Friday, April 22, 2011

2011 Zion National Park Day 1

Up very early, we caught a 6:45 a.m. flight from Sacramento to Burbank to Las Vegas. Picking up a rental car Hertz, we headed east across Nevada. After a quick stop for lunch at Mesquite, Nevada, we crossed into Arizona and up the Virgin River Canyon. There is a about 15 mile stretch in the river canyon between Nevada and Utah with some amazing scenery.

We stopped for a second in Hurricane, Utah to scout a Catholic church for Easter Sunday and rolled into Springdale a little before 3:00 p.m. We will be spending the next five nights at Flanigan's Inn.

After getting settled into the room and checking out an outfitter next door to the hotel, we jumped on a shuttle bus and headed into the park. You have to transfer buses once you get to the park. We checked out the visitor center and then boarded a shuttle up the scenic drive.

We stopped at the Zion Lodge to scout the dining room and the bar. After initially making a dinner reservation for Sunday from the visitor's center, we decided to punt after seeing the dining room; there are better options in town.

From there, we wound our way back to the hotel via a series of shuttle bus. I was surprised by the number of people. There were lots and lots of people, including a large number of families with small kids and a surprising number of Europeans.

Back at the hotel, we picked up the rental car and headed out to look for a market and a bike shop. We decided to rent bikes for all day Saturday. Afterwards, we picked up some supplies at local market.

We finished the night with a late dinner at the Spotted Dog. Sharon and Jack had trout for Good Friday, while I had a vegetable pasta dish.

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