The Mighty Six. Day 4: Playing Peekaboo in the Queen’s Garden.

Hurrah! I slept all night, waking up with the alarm clock at 8am. I picked up my phone and inspected the weather forecast for today… a high of 1C with a wind chill of -6C…hmmm. Despite this, we got ourselves up and went for breakfast, observing that there was ice in the lake. Breakfast was a buffet service and was good quality with plenty of options. Back in the room we got ready for hiking and debated exactly how many layers we might need!

Andrew picked the hiking route from the options in the book and, accordingly, we set off in the car for Sunset Point. From here we walked a short way along the rim before descending on the Queen’s Garden route. It was windy and the dust often swirled around.

At the bottom of the loop, where it joined the connector trail to the Peekaboo Loop, we saw a Stellar’s Jay and I actually managed to get a decent photo!

We completed the first half of the Peekaboo Loop, which is a shared foot and horse trail. Then we saw a sign for Bryce Point. We could either complete the loops, or climb up to the rim trail which would make the walk around a mile longer, but would perhaps be easier going. Taking into account the fact that we had never hiked that section of the rim, we took the latter option. It was a tough climb up, as the temperature got colder, the wind got even stronger and it was often in the shade. There was even occasional ice where water from a seep had frozen. The trail was fairly quiet with only occasional other people.

We eventually reached the top of the climb and paused just before Bryce Point in a sunny and relatively sheltered spot to eat a snack bar and sip some hot tea (I bought a cycling flash from Zion Cycles yesterday, which should fit nicely in a bottle cage, and decided to put it to immediate use today).

After that it was 2.2 miles up and down on the undulating rim trail. Good views, some shelter from the wind when it went through the woods, and some very exposed sections. In places we could see the trail we had hiked and it looked a long way down!

We finished at the car after 7.4 canyon miles. Like nautical miles, canyon miles are not the same as regular miles. I have a theory that Canyon miles are approximately equivalent to 1.5 statute miles. This takes into account the altitude (25% less oxygen here than at home), elevation gain (1600 feet in 7.5 miles), uneven terrain underfoot and the extreme hot/cold weather (delete as applicable).

On the short drive back to the hotel the car registered the temperature as 28F. Brrrr! We had a muffin and coffee while working up the energy to go to dinner. We decided to try the Canyon Diner tonight, a burger/pizza place which is part of the Ruby’s Hotel complex, just a short walk away. It was quiet and service was fast , the food good. Then it was back to the room for showers and relaxing/blogging/video production/tv viewing before bed.

There was light snow falling in the way back to the room, but there isn’t much forecast. We will see what tomorrow brings.

Photos taken: 72

Videos made: 1

Steps taken: 23, 891

Distance hiked: 7.4 canyon miles

Distance travelled: 7 miles

(Editor’s note: 8.23pm and the temperature outside is currently -10C , with 20mph winds and a ‘ feels like’ temperature of -17C. There is a light dusting of snow. Star photography is definitely not happening tonight!).

Editor’s note no 2: for a video of our Zion bike ride. for a video of today’s Bryce hike.

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