Utah Road Trip – Day 1 – Las Vegas, NV to Tropic, UT

Hello everyone here’s the first post of my trip out to lovely/lonely Utah.  It was definitely a landscape photographer’s dream.  I didn’t pack too much in terms of gear, I only brought along a Fuji X100, Sony A7 and 3 lenses, and a Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera (original one), and of course my iPhone for video and casual snaps.  Dumb me I didn’t even bring a tripod or film camera! Oh well, hopefully there’s a next time.  Anyways here’s a few snaps from Day 1.

The flight from Atlanta to Las Vegas is 4 hours.  I didn’t watch a movie or anything, it’s amazing how when you get old, hours can fly by like mere minutes.

Vegas was hot as usual, with piercing sunlight that feels about 1.5X times hotter than the light back in Georgia.

This upcoming Sphere building looks very interesting.

The first stop before heading out of Vegas was “Laos Asia Market,” a wonderful Asian grocery store with an amazing Lao restaurant in the back.  They serve all sorts of authentic Lao food, cooked by of course, our kind fellow Lao folks!

Laos Asia Market, Las Vegas – Papaya Salad Lao style $8 – ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆ – The sauce is what makes this top notch in my opinion

Laos Asia Market, Las Vegas – Nam Kao $14

Laos Asia Market, Las Vegas – Larp Beef $14 I think – ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆ – This can be made to be a bit rare and bitter too, which is really legit homestyle larp

They also have the beef broth soup with intestine and various organ meat, which is a perfect compliment to the larp. (Yes I know us Asians eat weird/good stuff!) 😉

Laos Asia Market, Las Vegas – Kow Piek Sen – Chicken Noodle Soup – $11 – ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆ – This was amazing too, and fresh and piping hot from the kitchen with no need to further add spices

The grocery store also has your typical stuff like pork sausage, kang no mai (vegetarian bamboo stew), AND they also had amazing Lao pepper salsa (jeow mak pik).  I don’t have a photo of it, but it was really good, with the roasted pepper taste, and the spicy level was like 0 or 1, which means you can really pile it on sticky or jasmine rice and not feel the pain. 

They also had these amazing Thai pineapple jelly cookies.  Back here in Georgia, we have them under the “3 Pi Nong” label with a different structure to the cookie, but it’s essentially the same.

They also have cooked Lao sausage and a variety of desserts.  So for a long road trip, it’s definitely cost effective to come here and stock up.  You can of course order extra rice to go.  And the prices are great!

One of these days I’d like to visit the LNY celebrations out here in Vegas, the heat would definitely suit a water festival perfectly.

So that’s the front of the store, just Google the name, it’s on the east edge of town and in a shopping center behind a McDonald’s.

Below is the route we took to get to our destination of Tropic Utah.  Tropic is a tiny town very close to Bryce Canyon and about an hour away from Zion National Monument.  On the 4+ hour drive you pass by a large city, St. George, where you can stock up on essentials at Wal-Mart, Sam’s etc, and also smaller specialty stores, including another Asian Market!  Other than that, there’s really nothing on the long drive except for the occasional gas station, until you get to Panguitch, which is a really picturesque city with lodging and restaurants.  Anyways, here’s the route and photos from the drive.

Note: The state of Nevada is on PST so it’s 3 hours behind EST.  All of Utah is on MST, so it’s 2 hours behind the east coast.

So this is about 30 miles from Bryce Canyon and 70 miles from Zion.  The photos below are from the cute town of Panguitch.

And finally here we are, Tropic Utah, a tiny town meant for me. I mean they already put my initials on the hillside! 😉

A lovely two block town with hardly any other tourists, 1 gas station, 5 restaurants, a laundromat, and some amazing peaceful vistas.

My loadout for this trip. I really tried to keep it light since every single one of these cameras comes with the annoying assortment of chargers and wires. Amazingly all this fit into the small Lowepro mini backpack.

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