven days a week It only closes when rain is in the forecast, because of the high risk of flash floods We have taken one of the two tours available This one is operated by Ken’s Tours Overall, it’s a very nice experience By the way, as I said earlier, this is Lower Antelope Canyon There is also an Upper Antelope Canyon, which is a little taller, with flatter terrain and more accessible, but much more crowded as well, and more expensive You actually have to book the tour back at Page, Arizona, and they bring you to the entrance of the canyon by Jeep If you have accessibility issues, that one may be the one for you, but we have chosen the lower canyon, and we don’t regret it one bit I mean, look at this place, this is surreal! (tense music) (people chattering) (bold instrumental music) We continue climbing the stairs of the Antelope Canyon,

the Lower Antelope Canyon (dramatic tense music) An hour later, we emerge on the other side We get back on the road promptly, going towards the Horseshoe Bend There is this rather challenging trail to get to it, especially for our exhausted and out-of-shape bodies, but we keep going anyways At the end of the trail, there is this horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River, which, by the way, it’s very well worth the mile-long trail And here it is in all its glory Again, one of those places where the 2D camera just doesn’t really do it justice (warm pensive music) There are numerous photographers by the edge of the cliff capturing this very photogenic place (warm pensive music) We start heading back up the trail, looking back one last time for this great look from the distance Let’s return to the RV, shall we? We make one last stop at the Wahweap Point From this vantage point, we can see this commanding view of South Lake Powell, the area we visited by boat earlier Enjoying this beautiful view is a fitting end to a wonderful day There’s the marina and the resort, and campground, and a tour boat, just like the one we took this morning (wind blustering) After our very pleasant stay here at the Wahweap Resort near Page, Arizona, we hit the road again We are driving further west, and then north on Highway 89, towards Bryce National Park, a little over 2-1/2 hours in total And I know, please don’t send me any nasty emails How can I take this route and not pass by Zion National Park? It is just a 20-minute detour to the park entrance Well, I feel Zion deserves a lot more than just a few hours Besides, we are racing against the clock We have to return the RV at Denver in less than two days I’ll come back this way some other time, I promise Even though the drive has some picturesque areas, sometimes, it seems endless We drive through the scenic town of Kanab, often called Little Hollywood because of its history as the filming location for so many Western films Here, we take a more northerly route (upbeat music) If we were going to Zion, we would have turned left right here, right before Mount Carmel and Orderville But, as I said before, there’s no time, so we keep going (upbeat music) Yep, we killed a bug right at the very spot where the lens of the GoPro is There’s a bunch of German bakeries along the way (upbeat music) We turn right onto State Route 12, and the jagged rock formations are a sign that we are getting very close to Bryce (upbeat music) And we have arrived

The fee to enter, $25 The canyon is pretty long, so we are just going to check out some of the main viewpoints, beginning with Bryce Point We park at the crowded lot And here we are, Bryce Point, elevation, 8,300 feet above sea level We start to see these magnificent views of this place that, frankly, looks like another planet (mysterious pensive music) There are some hiking trails on there, which unfortunately, we’ll have to do some other time (mysterious pensive music) Check out this little fellow Apparently, it is a golden-mantled ground squirrel Isn’t this a truly remarkable place? (bright pensive music) We keep on going Next, we are going to the Inspiration Point, and I can see how one can get inspired by all this otherworldly landscape (bright music) We get a little bit of rain here and