Touring the USA

Date of Journey

September 2014

Colin Cook

Now retired and having never visited the US before, we flew to Las Vegas for the trip of a lifetime. After a few days sampling ‘Sin City’ we commenced our road trip encompassing some of the great American National Parks.

First stop, Zion Canyon and, given that my wife suffers from asthma, any potential long walks in the canyon were a non starter.

However, I had done my homework and found a ‘cheat’s’ walk that avoided the 2,100 foot uphill walk from the Zion Canyon floor – the East Mesa Trail.

You can drive to the trailhead (about 7 ½ miles from Zion via Highway 9), thereby avoiding the uphill trek, and then it is a 6 ½ mile, moderately difficult, round-trip walk to Observation Point and what a view is waiting for you – fairly takes your breath away.

Second stop, Bryce Canyon and all viewpoints are accessible from the car, but the Navajo Loop incorporating the ‘Thor’s Hammer’ hoodoo is well worth the descent/ascent by foot.

Third stop, Dead Horse Point and a viewpoint taking in the final car chase in ‘Thelma and Louise’ and where they drive off the canyon edge.

Fourth stop, Arches National Park and a fairly strenuous but rewarding walk to Delicate Arch.

Final stop, Grand Canyon and seeing is believing.

The highlight of the road trip however must be the view from Observation Point down into Zion Canyon on what was a gloriously sunny day.

As to the item of clothing I could not have managed without were my Rohan shorts and the fact these could be soaked in a sink and left overnight ready for the next day.

My only wish was that I had taken more Rohan shirts than I had as the weather was exceptionally good and I could have staggered the wear and laundering of the ones I’d taken.

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