The Model A Touring Club is pleased to announce the Old Southwest tour scheduled this year from September 29 through October 15. This ambitious 16 day driving tour will start and end in Kanab Utah. You and your Model A Ford will visit fabulous destinations in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.
As we all know, things can be a bit unpredictable these days, so keep in mind that this is currently a tentative tour. At this point, Tour Leader Marcus Cunnick is collecting names of those interested. If you have interest in participating, please contact Marcus at MarcusC305@aol.com.
“Once a year, go somewhere you’ve never been before” –Dalai Lama
Here is information from Marcus about the tour.
OK… Here it is, a quick synopsis of what you may be missing if you don’t care to attend the “Old Southwest Tour” This is going to be a driver’s tour. Gosh, Your poor car has been sitting in the dark corner of your garages for the last year and a half and it wants to get out on the road too, not to mention all of us who have been hopefully hunkered down for the last 11 or so months being safe. I may be a little aggressive in my planning but the Southwest is a BIG area with Sooooo much to see and do. None of us are getting any younger so lets plan a truly Grand Tour while we are still able. This is a tour that will cover many easy miles with long and straight roads. As I see it, everyone can travel at least 45 – 55 miles an hour easily. Four hours of some of the most beautiful scenery in North America and the entire world, 200 miles later, and we are at our final evening destination. Your journey and enjoyment is what you make of it. It will be truly beautiful and grand.
“One day you will wake up and realize that there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do” –Paulo Coelho
The tour is tentatively being planned around the last few days of September and the first week or two of October. I am looking at approximately 16 days and probably 2,200 miles…maybe a few more. For those of you that joined us on the Great Lakes Tour in 2019, I am planning this one much the same. No rest for the weary. So much to see and so little time.
Please be so kind as to send me a quick note. My email address is MarcusC305@aol.com. We’ll start and end in Kanab, Utah.
Day 0 / Wednesday, September 29, 2021 – Kanab, Utah. Arrive and relax. Kick off dinner at… Don’t have that one nailed down yet. Stay tuned.
Day 1 / Thursday, September 30, 2021 – Off we go… No, no, not into the wild blue yonder but to the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument and then to the Navajo National Monument. Our final destination for the day will end up in the heart of Monument Valley at “The View Lodge and Hotel”. I might recommend checking out this link (monumentvalleyview.com) and check out the view from our private balconies for the evening. Sleep well, some of the best is yet to come.
Day 2 / Friday, October 1, 2021 – Rise and shine – On our own, we will drive the loop tour through Monument Valley. Considered one of the most scenic roads in the USA, it is a little over 17 miles long and with photo stops and side roads should take a couple of hours. Once we leave the park we will get on the road again and pass through Bears Ears National Monument, Hovenweep National Monument, Canyons of The Ancients National Monument, and Yucca National Monument.
On the route we will need to make a brief detour Our last sight seeing agenda for the day will be a tour to Mesa Verde National Park. Holy cow… 5 National Monuments and 1 National Park in one day. Like the little engine said… I think I can…I think I can. The evening will conclude with a chuck wagon dinner and evening show with the J Bar Wranglers. Yes, we will get some rest tonight as tomorrow will be another great day to behold.
Day 3 / Saturday, October 2, 2021 – Up and Adam… Today is a simple, easy, and scenic drive past the Aztec Ruins National Monument, and over Angel Peak in the San Juan Basin Badlands. One quick detour of a couple miles along the way, we will visit the Four Corners National Monument. Our ultimate destination for today is Albuquerque, NM. Prior to checking into our motel for the evening we will have surprise #1 in Albuquerque. Don’t get too excited however the surprise is one of only 2 such venues in the United States and one of only 6 in the entire world. Dinner is on our own and then to bed early as tomorrow is a VERY BIG DAY!!!
