Scenery Overload

Bryce Canyon

3rd July – 237 miles from Kanab, Utah, to St. George, Utah

After a quick breakfast of snacks from a gas station, we set off for Bryce Canyon, stopping for lunch in Panguitch, a few miles past the turn off for the canyon.

Trees growing towards the light in Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon is an otherworldly collection of hoodoos, columns of rock formed by millennia of weathering, sitting in a collection of natural amphitheatres. Some of the rock formations are named after the famous figures they resemble. The Queen Victoria rock is probably the most notable, reminiscent of famous statues.

Queen Victoria, Bryce Canyon

We found a number of others, and made up our own. I swore I saw rock formations resembling Beavis and Butthead, but we didn’t manage to find Elvis, another well known rock formation.

The rim of the canyon is at fairly high elevation, between 8000 and 9000 feet above sea level. Coupled with the incredibly clear air in such a remote location, it’s famous for its dark skies, but we were passing through in the middle of the day and weren’t able to experience the best light.

Rock formations in Bryce Canyon

Leaving Bryce, we carried on to St. George for an overnight stop. We were in need of a drink after two nights in Kanab, and managed to find a wet county on the way where we stocked up on beers for the motel room. After dinner we watched a couple of movies with the beer, which gave us a very necessary chance to unwind.

4th July – 254 miles from St. George, Utah, to Las Vegas, Nevada

After a quick breakfast in the motel, we backtracked from St. George to Zion National Park.

When I travelled through the region on my own, a few years later, I found that after a while I started to suffer from scenery overload. I think the same was affecting us on our trip, because we didn’t really give ourselves time to do justice to the park. We did take the short hike up to the Weeping Rock, where the trail leads to an overhanging rock that constantly drips water from above, but I didn’t actually take any photos of it, or the view from it.

Zion National Park

Leaving the park, we set off for Las Vegas, stopping for lunch just over the Nevada border in Mesquite. The diner we ate in was opposite a bar and casino, a sign of what was to come, with scantily clad greeters outside to entice customers.

Our Las Vegas Accommodation

We carried on to Las Vegas, where we were staying in a Motel 6 just off of the strip and not far from the crossroads with one of the major casinos on each corner; The Tropicana, MGM, Excalibur and New York, New York. After a short walk in the blazing heat, we returned to our room to freshen up and head out for the evening.

We ate at the buffet in the San Remo casino, largely because it was relatively quiet and the queues weren’t too long, before exploring the casinos. For the most part we stuck to slot machines, and discovered that we could get free beers by playing the slightly more expensive poker machines. We’d get a beer, return to the cheaper five cent slots, and then head back to the pricier ones when we wanted another beer.

I don’t think either of us were particularly interested in the gambling, but felt we had to sample it. When in Rome, and all that.

After many beers, we had a late night snack of hot dogs in the MGM Casino and headed back to the motel.

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