Friday, April 22, 2011

Bryce Canyon -Travel Day One

This morning before 7 AM we were on the road heading north from Tucson.  Our goal today was to get to Bryce Canyon in Utah... and all along the way the rocks and hills were getting redder and redder the closer we got to Bryce.

Stanley gave us an old chest cooler that we stocked with travel food... and today for lunch we found an abandoned table beside the road where we prepared our gourmet lunch.  Sandwiches with luncheon meat, lettuce, tomato and onion slices.... some Bushes beans, carrot and celery sticks, dry roasted peanuts and onion and vinegar potato chips.  It was wonderful.

Arriving at the gates to Bryce Canyon National Park about 4:30, Lorne saw this father taking a picture of  his family... so offered to take one with all of them together.

Nothing could prepare me for the absolute beauty of this most picturesque canyon.  This is called Sunset Viewpoint.  It was the only place we visited twice and when we came back just as the sun was setting we overheard a girl saying, "I don't get it.  Why did they name this Sunset Viewpoint?"  My sentiment exactly... This photo is by far better than the one we took at sunset.

There was still some snow here... and it helped to add interest to the photo.  The elevation was almost 9,000 feet.

This is Inspiration Point.  The 18-mile road along the rim of the canyon has 18 viewpoints... and today we stopped at every one and took some photos.

There were several tour busses with people from all over the world visiting here today.

It is amazing how close we can drive to these viewpoints... and how close the people can go to the edge of danger to see these amazing rock formations.

The Parks do however provide excellent security to keep people from going into places that they shouldn't go.  These rock posts with rails are very well built and look beautiful.

Welcome to Paria Viewpoint.  There are a number of trails that go from one viewpoint to another, so on a future visit we might enjoy doing some hiking here.

It does not appear that any of these trails are difficult... and what a glorious place to get a little exercise.

As you can see they have some serious equipment to help to build, maintain and improve the trails here in this park.

There was apparently a pretty serious fire here recently... several miles along the last half of the rim road have been burnt.

This is the land of Far, Far Away.  They called this the Far Viewpoint.  What a breath taking view!  But you will get a chance to see it again from the very last viewpoint... although this is the best distance to enjoy it.

They misnamed this the Natural Bridge... but it really is just a magnificent arch hole in the rock.   You would be hard put to use it to cross anywhere.  The sun was getting low and I was wishing I had been here earlier in the day.

This is Aqua Canyon Viewpoint... and what a magnificent cathedral!  I immediately thought of Shirley in Paris, who is also looking at magnificent cathedrals.  Look closely at the very top and you will see vegetation struggling to grow there.

This stately old Ponderosa was what this next viewpoint was named after.

I don't know if this was hit with a vehicle... or if it is just settling... but this Ponderosa Viewpoint is needing a little repair work.

This is the end of the trail... Rainbow Point... and the highest elevation... which means the deepest snow was here.  Beside the sidewalk it was three feet deep.

Even from here at the end of the viewpoints you can see in the distance the "Far Away" escarpment.  This is one big park... full of inspiration and magnificent views.

It is certainly a place I will want to return to.

"I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us to aright." -Henry David Thoreau


  1. Beautiful photos. I would love to visit all the national parks of the US and stay in the different lodges where they have them. Stay safe on the road.

  2. Alan, that is our goal too...

    Sherwin, what a beautiful lovely. You know that I have wanted to explore that area so we must put that on the list. I love red rock country. I would go back to Colorado to see the Valley of the Gods there too. That is what it was called, no?

    Lovely photos...very inspiring.