We wake up early at Bryce Canyon NP to get on the road so that we can visit Zion NP before it gets too crowded and hot. The plan is to find some breakfast along the way. We stop at the Galaxy diner in Hatch, UT. By this time Nathan and Sam have given up on waffles and are totally into French toast. This diner does not disappoint from a breakfast food standpoint. It does, however, have a very touch-y owner. The first time he comes by and touches me I think, “don’t touch me again!” That hope is to no avail. This guy must have touched me at least twenty-five times. Every time he walked by I got a shoulder graze or squeeze whether he was waiting on us or not. I am used to strangers talking to me since I have seem some sort of tractor beam drawing them in but it doesn’t usually get physical. This is pretty creepy. We finish up quickly and I try to get away with just a handshake which doesn’t work but I at least manage to avoid a full body hug.
Nathan outside the Galaxy Diner in Hatch, UT
We enter Zion NP from the East Entrance. The park looks very different from this side. In the western section it is all towering red cliffs and in the east there are more conical white sandstone formation. We stop at Checkerboard Mesa and discuss the geology of the area with Nathan and Sam.
Nathan with Checkerboard Mesa behind him
Nathan and Sam looking at Checkerboard Mesa
Our hope is to get to the Visitor Center and on the buses before the crowds and heat. We have arrived before 11 AM but have failed in both regards. We have to park outside the park entrance and walk in. Then we have to stand in a very long line to get on a bus. Many buses fill up before it is our turn.
Waiting for the bus
We get off at the farthest point in the canyon. We are going to walk along the Riverwalk Trail until it ends at the Virgin River. In one of our shopping outings I have bought water shoes for Jon, Nathan, and Sam. While we wait on the shore they can take a hike in the water.
Jon with Sam and Nathan (ahead) walking with a lot of other people on the Riverwalk Trail
By the time we get to the end of the trail Nathan has gotten a blister and decides not to go in the water. Sam and Jonathan do go in and have a great time while Nathan plays in the sand at the river’s edge.
Eek, cold water!
Daddy and Sam in the Virgin River
These pictures look like they are the only ones there but it is careful cropping
Nathan and Zayde discuss breaking stones along their weakest points to make edges
On Friday we spend the morning in the Entrada pool where Sam swims through the waterfall and sits on the bench behind it with me. He is so happy to have accomplished this.
Tonight we are cooking our fancy dinner. Jonathan has seen some marrow bones at the new Harmon’s and he and I have a shopping expedition while John, Nathan, and Sam have some quiet tech time. Here is a picture of the marrow bones in the meat case.
The marrow bones are labeled femur bones
We go into a long explanation of how we want the bones cut longitudinally so the marrow will be easier to get at. The butcher seems a little perplexed. Finally he says, “What kind of dog do you have?” Jonathan and I crack up and say that the bones are for us. He admits that he has never sold the bones for people before. He gets us some fresh ones and cuts them to our specifications. When we check out, here is how they ring up –
Pet bones for our fancy dinner!
We roast the bones, make a garlic and parsley sauce, and serve them with crusty bread. It is very good and we are barking with pleasure at the end.
Marrow bones with parsley garlic sauce and crusty bread
The week has flown by. We have done more than I have pictures for – movies, shopping, breakfast and lunches out, books, iPads, cards and games. On Saturday we must head down to Las Vegas so that Jon, Nathan and Sam can catch their plane home. We leave in enough time for a stop at Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill in the Caesar’s Palace Casino. At last we have found the much desired waffles! Nathan eats every bit on his plate plus a roll or two. Sam does a really good job as well. It is the perfect ending to a really fine trip.
Jonathan, Nathan, and Sam at Mesa Grill