Warren woke up early. I did not want to, but it’s hard to ignore someone moving around the car you’re sleeping in. No matter how hard you try. On the other hand, I believe that there were a couple of donuts left. So, clearly, he survived the experience.
Packing our gear, which we had straight-up tossed into the car the night before did not take very long. Honestly, the most obnoxious part was how cold it was pre-dawn. But it’s not like our last day had the monopoly on chilly mornings. For details, see the previous days’ blogs.
Leaving the park was a little bit sad, but mostly because it meant a return to the real world, just when we were getting the hang of this below-freezing-camping thing and before the thaw got far enough to enable us to try the Fairyland Loop again. That’s okay, though. There will be a Fairyland, Part II. And GFG will emerge victorious. Even if I have to cache Warren’s extra lenses around the landscape like the indigenous peoples of the Arctic.
Driving back to Las Vegas took too long. We left Bryce around dawn in order to be sure that even if we got stuck in traffic on our way through the city, we would make our flights. *cough* Yeah, right. Nice try, Cynthia. We did not *really* take into account the fact that we would be passing through Zion National Park.
Why did we choose Bryce over Zion? Easy. Because Bryce was less well-known and the photos we saw online boasted of spectacular scenery that *everyone and their dog* had not yet photographed. The point of this journey was to take some great photos. And to not re-take the same photos as every family on vacation there for the last 20 years. For those photos, see Google Images. On the way to Bryce, we passed through Zion *in the dark.* Let me repeat that with different words: we knew we were on a switchback road. And that there was a cliff somewhere nearby. That was it. So, coming into Zion during the day, was like getting slapped in the face with Awesome. And missed opportunity. There is and was no regret over having been in Bryce. Only that we had so few days to work with. Because hitting both parks would have been Amazing. Next time, Zion, next time…
Luckily, Warren and I knew that we had an hour or so of leeway time, so we stopped for some photos and so that I could take a quick scramble around some rocks. Here are my favorite photos. Thank Warren for these, since I just stayed still long enough for him to strap the Go-Pro to my head and then bounded off…
Just West of Zion, there are a number of interesting-looking restaurants geared for everything from Crunchy Granola Fanatics to Red Meat Eaters. Warren and I stopped at the Park House Café. As it turns out, this was their first day open for the year. I can’t say enough about how wonderful the food was, how friendly the staff was, and how awesome it was to eat my eggs and sausage outside in the sunshine, while listening to classic rock and chatting about our adventures with pretty much everybody there. Totally made the experience better. And here’s the photo we promised:
Needless to say, with all of these delays, we rolled into Vegas and barely had time to re-pack our bags (we’d been lazy while leaving the campsite and got the big stuff packed, but needed to do things like collect all of the adapters scattered around) before my flight left. So, we may need to work on the last-day activity planning impulses that we both have (eg-DON’T). But we hope to have plenty of opportunity for that in the future.