After our last breakfast at Amber Inn B&B, we decided that our final hike in Zion National Park would be to Weeping Rock, a short walk to a rock face where the water streams down, creating a hanging garden that is home to many flowers and small animals, including some rare species. Our host Dina poo-poohed the hike, calling it insubstantial and recommending that we take the time to drive northward to the northern entrance to the park in Kolob Canyon, where she said the scenery was particularly dramatic, but we decided to persevere. It was a nice short hike, and it was nice to be in Zion Valley one last time, although we may have again been paying the price for the relative paucity of rain because the flower display was rather less than I had expected.
We then headed back to the Amber Inn, picked up our bags and headed for Las Vegas to catch our flight to Portland. We passed this impressive mesa outside Hurricane, Utah,
and the scenery continued to impress through as we passed through Arizona and into Nevada
including this view as we crossed the Virgin River in a car, rather than on foot as we had during our Narrows hike.
we rolled into Las Vegas with just enough time to have some lunch and
have a quick look at the Strip. One of Nancy’s main regrets about this
vacation was that we were spending our entire time in the parks and no
time in either Salt Lake City or Las Vegas. I rather regretted the lack
of time in Salt Lake City, but even this short jaunt in Las Vegas was
enough to lead Nancy to accept my own view of the place–a Disneyland
of a city not worth a visit. The traffic on Las Vegas Boulevard was so
slow that we had no time to stop to look inside any of the glitzy
hotel/casinos, which I was tempted to do for considerations of camp
alone. We did have a nice lunch at Lindo Michoacan. I had the Carnitas a la Coca
Cola, which seems odd but, like Steven Raichlen’s Coke Can Chicken, it
Finally we drove down Las Vegas Boulevard, miles
past the airport to the Fox Rent-a-Car return location (Fox had offered
by far the best deal for a one-way car rental). I had not
understood that its bus could not return us to the airport itself, but
only to the main car rental terminal; as a result there were some
nervous moments as we arrived at the airport with barely enough time to
check bags and pass through security.
When we got to Portland,
we headed straight to dinner before driving down to Reed College to
check in for reunions. We ate at Mekong Bistro, which was just as good as when I reviewed it after my first visit, back in February.