X-Country Road Trip: Day 3 – Zion & Horseshoe Bend

Today was a great day! We woke up looking out over Lake Las Vegas, with Starbuck’s coffee in the lobby. The weather was perfect all day, sunny, 80 degrees, gentle breeze. This is probably the last warm weather we will see until next year! We made the decision that the Grand Canyon was not going to work. It was going to add an entire day to the trip so we opted instead for Zion National Park and Horseshoe Bend.

Not a bad setting for morning coffee!

We left the Vegas area and headed into the desert of Nevada, briefly cutting across the northwest corner of Arizona into Utah. The terrain was multi-colored buttes, mesas, plateaus and bluffs. It’s not that we saw all of those, but we debated all day which formations were buttes and which were mesas, the difference between a bluff and a cliff, etc. Anyone want to help us out here?Nevertheless, it was a gorgeous drive!

We were cruising along when all of the sudden the GPS instructions changed the arrival time to an hour later. We had crossed from Pacific time to Mountain Daylight Time! It’s like losing an hour to daylight savings time! As we approached Zion National Park we cruised through the town of Virgin, Utah–seriously.

Zion is spectacular. There is a mountain road that goes through tunnels, and hugs the rock walls. On each impressive rock formation you can see millions of years of history and geology. Here are some of the many pictures we took.

From Zion we headed to Horseshoe Bend. This was a 90 minute drive across lower Utah. It was exceedingly beautiful! lots of green, lots of desert floor, and lots of impressive rock formations and mountains! We were on the edge of Grand Canyon National Park, Glen Canyon, and Lake Powell. We passed from Utah into Arizona and–good news!–got that hour back! Arizona does not use Daylight Savings Time. The Arizona sign we saw earlier in the day had the state flag on it but this time when we entered the state it had the very natural wonder we were going to visit on it, Horseshoe Bend!

We made it to Horseshoe Bend along with a few hundred other people. It was just about sunset and crowds of people were thronging to the site. Fortunately it is wide open with a good breeze blowing because a good 25% of these folks were maskless.

What a magnificent place! It’s a 1,000 foot high overlook where the Colorado River wanders around a sandstone butte making a near complete circle, a horseshoe shape in fact. It was peaceful, and serene. Below kayakers were paddling in the river and campers were around a campfire on the shores of the butte.

We decided that we had gone far enough for the day and found a Marriott Courtyard in Page, AZ. From there we headed to a Page institution, the Bird House. This is a fried chicken joint that serves local IPA. The service was great, the food was fantastic, and I got a pic of Tim with the big chicken out front!

We have traveled 1,000 miles, a third of our intended route. Tomorrow we expect to make it to one of the three states I have yet to visit, New Mexico.

Also, we heard people want to see more of GusGus!

Today’s Line of the Day

TIM: I don’t know about parking so close to that tree, there’s gonna’ be bird poop all over my car.

TONY: What?!? Tim, bird in that tree would have to have explosive diarrhea to reach your car!!!



  1. Line of the day … 😂🤣 yes , please , I need this along with your wonderful blog and beautiful photos ! Continue to have fun you two!

  2. Your trip looks wonderful. Zion & Horseshoe Bend is on my list. What’s your top 2-3 songs for the trip? Have to have good tunes on a road trip.

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