WOW – I am so glad that we saved Bryce Canyon for the end of our Rock Tour. All of our previous stops were EXCELLENT – but to finish off with something this unique, made a wonderful conclusion for a wonderful adventure.
We camped in a lovely state park not to far from Bryce that had it’s own Red Rock thing going!
How sweet is that!
Since we arrived in the area in the early afternoon, we didn’t do anything too involved that first day at Bryce. You know, it was kind of a “scope out the situation” kind of day. We did the visitors’ center, watched a wonderful video, and then took the scenic drive to the end of the canyon. And then, of course, we stopped at every overlook on the way back. I can’t say that Gary got out of the truck at every stop, but I wasn’t going to miss a thing! Here are some shots from that first day –
Those two are from the farthest overlook point – and what a vista! The ranger said it was a good 100 mile view – and I believe him!
And as we made our way down the road…..
We decided to come back to catch the sunrise the next morning, so after we picked our spot from the many wonderful overlooks (Bryce Point with its view into the main amphitheater) we headed back home. A nice hot dinner, some good reading and another lovely sunset completed our day.
We left the next morning at 5:30 (for a 6:30 sunrise) and waited with these other good folks for the sun to appear!
And let me tell you – IT WAS COLD! and WINDY! I can’t imagine what the wind chill was – but my 5 layers of clothes and jackets weren’t really enough. But enough whining! Ah, the sunrise ……
Well, actually what was spectacular was the rising sun hitting the canyon walls – my, oh, my, how it made them dance!
After my fingers thawed, we had a lovely breakfast at the Bryce Canyon Lodge before we hiked the Queen’s Garden and Navajo Loop trail – “The Best Three Mile Hike in the World!”
It took us right down (and I mean DOWN) to the canyon floor – so beautiful!
And of course, what goes down, must come up! And up we came –
THIS! There were about 4 more switchbacks before we made it too the top. We were certainly out of breath, but we were pretty happy with ourselves. What a beautiful (and heart pounding) hike!
I kept clicking picitures as we returned to the truck (’cause that’s what I do!)-
and I was very pleased to catch this little bird before it took flight!
I think it’s a female western bluebird – but I’m not sure. Anyone out there have a better guess?
After our hike (we did it in just under 2 hours – yes, we were feeling pretty proud of ourselves!) we returned to the campground, got packed up and hit the raod. Since we had such a “nice” early start we were on the road by 11AM! Over three hundred miles later we’re stopped at a nice picnic area and we’re both BEAT! Gary’s already hit the sack, and I’m following close behind. I have a couple of other stories from our Rock Tour, but they’ll have to wait.