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23 September 2012

Location 35: Zion National Park

No matter how hard I try, my Fallout: New Vegas Tour never seems to end. A holiday this month took me to the American Southwest, and I managed a day at Zion National Park - the setting for DLC Honest Hearts. Here are a few snaps of this impromptu second playthrough.

Hollow logs are more than just dead wood.
First up are a couple of items of scenery. Hollow logs usually have a goodie or two inside them; the same chalky-white dead trees are found all over the park IRL.

Reach inside for a nice surprise. Or not.







Same goes for Datura Root. The bitter flowers exist in real life, in somewhat larger clusters of green leaves and white flowers.

Don't eat those white flowers...
(I chose not to test whether the poisonous aftereffects were the same too, and not just because picking plants in the park is an offence.)
..or you'll be more than woozy.








Next up is a cheat. The closest thing I could find to Zion Fishing Lodge is the modern Zion Lodge, a rebuilt (and surprisingly classy) wooden hostelry that incidentally does a great bison burger.
The real-life Zion Lodge.

I assume there are real fishing lodges elsewhere in the park - with fewer roads to navigate by and less time to do it in, my orientation IRL wasn't as good as my main-game Fallout tour.

Safe haven if you deepsix the mantises.
(And my sense of direction is about as useful as a empty Jet Inhaler anyway.)



Truth is more fantastic.
Now here's the Pine Creek Tunnel, in reality part of the Zion - Mt Carmel Highway on Utah 9.

Uncollapsed, a great drive.
It's a phenomenal piece of engineering, costing over $500,000 back in the 1920s, and was at the time the longest non-urban tunnel in the USA, blasted through the solid rock of Pine Creek Canyon.

Driving through it is an amazing experience, with holes every few hundred metres letting in sunlight from the canyon.

Narrow by name...
Just add water
Among the park's breathtaking sights, the easiest to match with a game location is the Narrows, where the kindly but misguided Daniel leads his Sorrows tribespeople.

Carved out by a specific combo of silt and water flow, this scene is the start of a nine mile overnight hike IRL. Finding Daniel the first time you play the DLC is almost as challenging.



Them's big rocks.
Best of all, no radiation.
Honest Hearts is the most scenic of the four DLCs, so the real deal is the geology - and Zion's got it in spades.

I don't know if this pic (the NPC is Lynne Chang of Orchid Vines) is of the same boulders in the game here, but it gives you a taste.



Moving on, the peaks on the right are the Patriarchs, three mountains visible from the Patriarch's Campground. They're called Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and yes, basically everything in Zion National Park has a religious theme.
One of a thousand views
Feet of clay

My photo on the left, however, isn't the same place... just another part of the park's amazing scenery.

To sign off, here's a clip of the real Patriarchs taken from a shuttle.





Despite knowing the US southwest better than most Brits this was my first visit to Zion National Park, and I loved it. Next time you're in the meatspace Vegas, give yourself a treat and fast travel over to Zion.

If you're new to this blog, the full Fallout: New Vegas tour starts here

5 comments:

  1. I just visited Zion over last year, and it truley is as wonderful as you describe it. Thanks for sharing

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  2. This blog is awesome dude - I wish I could visit the U.S.A. just to see some of these places. They need to set the next Fallout in Europe. :)

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  3. Hi Chris, aware it was a couple of years ago now, but thanks for putting all this up, looks like it was an awesome trip. From one Fallout fan to another I have to admit I'm pretty jealous.

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  4. Been even longer now, but yeah...Datura is actually quite dangerous.

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  5. I recently went to Zion. While not exactly as I expected (more desert similar to the dlc) I did have a lot of fun

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