Lloyd & Patty's
Fairly Excellent Adventure

Being a recounting of their May, 1998 Vacation

Deciding to take an extended Memorial Day holiday, Lloyd and Patty set out on a drive across the southwestern US. Since Patty has the summer off from her college job, she drove California-ward to visit Lloyd. Lloyd flew east to Albuquerque, NM to join her for the second half of the epic voyage. This page documents that second half in prose and picture.


Lloyd's brother, Mike, sister-in-law, Tammy, and brand new niece, Kaitlyn, just happen to live in Albuquerque. Lloyd and Patty had a great time meeting the new arrival.

Lloyd and Kaitlyn
Patty and Kaitlyn
Lloyd, Mike, and Kaitlyn

The five of them headed out to Bandelier National Monument, a large site of pre-Columbian Indian ruins.

Lloyd and Patty on a ladder entrance to a cave home
Lloyd, Patty and Mike standing in front of the ruined town
Mike, Tammy, and Kaitlyn on a cave ladder


After a number of days in Albuquerque, Lloyd and Patty set out westward. They first stopped at the Petrified Forest National Park. Despite the name, very few living trees were anywhere to be seen. The park is instead named for hundreds of ancient petrified trees that have become exposed due to erosion of softer soil and rock from around their trunks. On the north side of the park are excellent views of the Arizona painted desert.

The painted desert
Lloyd at the painted desert
Lloyd and Patty
Lloyd and Patty try the camera's timer mode at a petrified log

Next on the agenda was The Grand Canyon. Despite arriving on Sunday morning of Memorial Day weekend, the crowds were very managable, exept at the park visitor center.

Pretty scenery
More pretty scenery
Lloyd and Patty
Lloyd and Patty again watching their timer camera fall over


On the way to Las Vegas, lies a famous bottle neck known as The Hoover Dam. Lloyd and Patty covered 4 miles of road in about 80 minutes.

Cars and (poorly named) trucks on the switchbacks leading to the Dam
The Dam, the water, and the traffic.

When they finally made it through the backups at the dam, the final few miles to Las Vegas passed quickly. Lloyd and Patty stayed at the Excalibur, a medieval themed super hotel with 4000 rooms.

The Excalibur
Across the street was the New York, New York hotel
Lloyd at a slot machine

One of their main goals in Las Vegas was the new Star Trek Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton. The show featured a large collection of Trek costumes and props, a really nifty motion control ride, and a prominade of shops featuring Quark's Bar.

Outdoor entrance to the ride
Indoor entrance to the ride
Props and costumes from the original series
A large model of the Next Gen Enterprise
Some Deep Space 9 artifacts
The attraction's men's room sign


After leaving Las Vegas, our two explorers headed on toward home, by way of Death Valley. These pictures are still in their camera at the moment, so check back later for exciting shots of sand dunes, cactii, salt flats and more!

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Copyright (c) 1998-2003 Lloyd B. Eldred , all rights reserved.