Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

After visiting Zion the day before, we felt like before we left the Saint George area, we may as well drive on over to the Bryce Canyon National Park.  We didn't realize that it was another 70 miles, AFTER we drove through Zion.  Which from Saint George was about the shortest way to get there.  Oh well, time is what we have these days, so off we went.  From Wiki:  Bryce Canyon National Park (play /ˈbrs/) is a national park located in southwestern Utah in the United States. The major feature of the park is Bryce Canyon which, despite its name, is not a canyon but a giant natural amphitheater created by erosion along the eastern side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Bryce is distinctive due to geological structures called hoodoos, formed by wind, water, and ice erosion of the river and lake bed sedimentary rocks. The red, orange, and white colors of the rocks provide spectacular views for park visitors. Bryce sits at a much higher elevation than nearby Zion National Park. The rim at Bryce varies from 8,000 to 9,000 feet

Just before entering into BCNP, we passed through a National Forest on route 12, and I believe it was part of Fishlake NF.  The above two pics were taken there and was a preview of what was to come.  And what a surprise it was.  By the way, we left Saint George and the 70 degree temps for here and 38 degrees.  WOW!

There were about 8 different pullouts or short drives to points where one could stop and take in the beautifulsites and panorama of the Canyon hoodoos.  Note the snow.

What was so impressive was the fact that here we were in 8000' altitudes, a forest full of greenery and trees, and here are all these unusual rocks jutting upwards, sometimes right in the middle of trees.

Did I mention how cold it was?  I had shorts on and a t-shirt.  Luckily Nancy brought my flannel shirt or I would've been in big trouble.  Yes they do sell jackets and hoodies at the visitor's center, but who's got that kinda money.  They gottchya and they know it.

Snowblowers had cleaned off the walkways at all the overlooks.  There's about three feet of the white stuff here.  Brrr!  So, needless to say, we didn't spend too much time at the overlooks.  Down near Inspiration Point (where there were quite a few tour buses carrying folks from all over the world from the languages we heard) the wind and weather was a little better so we spent maybe 15 minutes there, and it happened to be near the old historic BCNP Lodge.

Nancy and I both agreed that next time we pass through these parts, we're making it a point to spend a night in the lodge here and spend more time in more pleasant weather and just take it all in and enjoy the magnificent scenery and hoodoos.

We gobbled down a Subway foot long (5-dollar footlong, can ya hear me singing?) and kept on looking and snapping off photos.  I can't begin to tell you how many pictures one can take at each one of these overlooks.  If you are ever out this way, and have the time to get here, do it.  You can't imagine.  Well, maybe you can with these photos.

BCNP will go down as one of most favorite places to visit.  Even though it was cold and windy and snowy (it did in fact snow and sleeted a couple times during our visit here.)

We actually saw lightening anf heard the thunder from this cloud way over there about 20 miles.  WOW!  Thundersnow!  On the way out of the park and back to the MH in Saint George (some 90 miles away) we caught these Pronghorns nibbing on a few blades from wet plains grasses.

We also passed through Coral Sand Dunes State Park near Kanab, UT where kids can ride there ATV's and dune buggies all over the place.  And just as you leave the park, we noticed this little interpretive plaque with some neat history.
Well, I hope I haven't blasted you with too many pics in this blog, but I just couldn't hold back.  Hope you enjoyed the journey as much as we did.  The temps down here are much more to my liking too.  mid sixties.  Well, better go for now and I'll share with you a pleasant surprise we had on Easter morning that began with a phone call from our daughter, Natalie.  Till then, Joe & Nancy