|Day 18 - Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
||[Aug. 24th, 2004|10:00 pm]
Trip Odometer: 4626 mi|
We woke up and ate some tasty French toast, then headed north into Utah. We stopped just across the border in a small town where I got an oil change for my car, and while we were waiting we stopped into this small little creamery called the “Three Bears” for, well, mid-morning ice cream.
Interesting place, you sat at your table and you wrote down the exact ordering of ice cream flavors and toppings that you wanted put in the bowl, then they did it for you. Quite good, actually, and really too bad that this place is in the middle of nowhere.
While we were there we saw a kid with a Gmail release shirt (“Google gave me a Gig”). Didn’t want to bother them, but did wonder if they were from Google or just knew people there.
We arrived at Bryce Canyon at around 2pm MDT, after losing an hour because Arizona insists on being different, and set up camp. Or tried to anyway. Apparently we had reserved an RV only spot somehow, not that they would mind but we didn’t want to really be stuck on a concrete pad near a ton of generators. So we drove around and found a nice one away from other people and up on a hill.
Bryce is a pretty small park as they go, like Arches or smaller. We went on a hike through the “Bryce Amphitheatre” – the more developed section of the park. For the most part, it wasn’t god-awful crowded but you were certainly seeing people nearly continuously. That’s ok though, because this place was pretty amazing.
We spent most of the afternoon on a hike down the Queens Garden trail – This trail wound down into the canyon among “hoodoos” or eroded rock that tends to look vaguely like petrified (turned to stone, not really afraid) people. The “Queen” was this one large white rock that looked down on all the smaller red rocks.
After decending the 325’ or so and walking among the hoodoos, we went through some pine/juniper forest in the canyon base. We took a break at the side of a dry creekbed. Some kids up the trail from us (coming down the other direction) decided they’d try to hit a branch in a tree with some rocks. Natrually they didn’t notice us downrange… Thankfully, there were no injuries.
We eventually wound up in “Wall Street” which is this huge very narrow canyon, and then walked back up a large number of switchbacks. At no point along them could you see the entire set, it was really impressive (and quite the climb). But atleast the half mile walk back to the car was level.
We drove around to some overlooks, but as I’ve mentioned already, overlooks were starting to get old by this point. It was sort of amusing to see the “Queen’s Garden” as this teeny tiny area among the huge canyon though, to get a sense of scale.
For dinner we had grilled cheese. Or at least that was the plan before I killed it (there really isn’t a “low heat” setting on the stove. Oh well, it was tasty anyway.
Afterwards we went to a ranger program about birds, and then to bed.