Last Updated: 17-MAR-2016

West Trip Fall 2008

This trip came to me while sitting in traffic on my way to work. So, I went home and got the tickets (paid a bit more as was only a week from departure) and reserved the car with Alamo.

Got non-stop flights on SouthWest Airlines from Baltimore to Las Vegas and back. Total cost on that was $900

Rented from Alamo. The price for a mid size 4x4 SUV was only $409 for 13 days. I had another trip planned from Albuquerque, NM and the rental cost at Alamo was over $1,200 so the Las Vegas start/finish was easy to decide.

The SUV we got was a Chevy Trailblazer. It was ok. But, I sure the heck would not buy one. The transmission did not shift right and I felt that the driver side window was ready to fall down into the door at any moment. Also, it did not have much power and the higher we went the worse it got. But, for the "rental" price it was ok and it got good mileage so it had over 400 mile range on one tank. Another bad thing about it was that it had car tires on it so we had to pass on some of the more remote areas in Death Valley out of fear of having problems.

I had been to Death Valley National Park but that was it. I am not a fan of California as I have seen all across the west the damage that California people & ideas have done to places like Colorado and Jackson Hole. Happy to say that I did not see any of that on this trip !

I look back on this trip and I realize we will probably not ever have a vacation like this again. It was in the middle of the so called great recession and we did not encounter crowds at any of the places we visited. The gas prices were approaching $4 a gallon so we had the roads and parks to ourselves. It was a wonderful trip during a great time.

I used two camera on this trip. If the file name is (IMG_number) it was a Cannon Powershot SD750 Digital Elph. For its size it takes very good photos. If the file name is (DSCNnumber) it was taken with a Nikon Coolpix 5400 5.1meg pixl camera. (Old but much better optics)


Miles driven 2,337

Below is our route of the trip. The #s shown indicate direction of travel.


Trip Plan

  • OCT 08 WED Day 01 Flight out, Drive from Las Vegas to Tehachapi then to Three Rivers, CA.
  • OCT 09 THU Day 02 Sequoia National Park
  • OCT 10 FRI Day 03 Kings Canyon National Park
  • OCT 11 SAT Day 04 Yosemite National Park
  • OCT 12 SUN Day 05 Yosemite National Park
  • OCT 13 MON Day 06 Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park over Tioga Pass and Mono Lake
  • OCT 14 TUE Day 07 Bodie Ghost Town, Mono Lake, Volcano Site
  • OCT 15 WED Day 08 North to Lake Tahoe. Donner Memorial State Park, Honey Lake State Wildlife Area
  • OCT 16 THU Day 09 Lassen Volcanic National Park
  • OCT 17 FRI Day 10 Earthquake Fault, Devils Postpile National Monument, Hot Creek
  • OCT 18 SAT Day 11 Ancient bristlecone Pine Forest, Northern end of Death Valley National Park
  • OCT 19 SUN Day 12 Death Valley
  • OCT 20 MON Day 13 Death Valley, Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Then to Vegas
  • OCT 21 TUE Day 14 Trip Home


  • Return to Ken's and Mary's Trips page