1990 Jim and Sandra Schmid take their first big out West trip

In December of 1989 we both graduated from the University of South Carolina. Me with a Masters in Recreation Geography and Sandra with her Bachelors. With no job prospects we decided to travel the West. Sandra grew up in Charleston, SC and had never been out West. We sold our house and most of our possessions and loaded up our Toyota with two bicycles in the back seat and camping gear. First stop was Arizona where we met up with my parents, grandmother, and aunt in Phoenix. We visited Prescott with them.

On our way to northern Arizona we learned of Arcosanti so we stopped in for a tour.

Next stop was the Petrified Forest National Park and Painted Desert.

We had to check out a vortex in Sedona, AZ.

We spent a few days in the Grand Canyon National Park taking it all in.

We drove to southern Colorado to check out Mesa Verde National Park.

Was neat to stand in four states (Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado) at once at the Four Corners Monument.

Jim-and-Sandra-Schmid-standing-in-middle-of-Four-Corners-Monument-trip-out-West-1990

Jim-and-Sandra-Schmid-standing-in-middle-of-Four-Corners-Monument-trip-out-West-1990

Time to break out the bicycles. First we rode on a trail near Colorado Springs, CO.

We had cool weather for bicycling on the New Santa Regional Trail – a local rail-trail north of Colorado Springs.

We went on another bicycle ride on The Pueblo River Trail System in Pueblo, CO.

We drove to Estes Park, CO and stayed at the H-Bar-G Ranch Hostel there. I had stayed there in 1987 with my AYH cross country bicycle group. Really enjoyed it and wanted Sandra to see the place. On a walk around the property we saw an animal hole that had old bottles in the dirt. We dug them out and gave them to Lou Livingston, owner of the Hostel. Lou operated the Ranch as a hostel from 1977 to 1999 when he passed away.

Moab, UT and the Slick Rock Trail were very popular in all the mtn bike magazines. So we had to ride it.

Went on some beautiful hikes in Arches National Park.

We headed to Washington State so we could drive the 1,700-mile Pacific Coast Highway down to San Diego, CA.

We camped north of San Francisco, CA and took a ferry to downtown and walked around.

End of the trip was Santee, CA in San Diego County where my parents live. We ended up living in the West for five years. In Phoenix, AZ  I volunteered with the Arizona State Parks Trails Coordinator for a couple of months, then got a job as Trails Coordinator for the Coronado National Forest in Tucson.

jamesfschmid@gmail.com