As fickle as the spring weather has been, we’ve been equally fickle in regards to our travel itinerary. The last few days, Al and I have changed our minds about as often as a teenage girl changes her outfit.
Last Friday morning, we were all loaded up and about ready to pull away from Lake Powell with a state park near Beaver, Utah, as our intended overnight destination. Before Al could put the truck into drive I asked, “What kind of Coloradoans are we to let a little cold and snow keep us from exploring a National Park that’s at the top of our ‘must see’ list?”
Two seconds later, we were on our way to Bryce Canyon National Park.
It took us three hours to drive from Page, Arizona, to Panguitch, Utah. With cold and snow in the forecast, we decided to forego dry camping in the National Park and opt for full hook-ups at the Red Canyon RV Park, about twenty miles from thet Park. We no sooner had the RV set up and the truck unhooked when we set off to explore.
Refusing to allow a little snow to keep me from seeing those hoodoos (bulbous rock columns). I bundled up in my winter gear to take in this amazing sight. It was cold and blustery but OH MY GOSH ….. pictures do not do this place justice! I was on sensory overload and couldn’t decide where to point the camera.
Even Al was awed. At each scenic overlook, we stood there speechless, admiring the view. Words can’t begin to describe this perplexing oddity of wind-swept rock.
This morning (Sunday), the weather finally let up long enough for Al and me to enjoy a hike. According to my darling husband, we spent ten minutes hiking and two hours taking photos, but in reality, we hiked for two hours and snapped photos for ten 😉
At 9:45 in the morning, it was a cold 38 degrees Fahrenheit (3.3 Celsius). We started into the canyon via the Navajo Loop trail and eventually turned onto the Queens Garden trail. The Queens/Navajo Combo trail is about 3 miles long starting at the Sunrise Point trailhead and ending at the Sunset Point trailhead with a 600 foot elevation change. Although a relatively easy hike, the 600 foot climb back up to the rim can be challenging for some. The trail can also be muddy and slick in spots.
The day started off with a beautiful blue sky and little to no wind. Two hours later, the sky was blanketed in a threatening grey accompanied by swirling winds. We were glad to be near the end of our hike as the weather started rolling in.
Although the views of Bryce Canyon along the rim are spectacular, strolling among the hoodoos is a surreal experience. The rocks never rest. Stones tumbled as we slowly meandered along the trail. The weather is quick to change causing light to alter hues and shadows. There are many moods among the hoodoos, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the trees.
There are pines of all kinds around here, but the Bristlecone pines are the most intriguing. They are some of the longest-lived life forms on Earth. Some of these trees are well over 1,000 years old and their trunks are a unique work of art. Their ability to grow in such an unrelenting environment is fascinating.
The forces of weather continue to erode and sculpt this mesmerizing landscape daily. We’ve already extended our stay once and may do so again. Thus, you can plan on seeing more photos and posts on Bryce Canyon National Park. Stay tuned!
This weeks WordPress photo challenge word is admiration …. after spending the last few days admiring Mother Nature’s creativity along with God’s handy work, it’s obvious who and what have captured my admiration.