Friday, November 06, 2009

Bryce and Zion National Parks

We were initially headed for Cedar City, and on to Vegas tomorrow, but decided to go to Vegas today.  We traveled by way of Bryce and Zion National Parks.  What a drive!  Highway 12 is something to write home about all by itself!  The trip over Boulder Mountain was breathtaking.  The ride between Boulder and Escalante is amazing and even a little scary when the highway is perched on a hogback and the shoulder drops away into deep canyons on both sides.  Miles and miles of sandstone in every direction, with so many folds and seams; a person could get lost out here.

Friends of ours left Vernal and moved home to Boulder.  We could see why.  So quiet.  So pastoral.  So peaceful.  So home.

We stopped in Torrey and did a little shopping.  Sweetie found a Mary Englebreit puzzle I liked.

We had been to Bryce Canyon before, but I had never hiked down among the hoodoos.  We had time today.  Booklogged sat in a comfortable chair overlooking that most enchanted of places and chatted with passers by, drinking in the beauty and reading a page or two from her current book.  I hiked the Navajo Loop.  It was a thrilling time to dive into the Canyon and weave through the towering structures of orange limestone.  I felt like a vanilla icecream molecule wandering around inside a Creamsicle.  Edward Abbey types resent the trails and development in the parks, but I think the mix of human architecture and nature are wonderful.  The switchback trail into the canyon, has done no harm, looks beautiful and allows access to hundreds who wouldn't brave the interior any other way.  I'm glad they did it!

On the journey we were thankful for the few dull spots in the landscape.  Chances to cleanse our palates, so to speak, for the next vista of grandeur.

We arrived in Zion in the evening.  The fall leaves were perfect.  The lower elevation of Utah's Dixie affords autumn leaves much later than up in the north.  What a gorgeous time to visit the park!  For the umpteenth time on this trip, Sweetie pronounced this the most beautiful thing she'd ever seen!  Superlatives are abundant in Southern Utah!  We love it!

Enjoy the slide show!

1 comment:

Cindi said...

Gorgeous pictures. Have a great trip.