Tuesday, May 31, 2011
I'm so, so happy we did. This place is amazing, and I think that among our big canyon stops (Zion, Bryce and Grand) Bryce may just have been the prettiest. The whole canyon is full of these strange looking, wonderfully colored spires of rock, which are called hoodoos. The brochures had a bunch of poetic hooplah about the hoodoos enchanting us with their magical spell. We found the description endlessly amusing, but in hindsight, perhaps I was bewitched by them. I took about 15 million hoodoo pictures, and somehow came up with the idea to spend a small fortune to ride a horse among them. (The picture taking is not nearly as out of character as the splurging, but even it was extreme.)
Even though it was technically well into spring, it wasn't so spring like at 8500 feet in elevation. I've mentioned before that my trusty old Volvo is not impressed with high elevations, and as we neared Bryce Canyon, she started up her shuttering routine. At this point, I was kind of used to it, and once we left Zion, there weren't a lot of death drop cliffs to worry about the car cutting out on, so I wasn't all that nervous about it.
We were very thankful not only to find a lovely campsite right in the park, but that we had such warm, fluffy REI sleeping bags because this place was really, really cold. In fact, I'd say it bordered on frigid. We tried going to the Junior Ranger star viewing program our first night there, but it was so cold, we feared freezing before it was our turn to look through the telescope. We just hurried back to our tent, and tried to make sure every inch of our skin was under the covers.
We had to get going early because we were scheduled for the pricey morning horse ride, and we did not want to miss out. Getting out of a cozy bed is not my strong point any time, but when I can see my breath, and I have to go outside to prepare coffee and breakfast, and there is SNOW on the ground, well...it was a test of all of our strengths to say the least, but we did it.
They all looked well cared for, but I wondered if they were bored of their daily routine with the same trail, every day. Maybe that's why they seemed to like walking as close to the cliff edge as possible- to amuse themselves by freaking out the tourists.
I'd love to visit those magical hoodoos at Bryce again, but if I do, I will definitely either wait until it's really spring, or my splurging will be to stay at the lodge.