The locals pronounce Ouray more like "yer-RAY" or "yeh-RAY". BUT people in this region are generally pretty tolerant of pronunciation and no offense will be taken - and an Aussie accent with get you some slack.Thanks BCNP4Runner, I was not aware of how the UHF radio specs in the USA differed from Australia - which is a dumb rookie error on my part. I'll do some more research about the technical aspects of swapping the antenna cable from the existing UHF to the input of a US spec one. We have a handheld as well as the vehicle mounted unit - comes in handy when someone is spotting for you - which I expect we can leave at home now. As a foreigner and visitor to your country I think I should pay the licence fee, it's the right thing to do. I'd also hate to have a police record that may make it awkward to get a visa in the future. Despite the enforcement situation, I am a firm believer in the old saying "Murphy's law states that if anything can go wrong it will, and Murphy was an optimist".
Four Corners and Monument Valley are on my list for sure, and the Chaco Canyon has just been added - thank you. I do want to get to Ouray (is it OO-ray or You-ray, I've heard both) and join a Overland Bound meet up in the area if possible - but not Black Bear.
FWIW: in my Colorado drawl, Colorado can some times come out a bit more like out a bit more like "CULL-uh-RAH-duh", and New Mexico is more like "N'Mexico".
And as for the handheld radios, Midland also makes both FRS and GMRS radios in this form factor - they also sell bundles with a micro-mobile and two handhelds. The lower GMRS channels are shared with FRS. FRS has a slightly lower power limit, but no license required. Additionally, EMERGENCY transmissions are legal regardless of licensing.