there as we drive to our last viewpoint, the Sunset Point It’s raining a little bit Here, we get to see Thor’s Hammer, one of Utah’s most famous rocks, standing alone among all the other hoodoos Yeah, hoodoo, that’s how these rock formations are called There is this hiking trail called Wall Street that, again, we wish we had the time to take – [Woman] Selfie – [Woman] Yeah, selfie (mystical pensive music) It is time to leave We decide to take the road less traveled, and we head north on State Route 22, also known as John’s Valley Road It turns out to be a very, very secondary road, but we didn’t come all the way to Central Utah to drive on the interstate, did we? We barely encounter a soul, except for the occasional herd of cows hangin’ out, grazing Hello (speaking in Spanish) (bright pensive music) After a while, the terrain becomes a little more rugged along this gorge We drive by this abandoned structure, the Osiris Creamery It is all part of the Osiris Ghost Town And we get a little bit more rain About 10 miles further north, we encounter the small town of Antimony, which feels like being in a different era, seriously It’s like being in the ’70s, pretty surreal Look at this huge tractor and the old truck behind By Otter Creek State Park, we turn right into State Route 62, another straight, somewhat boring road, boring, I mean, in the context of what we’ve seen, fascinating when compared to Florida’s Turnpike, for example We get a quick break by the junction of State Route 62 with State Route 24, and continue towards Capitol Reef National Park (bright pensive music) After the small towns of Loa and Bicknell, we start seeing the first prominent rock formations leading us to Capitol Reef (bright pensive music) And here’s the Chimney Rock We even stop for the photo opp

(warm pensive music) We continue on the road and stop once again by the Fluted Rock (warm pensive music) Next, on the left, we see The Castle (bright pensive music) We stop briefly to check out these ancient petroglyphs of the Fremont, which were contemporaries of the Ancestral Pueblo people (bright pensive music) There are many hiking trails around the area, most notably the one to the Cassidy Arch, but today, well, you know what I’m gonna say We’re just driving through, no time (bright pensive music) We continue towards Goblin Valley, where we are going to spend the night And we have arrived right before sunset Our reserved campsite with my name on it, next to all this natural beauty Here, we had a great camping experience Some young fellows from Provo, I think, that were staying at the campsite next to us saw that we were eating microwaved frozen pizza and shared the leftovers of a delicious stew with us Very nice (mysterious pensive music) Good night Good morning from the beautiful Goblin Valley Campground No, that is not our motorhome Today, we are heading back east towards Denver, but first, let’s explore Goblin Valley, shall we? Oh, by the way, that is our rental class C motorhome It is such a beautiful morning right here on the Goblin Valley Campground (bright delicate music) The morning light really shows off all the colors of all these rock formations (bright pensive music) Let’s drive to the dump station first so we can do our business And now, let’s check the actual Goblin Valley There is a trail, but let’s just take the car and get there faster It is a pretty unique place According to geologists, in the Jurassic Era, this was at the edge of an inland sea, and apparently, the tidal sediments of sand, silt, and clay became all these sandstone formations, which are continually changing, by the way, even today Pretty cool place, huh? (warm pensive music) Back to the RV, way up there (bright pensive music) And here, we see more goblins Doesn’t that look like a Hershey Kiss? (bright pensive music) We go north on State Route 24, and then east on I-70 Once again, we pass near Moab, and later, into the great state of Colorado We also pass Grand Junction, with this view of Mount Garfield and the Colorado River State Park Pretty soon, we start seeing the foothills of the Rockies in the distance See how the landscape slowly starts to change?

