Yesterday we left San Diego on our way to Zion National Park.
After we passed through the San Bernardino Mountains, we were in desert country. After a few hours of driving through the desert, we started to see some strange sights for water starved country. Things like golf courses and water parks.
And then we started to see billboards advertising casinos, buffets, and ridiculous entertainment. Yes, we'd arrived to that desert oasis known as Las Vegas. Just for the novelty of it, we stopped in Vegas to get gas. I wanted to gamble away the change in my pocket but you couldn't play quarters in the slots anymore! And I was feeling lucky too...
Finally, we made it to Zion around 5pm.
We decided to take a hike before cooking our dinner. The trail we took was called the Watchman Trail. It started out pretty easy and we looked at all the desert sage, flora, lizards, and snake (only one). Eventually we started going up and pretty soon we were a few hundred feet higher. At the top of the ridge, the view was amazing. Words can't really do it justice, but Zion National Park had 26 million visitors last year. Now I know why. Pictures can't really do it justice either but we have a bunch in our Picasa album (just click on any of the pictures in this page).
One of the nice things about taking a trip like this is that you can get to know your travel mates. I've known Carmen for nearly 4 years now and we've always been very friendly. But I realized on the way back down the trail that our relationship had evolved. Whereas before the trip she used to ask me how school and tango were going, now she asked me: Would you eat me if we got trapped in the wilderness? I guess after such an amazing view people get contemplative. And hungry..
When we got back to the camp, I made an impromptu dip of avocados, green onions, tomatoes, lime, salt, and basil. Andy hooked up a delicious eggplant chili spiced with New Mexican chilies, cumin, and mustard seed. We washed it down with five bottles of Stone's Levitation Ales (we left the sixth for breakfast the next morning). Deb and I passed out with "The Guy" on a blanket we laid in the dirt while Andy and Avik set up the tents. Then Avik went into food coma while Carmen and Andy did all the dishes. It was a restful night in the land of milk and honey. Next stop Salt Lake City...
Wednesday, June 13, 2007