Leaving Las Vegas

Trip Start Feb 16, 2011
Trip End Jun 11, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Utah
Saturday, March 26, 2011

On Thursday night, I went down to the MGM Grand which was a 30 minute walk from the resort and had dinner in the food court inside the casino which was just an absolutely huge complex of casino tables, accommodation, entertainment theatres and shops. I went and saw the Cirque du Soleil show called 'Ka' which was my first Vegas/circus type show. It was pretty impressive because the theatre was custom built within the casino to house the show as a permanent fixture. The starring point of the show was this giant stage which could be raised and lowered and turned on all 3 axis. It first came up as a mock ship then turned into a beach which was then tilted so all the sand fell off it, then turned vertically to be used as a hand puppet backdrop and finally simulated climbing an ice wall which was just hard to comprehend. A lot of the performers were suspended by ropes so they were moving not just up and down but swinging above the crowd and up and down the stage as well. It was well worth the money to see it.

The next day we left Vegas for Zion National Park into Mormon Utah and we arrived in the afternoon. The weather wasn't great so we didn't do the Angels Landing Hike which we were planning on doing, instead we did the Emerald Pools trail in Zion Canyon. The weather was cool and ther was a bit of snow on the higher peaks which also made the trail a bit muddy. We hiked up to the upper waterfall which was pretty cool because it was pretty high and falling onto a patch of snow. After finishing, we headed back to the hotel in Springdale for a quick hot tub before heading out for a pizza dinner.

On Saturday morning we had to get up really early because we had a huge day ahead of us. It started with Angel's Landing at first light which was basically a hike up the side of the canyon and onto a narrow razorback which with sheer drops on either side. It was a little daunting and not everyone was able to make it out to the end, but it was just an awesome view. After carefully climbing back down to the canyon wall we heading back down to the van for our 5 hour drive to Monument Valley. We stopped at a Navajo gift shop before turning into the national park which was just spectacular. The group was taken down into Monument Valley by a Navajo guide and driven to all the major viewpoints and then having Navajo tacos for dinner in the valley. We were privileged enough to witness a Navajo pow wow at the local school gym as a few different tribes had come to Monument Valley to take part in a dancing/drumming competition. Without knowing what the dancers were being judged on, it was a little hard to understand the scoring system, but the men and women took it in turns to out dance each other in separate groups. That night we got to sleep in a Navajo mud hogan which was basically like an igloo with everyone sleeping on a dirt floor encircling a wood stove. A few snorers (myself included) ensured that noone got a decent nights sleep!
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Robyn Clissold on

I love Monument Valley. I kept waiting for some Indians to pop out from somewhere and make an attack. Don't you reckon some of those landscapes look like painted back drops in a movie scene - so surreal.

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