Seat of our pants!

Bryce Canyon Travel Blog

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view of Zion from the lodge
Ooooh I was sooo happy to get to see RJ and Sal this weekend! We planned it under a week ago, but somehow within that week I got 2 huge homework assignments in really hard Econ classes and then was asked to plan the first ever Engineering Design Challenge for the nonprofit I work with. I was exhausted and a bit ambivalent about leaving for 3 days. But RJ and Sal always fill my heart with happy things so I quickly packed and left the 98 degree heat in LA for cooler Utah weather! The original plan was Sal and Nancy were supposed to go but Nancy got a horrible flu so she didn't end up joining in the shennanigans this time around =(

Las Vegas is such a cool place!! More so if you have amazing friends, but it's just a few hours from lots of neat places, and one of them is Zion, Utah.
driving into Bryce we had to stop to um.. make sure our cameras worked.
Exactly this time last year, 8 of us packed into 2 cars to spend a thrilling, sleepless 48 hours there. We hiked, ate, laughed, wandered into the narrows, broke cameras and used each other for body heat in the freezing altitude while watching meteor showers. I was happy to visit again but sad that all 8 of us could not revisit together =( But because I'm not working, I was able to leave Friday morning and return Monday afternoon. Yay for unemployment! =)

Somewhere along the way from Nevada to Utah, we decided to visit Bryce Canyon instead of Zion. Lots of strange things happened, such as discovering Bryce Canyon was another 2 hours away from Zion, finding out the entire Zion lodging community was fully booked, and just a general love of experiencing completely new things got the best of us.
Holy cow!! You can't tell but it's BRIGHT ORANGE.
Sal also brought his fishing poles so that we could go fishing in the Virgin River! We really wanted to catch dinner!

We got into Zion around midnight, and pulled into a Walmart to get our fishing licenses. WOW, what an experience! This was my second time ever in a Walmart, and I had heard this before, but they sell GUNS and RIFLES there! And they're open 24 hours!! Did you know that?! RJ and Sal commented on the presence of flasks being sold right next to the rifles, leading to many a "drink and shoot" puns. We each plopped down $12 for a fishing license, and I was disappointed when the Walmart guy laughed at me when I asked if there were "group fishing permits". Shit, I better catch like 20 fish for $12! We also bought a styrafoam cooler for our intended catch and left to check into the hotel.

Smushed 3 to a king bed, we slept fitfully and then woke up at 8ish, a bit confused at the time difference as each clock seemed to claim a different time zone. We got into the car and headed to Bryce Canyon - whee!!

Bryce Canyon is very very different from Zion. There are something like 15 different hiking trails in Zion, ranging in difficulty, but shaded and you can't really drive through to see the different parts. Bryce Canyon is located basically along a main road, so you can literally drive a bit, park, and then get out and see everything without having to hike. So this is what the 3 lazy amigos did =)

By far the most impressive thing you'll see is Bryce Ampitheatre, located at the very beginning near the entrance. Hundreds of interesting bright-red pinnacles form concentric semi-circles and a couple of steep trails allow you to walk among these huge monoliths.
oh hell no I ain't hiking down there!
If it were maybe 15 degrees cooler and we were better equipped for the hike (and not wearing flip flops) we might have done it. Or maybe not. The canyon looks deep and intimidating, but this amazing bright orange color that puts Sedona and Zion to shame.

I passed out somewhere along the way, woken up by Sal to see the natural bridge - another beautiful, bright orange creation of mother nature. We decided to do one short hike though before we left Bryce - the mossy cavern, which is actually outside of the park (and free). This hike was 0.4 miles - perfect! But at an altitude 8,000 feet, it was still a bit tough to breathe.

The path is also strewn with these gorgeous river pebbles. One little rock has swirls of bright orange, lemon yellow, pink and purple! It was gorgeous and looked like candy to me.
Natural bridge
But these pebbles also make for slippery goings, and I fell twice in rapid succession. It got so ridiculous RJ and Sal each had to hold one side of me so I wouldn't fall again until we got to less pebbly ground. Waah! My heroes though! RJ was such a gentleman he would scout ahead and proffer his elbow to me everytime there was a downslope - my knight in shining armor! =)

After our little hike we considered a variety of things... should we visit the Anasazi museum 74 miles further away? Should we go pick apples with Mennonites? Should we scout out a place to fish? We decided to get sandwiches and gasoline for sure! We tried to pick apples but the Mennonites turned us away, probably because we weren't Mennonites - darn! But the lady took one look at Sal and gave us a bag of freshly picked apples for free.
I can say without a doubt those were the best tasting apples I've ever eaten in my life.

Afterwards we were off to do one of my all time favorite things - watch a movie! =) We headed into Hurricane after a half hour rest and watched "Where the Wild Things Are". SUCH a good movie!! Except I kept picturing Tony Soprano, but oh well =)
We also stopped by a diner Sal thought looked interesting for some dessert. Only to find out it's one of the best hidden gems in Hurricane. Amazing food, crazy people, and gorgeous prints of Page, Arizona all over the walls. Some pie, root beer floats, and coney island hot dogs later, and we were off. We went to bed around 1:30am as we had to get up a bit early to go fishing!
Mark184 says:
Now I look forward to going in a couple weeks
Posted on: Jun 28, 2010
pinpilinpauxa says:
I love Bryce!!
Went with my Mother about 12 years ago.
I like your photos...
Posted on: Oct 30, 2009
TRE69 says: that the dates for sure? I need to plan. At least I should be done with class by then too! Sand boarding = totally awesome!
Posted on: Oct 21, 2009
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view of Zion from the lodge
view of Zion from the lodge
driving into Bryce we had to stop …
driving into Bryce we had to stop…
Holy cow!! You cant tell but its…
Holy cow!! You can't tell but it'…
oh hell no I aint hiking down the…
oh hell no I ain't hiking down th…
Natural bridge
Natural bridge
pretty pebbles!
pretty pebbles!
111 km (69 miles) traveled
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Bryce Canyon
photo by: aswold