We are driving along the north bank of the Colorado River towards Glenwood Canyon (upbeat music) Our next stop is Glenwood Springs (upbeat music) We passed by here briefly on the way west, and we liked it a lot It’s contained in a valley, at the confluence of the Colorado and Roaring Fork Rivers We are getting hungry, so let’s have a nice lunch, some craft beer, at this place called The Pullman And we’ll be on our way, not before walking off our lunch along this charming little town (bright pensive music) Time to go We continue heading east, with the Colorado River to our right (bright pensive music) We start going into the Glenwood Canyon region Isn’t this a magnificently beautiful area? It is considered an engineering marvel of the United States interstate highway system I mean, they had some help from the Colorado River, which carved the canyon, but it still is truly amazing Anyhow, enjoy the ride (bright pensive music) Isn’t this kind of hypnotizing? (bright pensive music) At some point, there is an exit to the Hanging Lake Trail, a hike we ought to do some other time (bright pensive music) And we continue driving along I-70 (bright pensive music) We encounter the skiing resort of Vail once again We are almost at 10,000 feet, over 3,000 meters above sea level, getting close to some of the highest points in the interstate highway system, but we plan to go even higher We are stopped here at Shrine Pass, kinda close to the Continental Divide And it’s pretty chilly outside, actually (bright pensive music)

We’re going to take the older scenic route, US-6, at the town of Silverthorne Unlike I-70, which crosses through the Eisenhower Tunnel, US-6 goes even higher over the Continental Divide at the Loveland Pass This road is used, mainly, by trucks carrying hazardous materials, which are prohibited from using the tunnel, and also cyclists, hikers, or people like us, who want to enjoy the scenery Remember that beer I had back at Glenwood Springs? Big mistake! As we climb above 11,000 feet, or almost 3,400 meters, I start feeling the symptoms of mild altitude sickness You know, I start feeling lightheaded, short of breath, with nowhere to pull over, by the way Wish me luck (bright pensive music) Eventually, we find a place to pull out, and I drink copious amounts of water and start feeling better (bright pensive music) We finally make it to the top We are here at the Continental Divide, with a little bit of altitude sickness, 11,990 feet above sea level It’s kind of cold Yep, it’s pretty cold up here at 11,990 feet, or 3,655 meters above sea level, the feeling, perhaps, intensified by my mild altitude sickness I’m feeling better, though (lively music) Down and down we go I’m actually kind of cool with the fact that I got altitude sickness I was always kind of intrigued, curious by it, and wanted to know how it felt like Not the best idea while driving, but (grunts) At least now I know (lively music) We rejoin I-70 and continue heading east, but we are not quite going to Denver yet We have until tomorrow morning to return the RV, so let’s spend the night in the mountains, shall we? (lively music) By Idaho Springs, we take State Route 103 up to Echo Lake, which is about halfway up to Mount Evans, which is the highest paved road in the USA (lively music) And here we are, Echo Lake Pretty, isn’t it? (pensive instrumental music) To the right, we see the lodge, and we arrive to our primitive campground I really wanted to go all the way up to Mount Evans tomorrow, but that will be impossible with the big motorhome We will go back to Denver tomorrow, explore the city a little, and then come back with a smaller vehicle (relaxing pensive music) Take a look at this beautiful sunset (relaxing pensive music) We make some fire, and call it a night

(relaxing pensive music) (soft jazz music) Well, hello, everybody, and greetings from Denver, Colorado This is our view from our hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn, which is conveniently located in a shopping mall Let’s explore a little bit of Colorado’s capital city, where it seems like everybody’s either jogging or cycling Very healthy people You are looking at Smith Lake in Washington Park, which is over 100 years old, and one of the largest parks in the Mile-High City Its design was partially influenced by the famous philanthropist and Titanic survivor, The Unsinkable Molly Brown The snowcapped Rockies are, as always, ever-present throughout the city, this place being no exception, of course (warm upbeat music) We continue towards Capitol Hill, and we park right here, next to the Colorado Supreme Court And here it is, the Colorado State Capitol building Its gold-plated dome was added in 1908 to commemorate the Gold Rush There is some kind of demonstration in front, some folks advocating for father’s rights, or something like that And there is