(Bryce Canyon City, Utah)
28 November 2022
We both woke up in the night feeling cold. We hadn’t wanted to see the heat too high, but the outside temperature has dropped to -11C ish, and it was now very chilly inside too. Andrew sorted out the slightly idiosyncratic heater, and we went back to sleep. I was awake before 7am, but read my book for an hour, before getting up and making a coffee. The smell must have woken Andrew, so I made another cup and we had an easy start to the morning. The temperature was still low outside, and I wondered how many clothes I’d need to walk over to breakfast…the answer was ‘a lot’.
After a good breakfast and showers we drove back to Sunset Point, where we descended the switchbacks of the Navajo Trail.
Once through the switchbacks the path opened up to provide views of woodland and the Escalante Staircase, as well as close up looks at the hoodoos themselves. The trail was, in parts,ice covered with dirt. Snow filled the steam beds, birds flitted around, green leaf manzanita grew plentiful in the canyon, and the vanilla scent of the pine trees hung in the air. It was lovely.
Then we started going back up… The wind also picked up and dust blew around, covering our clothes with a fine layer of dirt. The views were excellent, though, providing a great reason to stop and catch our breath on a regular basis.
Once back on the rim, we walked back towards our starting point, stopping at a bench for our lunch snack and a cup of tea. Returning to our car we were amused by one that had Santa on the front and reindeer stacked on top.
We spent time after that visiting a few viewpoints, starting with Paria View.
That was followed by Bryce Point, which was absolutely stunning. No photos could do this justice, but I’ve tried.
Finally we stopped at Inspiration Point.
Back at the room we had a bit of rest before going for dinner. Our plan was to have dinner and then go and do some moonlight shots of the canyon, but the sky has almost completely clouded over when we stepped out of our room. It didn’t look at all likely that it would course again, but there was compensation in the form of a spectacular sunset as a result of the same clouds that were likely to block the night sky.
At dinner I had sliced mushrooms with garlic butter in a croissant, which I’d never have thought of, but was very good. We took our time, since photography was unlikely, then browsed the general store. When we finally stepped back outside, the moon was shining brightly! There were stars! We quickly got ready (more clothes, warmer hats, gloves, torches, camera readied and mounted on the tripod) and drive back to Sunset Point, which I’d thought would offer good options. It was about -3C, but apart from my hands (it is almost impossible to wear gloves and operate the controls), I hardly noticed, as I was staring at so many stars. The photos need a proper edit when I get home, but here are a few of them.
After that, it was time to relax, blog, and have another early night.
P.S. I forgot to mention, but as we finished the night photos and stared to move towards the car park, having seen and heard no one since we arrived, we were both very startled (read ‘vaguely terrified’!) when a voice behind us said ’excuse me’! When we turned around, thoughts of weird mass murderers dissipated somewhat, as in front of us was a very diminutive Mexican lady. She was looking for the car park but was slightly disoriented and without a torch. We headed to the car park with her and, at the very far end, was her car, so all was well. We waited to make sure she was in it, and it was running, before leaving her to it.
One thought on “Return to the Red Rocks. Day 5: Down below the hoodoos.”
well…that has lifted my mid-morning coffee break. I get it now….the benefit of all that ever so slightly eccentric planning and holiday brochure. Glad it is going well for you both so far.
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