East Meets West

From top to bottom: Central Park, New York City; Colorado Prairie; approaching storm at Dead Horse Point, Utah

From top to bottom: Central Park, New York City; Colorado Prairie; approaching storm at Dead Horse Point, Utah

Summer, 1997. I am in graduate school and I am miserable.

I was hoping to take a trip this summer to leave my troubles behind. Early in the year, it was looking like my friends Yuri and Lena might return to the Ukraine for vacation. In the end, Yuri was unable to go return to Kiev. I hatched a plan to drive them to New York, where Lena could catch a plane and Yuri and I could continue traveling.

I was thinking it would be nice to go out west, but we would both need enough time to do so. We spent several days in New York, then Yuri and I headed for Colorado and Utah. It was a bit of a marathon, but a welcome, albeit temporary, rescue from school.

Map

Starting in Ohio, we went to New York City (day 1) and spent the next few days there. Then proceeded west arriving in the middle of Kansas on the evening of day 9. After a small loop around Colorado and a bit of Utah, we returned home to Ohio.

Pennsylvania

Our first leg of the trip was from Toledo to New York across I-80. We left on the 29th of July around 3:30 in the morning. The Sun rose around Cleveland and the day bloomed perfectly—blue sky and cool temperatures. I drove from Toledo to the middle of Pennsylvania, where Yuri took over. Lena slept in the back seat much of the way.

I-80 in Eastern Pennsylvania
I-80 in Eastern Pennsylvania
Farming in the Dells
Farming in the Dells
Pennsylvania Mountains
Pennsylvania Mountains
The Delaware Water Gap
The Delaware Water Gap
Yuri and Lena Beside the Delaware
Yuri and Lena Beside the Delaware
Yuri and Me
Yuri and Me

New York City

We arrived in New York on the afternoon of the 29th and spent four days there. We dropped my stuff off at my sister's apartment on West 50th Street, then drove to Brooklyn where friends of Yuri and Lena were living near Coney Island.

During our stay, we strolled around the city, I spent time with my sister, Suzanne, and my friend Don, and I saw a play. This was the first time I had ventured out on my own in the city and I developed a familiarity with New York that I had previously not had.

Looking South from the Empire State
Looking South from the Empire State
Flatiron
Flatiron
34th Street
34th Street
Midtown and the Park
Midtown and the Park
Looking north from the Empire State
Looking north from the Empire State
Midtown Manhattan
Midtown Manhattan
Below the Empire State Building
Below the Empire State Building
The Concorde in Times Square
The Concorde in Times Square
Times Square Looking South
Times Square Looking South
Times Square Looking North
Times Square Looking North
St. Patrick's Cathedral
St. Patrick's Cathedral
Yuri and Me
Yuri and Me
Steam Leak!
Steam Leak!
Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center
Animals
Animals
Central Park
Central Park
The Lake
The Lake
The Sheep Meadow
The Sheep Meadow
The Ramble
The Ramble
Street Find
Street Find
Washington Square
Washington Square
Mulberry Street
Mulberry Street
Civic Center
Civic Center
The Municipial Building
The Municipial Building
Chinatown
Chinatown
The U.S.S. Intrepid Museum
The U.S.S. Intrepid Museum
The Battery
The Battery
World Trade Center and Lower Manhattan
World Trade Center and Lower Manhattan
Bowling Green
Bowling Green
Midtown From the Brooklyn Bridge
Midtown From the Brooklyn Bridge
Lower Manhattan form the Brooklyn Bridge
Lower Manhattan form the Brooklyn Bridge
Times Square at night
Times Square at night

Kansas

After spending a few days in New York, we high-tailed it out west. We left from my parent's place near Philadelphia around 8 in the evening and drove straight through to Kansas. Our priority on this leg of the trip was to get there rather than see things. We drove through Indianapolis around dawn and kept on going, arriving at a campsite in the middle of Kansas at about 6 o'clock the following evening.

Kanopolis Lake
Kanopolis Lake
Sunset
Sunset
Pawnee Rock
Pawnee Rock
Me Atop Pawnee Rock
Me Atop Pawnee Rock
Fort Larned
Fort Larned
Dodge City
Dodge City

Southern Colorado

As one drives into western Kansas and eastern Colorado, the signs of civilization become few and far between. We drove a main road into Colorado, US Route 50, but took the 70-mile, Colorado Route 10 to meet up with the southern road through Colorado. For over an hour we drove without seeing another town, not even an intersecting road. We only saw the occasional watering hole for cattle and the fences to keep them in.

