Wed, Aug 29th
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We woke up too early at 2am and made it to Albany Airport in plenty of time to catch our 6am United flight to Cleveland then Las Vegas. We'd booked window and aisle seat and, even with a full plane we had no one between us – good deal!
On the leg between Cleveland and Las Vegas, had a wonderful view of the attractions of Southern Utah as we flew over Comb Ridge with view of Canyonlands to north and tip of Lake Powell. We even saw Hole in the Rock Road parallel to its striped mountain in Escalante. Next was Bryce and finally Zion fully displayed out our north facing window. Quite a preview of our upcoming trip
Las Vegas airport made things quick and easy as usual and soon we were at Dollar Rental picking out our SUV. Unfortunately, all of the Jeeps were gone and we settled on a Chevy Captiva. On the way out of Las Vegas, we discovered the Captiva had no AWD. Didn’t think an SUV was an SUV without 4WD, but oh well…
After a “scenic” drive up Dean Martin Hwy, finally got onto I-15N after picking up bottles of water and Subway sandwiches. We blasted through the desert making good time and stopped at the Walmart in Hurricane. We purchased propane cylinders for the stove and lantern we had packed, more water of course, and two $10 fold up chairs for camping – missed them on our last trip out here in 2007. As we loaded our coolers (we brought 2 along...one as Peter's loaded carry-on and the other actually fit in our large suitcase)in the asphalt parking lot, it was 104 incredible degrees – unbelievably hot to us. We gratefully hopped back into our air conditioned Captiva and headed for Springdale.
Since our first night was in Kanab, we drove out the east entrance of Zion, always amazed at the incredible scenery, snapping pictures like crazy. The red roads fit perfectly with the colors of the canyon walls. Zion's subtle signature. We had dramatic skies and rain falling nearby.
We came upon a group of Desert Bighorn sheep near the east entrance and stopped for some photos. We left the park through Mt. Carmel Junction then south on rte 89 toward Kanab. We saw the sheriff’s speed trap as we left Mt Carmel Junction, but couldn’t tell if the officer was real or fake.
The Rocking V is a fun café run by a guy from Brooklyn, NY. There's great artwork on the walls and plenty more upstairs in the gallery.
Our lovely hostess, Ema, was a tall brunette with bright blue eyes from Serbia. She’s only here for the summer… hard to imagine what her perspective might be on this strange landscape.
We ordered two cold margaritas and a house smoked trout with fresh rosemary bread and two tapenades for an appetizer. Fresh and delicious. Our entrees came with soup – homemade spicy vegetable, which was excellent.
Sharon ordered catfish tacos with black bean and corn salad with avocado crème fraiche and fresh salsa. Incredible.
Peter had buffalo tenderloin meatloaf wrapped in bacon with tortilla corn puree and mashed potatoes. Insanely good.