USA Road Trip Part 6 – St George
We left Page at about 6pm and headed the 250 km to St. George in Utah, which was to be our base for the next two nights. It is located about 40 minutes from Zion National Park. You could stay at the atmospheric Springdale beside Zion, but it would be a lot more expensive. We stayed at a freshly renovated, extremely comfortable motel in St George, with outstandingly friendly and helpful staff, a pool, playground and breakfast. At about $100 for two nights, it was probably the bargain of our holiday.
We asked the receptionist to recommend somewhere to eat and he suggested the Black Bear Diner next door – an unforgettable experience. Even by American standards, the portions were so scarily huge that they would have fed an average-sized family for about a week without too much of a problem :-D. Martha’s dish consisted of two wraps with fries. The wraps were so gigantic that we took the second one of them on our hike the next day to SPLIT between us for lunch! But not only the food made this dinner unforgettable – the staff were so EXTREMELY friendly that it nearly made you throw up in your mouth a little bit. We had never experienced anything like this before. We were convinced that if we had only asked, one of the waitresses would not only have cut our food and fed it to us, but she also would have chewed it for us … American hospitality reached new grotesque heights at Black Bear Diner 😀
THE RISKS OF HIKING BAREFOOT
The next day was spent at Zion National Park, which is like a mini Yosemite and equally impressive, with towering mountains either side of a steep canyon, which give the Virgin River its enviable home, offering numerous hiking, climbing and photo opportunities. As with all National Parks, the entrance ticket is valid for 7 days, but with us being on a road trip, we only had the one day to explore this paradise. We encountered Zion on a hot summer’s day so after we had been walking for some time, our barking dogs (feet) were begging for mercy and we decided to take our shoes off and proceed barefoot on the soft, sandy trails. This caused great concern amongst a number of outraged hardcore American hikers, who voiced their unsolicited opinion regarding the foolishness of our decision numerous times.
A free shuttle bus runs the length of the canyon, easing the access to the main sights and trails. Legwork will still be required though and the bus only operates on one small road, which you will become unaware of after a few metres of walking, so your hiking experience will not be tarnished. Some of the trails are even wheelchair friendly. After a day of exercise we were as hungry as a Black Bear and so there was only one place that we were going to go to for dinner that night for another course of extreme hospitality and food!
WILDERNESS TO METROPOLIS
This area of Northern Arizona/Southern Utah is probably less well known to non-American visitors, as most travellers tend not to venture past the Grand Canyon, but it is well worth visiting if you can spare a couple of days. The next stop of our trip was all the more popular, because after two nights in sleepy St George the next part of our series will feature two nights in Sin City, the gambling capital of the world – Las Vegas!