this statue depicting a Civil War Union soldier On the steps of the capitol building, and as you can see, we are exactly one mile above sea level The building was constructed from white Colorado granite There’s the City and County Building across the Civic Center Park Here we have a replica of the Liberty Bell The original is in Philadelphia, of course And we walk back towards the car, passing by the Supreme Court, in order to see the unique architecture of Denver’s Art Museum, especially the new Frederic C. Hamilton wing The whole complex is quite nice, actually, with a bunch of street art and nice cafes under pretty buildings, and the Guardian of Forever No wait, I’m just kidding It’s just another piece of contemporary street art It’s all very nice, very agreeable, but we must go on There’s a lot more stuff to see Passing by the Supreme Court, once again, we go east on 14th Street, the capitol building to our left And to our right, we see the first home of the Colorado State Museum, and the First Baptist Church of Denver Its congregation dates back to 1864, before Colorado was even a state (upbeat music) And we are going to turn right on Pennsylvania Street right here, and to our left, there’s St. Mary’s Academy building, which now houses The Salvation Army And behind those trees, that’s the house of the notorious Unsinkable Molly Brown By the corner, she used to park her electric car Yes, you heard right, electric, over 100 years ago Take that, Tesla! We continue driving south along this very nice, albeit narrow, tree-covered street, Pennsylvania Street This mansion in the corner is rumored to be haunted We are approaching the downtown area from the east now, and we are going to spend the good part of the day here And we make a wrong turn, actually, and end up by Capitol Hill once again (warm upbeat music) We are actually trying to reach an area called LoDo, or Lower Downtown And here we are at Larimer Square, which is a trendy street block with many shops and restaurants Let’s try to find parking (warm upbeat music) Many of these buildings date back to the 1800s General William Larimer named this site Denver City after Kansas governor James Denver, hoping that this city would become part of the Kansas territory No such luck Nowadays, many of these historic buildings have been converted into condominiums and restaurants, and such After The Great Fire of 1863, which pretty much burned the city to the ground, wood was prohibited in building construction That’s why we have all this red brick all over the place

All these buildings along Wynkoop Street used to be warehouses, and these were the elevated loading docks (warm upbeat music) Coming up next, we see the famous Union Station, which dates back to the 1880s We continue walking along all these former warehouses, and this is the IceHouse, for example, a former creamery, and the Cold Foods Storage warehouse Now it’s a condominium, of course Eventually, Wynkoop Street turns into this pedestrian plaza, right here, in front of Coors Field, which is the baseball stadium home of the Colorado Rockies And now we’re walking on Blake Street, which has many sports bars Of course, there’s no action at this time of the day, so let’s continue exploring, walking towards the 16th Street Mall This is the most pedestrian-friendly area in downtown Denver, full of restaurants, shops, and hotels This tall structure is the D&F Tower In 1910, it was the tallest building west of the Mississippi The 2014 World Cup is going on, so they are broadcasting some of the games right here at Skyline Park behind the tower Lots and lots of family fun, very nice (crowd cheering on TV) At the end of the park, they have this funky-looking geometrically-shaped fountain from the 1970s The bottom floor of the tower, nowadays, hosts Lannie’s Cabaret, and also, street musicians as well They’re everywhere (muffled construction rumbling) Let’s take a quick detour towards Denver Center for Performing Arts and the convention center This tall building is The Curtis Hotel Here’s also the Qwest Corporation building, the Bell Operating Company, formerly The Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company You’ll see all these people in costume because this weekend, the Colorado Convention Center is holding the Denver Comic Con, which, in case you don’t know, it’s a fan convention about comic books and video games, science fiction, and many other genres Fans get into costume to share in the spirit of the convention, depicting their favorite characters Very cool We’ve heard that this year, the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation is holding a panel here Too bad the event is sold out This big blue bear sculpture is Denver’s most popular and most recognized piece of public art Although its official name is I See What You Mean, everybody calls it the Big Blue