Visas, Dinners and Excursions

mapHave been tidying up a last few loose ends before our trip.  Our US ESTA visa waivers had run out (they last 2 years) so we’ve re-applied and been granted new ones.  It’s a very easy online process.

Have finished booking any excursions we wanted to get nailed on in advance.  These include a couple of ranger led hikes up in Glacier National Park.  Nothing too advanced – 1/2 day outings, not much elevation gain.   I am planning that we get some good walking practice in before we set off, but knowing how life intrudes…..  still…. planning to do some! There are some fantastic full day hikes that I would mentally love to attempt but I have to be realistic.  If they were reasonably flat, I could definitely do them, but if they are mainly uphill AND at altitude to boot… (see what I did there 🙂  )  well…. I’m not so sure.  We will have to see how we go.

We also have booked on 3 special train trips in the mountains, including the famous Durango-Silverton route.  We are also riding the Leadville mining train and the Georgetown mining train.  The Georgetown one also includes a visit into an old silver mine and panning for gold!  This time next year, Bobney, we could be MILLIONAIRES!!! (only Brits will get this joke).   The latter two trains are quite short runs but the Durango trip is three hours heading steadily upwards and along a gorge.  The autumn colours should be amazing.  I have wanted to ride this train for literally decades!  We have (bravely) opted to ride in the open carriages so that the photo opportunities are not impeded.  I am praying for a dry day.

I put all the travel arrangements into a folder in Outlook and also into my Roadtrip software.  Bob has an application called Trip-it that he uses to hold all our booking detail. So covered digitally multiple times!  However, I have also made an old school paper file of everything “just in case”.  I have been caught before where I am relying on details in my phone to get somewhere and then the signal goes down……

We are celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary on this trip and we arrive in Yellowstone National park on that day.  We’re breaking our economy rule somewhat and have booked dinner at the Lake Hotel in their dining room.  Lake Hotel Dining Room It looks very elegant.  Combining that dinner with dusk game viewing before and after.   I have also booked a dinner a couple of nights later at the Old Faithful Dining Room  Old Faithful Dining Room .    Our rooms in the national parks do not allow self catering and most night we will eat in the cheaper cafes but a couple of nights it’s worth a splurge just for the experience.  The food is not brilliant by all accounts, but the historic rooms and the views make up for it.  Going outside the park is not an option – it’s a long, long way….

Anyway, we are ready in many ways.  Still got to work on fitness.  Decisions on packing lie ahead because the weather during our trip is going to range from “extremely hot” to “below freezing”.  There could even be snow by the end.  Another complication is that we are returning to the UK on the Queen Mary 2 from New York and so we will have a case of formal clothes with us.  We plan to leave that case with a friend we are visiting at the beginning of our trip and who is then visiting us in Breckenridge at the end of the trip, before we head east.  Thank you, Ricky!