February 11th 2015

Meet Bob Helmes, Tom Ribe and Monique (Mo) Schoustra - Team Western USA for The Wayfarers. All born in the West (Bob in Utah, Tom in New Mexico and Mo in California), they’ve each made it a priority to experience as much of the west as possible and to share it with fellow travelers. Bob and Mo lead the Utah walk, which dips into Arizona, with our visit to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. This walk offers an incredible opportunity to visit three iconic national parks in the week – Grand Canyon, Zion and Bryce - and to experience them by taking several walks and staying overnight in the parks. A highlight is being able to wake up and walk out the door to experience the early morning light slipping into the Bryce Canyon amphitheater to light the hoodoos (strange geologic formations) or the unforgettable show of sunrise and sunset at the North Rim. And the starry night skies are always a special treat for those who live in urban areas. Zion is one of the most visited national parks and for good reason— with some of the tallest, brilliant red sandstone cliffs in the world. Of course, the benefit of going with The Wayfarers is that we aim to minimize the time spent among crowds and find quieter walks to soak up Zion’s magnificence. Bob Helmes In 2014 Tom and Mo created a new walk for The Wayfarers in southwest Colorado, to share the interesting history, dramatic high peaks and spectacular wildflowers of the region. ‘Our maiden walk was a tremendous success, with a crew of fit, enthusiastic walkers who thoroughly enjoyed the historic hotels in Durango and Silverton and the fantastic wildflowers and awe inspiring views,’ says Mo. ‘Another highlight is our final lodging in Pagosa Springs, where we have access to 24-hour soaking in natural geothermal pools. ‘Soaking one’s well-exercised body under the starry sky or in the early morning with a cup of coffee and river view creates a lasting memory!’ Tom and Mo live in New Mexico and have been leading the New Mexico walk together for several years. A highlight of this walk is the varied landscapes a short distance from Santa Fe, a major art and cultural center. We visit early native cliff dwellings carved into ash flows from a super volcano one day and then enjoy a forested mountain hike in the granitic Rocky Mountains the next. We also walk in the region rich with colorful cliffs that captured Georgia O’Keeffe’s heart and graced many of her canvases. In our walks and travels we’re able to get an authentic taste of New Mexico’s multi-cultural population, visiting Spanish weavers and native artists and communities and sampling local traditional foods. ‘We’ve all found that walking with the people who travel with Wayfarers is such a pleasure because of the ‘Wayfarers way’, adds Mo. ‘To spend the day on the trail with interesting, enthusiastic travelers who have signed up for a genuine experience, is a tremendous privilege. ‘And then to share evenings with good food and good conversation tops it all off!’ Check out our Walks in the American West in our brochure or contact us to find out more.

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