May 16, 2012 - Zion National Park was a surprise in the most positive sense. It was much more of an "in-scene" experience versus the gaping impressive hole that is Grand Canyon. You really are among the rocks. You can get off the bike and touch them and be part of it all for a brief moment in time. A nice touch was that the road was red, instead of black asphalt.
We stopped just about everywhere you were allowed to and the camera got a workout. Again we were there mid-day, so the light was too harsh and I can only imagine what it would be like if sunset pictures were an option.
Zion doesn't have single must-see pieces but rather an uninterrupted stream of new small surprises.
After Zion, we ended up in Panguitch, UT. Unwittingly, we had dinner at the Cowboy's Smoke House Restaurant, apparently an institution in the BBQ world. The place was filled with tourists and a very sullen guitar player who cranked out tunes that left us guessing as to whether we had ended up in a new version of the Milgram experiment.
On May 17th we went through Bryce Canyon which was certainly the prettiest of the three so far.
After hitting all the highlights, which took the better part of the day, we looked for a place with some decent coffee and were sorely disappointed. We're still convinced, after plenty of sampling, that McDonalds serves the best lattés. It's a bit like saying the Virgin Mary can be seen on stage at Crazy Horse, it's that unlikely, but if this is the result of the Liebeck v. McDonalds case, then they need to be applauded and we'll gladly bid adieu to Starbucks.
The travel routine is falling into place nicely. We've only been gone for roughly three weeks and have covered quite a bit. The next stop is Moab and Arches National Park, after which we'll head for Colorado and start poking around there for a while.