I have completed my first tour directing job for a popular touring company in Albuquerque called Sun Tours. Sun Tours starts and ends every adventure in Albuquerque regardless of where in the world they travel to. That is attractive to me.

They will fly me to Albuquerque and home again, wherever I am in the country. That is attractive to me. And the fact that they have very loyal repeat customers and employees bodes well for the integrity of the company. I am hoping this turns into a regular gig for me!

Anyhow to get started they hired me for 3 tours. 2 were strictly training tours, traveling with another Tour Director to learn how Sun Tours does things.

The first tour was to Canyon de Chelly and Monument Valley and I had no official responsibilities except to observe and assist where requested. It was a 3 day (2 overnight) tour. It left from Albuquerque on Motorcoach with 33 passengers. Yes indeed, an adventure. The trip went very well.

Hubble Trading Post (a surprise adventure)

Sun Tours makes stops every 2 hours or so to make sure everyone has needed bio breaks and get people to move around a little. The first stop was a truck stop just outside of Gallup New Mexico, but the second was a surprise bonus stop for the guests at Hubble Trading post in Ganado, Arizona, just outside of Window Rock.

The Trading post has an interesting and historic history. It is the oldest trading post on the Navajo Nation and has been in operation since 1878. It did turn out to be an interesting stop for all including a live rug weaving demonstration in the store.

Hubble Trading Post - A surprise adventure

At the visitor center, I learned that because the trading post sits in the Pueblo Colorado Wash, the name of the town originally was Pueblo Colorado, Arizona, but it became to confused with Pueblo, Colorado (duh), so later Hubble renamed it Ganado after an important Navajo leader at the time. I found that an interesting factoid!

Canyon de Chelly (a hidden adventure)

By noon we had arrived at the hotel in the mouth of Canyon de Chelly where we spent the night and enjoyed lunch before our Jeep tour in the bottom of the canyon. Because Canyon de Chelly is Sacred land to the Navajos, you cannot go into the canyon on your own but must take a Navajo guided tour. This is why I have never done this before so I was pretty excited about that.

The jeep tour was 4 hours long, dusty, and bumpy. We had 4 jeeps that carried a dozen people in each. It was good that we had a little extra room, because one of the jeeps broke down at the very furthest point in the tour and we had to crowd into three. That worked fine and was part of the adventure. It was a great tour, but we were all ready to be back and taking showers by the end.

The next morning we had a tour in our Motorcoach along the rim of the canyon to the famous Spider Rock viewpoint. I grew up with a picture of Spider Rock, that my Dad took in 1964 or so, on the living room wall of our house. I was glad to recreate it now! Dad said “Yep, it hasn’t changed much since then.” LOL.

After a quick stop at the welcome center (ironically on our way OUT of the park) we proceeded on to Monument Valley.

Monument Valley (gateway to adventure)

That afternoon was almost a repeat of the day before, lunch at the hotel we were to stay at, followed by a 2.5 hour jeep tour into Monument valley. The weather, which had been perfect so far clouded up and spit a few drops of rain. People began to get upset about the rain but within about 15 minutes of leaving the hotel the rain stopped and the clouds broke up a bit. It made for a nice cool afternoon with beautiful photo opportunities!

Gooseneck State Park (a curious adventure)

Gooseneck State Park Adventure

Apparently I had been there as a small child, but by 50 years later I didn’t even know this place exists. I had been to Horseshoe bend near Page, and that is where I recall but Goosenecks is a bit off the beaten path and like a double of horseshoe bend as Horseshoe bend has one bend in the river while Goosenecks has two.

Very interesting short stop on our route home.

Four Corners – (the final adventure)

Our last tour stop on the trip was 4-corners National Monument… The only place in the country where 4 states come together. Of course I had been here before too, but it is always a fun stop.

And back to Albuquerque

Overall, I think most guests had a delightful time on our adventure. There was a woman on the tour who is close to her 90th Sun Tour! I am happy to count it as my first official Sun Tour and launch to the new career!

2 thoughts on “Let the Adventure Begin!”

  1. Wow Phyl, what a grand adventure and new kickoff to many new adventures to come. I LOVE reading of where you are, where you’ve been and what’s next on the horizon.
    So happy for you!

  2. You live the BEST life! I need to get on that tour and bring my cameras along!

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