Denice and I took off for the wild west this Easter for a celebration of our 32nd wedding anniversary. We left Milwaukee after work on Thursday April 5th and flew into Vegas with the only purpose this night being to sleep in our Courtyard Hotel (on Dean Martin Drive, no less) after arriving at 11:00 p.m.
This trip started with a few issues. I took my new laptop with me because I wanted to use it to store all the jpgs from my camera, edit the pictures in Elements, and then do this blog while on the trip. Issue number one was I discovered in Vegas that I never loaded the photo editing software onto my computer. I tried to download Elements 10 over the web but had to stop the two hour download nine minutes short of success when our van showed up to take us to the Avis rental counter.
At the McCarren Airport in Vegas I had a vision of our future:
Actually, this is the walk way to the men's room in the rental car building. Pretty cool!
After picking up our gorgeous red Ford Fusion (which turned out to be a great car for us except the rear view mirror hangs in the sight line of the driver when looking at scenery to the right quarter), we hit WalMart for food and a Best Buy to purchase a copy of Lightroom (for photo editing) except at Best Buy they said I could only buy it on the web. This is issue number two.
Driving from Vegas to Bryce Canyon National Park was great. We drove north on 15 and stopped to have lunch at Peggy Sue's Diner in Mesquite, Nevada. Peggy Sue is a former Hollywood extra and her diners have movie memorabilia ala Hard Rock.
On the drive on Hwy. 12 to Bryce Canyon the road runs past the Dixie National Forest and a place there called Red Canyon. Man, was this gorgeous at 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon and we stopped for our first nature experience.
While on a walk in the Red Canyon, Denice and I fell in love with this old tree. However, it does show just how tricky all this photography stuff is. I used a filter and a tripod to do this shoot but I am not all that happy with any of the photos. This is one of those times I wish I lived close enough to go back and do it at a different time of day with different light.
While throughout this trip we really enjoyed our stay in the two national parks we are about to visit, I will encourage you to look around prior to arriving and while departing. What you can see along the highways rivals the parks at times. Here are some examples from Highway 12 on the way to Bryce.
We arrived at the Bryce Canyon Lodge at 5:00 p.m. What surprised us the most at Bryce was the elegant banquet facilities that included great food and waiters in white shirts and black bow ties. On this first night, I had some kind of fancy chicken while Denice fell in love for the first time with the buffalo stew (which sounds much more pedestrian than it was presented and it tasted).
We slept in the Sunset Lodge at Bryce, just up the hill from the appropriately named Sunset Point. We visited this vista before hitting the hay on our first night in the national park.
For all the photos from this, visit my Flickr site at http://www.flickr.com/photos/gniebuhr/sets/72157629454776210/