Bear, naturally Yeah, this Comic Con looks like a lot of fun Maybe we’ll plan ahead next time so we can attend (people chattering) That dude needs tickets, and so do we Moving right along Let’s go back to the 16th Street Mall, among all these people in costume (bell ringing) (romantic instrumental music) This 1930s art deco building is the Paramount Theatre (wind blustering) (lively piano music) And I feel compelled to join the Denver street musicians by playing this salsa-tumbao on one of these colorful pianos which are along the street and anybody can play them The only vehicular traffic on the mall is this shuttle bus, which is very convenient, and we are gonna take it back to the Larimer Square, where we are parked And back by Larimer Square we are, with all its historic architecture Our curiosity, it takes us into this French

quaint little market right next to the Bistro Vendome, which is a French restaurant This bell is the only existing relic of Denver’s old City Hall built on this site in 1883 We continue driving around Denver on this beautiful day, and all of a sudden, the weather begins to deteriorate One lesson we’ve learned is to take advantage of the mornings here in Denver, because in the afternoon, the weather can change suddenly for the worse, especially near the mountains We are on our way towards the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, which is a unique concert venue with, supposedly, superb acoustics I was actually even pondering the idea of going to a concert here tonight, but we have decided against it Let’s just check out the place if the weather cooperates, of course No such luck, though The rain is relentless Regardless, since there is a concert happening in a couple of hours, we are not going to be allowed to go inside and check out the venue By the way, all these rock formations around the stage are responsible for the unique acoustics, which make the Red Rocks Amphitheatre so famous Let’s get out of here We will come back again if, and when, the weather is more appropriate We decided to continue towards Golden, Colorado, home of Coors beer, and lo and behold, the weather starts picking up And we have arrived, turning here into Washington Avenue, which seems to be the main drag (bright upbeat music) We are getting kinda hungry, so let’s find something to eat, and this place looks nice enough There are plenty of restaurants along these streets, and one thing I have noticed is the abundance of good craft beer everywhere Why would you ever have a Coors beer in this town? Maybe because Coors was founded here in 1873 by German-American brewer Adolph Coors Yeah, they even have a statue of the guy They also have a sculpture of a buffalo (people chattering) You know, I’m really starting to like this place Speaking of buffaloes, let’s take this road up to Lookout Mountain, where they have the Buffalo Bill memorial Yeah, this guy, William Frederick Cody, also known as Buffalo Bill, was one of the most colorful figures of the American Old West By the way, we get some commanding views of Golden from the side of the road right here, and we also see Denver in the distance At age 14, Buffalo Bill became a rider for the Pony Express, and later, he served during the Civil War, and the Indian Wars In 1883, he founded the Buffalo Bill’s Wild West, which was like a circus kind of attraction, and they traveled throughout the United States, and even Europe In 1917, he was buried at the place of his choice, right here at Lookout Mountain They have a small museum and visitor’s center After a short hike up the hill, we encounter the Masonic tomb, the final resting place of the great Buffalo Bill The views are grand in every direction That is downtown Denver far away in the distance (bright upbeat music) They also have a delicious fudge shop Delicious (bright pensive music) Okay, let’s go back down (bright pensive music) We make one last stop along the way to see, one more time, this view of Golden, Colorado, and Denver (bright pensive music) We continue going around all these hairpin turns Since the weather is decent now, we are going to explore one last part of the city We have heard great things about the Highland neighborhood,

