lost, for a little while


the golden circle’s greatest hits: bryce canyon
June 15, 2011, 1:28 am
Filed under: trips

Sunrise over the amphitheatre

“Look. where. we. arrrrrrrreeee!”

My aunt is basically Oprah’s small, white doppelganger. She’s cheerful, enthusiastic, and when she gets excited, she tends to draw out the last word in sentences. She and my cousin, Jesse, had just arrived in Bryce Canyon to join me on my trip until the Grand Canyon, so there was a lot of that last one going on. Along with a lot of unnecessary picture-taking and copious texts sent to our other relatives, updating them on our every move.

But her excitement, I must admit, was rubbing off on me. As soon as I picked them up and we drove into the park, I started babbling about the different things we could see and do. I was overly ambitious–an astronomy talk and stargazing, a ranger-led walk around the canyon rim, a hike through something called the Fairyland Loop–and eager to prove that they’d made the right decision in flying more than 2,000 miles and then driving another 300 to meet up with me.

But first, I needed to show them the hoodoos.

Hoooooodooooooo

Hoodoos, according to the NPS, are “tall skinny spires of rock that protrude from the bottom of arid basins and ‘broken’ lands.” They’re caused by weathering rather than running water, which means that Bryce is not truly a ‘canyon’. More importantly, though, is the fact that the hoodoos in Bryce are a vibrant shade of orange that I’ve never seen in nature outside of flowers and sunsets (the pictures don’t do it justice). It was like looking at a canyon filled with partially-melted creamsicles.

I craved creamsicles a lot during that stop.

To get a closer look that the rock, we hiked into the basin, following the Queen’s Garden trail, which claimed to end at a rock formation that resembled Queen Victoria. The whole way down, we wondered aloud what that could possibly mean (was is just her head? or did it include a dress and crown?) and tried to recall what Queen Victoria looked like (no clue). Just when we were beginning to think we’d taken a wrong turn somewhere, we saw the sign that pointed it out, and there it was:

Queen Victoria

Huh. Whaddya know.

The rest of the stop was filled with some casual hiking, visits to the viewpoints, and eating delicious food at the Bryce Canyon Lodge (I’d been on a diet of pb sandwiches and bananas for the past five days, so this was my favorite part). By early afternoon the next day, we were ready to move on to Zion, and I gladly handed over the keys to Jesse and relished getting to snooze in the backseat while someone else did the driving for a change.

Next up: Zion.

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[…] Next up: Bryce Canyon. […]

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