Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 14

Friday, September 30, 2011

I'm fairly certain my family visited Bryce Canyon in 1976.  I was ten years old, but one thing I remember clearly - a hike we did, in the heat of the day, down into the canyon.  Yesterday, as we finished hiking the Rim Trail, and came out to the lookout at Sunset Point, I had a flash of recognition.  This was it!  The switchbacks, descending between the hoodoos... I remember looking back up at the striking contrast between the bright orange columns of rock and the deep, deep blue sky.  I also remember being hot and thirsty.

But we had to do this hike!  It's not a long hike, it's the "everything that goes down must come back up" factor - the opposite of the hiking we're used to.  To beat the heat, we started early :D



In the photo above, the boys - all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed - are standing above the return trail.  But this view - the way down - is what I remember.... switchback after switchback, descending out of sight, into the canyon.


The light changed as we dropped below the rim, still early in the morning with the sun at a low angle.



You think you can see the bottom, but you can't.  The trail curves around a bend and... more switchbacks.



The park service has cut through some of the rock to make room for the trail.  Fun :D


Yes, still descending...


... until you reach "Wall Street".  So much nicer than the one in New York!  And still descending...



Looking back up, the way we had come.  And no, you can't see the top.


Further into Wall Street...


... you come upon three towering evergreens.  Gunnar says it made him feel puny.  Yah.



The trail wound around, down in the canyon.  Lots to see.  I think that's a bristlecone pine.



Still wandering around, below the hoodoos, the trail gently began to climb.



Soon, we were back to the switchbacks and the serious uphill began.



Coming early in the day meant lots of shady spots.  And we brought plenty of water.  :D



Once again, the switchbacks are deceiving.  You look up and think you're seeing the top - you're almost there!  But you're not.



The boys did an awesome job.  Lots of water breaks, and no whining :D  And here, they are finally nearing the top.



Just a bit more, but someone is feeling rightfully proud of himself.



Wyatt and Tate liked being in the lead.  Looks like they're right at the top, doesn't it?  Almost...



A look at Thor's Hammer.



Just a few more switchbacks...



And we're right below our starting point, at last!



And look at them!  None the worse for wear ;D



After a snack, we drove all the way into the park, to the very end of the road and the literal high point of our trip - Rainbow Point - and stopped to explore several other areas on our way back out.



I loved the lookout point - the boys look like they're on the prow of a ship.



We saw an amazing array of beautiful places on our vacation, but Bryce has to be the most unique.


Astonishing, dramatic, even startling.  This is likely my favorite "non-kid" pic I took for the whole trip.



And to our surprise, we saw several prairie dog colonies!



But by late afternoon we knew it was time to push on, under billowing clouds.


Our destination was the under-whelming town of Beaver, for the sole reason that it was on our way - finally heading west - and had a great hotel for a nice price.

Day 14 Miles : 124           Total Miles : 3197

10 comments:

DJP said...

You know, I think you have a terrific camera. Have you said yet what model it is?

Herding Grasshoppers said...

It's a Canon EOS 30 - digital. I just bought it (from my dad) and freely confess that I have not yet begun to master its many functions and capabilities.

Though I chuckle a little, because that's kind of like saying,

Oh,you write really well - you must have a fabulous word processing program.

But frankly, I give much of the credit to my camera ;D

DJP said...

Well, it isn't, to me. I've framed beautiful pictures, only to be very disappointed by how cameras handled it. For instance, the twelfth picture has such a deep blue sky. Often a camera would wash out.

(Note to self: never compliment Julie about anything EVER AGAIN!!!)

leah said...

We have a Canon 30D and I love it - though I only use it as a point-and-shoot. Dennis is the one who knows about f stops and all the other technicalities. Still, as a point-and-shoot, it still takes FABULOUS pictures! We also have a little panasonic camera and it doesn't take great pictures, but it is small and easy to carry on trips to the zoo, etc. I love our Canon, though!

Bryce canyon is going to be on my "must-see" list. We get out west occasionally, but usually stay in California to see family. We could easily hit Arizona, though Utah is a bit further (we've been to Brian Head to ski, and that isn't too far from Bryce Canyon)..

leah said...

We have a Canon 30D and I love it - though I only use it as a point-and-shoot. Dennis is the one who knows about f stops and all the other technicalities. Still, as a point-and-shoot, it still takes FABULOUS pictures! We also have a little panasonic camera and it doesn't take great pictures, but it is small and easy to carry on trips to the zoo, etc. I love our Canon, though!

Bryce canyon is going to be on my "must-see" list. We get out west occasionally, but usually stay in California to see family. We could easily hit Arizona, though Utah is a bit further (we've been to Brian Head to ski, and that isn't too far from Bryce Canyon)..

Herding Grasshoppers said...

All right! All right! Didn't I say I give much of the credit to the camera?! Sheesh.

And I'll let you in on the secret of the deep blue skies - get a polarizing filter. Helps immensely with truer colors and cutting glare in some conditions. Polarizers work best at 90 degree angles to the sun. You can see the difference between the picture you mentioned and the one of Thor's Hammer.

Also, bear in mind that I took over 2000 pictures and have discarded hundreds. Many, many fails.

But honestly, it reveals the glory of God. The best and most expensive cameras and lenses will NEVER match the wonder of the human eye. The camera can never capture what we can see - it will always fall short.

Man made the camera; God made the eye.

Q said...

SO super glad you all got to take this trip. Another fantastic day!

And good cameras are great, but one needs the eye to get the best out of the apparatus. ;)

Rachael Starke said...

These are my favorite pictures so far. If I show them to Emily, I know where she'll be hounding us to go on our next family vacation. :)

K said...

Thank you so much for documenting your family vacation, and the wonderful pictures! You've inspired me to expand our next family vacation from merely a trip to the west coast (which is still a huge deal since we live in Saskatchewan) to loop down through Yellowstone and Bryce Canyon to the Grand Canyon.

Thanks again, we're loving all the pictures and looking forward to our own trip!

Kayla

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Hi, and welcome :D

Wow, Kayla, that will be a BIG loop! But worth it. I was constantly amazed at the variety in climate, landscape, wildlife, features, etc. as we went from place to place.

We definitely made memories for a lifetime :D