Day 1 – Independence, Missouri – Anticipating the splendor of the Colorado Rockies, we board our motorcoach and travel through Indiana and Illinois into the “Show Me State” of Missouri. Our overnight accommodations will be in Independence.
Day 2 – Truman Library – Eisenhower Center – Salina, Kansas – After an included breakfast, we continue our journey westward. First, we tour the Harry S. Truman Library & Museum, which houses the president’s personal and office papers. After lunch on our own, we visit the Dwight D. Eisenhower Center in Abilene, Kansas. We will visit his boyhood home, museum, and the Meditation Chapel, where he is buried. We overnight in Salina.
Day 3 – Denver, Colorado – After an included breakfast, we cross the great plains of Kansas into Colorado, where we leave the flat terrain behind us and head for the “Mile High City” of Denver. We overnight in the Denver area.
Day 4 – Denver City Tour – Air Force Academy – Garden of the Gods – Colorado Springs, Colorado – After an included breakfast, a local guide will step aboard our motorcoach and provide a narrative history of the cosmopolitan city of Denver. In the afternoon, we travel to Colorado Springs, where we visit the Air Force Academy. Next, we drive through the colorful Garden of the Gods. This natural park is located at the base of Pike’s Peak, where the Great Plains meet the Rockies. We will see massive, towering formations of red sandstone. We overnight two nights in Colorado Springs.
Day 5 – Pike’s Peak Cog Railway – After an included breakfast, a thrilling day is ahead as we take the Cog Railway to the summit of Pike’s Peak for a spectacular view of the Colorado Rockies. From Pike’s Peak, it is possible on a clear day to see both Denver and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Southern Colorado and New Mexico. Overnight same hotel.
Day 6 – Royal Gorge – Black Canyon of the Gunnison – After an included breakfast, we travel south to the Royal Gorge, where we begin the adventure of a lifetime. We take a breathtaking trek across its famous bridge that spans 1,053 feet above the Arkansas River. Next, we travel beyond the majestic Colorado Rockies as we visit the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument. This lovely area is famed for its narrowness, its depth, and its gorge formations. The name Black Canyon comes from the dark-colored rocks in the area. We overnight in Montrose, Colorado.
Day 7 – Ouray – Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad – Breakfast is included at our hotel. Today we head deep into the mountains and national forests of the Colorado Rockies. We begin with a stop in Ouray, known as the “Switzerland of America.” We continue to Silverton, an old silver mining town rich in history and legend. After lunch on our own, we board the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and journey through the ruggedly beautiful mountains of the San Juan National Forest on our way to Durango, Colorado, where we overnight.
Day 8 – Mesa Verde National Park – Pagosa Springs, Colorado – After an included breakfast, we travel a short distance to Mesa Verde National Park, which contains the Southwest’s best-preserved cliff-dweller Native American ruins. Next, we make our way to Pagosa Springs, Colorado, where we overnight.
Day 9 – Santa Fe, New Mexico – After an included breakfast, we skirt the edges of the Rio Grande National Forest and cross into New Mexico. Our destination today is Santa Fe, the oldest capital city in the U.S. We’ll enjoy lunch on our own and shopping in Santa Fe Plaza. You will see numerous landmarks from colonial Spanish times. Overnight in Santa Fe.
Day 10 – Cadillac Ranch – Weatherford, Oklahoma – After an included breakfast, we head east across the Texas panhandle. This afternoon, we will stop at the Cadillac Ranch, a most unusual art exhibit located along historic Route 66. The ten graffiti-covered cars are half-buried, facing west “at the same angle as the Cheops Pyramid.” We overnight in Weatherford.
Day 11 – National Cowboy Hall of Fame Museum – Springfield, Missouri – After an included breakfast, we stop at the National Cowboy Hall Of Fame in Oklahoma City. While there, be sure to see the famous “End of the Trail” statue. Next, we travel northeast to Springfield, Missouri, where we overnight.
Day 12 – Home – After an included breakfast, we board our coach and head toward home, remembering the breathtaking beauty of the Colorado Rockies.
Meals: 11B, 1D