Monday, September 13, 2021
Breakfast at the hotel was a mad house. There were six buses of people to be fed. We were told there would be the restaurant and two extra rooms to eat. There weren’t any extra rooms. Luckily, we did find a table for two in a corner.
We didn’t leave until 7:40. We stopped for gas about 8:45. I went across the street to a diner that Al recommended for their pie slices. The place was called Thunderbird Café and their sign said – “House of the Ho-Made Pies” – weird endorsement. I chose a slice of Thunderberry pie. It tasted like blackberry to me.
We stopped at Zion National Park at 10:30. Being a tour bus, we were able to go into the park as far as the Zion Lodge. Al said that if you arrived in a car and didn’t have reservations at the Zion Lodge, you had to park at the Visitor Center and ride one of the shuttles up and down the shuttle line.
Once we were parked, we received a sack lunch and took a park shuttle to the last stop on the shuttle line – Temple of Sinawava. We found a spot by the creek to sit and eat.
After we finished our lunch, we strolled down the riverside walk a into The Narrows for a short way. The Canyon had a lot of red from the sandstone and white from the limestone. It was a pleasant walk. There were a lot of trails to choose from and we could spend several days here. I really feel my pictures just didn’t capture the scope of the Canyon.
Once we were back to the Lodge area, I had a chance to look through the gift shop for my Christmas ornament. At 1:00, we started for Vegas. We turned our clocks back once we crossed into Arizona. Got to Nevada about 2:00 and arrived at the Treasure Island hotel at 3:00. When we left Bryce this morning it was 40 degrees. When we arrived at the hotel, the temperature was 108 degrees. Sweltering.
Al gave us all drink coupons and reminded us that the farewell dinner would start at 6:00 in one of the conference rooms. Four of us went to Gilley’s to use our drink coupons prior to the dinner.
The dinner was very nice. We toasted each other and Al and Wade for a great trip. We shook hands and hugs all around. I was glad to see the number of people who did tip Al and Wade for their excellent service.
Al sat at our table for dinner and it was interesting to hear about life as a tour director. He was leaving the next day to go back to Idaho to start a new tour beginning at Custer State Park. Wade had a couple of days off and then would be driving another tour group on this exact route. He said it was one of his favorite routes. I hope both of their next groups are as good as ours was.
After we left the conference room, six of us played some slots. Did much better than before the trip and was able to recoup about half of our money back. Travel day tomorrow so we were still up to the room by 10:00.
Up Next – Traveling home and final thoughts
Zion National Park, Utah
Originally established as Mukuntuweap National Monument in 1909, the monument eventually became Zion National Monument in 1918, and finally Zion National Park on November 19, 1919. It is the most popular of Utah’s five national parks.
The person who is credited with naming the place “Zion” is also the same person who, in 1863, settled the canyon floor – Isaac Behunin.
The first year that tourists arrived here by way of automobile – 1917.
Underneath the ground in Zion lies a natural spring. It’s estimated that the water takes up to 1,000 years to reach the surface and show itself through the surfaces of the rock.
One of the park’s few endemic creatures is the Zion snail. It is one of the smallest snails in the world, often measuring at less than ⅛ of an inch. Despite its petite stature, the Zion snail’s foot in comparison to the rest of its body is the largest in the world.
Unlike the Grand Canyon where you stand on the rim and look out and down, Zion Canyon is usually viewed from the bottom looking up.
The Olympic Torch passed through the park in 2002 while on its way to Salt Lake City.
*Trivia provided by Wikipedia, Zion National Park Literature, and Globus
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