Well, when you go through what we did yesterday, asking the driver to take the wheel again immediately is ballsy, especially when you will be re-tracing your trip over mountains and crazy two-lane roads at near 9,000 foot elevations that drop off on either side AND have no guard rail. But Jenn asked if they could go back to Capitol Reef, and Chris obliged, only to find that the scenic drive had been washed out in all the craziness we drove through the day before. Oh well, Capitol Gorge will have to wait for our next trip out here. We want to stay at this B&B again sometime anyway, so there will be a next time.
The big To Do list item today was Bryce Canyon for entirely sentimental reasons. When Jenn and Chris told her mom back last December that they were planning a big trip west, she said that Bryce was probably the most beautiful place she had ever seen. She made us promise we would have a look for ourselves. Yesterday, we kept that promise.
It didn’t start out well for us. When we arrived, the park seemed to be teeming with people, and Jenn was out of sorts. The first overlook parking lot had a big LOT FULL sign in front of it, which Jenn interpreted as a sign that coming here had been a bad idea all around.
We opted to head to the end of the scenic drive without stopping, then hit the overlooks on the way back down the mountain. When we got to Rainbow Point, the very last stop on the drive, a slight drizzle started. We viewed the overlook in the rain, but when we got back to the car, the wind was howling, the rain came in buckets, followed quickly by marble-sized hail — lots of it. Yeah, this had been a bad idea, right?
Since we were safely parked at a high spot, we (for once on this trip) opted to wait out the storm. When the rain died down, we pulled away and began our strategy of stopping at each overlook. The sun came out. There were fewer people, and Jenn’s mom had been right. There is no place like this anywhere we have ever been.
The rock is the color of Dreamsicles, and the spires have intricate formations that look like busts of human heads on top. Jenn’s brother did his undergraduate study in geology. He could probably explain why within a 50 mile radius, you find white sandstone, red sandstone, sandstone filled with holes and grottoes, and then orange sherbert. Whatever the cause, this is amazing country, and we are glad we came.
Apparently, Jenn’s mother was staying in the park on her visit a few years ago and wandered out at night to view Bryce Canyon under a full moon. We were unable to stay that long, but saw the beginnings of a beautiful sunset.
Later, as we headed back to our B&B for the night, Jenn looked up to find the moon rising above the slot canyons. For a moment, she shared one more experience with her mother.