10 AM: What color is sand?
The pink hues are the result of the erosion from the surrounding sandstone which are high in iron content–a feature so common to the area in fact–that the hotel we had just left advised guests to not use their pristine white towels for wiping off red dust!
As we were navigating our way, we shared the road with some dune buggies who were on their way to do some off-roading on a portion of the dunes. With some of the speeds and slopes they were driving on, it was surely a feat of engineering for them not to tumble out of their vehicles.
But a few miles down the road, we ended up in the wide empty parking lot of the Pink Coral Sands State Park. The one. The only.
Like many other sandy places, there was a boardwalk up to an observation point, but because of the natural travel of sand dunes, all there was in terms of a path were the quickly disappearing footprints of the morning’s earlier visitors.
It being late February, there were light carpets of snow on the sand, giving way to some beautiful ombre carpeting.
The largest of the dunes stood at over a hundred feet from its base–And as we stepped and slid up towards the peak, the wind became stronger. At the top, the wind was blowing so vehemently, that the grains of sand made audible pitting noises as they hit us. Aside from the fluttering of the wind and sand, it was quiet.
Thoroughly chilled and with several liters of sand in our shoes, we trekked back to the car. Onward to Zion!
1 AM: There are a few iconic photos that make their way around the internet that are about Zion National Park. First and most obvious are the giant stone sentinels that stand guard over the valley as you drive into the park. The ancient ones looming over with some vague interest in the activities below.
Another, perhaps more infamous photo, is the view and journey up the Angel’s Landing trail–a trail so perilous, that one ought to consider bringing along a caribiner just to stay connect to the safety chains that line the spine of the rock. Perilous as it is normally, the weather was not in our favor that day, and to much disappointment, we had to abort the climb midway through due to drizzling rain that had begun. Alack! It would have to wait for our return.
But for the distance we had been able to cover, the vertigo-inducing views of the canyon below were heart-palpitatingly, jaw-droppingly gorgeous.
We inched our way back towards solid ground, cursing the weather as we went.
6 PM: It was time to drive back west towards the glitzy, ritzy, oasis that is Las Vegas.
We walked into the ritzy Palazzo, sweaty from trekking the wilderness, and slightly frazzled by the comings and goings of the city.
As we walked down the strip, gazing at one glistening hotel looming after another, we reminisced on how much they reminded us of the stony sentinels from only hours ago.
The thing about Las Vegas is that it is not just a place, it is an experience. Be it walking down the strip to see the classic Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign, wandering the artsy lobbies and malls of the big hotels, watching a Cirque du Soleil show up close, or driving across the highway to find some midnight eats, it is a genuine experience that one would be hard pressed to replicate anywhere else.
Day 3 Summary:
Mileage: 240 Miles
Brunch: Snacks again, probably
Afternoon Snack: In n Out
Dinner: Noah’s Ark at Luke’s Lobster
Midnight Snack: Chicken over Rice at Halal Guys
Post Midnight Snack: Raku
- Agedashi Tofu
- Poached Egg with Sea Urchin and Salmon Roe
- Chicken Thigh Yakitori
- Enoki Mushroom wrapped in Bacon
- Korubuta Pork Cheek