Some Tour Basics 
We are using a "Circle Pacific" fare as offered by airlines in the One World Alliance. This ticket obliges us to pass through at least one Australian, one Asian and one American port using alliance airlines. It offers us excellent value and good flexibility. And in his role as the National Fares Expert with one of Australia's largest corporate travel agencies, our eldest son Matthew was able to achieve some very worthwhile cost savings on our behalf. Thanks Matt, you were worth every penny we should have paid you!

On this trip we will fly seven legs variously with Qantas, Cathay Pacific and American Airlines. Firstly we'll fly from Nambucca Heads to Sydney on 2nd June 2012. Next day we will push on to Hong Kong for a few days before continuing to San Francisco for a a further few days. A couple of shortish domestic flights will then take us on to Salt Lake City in Utah where we'll pick up our rental vehicle in preparation for the circle itinerary illustrated below in both words and map form.

Our basic route has a length of around 4,500 km but when side trips from our 15 different "base camps" are taken into consideration there's little doubt that we'll cover somewhere between 6,000 and 7,000 km by the end of our journey. We'll let you know in due course. This is going to use up a LOT of fuel, especially in a four wheel drive vehicle and especially when driving up and down mountains. The currently high fuel prices and the recent slide in the Aussie dollar are conspiring to add to the financial pain. These are new developments since we locked into this venture but "c'est la vie".

We will spend 7 weeks driving beside, between and physically over many portions of the incredible Rocky Mountains in the States of Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana and Colorado. Our itinerary will bring us into some of these States on more than one occasion. We will rarely be below 4,000 feet in altitude. We'll spend a lot of time between 7,000 and 8,500 feet and on a few occasions we will be driving as high as 12,000 feet or more! We expect to see some fabulous scenery, encounter lots of wildlife  and experience a few interesting adventures along the way. It should be just great !!

In keeping with our usual modus operandi we have booked self contained cottages or apartments for the most part but when that was not possible we've had to book the occasional Hotel or Bed and Breakfast establishment. Most days we'll pack a simple picnic lunch before hitting the highways or byways. That gives us the freedom to spend much of our time in remote areas and also allows us to stay well clear of commercial fast food for most of our vacation.

Planning this junket has been a huge amount of work but all this effort should pay great dividends. I would now like to thank my good friend Mike Paulick who lives in Vail, Colorado. Mike has provided an incredible amount of advice and support during four months of intensive planning activity. The success of this road tour will in many respects be a testament to his extensive knowledge and his incredible generosity. Thanks again mate