just west of LoDo, across the Platte River It is supposed to be one of the trendier areas nowadays Let’s park and explore a little bit on foot We stumble upon Confluence Park Actually, we didn’t stumble upon it We actually wanted to come here The park marks the area where gold was discovered in 1858, and this discovery led to the founding of Denver So, you could say that this is the actual birthplace of the city, if you will At this spot, Cherry Creek joins the Platte River, hence the name Confluence Park Even though there are signs everywhere warning about the contamination and the pollution and dangerous chemicals, some people just don’t seem to care and they dip their feet in the putrid waters (groans disgustedly) And that’s all, folks That’s all the time we have at the Mile-High City, a city which, by the way, we have liked a lot It is, perhaps, the dry weather or the mountains, or the healthy people, the lack of oxygen, I don’t know It is a place we would return to for sure, and why not, perhaps, spend the summertime in the future? (upbeat music) We are driving back to our hotel Tomorrow, we are going to make a day trip around the Rocky Mountains west of Denver, mainly to Mount Evans, which is the highest paved road in the United States, and the fact that marijuana is legal here actually has nothing to do with it Highest, get it? (upbeat music) Good morning, once again, from Denver Today, we are driving west into the Rocky Mountains It is our intention to drive up, higher and higher, as high as one can safely drive in the United States We get off Interstate 70 by Idaho Springs, where we begin the ascent to Mount Evans First, we take State Route 103 up to Echo Lake We are having breakfast right here at the lodge, right next to this bird feeder with this view of the mountains Since I suffered from altitude sickness a couple of days ago at the Loveland Pass, I get this oxygen canister, just in case There is a $10 fee to use this road to go up to Mount Evans, and the sign says 24 degrees Fahrenheit at the summit (groans) This is the highest paved road in the United States, going up to a staggering 14,130 feet above sea level, and the summit is about 100 feet higher As we gain altitude, we start seeing less and less trees, and patches of snow here and there We are now above the tree line, tundra climate, and there are no guard rails Any distraction could be fatal here as the car could plunge hundreds of feet down the side of the mountain It is 14 miles from the checkpoint to the top, but we are going to make a quick stop about nine miles up, at Summit Lake (lively music) Here, we get our first views of Mount Evans Yes, it is that tall mountain to the left, now to the front of us Here, the road gets a little rougher as we arrive at Summit Lake, where we’re going to take a quick break from the white knuckle drive (lively music) The lake is still frozen in mid-June (wind blustering) (people chattering) (lively music) We continue going up, relentlessly into the thin air, now at around 13,000 feet above sea level, about 4,000 meters (lively music) At some point, I have to stop

I mean, look at this view My goodness! (wind blustering) That’s our car (lively music) And we continue going up We are almost at the top (lively music) And here we are These ruins belong to the Mount Evans Crest House, which had a restaurant and a gift shop, but burned down in 1979, so there it is (wind blustering) Now, we’ll attempt to climb to the summit of Mount Evans Let me tell you, it is not the easiest of hikes, and I am freezing, by the way Definitely came under-dressed That structure down there next to the Crest House is the Meyer-Womble Observatory At one point, it was the world’s highest optical observatory Now it’s just the third highest Still pretty good, though There’s a lot of very slippery ice, so I must be careful At one point, after slipping and falling, I almost chickened out and turned around, but eventually, made it Here’s a 360-degree view from the top My hand is shaky because of the cold and high winds The best reward for the climbing effort is this view from the top of the Rockies, 14,271 feet, about 4,350 meters above sea level By the way, I did use the oxygen spray a couple of times on the way up, and very useful (wind blustering) That’s a summit, all right Now, (panting) gotta go all the way down there (panting) through this primitive trail (wind blustering) It’s wonderful Well, mission accomplished. (panting) (wind blustering) On the way down, I lose the trail a couple of times, but eventually, I find it (wind blustering) Everest is next. (panting) I was just up there a few minutes ago Can see Denver in the distance, right here at Mount Evans, elevation, 14,130 feet Going down now (peaceful music) Down and down we go, and I feel like stopping at every single viewpoint (energetic peaceful music) Ooh, the hairpin turns! (energetic peaceful music) Let’s stop here for a minute Check it out I’m in awe looking at this view (wind blustering) Back to the car (energetic peaceful music) (energetic electronic music) We pass, again, by Summit Lake, not stopping this time (energetic electronic music) (warm upbeat music) Here, we stop again for a moment

