About Great American Adventures:
Offering Historic Old West Horseback Rides & Tours in and around:
Monument Valley, UT / Tombstone, AZ / Little Bighorn, MT / Lincoln, New Mexico / Durango & Silverton, CO
Great American Adventures is owned by Steve and Marcie Shaw, both having shared a great love for history revolving around the Old West. That common interest blossomed into a passion and they began to offer horseback riding tours that showcase noteworthy locales and equally prominent Western icons. From Billy the Kid’s journey to Lincoln, New Mexico to Custer’s Last Stand at the Little Bighorn, the tours they organize promote an engaging and enriching experience for every participant.
As they create and host historic horseback riding tours and steamboat cruises, Steve and Marcie strive to make a difference in people’s vacation experience. Whether they choose the Wyatt Earp Ride to Tombstone AZ or the John Wayne Ride to Monument Valley, each tour is meant to be an adventure separate from the rest of the herd; a fun and historic journey in itself. Every ride is considered special and safety is likewise considered greatly.
With Great American Adventures, riders take the trails less traveled, wearing period-correct clothing (though not mandatory). They are also accompanied by knowledgeable historians and wranglers. Apart from the usual tour, Steve and Marcie also incorporate a few surprises for each ride, ultimately creating one memorable holiday experience for everyone.
From their Billy the Kid Regulator's Ride to Custer’s Ride to Glory to Wyatt Earp's Vendetta Ride, Steve and Marcie hope their horseback riding tours will develop, in every rider, a unique appreciation for their adventures and its remarkable connection to Old West history.
Be a part of Great American Adventures’ horseback riding tours. Travel to the Little Bighorn, see the wonders of Monument Valley & Tombstone, AZ, or relive the excitement of Billy the Kid’s adventures in Lincoln, New Mexico. Steve and Marcie Shaw are waiting for you so book your reservations today.
Steve Shaw, creator and owner of Great American Adventures, has had a passion for the Old West and travel since he was a small boy. Every summer his parents drove from their Southern California home to Texas and Oklahoma to visit family, and Steve always wore his Western clothes, his beloved cowboy hat, boots, buscadero holster rig and play-guns from his favorite TV Westerns. Out the car window he envisioned himself at a gallop, riding over the rough and rugged terrain in pursuit to save a heroine in distress, fulfilling his cowboy fantasies.
At this same time, 3,000 miles miles on the other side of the United States, a very young Marcie was playing Annie Oakley and other Western feminine heroines in her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, fulfilling her childhood cowgirl fantasies. Separated by a continent, neither knew what the future held for them ... a passion for one another, a passion for travel and ultimately, a passion for the Western ... both historical and in film. All of this would be realized once they met and married some 25 years later.
Embarrassingly as it sounds, during Steve's last year in college and having been accepted to the United States Air Force Officer Training School, he and his college buddy, another OTS candidate, traveled the country looking for “background” for their homemade, thirty-minute, 8-millimeter Western called “Butch and the Kid,” patterned after Paul Newman’s and Robert Redford’s “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” You can imagine what his Air Force recruiter thought when he saw this film at Steve’s going away party!
In fact, while serving in the military, after having earned his wings and graduated from B-52 Navigator/Bombardier School, Steve chose, of all USAF bases, the one in Rapid City, South Dakota … Ellsworth Air Force Base. Why? Because of the surrounding area’s history: the Black Hills, Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse and the Sioux Nation, Gold Rush, Deadwood, Wild Bill Hickok, General G. A. Custer, Wounded Knee and much more. The other officers thought he was crazy ... Steve had the time of his life!!
His military obligations behind him and both having retired early from corporate America - an accomplished goal - Steve soon gravitated to writing short stories about the Old West. In a few short years, Steve had written over 250+ articles published in various magazines, including such subjects as Old West history, Western celebrity interviews, Western lifestyle events, book reviews, and fiction and nonfiction short stories.
Steve was honored to be accepted to Western Writers of America, Inc., and his first novel,
"Beyond the Rio Grande"
received an award as "Finalist, New Mexico Book Award program in 2007.
(click on the book for a summary, reviews and to purchase)
In 2010, Steve's "Soldiers, One and All" was the Grand Prize Winner in New Mexico's 2010 Short Story Fiction Competition. The following year, 2011, his story, "PePe's Race," won second place honors. And in 2013 he once again was the Grand Prize Winner in New Mexico's Short Story Fiction Competition with his, "A Passion for the Old West."
