Friday, January 20, 2012

Bryce Canyon

The hoodoos at dawn are spectacular and I spend hours shooting photos of the canyon. The only other person out there is a man from Australia, who greets me with, "Weren't you on the road yesterday?" I responded with, "You were the only car that went by, other than the FedEx car!"
It is crazy cold at that hour, but totally worth it. Ray then takes me down in to the canyon, I hand on to him with dear life as it is difficult traversing the trail due to snow and ice. The drop off is steep! We make our way down to the bottom and hike across the narrow canyon floor on snowy trails, looking up at the blue skies and red hoodoos. The sight is unbelievable and the weather perfect. There is no wind. We hike several hours, alone in the canyon and make our way to the Queen's Garden and a horse trail that takes us up the canyon walls. It is our 33rd anniversary and we are adding up the 33 kisses today. The 3 mile trail gets steep as it ascends, and the view is interesting looking up at the hoodoos, then seeing them at eye level. Some of the columns are so tall and have such interesting shapes, eroded by weathering. There are holes in some, which I later learn are not fully carved hoodoos. In the distance, we can see Utah and its mesas. Some parts of the trail are quite muddy, others ice covered. It is a spectacular time of year to see the canyon as the patches of snow provide an interesting contrast to the sandstone. Besides, the lack of visitors creates a very peaceful setting.

After a lunch of crackers, cheese and lunchmeat, we drive to the other points of interest and view the canyon from many different perspectives. I like Inspiration Point and return for a few shots at sunset.

Ray sees that the weather is changing and a winter storm warning appears for Grand Junction. This has us worried and we decide it might be smarter to leave tonight and get out of the canyon before the wind and snow arrives. We go back to the motel and check out early. They agree to give me a refund for the evening, minus a $30 cleaning fee, and we are off on our way. It is dark as we drive and alas, we cannot see the scenery, which we believe must be interesting and beautiful. It takes us 5 hours to reach Grand Junction, when alas, the weather report changes drastically, and now only light rain is predicted for tomorrow. Oh well, we have a full day to explore!

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