Today was a tourist day! We rode into Bryce Canyon National Park - one of my favorites!!
We bought the NP annual pass for a mere $80 for 2 bikes - and we have more than doubled our savings so far. This park would have been $20 per bike... well worth it, but when you add in all the NP's we have visited, we would have been broke by now! Bryce Canyon has a ton of pullouts and pullovers to look and hike around. We started with Inspiration Point. We were not prepared for the uphill climb that was going to happen - as soon as I took 4 steps uphill, my body reminded me of how much uphill hiking I have done in recent days and my butt was immediately on fire - every muscle twitching in revenge from the previous days workouts! We made it to the top of Inspiration POint - Winded and wheezing, but in total awe of the views. For as far as you can see, there are spiral rocks - seemingly piled one rock at a time on top of one another, for a hundred thousand rows over. All in various shades of red, brown, and white.
I heard more than once that I blend in well with the landscape ;)
From Inspiration Point, we meandered to Sunset Point - another great view from a different angle - crazy how far these things span!
Next up was Bryce Point - at 8,400 feet in elevation, you can see SOO far from here!!!
From there, we headed to Rainbow Lookout - the highest point in Bryce Canyon NP at 9,000ft. The road up to Rainbow Point is amazing - it is surrounded by canyons on the left and huge drop offs with forests to the right. From Rainbow Point, it looks as though the road is literally a slice of the earth standing soley for cars to pass over. I wonder how long before this part of the park crumbles?! The higher we went, the cooler the air temp... and we had somehow missed the rains and hail (from what one person told us it was big hail too!)
After Rainbow POint, we headed back down in elevation and towards the exit of the park. There were two cool drive thru 'tunnels' on the way out of the park - awesome way to build a road!
Bryce Canyon National Park
I love random half dead trees - how does this guy survive?
My FAVORITE Utah National Park!
It took me 3 days of seeing these guys from time to time to realize they are ANTELOPE... not deer. Duh!! We kayaked Antelope Point, we hiked Antelope Canyon.... and yet, I didn't put two and two together until they literally walked right in front of me!!
After Bryce Canyon, we cruised through a bit of Escalante and Grand Staircase NP - the road between the parks is amazing - full of curves and twists and variety of views from deep canyons to sheer cliffs to plateaus to natural arches and bridges. There was a cool tourist loop to drive through - 20 miles round trip. We had just missed the rain, which was still evident by the wet lowlying areas of the road, the areas that had signs warning of flash floods and washouts. When it rains here, nothing soaks into the earth, it all free-flows downward and takes out whatever is in its path. The park has built washout areas since the last time I was here!
After sightseeing, hiking, and riding well over 150 miles, we found a place to call home in Torrey, UT. Small little town - population 182. Torrey is just outside of Capitol Reef Park - where we will venture tomorrow!!
We found a cute little place on the edge of town - walking distance to what we thought was a MExican restaurant (it was fancy cochina) and a Cowboy Steak place (where we wound up). After eating and having a drink, we walked back to the hotel under the full moon skies.
I've been hard at work on my tan!
Summary of our day!
Black tans - Toured Bryce Canyon - Escalante - Grand Staircase - saw lots of Antelope - Dodged the Rain - stayed in Torrey UT for night- cheers!