Day Nineteen

Zion National Park, UT to Bryce National Park, UT
June 13th, 2009

High Point of the Day....
Low Point of the Day......
Hanging with the hoodoos
The temperature dropped again
Miles Traveled Today
Total Miles Traveled
The Bus Playlist
Sunny, Rainy and Hail
Price of Gas 
(average per gallon)
Night's Lodging
Where this Page was Uploaded
Horses, cows, sheep, buffalo, deer, a ram sheep
North Campground, Bryce Canyon National Park
Esclante, UT

Daily Didactic
The morning started at the unnatural hour of "seven something" in the comfortable South Campground. We needed to get up and on the road to Bryce Canyon National Park early, in order to secure a "first come first serve" spot at one of the campgrounds there. We climbed up out of Zion canyon and augured through the wonderful tunnel that leads to the eastern part of the park. The mile long tunnel is a triumph of the 1930s explosives and has a half dozen "galleries" looking out onto the canyon as you drive through. It is a great deal of fun. The last time we drove through this tunnel we were actually heading the opposite way driving a U-Haul and dragging an car trailer with a clean Arizona bus body on it and they halted traffic for us, but that is another story. We exited the tunnel to the slightly different and equally scenic terrain of the eastern edge of Zion National Park. Things are a little rounder and blobbier but still spectaular, before you leave the park and hit farmland full force. The farm country continued for the uneventful two hour drive from Zion to Bryce, except for ten or fifteen miles from Bryce when you dive through the foreshadwoing Red Canyon.

We've been to Bryce once, but only overnight, and have wanted to hike down in the hoodoos ever since. We visited the Visitor Center and learned that a hoodoo is a group of spires, capped by a hard rock layer and all still connected. When the cap erodes off, the dirt between the spires also erodes and they stand individually. Boom, there you go, education. We also learned that Bryce Canyon is actually not a canyon, but a plateau. Seems like someone should have done that research before they got all the signs and t-shirts made.

Brian's foot was a little gimpy from the Narrows in Zion and the weather was forbeoding, so Theresa went for a run and Brian went for a nap. Quite a ways into Brian's nap and only shortly into Theresa's post run nap, the sky unleashed thunder and hail the size of peas. It was loud and impressive and just reassured Brian that it had been a good day to stay inside. When the hail stopped, the sky cleared. We made a an awesome camp dinner, followed by an awesome camp fire, and relaxed for the rest of the evening.

Daily Pictures (Slide Show)

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The bus's last morning in the comfortable South Campground Last time we were through here we were driving a U-Haul van, towing a bus body
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Looking up at one of the galleries Awesome
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Vehicles were shorter in 1930, which keeps the riff-raff out Looking out one of the galleries
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Out the East side, still spectacular Slickrock
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Theresa calls it a Ram Sheep. Feel free to help Checkerboard Mesa. Horizontal cracks are layers of petrified dune, vertical are expansion cracks
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Buffalo in a pasture Great sky on the way to Bryce
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The first hoodoos, in Red Canyon Bryce welcomes us
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Camp site 78, in the North Campground. Very nice The bus, happy to be back
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Hoodoos! Shipwreck Mountain in the distance
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Theresa in the foreground Cool roots
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Spires Hoodoos about to be spires
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Hail the size of peas Fire and jeans weather again
This shot took way too many tries...

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