Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bryce Canyon is Open

Someone's missing again...
I challenged the boys that for every good picture of a bird they took I would do the dishes for them.
Amazing evening!
See why I waited to take the kids? I'm so relaxed.
Our glorious two hour hike into the canyon.
The sky was the color of sapphires that day.
Loving nature.
They call this Wall Street.
The way out...not as bad as it looks.
Thor's Hammer.
Happy Hiker
One of the most beautiful spots on the earth.
Fall Break we had plans to visit Bryce Canyon. The government had other plans, but we had faith that a shutdown of the national parks wasn't going to stop us from enjoying the beauty of southern Utah in Autumn.
Thursday we saw Peter and the Starcatchers in Cedar City at the Shakespeare Festival. It was hilariously crazy. We all loved the books, but the play was silly in a good way. The Greek was belly laughing the whole time. Friday morning we woke up and headed to Bryce Canyon. We travel via the highway that takes you past Cedar Breaks. It was a breathtaking drive. The mountains were already covered with snow.
We drove through Red Canyon on our way also and got out of the car and hiked up to look at the red hoodoos. We decided even if Bryce Canyon was closed there was plenty to see in the state parks surrounding the area, but still we hoped for a miracle.
We stayed at the Best Western Grand, which I highly recommend. It has good size rooms, very clean and a nice heated pool. The free breakfast the next morning is big and it's all you can eat, which makes boys very cheerful in the morning and ready for hiking.
When we walked in the lobby we were delighted to read that Bryce Canyon would be opening that day at 3pm. We headed to lunch at the Bryce Canyon Pines restaurant, which has classic diner food and the BEST PIE EVER! I tried peach that day and cherry the next. The cherry was my favorite.
So at 3pm we headed over to the entrance of Bryce Canyon and to our delight they let us in for FREE! Thanks Governor Herbert! The next day we did pay the entrance fee. We drove all the way down to the end of the park's road. I think it took about a half hour. Then we got out of the car at each major view point on the way back and enjoyed the canyon's beauty. You know when your teenager keeps saying, "Wow" and "Oh wow!" they are impressed by nature. And when your tween says, "This was worth it," that's good.
I loved listening to the cute British seniors on bus tours talking about how glad they were that they got to see Bryce Canyon. I overheard one cute old British man say, "I'm just so grateful to the governor for opening the park, so I could see this view." There were a lot of thankful people there those two days. It wasn't crowded either because hardly anyone from Utah was there on Friday or Saturday and we saw maybe three families with children.
On Saturday we enjoyed a two hour hike into the canyon on the Queen's Garden trail that merges with the Navaho loop. We came out through Wall Street. It was my favorite hike that I've been on in my entire life. The Greek and the kids loved it too. It was their first time at Bryce and my second. I came there with my family when I was about 10 years old. I still remember hiking through the canyon and loving it except it was really hot. I loved that our hiked this time started out a little chilly and then ended the perfect temperature. October is a the perfect time to see Bryce.
If you haven't been to Bryce Canyon then you haven't seen one of the most amazing creations nature has made. I'm glad we waited until our kids were a little older though because I would have had a heart attack with them there when they were younger with all the cliffs.
Best pie ever!


Deila Taylor said...

Oh, man I am so jealous, we drove through on the first day of shut down, and only got to drive thru Zions. I love your photos -- I need to get a good camera!

Ria said...

Ah, I'm so sorry you guys missed it. Zion is beautiful too.