Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bryce! (Or, the Time We Almost Froze to Death)

Okay, that title is a tad melodramatic.  But it felt very bitterly cold, despite the fact it was barely freezing.  We drove over to Bryce after a day's hiking in Zion, where we were down to T-shirts.  Then, after sitting in the car long enough to let our muscles get good and tightened, we arrived at Bryce and attempted to see it all in the remaining hour of daylight.  So we'd jump out of the warm van, ignoring the screaming muscles (okay, probably buff-n-tuff Lindsey did not have to ignore screaming muscles, but I did), jog up to the lookout point, and take some pictures.  And it felt really, really cold.  This was definitely the park we shortchanged the most, but we didn't have time to pay attention to them all properly.  Next time.

 You don't officially visit a National Park unless you take a picture of the sign.

 Bryce Canyons: Where Mother Nature's Decorator Forgot to Take Her Meds.  But it is totally gorgeous.

 The view here was just spectacular-- Bryce's famous hoodoos, then vast distances to another mountain range.

 The whole state of Utah brings flashbacks of 9th grade Earth Science.  In an exciting way.

 Evan and I hiked this trail in 2001.  And it was the hardest hike I did the whole trip.  When I realized this time that Bryce is at a ridiculously high altitude, I forgave myself some of my 2001 wussiness.  If I ever hike at Bryce again, it will be after a couple days of laying around a cozy cabin, acclimating to the elevation.

 The snow only makes the crazy landscapes even better defined.

 Pretty trees!

 I love the gnarled one on the left.

 See?  Ridiculously high altitude.

 We were JUST about out of any sunlight here.

 Getting a little closer to the rocks at this lookout.

 I'm not a real risk-taker (okay, I'm not a risk-taker in even the teeniest sense of the word), but this makes me want to toboggan down through there.

 Red, red, rocks!  Imagine what they would look like in the sunlight.

 Even though we didn't have a lot of daylight left, the sunset was beautiful and it was definitely worth our mad race through the park.

Lindsey, in her Skhoop skirt.  I am scheming about getting my own Skhoop someday.  I think I've already used up my birthday presents for the year by getting to fly West for a week, but maybe next year Evan will be open to suggestions...  I'm partial to the Hella.


Virginia said...

Love the pics! How very wintery looking and how very odd that the desert could be wintery looking!

Bethaney said...

Bryce should always be seen when there is a light layer of snow. And I remember taking a picture of that same gnarled tree in 2005. Oddly enough, Justin grew up/lived at 8700 feet. So 9,000 is old hat to him.

laura said...

Now THAT I remember... Manda and I had spent (way less than) 24 hours at the Utah elevation before we tackled that exact hike that you and Evan shared. She spent the next morning extremely ill. And all our friends from the west laughed at us.

Live and learn (: