Day 12: Bryce Canyon and Vegas!

Trip Start Aug 17, 2008
Trip End Sep 05, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Nevada
Thursday, August 28, 2008

Again, we awoke at least twice to a house keeper peering creepily at us through the door. After the second time, we got up, got packed and left, we had a lot to do anyway. We left Richfield for a quick 100 mile dash South to Bryce Canyon. Our ultimate destination today, and last stop before we reach our goal, is Las Vegas.

The drive to Bryce was very pleasant; through the hills, winding roads adjacent to white water rapids and wild animals..... but then..... disaster struck. Please be warned, this was very dangerous and both of our lives were in severe jeopardy.

So there we were..... casually driving down the highway. I was driving, windows down, maintaining the speed limit (+ or - 15), keeping my hands at 10 and 2 on the wheel, periodically checking my mirrors, looking around for any hidden road dangers; and that's when I saw it. As my gaze slowly moved from the road ahead to my rear-view mirror, I noticed something, something that confused me. Up until now, my rear window had been clean and clear, but now, there was a large black spot that seemed to change places each time I checked back. I looked closer, yes folks, it was bee. I calmingly, as not to alarm him, turned to Evan and said, " Hey Buddy, take a look at the rear window, is that bee on the inside or the outside? He turned back, eyes wide open, returned and with a cheeky smile replied, "Oh yeah, he is on the inside." Ok; don't panic, he is just hanging out, probably tired, needed a break from flying, he doesn't want to hurt anyone. "Evan. Go kill it." But in despair, Evan couldn't reach back that far because of all my belongings stuffed in the back seats. Suddenly, the smart-ass bee, who probably had been listening to our conversation, decided to play some games, as in fly around inside the car near and next to our faces. Mind you I'm driving close to 80 miles an hour when Bee-Face decides to play tag with my ear. I end up swerving all over the road, which succeeded in doing absolutely nothing to thwart our enemy. The only thing I succeeded in doing was terrifying Evan.

After the bee's double loop around the cabin, he returned to his post on the back window. We stopped immediately, literally in the middle of the road, opened the doors and tried to convince the bee to leave without further confrontation. After 5 minutes of negotiation, he quietly flew out of the car. Within seconds, Evan and I bolted back inside my pest free Honda, rolled up the windows, and furiously sped off as if we were being chased by something that could actually seriously do us harm. We were safe, for now.

After our near-death experience, we were only a few miles from Bryce. You really can't explain what it is like walking up to the canyon rim for the first time. The view is simply spectacular. We spent some time walking along the upper rim of the canyon taking photos, some in dangerous positions, and enjoying the incredible views. Then, for the second straight day, we decided to do some hiking (against all weight-gaining I didn't mention that all we ate today were turkey sandwiches). We hiked a couple miles down to the canyon floor, and spent some time traversing the various trails in and around the formations. Hiking downhill and across flat land wasn't "too" hard, I mean for two guys who have been eating and sitting for the past 2 weeks, but the up-hill was probably the hardest thing I've ever done. Ok, that sounds dramatic, but it was by far the hardest thing I had done in 2 weeks. I thought I was going to die on at least 5 different occasions during the 30 minute up-hill climb back to the top. Evan seemed to do a little better than me. By the time we reached the end of the trail, my face was bright red, my shirt was soaked through, and my calves were burning. The only positive side to it all was that my sweat had a smokey, hickory based scent...mmm delicious.

We decided to drive to the other park view-points and enjoy the rest of what the National Park had to offer. We concluded our park tour around 5PM, and took off on the second to last leg of our journey; 270 miles to Las Vegas.

When we crossed into the Nevada we gained another hour, Pacific time was in effect. We are staying at the Sahara, which is pretty much the last hotel on the Northern side of the strip (the cheap end). Literally though, it is like $50 a night, and we couldn't pass up on a good deal because at this point we are both in debt. We parked the car and I felt a little nostalgic; Vegas is familiar to me, and only a couple hundred miles from home, CA. Whatever, not there yet. We checked into our room, which is probably the crapiest room yet... although we didn't expect much. We would like to give a shout out to all the Comfort Inn's, Day's Inn's, Microtel Inn's, etc.. that we stayed at. Besides the peeping maid staff, all our rooms were splendid, much nicer than the sand dune suite in The Sahara.
Vegas is sickly hot, between 102 - 108 degrees during the day, and a not-so-cool 80 - 85 degrees at night. We signed-up for players cards just so we could get half-price at the dinner buffet, which was pretty terrible. It was like Warren Towers (for all the BU folk) or any other nasty college cafeteria.

The rest of the night we toured through a bunch of hotels, were propositioned by cabbies to hit up strip clubs, and spent whatever cash we had left on either booze or betting... neither really worked out.......Vegas.
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