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Marinduque Mainland from Tres Reyes Islands

Marinduque Mainland from Tres Reyes Islands
View of Mainland Marinduque from Tres Reyes Islands-Click on Photo to link to Marinduque Awaits You

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Memories of Our Trip to Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks


Bryce Canyon National Park

Macrine and I experienced one of the best vacation we had since my retirement in the summer of 2009. For one week we stayed in Las Vegas, NV at the Polo Towers -under our time exchange program with International Interval, Inc. One day, we took a mini bus tour which lasted for 14 hours. The bus picked us up at Polo Towers about 6:30AM. Our first rest stop was at an Indian Reservation along I-15 N, where Macrine purchased two cartoons of cigarettes tax free and we had a chance to have coffee. We also had a packed breakfast, orange juice, muffins and energy bars provided by the tour company, Sweet Tours.

Macrine at the Visitor Center, Zion National Park
By the time we reached Zion National Park it was about 10:30AM. Along the way, our guide and driver relates to us ( eleven passengers), the history of Las Vegas, the fauna and flora of the area, the desert and rock formations that made this area so majestic and stunning. After our arrival, our tour driver parked at the Visitor Center. We took the park's bus( private cars not allowed) inside the canyon, stopping at several scenic point stops to take pictures. We did not have time to walk, since we still have to go to Bryce Canyon. The bus tour took about 60 minutes. Zion is indeed spectacular.

We saw colorful canyons, forested mesas, and sandstone cliffs so high and indeed stunning and spectacular views. After the tour, we went back to the Visitor Center where our packed lunch of roast beef sandwiches was waiting for us. During lunch we exited the Park via the East Entrance- the Zion Mt Carmel Highway. We passed one of the longest tunnel in the US. By the time we reached the vicinity of Bryce Canyon ( with a photo stop at Red Canyon) it was about 2:00PM. We stopped at Ruby' Gift Shop, just outside the entrance of the Park for souvenirs and mandatory bath room break.

Then we started our two hours tour of the Park. First we stopped at Bryce Point, took some pictures, walked near the rim of the canyon and stayed there for about 15 minutes. If you have vertigo, this is not the place for you.
Macrine at Bryce Point
Our driver took us to Inspiration Point( second stop) and more picture taking and views to feast your eyes with the stunning scenery. We have an option to walk for 45 minutes from Inspiration to Sunset Point(last stop) or ride in the bus with our driver. If you hiked you will have a closer look at the Hoodoo's. Macrine and I decided not to hike as both of us have already aching feet from our walk at the Fashion Mall in Las Vegas and along the Strip Casinos the day before. We waited for the hikers until 4:00PM at Sunset Point Lookout. Macrine and I took more pictures at this lookout and again the view was fantastic, and spectacular.
The Hoodoos
We were able to take pictures of the Hoodoos. Hoodoos are just pillar of rocks shaped like human beings. The fantastic shape is a result of erosion, millions of years ago. Legends say that the Hoodoo's cast a spell on all visitors to the park. After two hours at Bryce, we were on our way back to Las Vegas. On the way home, we stopped for picture taking along Navajo Lake.

We were also passing the outskirts of Cedar Brake National Monument. We stopped at Cedar City for a quick fast food dinner. By the time we arrived in Las Vegas at our condo-hotel,it was 8:30PM. We were tired but happy to visit the two most beautiful national parks in the US.
The above is our route encompassing three states, Nevada, Arizona and Utah. I am glad I did not drive!
Total round trip mileage of the 14 hour trip was about 490 miles.
Getting There from Las Vegas: I-15N then route 9E to 89N then 12E
Going Back to Las Vegas: Route 12W then 89S, then 14W then I-15S

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