Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Holy Cow...Bryce is NYCE!

Before we left Zion, we were reflecting on what a huge change from Las Vegas we encountered as we headed to Zion National Park.  Neon lights, sensory overload, great food.....to beauty everywhere, more self-reliance, more hiking, seeing the night sky--all in a matter of a very few hours. 

As we drive out of Zion NP, we have a 1.1 mile tunnel we must go through that requires RV's to have an escort (you pay $15 for this). With this you can travel the tunnel in the middle so you don't peel the lid off your moho!  Because of the switchbacks on Highway 9 (and the tunnel), we detached the car and broke out the walkie-talkies...those of you who have been following our travels for a while know  that this is not a good omen........I tried to get pictures of the switchbacks but was thwarted in that quest.  Instead, I snapped this as we are waiting to travel the tunnel (as many of you know, built by the CCC and designed for the vehicles of the 1930's).  We were fervently hoping there was not an earthquake or rock slide!

We did much better on this tunnel than the one in Yosemite...still the moho needed to be straddling the midline.  There is no way we could have traveled in the right lane the whole way without crashing!  Out the other side, we are confronted with beautiful sandstone waves--still in Zion, but near the eastern entrance of the park. 

WOW!!!!!    We are again overwhelmed!

As we continue with hairpins, we are traveling at 15-20 mph, as much for the  views as the road....

Still in the eastern portion of Zion, we are treated to walls of sweeping erosive sandstone:

Our last great view of Zion is the Checkerboard Mesa so famous in the area.

As we're travelling to Bryce NP, we are amazed at the difference right out of Zion----- so different!

First glimpse of the red canyon...

We land at our park for the next couple of nights:  Ruby's RV Park.  This was begun by Ruby Syrett and his family in 1916.  He established a ranch nearby and discovered the beauty of Bryce and then began hosting visitors.  By 1919 they had established a "Tourist Rest"--a tent serving meals to travellers.  1923 brought recognition as a National Monument for Bryce and then the building of the Inn began.   Soon it expanded to include groceries, restaurant, laundry and information desk/post office.

We have had very good weather so far in our fall trip, no winds like spring, which delayed and detoured us many times (scroll down to the beginning to read our harrowing--for us--travels in wind, rain, snow and hail!)  We are hearing a storm is on the way and we will have 27 tonight (we must detach the water hose so it doesn't freeze tonight)...rain and wind is coming our way, and we noted this as it comes toward us as we are hiking the Sunset/Sunrise trail this afternoon.

We feel pretty organized tonight, as we did our daily travel, two loads of wash, toured the visitor center, museum and viewed the "Bryce Canyon" movie, hiked the Sunset/Sunrise trail (with Casey Noodle, who attracted a lot of oohs and aahs!) and got our gas for the next days scenic travels and hiking. 

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