Friday, May 2, 2008

Bryce Canyon

Entering Bryce Canyon National Park. Did you spot the hidden agent?Tuesday (April 22nd) night we arrived at the Bryce Canyon. Hotel we stayed in, Ruby’s Inn, is located right near the entrance to the park. We quickly checked in into our pretty decent room with two king-size beds, and drove to the canyon to see the sunset. The park is open 24 hours a day, and the fee per car is $25. We don’t really care about fees to national parks though, because Danya’s dad bought a senior national park pass for just $10 (you have to be at least 62 and an American citizen at that), and it is valid indefinitely at any national park. Anyway, after a certain time there are no rangers at the entrance to the Canyon, so anybody can enter the park for free.

Bryce Canyon National Park.I saw Bryce Canyon on the pictures before, but to see it with my own eyes was still truly amazing. Tall columns of rocks, called hoodoos, are carved by water and wind. They look nothing like any rock formations I’ve seen before. It seemed as if I accidentally found a magic city built with red, white and orange material by some fairy-tale creatures.

Bryce Canyon National Park. Agua Canyon Point.We didn’t catch the sunset though. Moreover, as we discovered the next night, the spot dedicated by the administration of the park for sunset viewing is not the best one for this purpose, because the sun rays are mostly blocked by the mountains.

Bryce Canyon National Park. Agua Canyon Point.We spent the whole Wednesday viewing the Canyon from different points and outlooks. Since the Canyon is located high above the see level (8000-9000 ft), the weather was pretty chilly. I put on my warm gaiters, 2 tees, a sweater, leather jacket, gloves, and a warm scarf. Overdressed you say? Oh well, you don’t know me enough then. ) I did have to take off and then put on some parts of my wardrobe from time to time, as the winds were blowing less or more vigorously. But I would prefer this little exercise to being frozen on any day!

Bryce Canyon National Park. Inspiration Point.I really like those big black mountain ravens, which we first saw in Grand Canyon a couple of years ago, and then in the Petrified Forest National Park, and then in the Bryce Canyon. They seem so intelligent, and are not at all afraid of humans. The raven that we saw in the Petrified Forest looked very old, and was obviously using the park’s parking lot as a place to get some snack. Too bad we didn’t have anything to feed him.

Walk through Dixie National Forest at the edge of Bryce Canyon.At some point we took a path leading us through the part of the Dixie National Forest which grows on the edges of the Canyon. I really liked our little walk — the air, the sun, the beautiful view of the canyon, the smell of trees and wet earth.

Bryce Canyon National Park. Sunset Point.Danya’s mom wanted us to take a hike to the bottom of the canyon, but for numerous reasons (lack of hiking shoes for Danya, accumulated tiredness from all the little hikes we’ve done up to this point) we didn’t do it. We saw a pretty big group of people on the mules taking the trip down the canyon later in the afternoon. If you ask me, I’d rather walk down there by myself — I’m sure mules know the trail very well, but even imagining myself looking down the narrow curvy road from the hight of the mule’s back frightens me.
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O.o teeth mrgreen neutral -) roll twisted evil crycry cry oops razz mad lol cool -? shock eek sad smile grin