We had an adventure driving across the prairie of Kansas and Colorado. A large bumble bee flew in the car and smacked into Yuri, awakening later to sting him on the arm. We were also stuck behind a large, open-topped tractor trailer overflowing with dead cows, their upright legs bouncing up and down as the truck motored down the highway. Be glad you weren't there to smell it.

Colorado Prairie
Colorado Prairie
Colorado Hills
Colorado Hills
Yuri and the Cactus
Yuri and the Cactus
Distant Dunes
Distant Dunes
Mountains and Camp Site
Mountains and Camp Site
Great Sand Dunes Nat'l Monument
Great Sand Dunes Nat'l Monument
Medano Creek
Medano Creek
Dunes and Mountains
Dunes and Mountains
Hot Stuff
Hot Stuff
Medano Creek Erosion
Medano Creek Erosion
Along the Rio Grande
Along the Rio Grande
Bee Sting
Bee Sting
Valley View
Valley View
Valley Overlook
Valley Overlook
Yuri and Me
Yuri and Me
Rock Outcrop
Rock Outcrop
Wolf Creek Pass
Wolf Creek Pass
Treasure Falls
Treasure Falls
Sock Tan Line
Sock Tan Line
View from US 550
View from US 550
A Rocky Mountain
A Rocky Mountain
Ouray, Colorado
Ouray, Colorado
Camp Hell
Camp Hell
Yet Another Mountain View
Yet Another Mountain View
Snow-Capped Peaks
Snow-Capped Peaks
Sandstone Exposed
Sandstone Exposed
San Miguel River
San Miguel River
Flatlands
Flatlands
Utah, Dead Ahead
Utah, Dead Ahead
Arid Valley
Arid Valley

Utah

We have now arrived in the deserts of southeastern Utah. This will be a brief venture into the low-lying basin where the temperatures are high and water is scarce. Our destination here is Arches National Park and a few other parks in the area.

Delicate Arch Viewpoint
Delicate Arch Viewpoint
Yuri and the Delicate Arch
Yuri and the Delicate Arch
The Wash
The Wash
View From the Trail
View From the Trail
Petrified Sand Dunes
Petrified Sand Dunes
Park Avenue
Park Avenue
Teetering
Teetering
The Balanced Rock
The Balanced Rock
Morning in Canyon Country
Morning in Canyon Country
Our Camp Site
Our Camp Site
Dead Horse State Park
Dead Horse State Park
The Winding Colorado
The Winding Colorado
Colorado River gooseneck
Colorado River gooseneck
Another View
Another View
Daredevil
Daredevil
Living on the Edge
Living on the Edge
Dead Horse Point Overlook I
Dead Horse Point Overlook I
Dead Horse Point Overlook II
Dead Horse Point Overlook II
Dead Horse Point Overlook III
Dead Horse Point Overlook III
Out on a Limb
Out on a Limb
Yuri and Canyon
Yuri and Canyon
Looking south from Dead Horse Park
Looking south from Dead Horse Park
Mesa Top
Mesa Top
Approaching Storm
Approaching Storm
Twisted Tree
Twisted Tree
The Three Gossips
The Three Gossips
Sandstone Landscape
Sandstone Landscape
The Windows
The Windows
The Double Arch
The Double Arch
Getting Closer
Getting Closer
Inside the Double Arch
Inside the Double Arch
Yuri in the Arch
Yuri in the Arch
View From the Double Arch
View From the Double Arch
Joining the Arches
Joining the Arches
Me in a Window
Me in a Window
Along Utah Route 128
Along Utah Route 128
The Colorado River
The Colorado River
Sandstone Walls
Sandstone Walls
Steep Walls
Steep Walls
Fisher Towers
Fisher Towers

Central Colorado

From the deserts of Utah, we venture back into Colorado and to cooler climates. We make the transition from arid basin to alpine mountains and back to prairie and grasslands. First, we visit the Colorado National Monument, then Mount Evans, where the highest road in the U.S. was built.

Fruita Canyon View
Fruita Canyon View
Independence Monument
Independence Monument
View from Rim Rock Drive
View from Rim Rock Drive
Coke Ovens View
Coke Ovens View
Bridge Near Vail
Bridge Near Vail
Big Horn Sheep
Big Horn Sheep
Eastern View
Eastern View
The Road to the Top
The Road to the Top
Looking West
Looking West
Hovering Clouds
Hovering Clouds
Echo Lake
Echo Lake
Yuri and Sheep
Yuri and Sheep
The Road Below
The Road Below
Posing Big Horns
Posing Big Horns
Baby Big Horn
Baby Big Horn
Mountain Precipice
Mountain Precipice
The Top!
The Top!
My Lovely Apartment Complex
My Lovely Apartment Complex