Wednesday 11th June/ Thursday 12th June/ Friday 13th June
This morning most of the group joined the optional extra of White Water Rafting (Sorry, I don’t know the name of the company) I didn’t choose it, I scored a sleep in instead.
Today our tour saw us travel south through Wyoming and into Idaho. Our stop was at the beautiful area of Bear Lake.
The scenery was amazing. It looked like the kind of place that people had their summer holiday homes in the movies.
Grand homes stood by the fresh water blue lake. It is the second largest natural freshwater lake in Utah, after Utah Lake. A fresh sunny area to stop for lunch and a stretch before a movie afternoon back on the bus and on to Salt Lake City.
We arrived in the late afternoon to our motel, the Comfort Inn Salt Lake City We had time for a quick freshen up before a walking tour to Temple Square. This is the Mormon Temple and Salt Lake City’s most visited attraction. This luxurious church took 40 years to build and contains open gardens, historic art, visitors centres and assembly halls.
I’m not personally a religious person, but this visit was quite breathtaking.
That evening we had reservations for dinner at the Red Rock Brewing Co. Most of us were eager for food after a long bus day. We ended up walking several blocks in the wrong direction to the Red Rock Brewing Co. Beer Store – the actual brewery! That’s when we all found out that this was our tour guide’s first Grand Northern trip.
Finally when we reached our destination, we found a seat ate. The food was hardy and filling. Really great meals, almost pub like comparison to here in Australia and to die for wood fired pizzas. You won’t be disappointed!
After dinner, a large group of us contikians went for a drink at the Beerhive Pub. Being a Wednesday night and Salt Lake City not being known as a party town, one drink was all we enjoyed before turning in for the evening.
The following day, we departed Salt Lake City for Kanab. Along the way, we stopped in at Bryce Canyon for a hike and some fresh air. Trust me its needed when you sit on a coach for hours day in day out. Bryce Canyon National Park is located in southern Utah and consists of dry red rock formations known as hoodoos. There are several different hiking trails, with different distances and difficulties, all the trails connecting.
That afternoon, we checked into our accommodation at The 4 Seasons Motel Kanab. I was sad to find out that since the contiki, it has since closed down. While it was a little run down and tired looking, the rooms were a great size. Perfect for the ‘not-room-party’ party 😉 If you ever go on a contiki, or top deck etc, they will tell you ‘no room party’s’- that’s a load of crap, everyone has them! Just don’t make a mess of the room or damage anything and you’ll be fine. But more of that to come later.
We had an included dinner across the road at the Chuckwagon Cookout located inside the Little Hollywood Museum. The food was just as good as the home cooked meal from the cookout at Teton Trail. Some much love and warmth put into their food. Can not recommend enough. Yum!
So back to the room party part. After we explored the little hollywood museum following dinner, we all headed back to the motel. The night was still young for us partiers, and with no night life in the town- the guys in a corner room (which was huge!) hosted a room party. I think most of the group managed to fit themselves in and we played never have I ever and drinking games for hours.
The evening may have ended in a nudie run or two through the carpark on behalf of a small group of gentleman. It was a night to never forget and full of many laughs and contiki bonding moments.
On Friday June 13th, the day finally came for one I had been waiting the whole trip for- the Grand Canyon! I was so excited, this was something that had been on my bucket list for probably the longest out of everything.
We arrived at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon early in the morning and began the day with breakfast before going for a hike through North Kaibab Trail. It was some of the most amazing scenery I have ever seen. The photos that I took will never do it justice, and the real images I’ve saved in my memories I’ll never forget. You can talk about it and show people pictures, but it really is something to be seen for yourself to truly understand the magnitude of the park and the beauty of nature.
We spent all morning on the trail until it was time to return and have lunch at the Grand Canyon Lodge Dining Room. It wasn’t an included lunch and was a little pricey, but you expect that in a high tourist traffic destination. I chose the buffet and great food with a lot to choose from, and fresh too.
I took a few more photos out on the deck, then it was time to pack up and leave to go back to Kanab for one more night.
Most of us had a quiet night of laundry catch up and chinese for dinner from Fusion House. If your looking for an affordable, fresh and filling meal, I would highly recommend this place. Great options for sharing too.
An early night that evening was in order. After all, the three biggest days we were about to have on contiki were almost upon us. Viva Las Vegas, here we come!