Las Vegas Bike Trip – April 11, 2014


Debbie and I ate breakfast with Tom, Judy, Wayne, Linda and Roger. Since we weren’t biking I splurged on the most amazing french toast I’ve ever had. Roger had ordered it a few days ago and I’d been craving it ever since. It was made of Texas cut brioche, and served with mascarpone cream, caramelized pecans and fresh strawberries. It was so rich, it barely needed syrup.

We finished up our packing and then relaxed for a couple of hours. We met Wayne and Linda in the lobby and took all the luggage to Debbie’s rental car before walking to the Irish Pub for lunch. After lunch Debbie drove us all to the McCarran Rent-A-Car Center and turned her car in. It’s a huge complex located a couple of miles from the airport. It’s basically a 68-acre parking garage. All the rental car companies are housed in the complex and shuttle buses run to and from the airport. Wayne, Linda and Debbie all had late afternoon flights. I was staying a few more days to see Zion National Park. After saying our goodbyes, they boarded the shuttle buses and I went to pick up my rental car.

I’d already reserved my car online, so I used one of the electronic kiosks to complete the rental process. The machine printed my papers and I walked to the garage to get my car. There were very long lines of people waiting at the counter……..some people are afraid of using technology. I handed the garage attendant my papers and he pointed to a row of cars and told me I could pick out any one I wanted. I spotted a Toyota Camry (it was even white – my preferred color) and hopped in. When I exited the lot, an attendant in a booth scanned the barcode on the dash and away I went. For such a big operation, it ran very smoothly. I’d be interested to know what their turn around time is from a customer returning a car to it being available to rent again. I bet it’s only a few minutes, a quick vaccuum, wash and back on the lot…….the Vegas version of an Indy pit crew!

It was about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Las Vegas to Springdale, Utah. My hotel in Springdale was just outside the entrance to the Zion National Park. I arrived late in the afternoon and checked in and got settled. The huge sandstone rock formations of Zion towered above the hotel. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live there and be able look at something so beautiful every day. I walked next door to a place called the Whiptail Grill for dinner. It was housed in what used to be a gas station. Under the canopy where the pumps once were, was an outside seating area. They were extremely busy but I was in no hurry. After about a 40 minute wait, I enjoyed a plate of spaghetti squash/goat cheese enchiladas……..they were yummy. The restaurant was rated the #3 restaurant in town on Tripadvisor.com.

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