Day 4 / Sunday, October 3, 2021 – Did I mention today is a VERY BIG DAY… No sleeping in this morning. We need to be on our way by at least 5:30 a.m. to be on the balloon field for the mass ascension of the Albuquerque Balloon Festival. (balloonfiesta.com) There will be approx 3 waves of some 250-300 balloons per wave. On the field we will be able to chat with the pilots and feel the heat. As soon as the last wave takes off we will hurry back to our cars and join the Rainbow Roadrunners Antique Car Club in their parade entry back onto the field and join them for a 2 – 3 hour car show. Around noon or 1:00 we will exit and visit the Petroglyphs National Monument within 5 miles of our motel. One more surprise and then a couple of hour nap… Back into our cars before dusk, we will head back to the balloon field for the evening GLOW. The field is filled with balloons with burners lit to illuminate the night sky. Immediately following the GLOW will be evening fireworks. Then… to the hotel for some much deserved rest. Tomorrow we will be on the road again.
Day 5 / Monday, October 4, 2021 – Hopefully everyone survived our hectic Sunday. Today is an easy drive almost due north heading towards Alamosa, CO. We will go past the Kasha-Katuwe National Monument, a bit further down the road…the Bandelier National Monument and finally the Reo Grande Norte National Monument. All this before settling into our motel, the Hampton Inn for the night. Pizza Party, wine & ice cold beer. We deserve it. Sleep well.
Day 6 / Tuesday, October 5, 2021 – Finally an easy day. Bring your swimming suits. We will visit the Great Sand Dunes National Park and then a bit further up the road stop by the UFO viewing tower and visitor center. One last national monument for the day… the Browns Canyon National Monument. We will want to check into our evening quarters a bit early so that we can spend the evening either creek side in the natural flowing hot springs or in the man made pools, spas, and steam baths. All are fed by the Princeton Hot Springs. (email@example.com) The Mount Princeton Resort has been in operation since 1879. Dinner will be on our own.
Day 7 / Wednesday, October 6, 2021 – On day seven “He” rested… Not for us, on the road again to…….Stay tuned and please drop me a note or call with any questions.
Day 7… Wednesday, October 6, 2021… Today is going to be an easy day of only 97 miles. After we leave Mt. Princeton Hot Springs we will head almost due East on Route 24, a most beautiful and scenic road, up and over Wilkerson Pass (9504 ft) surrounded by several of the Colorado “fourteeners” (mountains over 14,000 ft) then down the road a bit farther past the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. Finally the last leg of today takes us over to our new home for the next two nights. We will be staying at the Villa Motel, an easy 5 minute walk from historic downtown Manitou Springs. Prior to checking into our lodging for the evening we will take a self guided tour through the “Garden Of The Gods”. An easy 20 minute drive, You may want to get out and take a stroll through the many paths and trails along the way. Make sure you stop at the visitors center and gift shop before leaving the park. Dinner tonight is on our own.
Day 8…Thursday, October 7, 2021… Here we go again… so much to see and do, so little time. Our first stop today will be a brief drive over to the United States Olympic Center for a tour of their facilities. Being an Olympic Year, hopefully it should prove very informative and interesting. The gift shop and visitor center is most wonderful. Plan on doing some early Christmas shopping (Our daughter spent several years as the
Director of Development for USA Swimming at the center). Following our “Olympic Experience” we will drive over to the Manitou Cliff Dwellings that date back 800-1000 years. This stop should only take an hour or so and then off to the “Pikes Peak Cog Railway” where we will board a cog railcar for a journey to the top of Pikes Peak…14,110 feet, one of the 58 “fourteeners” in the state of Colorado. Please note that this is one of the highest railways in the entire world and has been in continuous operation since 1891. Once a the top, be sure to get your doughnuts. Pikes Peak doughnuts at the top are almost considered a “Right of Passage” you made it. Once we arrive safely at the bottom, dinner will be on our own. Today’s mileage will might be 20 miles total.
Day 9… Friday, October 8, 2021… OK, on the road again. Pack up your things and today, yes, “Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder” We will start our day with a visit and hopefully tour of the United States Air Force Academy… then, in passing back through Manitou Springs we will re-visit Pikes Peak for a “Once In A Lifetime” leisurely drive to the top. If my 1914 Model T can make it, surely a modern 1930 Model A will make it without a grunt. Again, don’t forget your doughnuts. After we arrive back at the bottom of the mountain and our brakes cool off we will head off on an easy 50 mile drive to Canon City, Co… Home of the old Territorial Prison and now the Colorado State Penitentiary. After checking into our motel for the evening we will take a brief trip over to the east side of town for a 3 mile most scenic journey along Razorback Ridge overlooking the city of Cannon City. The ridge drive is directly on top of the foothills range built by prison labor in 1905. Automobile traffic was first allowed in 1907. I have done this road several times in the last 50 years and in never fails to disappoint. Just a quick note… One Way and a bit harrowing. Back into town, dinner on our own.