to see this great view of Echo Lake (lively music) And we are, once again, below the timberline (lively music) We pass by Echo Lake one more time (lively music) Eventually, we make it down to Idaho Springs and the junction with I-70 Idaho Springs was founded in 1859 during the early days of the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush This is the very touristy downtown area (lively music) (bright pensive music) Next, we are going to visit the Phoenix Mine The way to the mine is through this dirt road They have an area along this creek where visitors can try their luck at gold panning, a time-honored tradition, while they wait or after the tour And they have some of these artifacts from the good old mining days These tiny rodents are running all over the place, very friendly folks, not afraid at all of humans The mine is owned by the oldest continuous gold mining family in Colorado, and the tour is very nice, actually, and the guide, a very charismatic and friendly guy It is a great tour, especially for the children For the kids, he goes out of the way to get them interested Watch out! (laughing) (tour guide mumbling) – [Tour Guide] They were all minted back in the day Malnutrition keeps you under five-foot-seven This old drill right here is called a widowmaker drill It was invented back in 1878 This is called the lucky bucket right here Always brought up more gold in the buckets, so they’re called lucky bucket Since then, we put it in here, people are rubbin’ this thing from all over the world for luck – [Robert] Ooh, that’s cool – [Tour Guide] Now, do you folks see that ugly gray stuff in the rocks? The dull ugly gray is silver, the little sparkles are pyrite crystals The brown above your head is sand and mud, no good It turns a weird green color, buddy, but our green stuff’s god gold in it You can touch this stuff Come up there and look at the pretty yellow stuff in the rocks That’s all gold in the rocks (mumbles) Gold vein on any tour anywhere in the world, we checked Now, we used to let you touch it right here Do you see the vein of gold in there, buddy? See that yellow in the rock? If you go up to the creek and you find a rock as big as a golf ball that’s stickin’ out of the side, that’s worth between six and 10,000 Any kinda rock from uranium on down has got little bits of gold in it We call it gold ore, there’s lots of rocks with gold in it We chuck it all inside the drum and turn a machine on here This machine makes that drum go round and around All those steel balls in there… (clapping) And bring that sand with all the gold in it down here, and we throw it in the little box over there in the corner The box has little holes on the bottom, let’s the sand drip out real slow when you put a water hose in there with it Next, we start up that machine in the corner It grabs a leg of the table, and the whole table starts shaking when you turn the machine on That’s why they’re called shaker table, really shakes The shaking helps the sand and the mud move across the table, buddy, ’cause the table leans downhill that way, and downhill this way, just a little bit past (mumbles) Sand comes out of the bottom of the box and vibrates across those ribs down there, headin’ downhill Gold, silver, copper, all that good stuff we got in here is really heavy It’s so heavy, it gets stuck behind the ribs Then the heavy stuff follows the ribs all the way down here and falls in a concentrate bucket Please leave your helmet (mumbling) – [Robert] And that’s it in a nutshell I think it was time and money very well spent (bright pensive music) Moving right along, let’s take this newly-opened expressway to Central City called the Central City Parkway

Central City, along with neighboring Black Hawk, it was, originally, a Gold Rush town In the 1990s, casino gambling was introduced, and even though Central City built the nice expressway, Black Hawk is still more popular You know why? They have more casinos The whole place is kind of depressing, like most gambling towns, in my opinion, anyways I was hoping to find a more authentic frontier town, but it is what it is A little bit to the east, and without really noticing, we are now in Black Hawk Same thing, casinos and more casinos They even have shuttle buses Our next and last destination today is Boulder, Colorado, a college town To get there, we are taking the Clear Creek Canyon Road (warm pensive music) To the left, we see these mountains called the Flatirons, very famous Boulder is home to the University of Colorado Boulder, which we can see right here to our right (bright pensive music) We are going to have a late lunch, or perhaps, early dinner by this nice pedestrian area called the Pearl Street Mall Very lively with all the street musicians and performers (upbeat music with woman singing) Well, all good things come to an end, and our time here is up We do have a plane to catch I hope you have enjoyed our unforgettable adventure along the Four Corners region, also known as the Wild West, and also Denver and the Rocky Mountains (upbeat music) ♫ I’m riding ♫ Riding with my RV ♫ Wherever I want to be ♫ Because I’m free in my RV ♫ Yeah, I’m riding, riding