USA 2015



What's covered?

On our 2014 visit to the USA, we stayed at The Bears Inn, Evergreen, near Denver Colorado. In the story of that trip we mention that my good friend John Daigle joined us for breakfast. When his 70th birthday came around we had the idea of arranging for John to visit The Bears Inn for one of the very special breakfasts that the owner, Vicki Bock, prepares. John went with his sister Dianne and her husband Ken. Afterwards John mentioned to Vicki that he was going to a concert and she responded that it should be a great event. To cut a long story short, John invited Vicki to join him, they went to various other events and eventually decided to marry. So in addition to any other skills we may have, John now credits Gill and me with being marriage brokers!

We went out to join the celebrations and it was wonderful that our mutual friend Rick Stone could also join us.

28 April - Flight to Denver

Our arrival in Denver was expected by the airport fire crews who very kindly came out to greet us, running at speed alongside the plane! The captain then announced that this was because he had reported a brake light warning. We were not warned beforehand as he was confident that it the fault was the light rather than the brakes. So glad he was right! The flight home was more dramatic but more about that later.

We took a taxi to the Crowne Plaza on the airport site for an overnight stop. By our body clocks it was too late to go onto Evergreen.

29 April / 3 May - Bears Inn, Evergreen

Next morning we went off to Alamo to pick up our hire car. We had booked a Hyundai Sante Fe or similar and were pointed to a line of just three vehicles, a Chrysler and two Ford Explorers, both rather larger. However, we were assured they were the same class so we elected for one of the Explorers. We were then told they are rather heavy on fuel but at American prices for fuel, that wasn't an issue and we didn't find it unduly thirsty. It proved to be an ideal vehicle, especially as it was a seven seater, which was useful later.

Our sat nav took us to the Bears Inn via Red Rocks (see Colorado 2009) where we met John and Vicki, the newlyweds of a couple of weeks.

On our first night there we all went out to dinner. Afterwards I was violently sick and it was not related to the food or drink. With hindsight, it was a sign that I had a bit of a health problem.

29 April


30 April


1 May

Breakfast with the family


Dale and Linda Lovin's house. They kindly offered it John and Vicki for the wedding celebration.

After breakfast Gill went off with Vicki and others to prepare things for the next day.

On the way home, they were caught in a hailstorm.




2 May

John and Vicki. John with a Mayan theme as that is one of his interests.

Dale and Linda Lovin whose house the celebration was hosted in.


Beauty (John's sister Dianne)

... and the beast (John's brother-in-law Ken).


Vicki's daughter on the left.



3 May

John Daigle, Rick Stone and Peter Grainge. Probably discussing RoboHelp.


4 May - Steamboat Springs

Having had a wonderful time with John and Vicki and their families, and Rick, we headed off alone on the tour we had planned. We were going to make the most of being over in this wonderful part of the USA. Our first overnight stop was the Holiday Inn at Steamboat Springs.

5 May

These photos cover our journey to the Quality Inn, Rock Springs.


Our hire car.

Aspen trees.



6 May / 7 May

We weren't too impressed with our previous night's accommodation so we were pleased the next stop was at the Crystal Inn Hotel and Suites. Salt Lake City, very much better.

In the afternoon of 6 May we wandered around the city and next day we headed off to Antelope Island.

During our wander around the city, we were told there would be a choir practice the next evening and asked if we would like to attend. Would we like to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir rehearse? Too right we would.

We arrive at Antelope Island.


8 May / 11 May

The next four nights were spent at the Best Western, Greenwell Inn, Moab.

We didn't take any pictures on the journey to Moab but we made up for that in the following days. There was also another sign that all was not well with me as one night I had pains I had experienced before and which, without testing, doctors find difficult to distinguish between digestive problems and the possiblity of a heart attack.

9 May

Our first day out from Moab was to the Canyonlands National Park.




10 May

Our second day was at Arches National Park.




11 May

We booked a jet boat trip with who picked us up from our hotel and returned us there later.


12 May

En route to the Best Western, Antlers. Aspen we stopped for a coffee break near the Dinosaur Journey park where we took these photos for our grandson.


13 May

Our flight home was scheduled to leave at 20.50 and a while before I didn't feel too good. However that passed and when we got on the plane I was OK. Fairly soon after take off we were given a meal and after that I fully reclined the seat to sleep through the journey. With hindsight, having had some digestive problems, laying flat was probably not the smartest thing to do straight after a meal. I went off to sleep OK but I awoke with awful pains and after a while I had to get up and wander around the galley as it felt cooler there. After going back there a couple of times, one of the stewardesses asked if everything was OK and I had to admit it was not.

I was taken back to my seat and explained that I was pretty sure this was due to some digestive problems I had encountered before. After checking on me a couple of times, she decided that medical advice was required and from 35,000 feet, contacted the airlines medical support centre in Phoenix. I believe there response was along the lines that it was most likely that I was right but it was also possible that on this occasion it might be the alternative diagnosis of an oncoming heart attack. She was instructed to see if there were any medics on board so out went that dreaded call, is there a doctor or medically qualified person on board.

Three people came forward. A nurse who was outranked by the other two who were consultants. One was a consultant gynaeocologist and it was decided that he might not be the best person for this problem! The third as luck would have it was a consultant gastroenterologist, exactly the specialism required. Later the stewardess told me that was the first time she had ever known someone with the required specialism to step forward.

After an examination, Frederick Kogan advised me that he thought this was a gallstone problem. That tied in with an examination months before when they had been found and at that time it was decided to leave things for a while. He agreed that he thought the pain would wear off as it had done before but still the crew were taking no chances. The First Officer came to see me and asked if I wanted to the flight to be diverted. Half way across the Atlantic didn't offer too many possibilities other than say Belfast or Dublin so as I was pretty sure I would be OK by then, I felt that was not necessary. They did however arrange for an ambulance to meet the plane and for a customs officer to accompany them in case the decision was to take me straight to hospital.

The paramedics examined me again even though the pain had passed. They decided that immediate hospital treatment was not needed and allowed us to go home in the taxi that was waiting. Again BA were magnificent. To avoid any exertion on my part, a wheelchair was waiting by the plane door and I was wheeled to our taxi.

On getting home, I spoke to my consultant who examined me the next day and decided that removal of my gall bladder was required!

I have to say BA and the stewardess were just wonderful and I shall be eternally grateful to Frederick Kogan for attending me.

Quite an end to this trip!