Day 10… Saturday, October 9, 2021… Prior to leaving town we will stop at one of America’s newest National Parks… Royal Gorge National Park. Make sure you at least walk the bridge some 1000 feet above the Arkansas River. The bridge is the highest suspension bridge in North America and for that matter, the highest suspension bridge in the entire world. If you feel brave, take one of the gondola cars for a most magnificent view of the canyon and river below. If you are really, really, really brave, one more really, take the zip line tour, only 1200 feet to the bottom of the gorge. Not to worry, if the cable broke, you wouldn’t feel a thing. Most likely you would die of fright before you ever hit the bottom. Gosh, didn’t mean to be so pessimistic. After leaving the park, we will head off for and easy and most beautiful, really beautiful, fantastically beautiful, ok, you get the point, drive up and over Monarch pass (11,312 feet, I’ve done it years ago in December with chains) to our evening destination in Montrose, CO. Dinner will be on our own unless my surprise for the evening comes to fruition. Please stay tuned and sleep well.
Day 11… Sunday, October 10, 2021… Today is an easy one. After breakfast we will take another scenic drive an additional 172 miles past the most wonderful overlooks of the Gunnison National Park. Our drive today will end up in Moab, UT. After checking into our quarters for the evening and a brief nap, we will have a group cowboy styled dinner and then take a two hour cruise on the Colorado River in Canyon lands National Park as we enjoy the entertainment and evening light show. Again… sleep well, tomorrow will be another Great National Parks Day!
Day 12… Monday, October 11, 2021… Today I recommend an early start as it will be I believe, our longest day… some 212 miles. Please note, this does however include a couple of loop roads in the National Parks. We will begin by backtracking about 12 miles to first visit Arches National Park. Take as much time as you wish driving the loop road (maybe 2-3 hours) and then off an additional 26 miles to Canyon lands National Park. The entire scenic loop road on Islands of the Sky is 34 miles. Another once in a lifetime drive, especially from the front seat of your Model A. The final push of the day will be an additional drive of 67 miles to Blanding UT and then back through Monument Valley, 73 miles, again to the View Lodge. It has been a fantastic day.
Day 13… Tuesday, October 12, 2012… A simple driving day retracing our steps past the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument and then the Navajo National Monument. Back to Kanab, dinner is on our own, Rest up and never fear, some of the best is yet to come
Day 14… Wednesday, October 13, 2021… Another easy driving day to Bryce Canyon National Park. Not to rival the Grand Canyon, many consider it just as magnificent. On the way to or from the park be sure to stop in Mount Carmel, UT at the Thunderbird Restaurant, “Home of the “HO” Made Pies”, and also consider lunch, a bit farther up the road at Ruby’s Trading Post, restaurant, gas station, outfitters. Since 1916, a most wonderful experience. On to tour the park and enjoy the vistas on your own and then back to Ruby’s Canyon View Inn where we will be lodging for the evening and having a most wonderful group dinner. Sleep well, there’s more to come.
Day 15… Thursday, October 14, 2021… Today we will take an easy drive over to Cedar Breaks National Monument. At the visitors center and looking out to the west a very, very long way off in the distance we should be able to see the front range in Nevada some 96 miles away. After leaving the scenic overlook area we will take a quick jaunt up to the top of Brian’s Head Peak. Here, you will be so high up that we will look down on the ski resort. On a good day we should be able to see Nevada, Arizona and of course Utah. Yes, a good running Model “A” can make it, Mary and I have done it in our “T”. Safe travels back to Kanab, dinner on our own.
Day 16… Friday, October 15, 2021… Our last journey together (at least for this trip) we will pack up and head down the final road, the last of this Grand adventure to the North Rim of The Grand Canyon. Make sure you stop at all of the scenic overlooks and the various turnouts to enjoy the views. The North Rim is my most favorite place of awe and inspiration in the entire world. It is special! Tonight we will spend our final night together in the cabins at the Grand Canyon Lodge with a group dinner in the dining room. It will be a most special and fitting end to “The Ole Southwest Tour” 2021.