Sunday, August 4, 2013

Day 2 Bryce Canyon National Park


The next morning we awoke , excited to start our day and head out to Bryce Canyon. Now I had been to Bryce Canyon as a teenager twenty four(cough cough cough) years ago. At the time I dont think I quite appreciated the beauty and staggering awesomeness of this park.
Bryce Canyon has "HOODOO's".
Now, whats a HOODOO??  Hoodoo, in spiritual, magical terms means spell.
In geological terms it is a tall thin spire of rock, usually made of softer stone, topped by a harder stone.
In Bryce Canyon, both these terms come together.
To put it bluntly, these hoodoos have hoodooed us.  They were magical.
We decided to drive from Torrey down through scenic route 12, through Dixie National Forest, then Grand Staircase Escalante and into Bryce Canyon.  WHAT A GREAT IDEA!!
We started in the Dixie National forest near Torrey.

 lookout point in Dixie.

Hillsides were covered with the famous "Quivering Aspens". I imagine this is spectacular when they change colors in the fall.

We made our way through the forest and into the Grand Staircase Escalante Area. This was spectacular. Driving through the canyons, that you know took blood, sweat and tears of thousands of workers, along with thousands of pounds of dynamite.  This drive took us about 3 hours. We stopped off quite a bit at all the scenic turnouts and viewpoints. The actual mileage isnt a heck of a lot, and the speed limit is reasonable. But to get the full beauty, take your time.

small canyon we were driving through

photo opportunity

Dude, you're choking me.

After a brief Stop in Tropic UT to fuel up, and lemonade up, we finally made it to Bryce.  We took the advice of the Ranger and drove all the way in to the park to the very bottom and started our way back, viewing everything bottom to top.  We took a great hike (Bristlecone Loop) and had a picnic.
There are tons of these little chipmunks everywhere. They look cute, but dont feed them.
As we made our way back, we stopped off at all the various lookout points and stopoffs. It did, however start to storm at the very end, so the last 2 stops on our route were abbreviated.  But Bryce did not disappoint.  It was
view from Bristlecone

before the tired grumpy set in

these are the thieving little beggars...

Bristlecone trail loop view

 More Views from Bristlecone...

Photos from other stopoff points:

never thought a crow could look so majestic...




hoodoos are spellbinding!

driving to the hotel we drove through a rock. pretty cool.

Bryce Canyon was full of surprises. We just loved it.  I wish we  could have had another hour or two with no rain,  I am sure I could have found another 400 photos to take.
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