Marcie's support in Steve's writing endeavors was invaluable ... without her, he'd never complete one story!
As a result of his writings, Steve was featured as a historian in 2004 on the A&E Biography channel's "Doc Holliday" episode. Both Steve and Marcie began doing background work in TV and films and both appeared on the History Channel's "Wild West Tech." Steve also appeared on HBO's Deadwood series, Disney's 2013 The Lone Ranger and both have numerous television and film production credits.
Wanting to do more than just write about Old West adventures, Steve and Marcie, hand-in-hand, were soon traveling to be part of the action … such as riding in Wyoming at the Hole-in-the-Wall location where Butch, Sundance and their Wild Bunch hid out.
Marcie, childhood friends of the Captain of the Delta Queen Steamboat, mentioned it would be fun cruising down the Mississippi River on a steamboat (after all, she did camp out - for the first time in her life - every night for five nights during their Wyoming horseback ride - and Steve owed her big time for that experience). Cruising on this historic paddlewheel and wearing 19th Century period-correct clothing, Steve & Marcie had a brainstorm … if they were having this much fun, why wouldn’t others?
Thus began their “Greatest Adventure” … offering Old West adventures on horseback rides, steamboat cruises, trains & tours.
Marcie, never to be out-done by Steve, began sewing - a skill she learned as a young girl - and creating her own Victorian ball gowns, 19th Century-period day dresses and even a few of Steve's clothes. In fact, she became such an excellent seamstress, the History Channel approached her about creating designs for some of their shows. And, she became a fabulous photographer, taking many of the photos within this website and she achieved that rare photo ... which appeared on the cover of the June 2009 True West magazine! In fact, her photos have appeared in True West and American Cowboy magazines.
Since 1998 Great American Adventures has offered steamboat cruises on the Mississippi, Ohio and Cumberland Rivers (think riverboat gambler and Civil War), the Columbia River in the Northwest (think Lewis & Clark and the Fur Trade), and in Alaska (heck, even Wyatt Earp went there). Their train trip to the Canadian Rockies, private tour of Gettysburg, and historic tour of south Texas and the Alamo (Steve & Marcie renewed their 30th wedding anniversary vows at John Wayne's Alamo Village) were all greatly received, each becoming favorites among friends and clientele.
Their first historic horseback ride was offered in 2004 -- "Custer's Ride to Glory." From then until 2008, this ride was the epitome of historic rides, offering cavalry training school, fighting Indians on Crow Indian Reservation, riding from the Crow’s Nest to Medicine Tail Coulee at the Little Bighorn, and, once, staying at the 7th Cavalry’s barracks at Fort Abraham Lincoln.
With the success of their Custer's Ride to Glory, they had the confidence to create, organize and host other rides. "Butch Cassidy's Hole-in-the-Wall Ride" (renamed Butch Cassidy's Rustler's Rendezvous at Hole-in-the-Wall" will the addition of cattle herding for a few days) was an immersion into the Old West, and included two nights of camping out (think "Cowboy Safari"). Their most popular ride, "Wyatt Earp's Vendetta Ride" was sanctioned by Arizona in 2011/2012 as an Official Centennial Event and is filled with the history of Tombstone, the Earp's, and the Cow-boys. "Billy the Kid's Regulator Ride," patterned after the successful Vendetta Ride template, was another hit. With each passing year, more rides are added and some are simply enhanced or replaced, if only because their repeat business is fabulous and there is always that need to keep everyone coming back for more. One such ride, their Monument Valley Ride, was an overwhelming success. Their newest, "The Great Train Robbery," headquartered in Silverton, Colorado includes the riding and robbing of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, promises to be another immersion into history and great fun!
Past adventures have included Ghost Town rides, Horsemanship Clinics, and a Canyon de Chelly Ride and there currently are plans for rides featuring Buffalo Bill, the Indian War period and some Civil War adventures and more.
In 2013, Great American Adventures went European, with its custom-designed historic ride in Sicily (think Spaghetti Western).
Although not mandatory, many clients and friends dress in Old West clothing during these adventures. After all, we are fulfilling our childhood fantasies of playing cowboy & cowgirl -- aren't we?
Want a memorable vacation of a lifetime?
"Saddle Up and Follow Your Dreams"
Take a Great American Adventure!