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A photoblog sharing our discoveries as we explore America on the open road!

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park
On my first trip into Bryce Canyon National Park, I went solo on a weekday while Jerry was working. The park was within minutes of Ruby’s Inn RV. I thought I would just go to a few spots on the map and save the rest for when Jerry could go on the weekend. No sooner did I get into the park when I saw a mother pronghorn with twin fawns!

I was able to pull to the side and photograph them till she crossed the street and went into the woods. But not far from her was a male pronghorn. I’m not sure if it was daddy but he was a handsome buck. I passed an old “filling” station with the gas and air pumps still on site. There is just something about those old gas pumps that I enjoy. Maybe it brings me back to days when a friendly service man would ask if you wanted to filler ‘up, and then proceed to wash your windshield and check your oil.

The terrain was filled with Ponderosa Pines, and small prairies with prairie dog towns. It was very unlike other parks in Utah that are mainly arid and rocky. It was reminiscent of Yellowstone with diversity. My first stop was Sunrise Point. As I walked along the path, the fragrance of the pines was so exhilarating, and it seemed like it had to be the purest air on earth. When I walked up to the sign, I immediately saw a mule train of trail riders coming up the pass. The equine aroma was also very pleasing to me, which of course, is weird to most people but totally understood by those who love horses! I would love to take one of these rides on such a sure-footed equine, close to the edge of amazing scenery. I continued to photograph the surrounding beauty of the amphitheaters of hoodoos, red rock, and other color tinted limestone.

I preceded on the path toward Sunset Point and the views there were just breathtaking! It is there where the Navajo Trail descends down into the canyon and back up in a staircase with windows, fins or walls, and a narrow slot canyon. Knowing that Thor’s Hammer, a unique hoodoo or fairy chimney, was in the area,  I began to search fervently for it in the vast array of other formations. When I was sweeping across the amphitheater on the intent of making a panorama image, I saw it in plain sight. It was right in front of me the whole time! I thought about going down the trail to get closer, but after seeing the winded and sweating people who had just finished the task, decide…maybe another time.

Driving on, I stopped at a spot called Natural Bridge. At first, it looked like an Arch in the middle of a canyon but upon further sight, I could see the bridge above the arch, leading to, well no-where. The red rock looked striking in contrast to the dark green Ponderosa Pine below and behind this wondrous arch. It is amazing how weather and erosion have shaped the landscape and puts arches like these in danger of wearing away. Deciding to call it a day, I drove back to our campsite excited about the images I had just taken for the day. Much more to see with my hubby on Saturday!


Surviving Navajo Trail

The weekend arrived with me anxiously wanting to share what I had seen with Jerry, and eagerly hoping to find more awesome scenery. We started at Sunset point, which was a good thing, as we were about to go on an adventure that would plumb wear us out. Now that I had a companion, the narrow walls of the slot canyon below and a closer shot at Thor’s Hammer was beckoning me to traverse the Navajo Trail. Even though a few days before, I had seen people finishing the trail, gasping for air, we thought since it was only 1.3 miles round trip, what the heck. The park newspaper, The Hoodoo, suggested taking the trail clockwise which I’m glad we did. The decent was a downhill and winding path that gave us a beautiful view of the amphitheater and we saw a mule trail ride in the far distance. We walked down to where I could get some great shots of Thor’s Hammer so I was quite happy. Twin Bridges was just ahead of us, aptly named for two stone bridges, one above the other. As we kept declining for what seemed like an hour, we came across a ranger talking to a group of hikers. I asked him which way to go to get back to the parking lot. He said we could either go to the left which took about 2 hours but was less steep, or to the right which was shadier but very steep and about another hour. Mind you it was extremely hot and we were already pretty tired. Thinking we would rather save time and stay in the shade,

we rounded the corner and came to the other destination that I was just itching to photograph, Wall Street. The towering walls were spectacular and it was so nice and cool under there shadow. There was a wonderful reflection of the sun, peering above the fins above us,  I found a wonderful log to rest on and catch my breath before climbing the stairway past a cool window and beside a couple tall pines. When we got through the walls, we saw the steep and winding trail, in full sunlight above us. Oh boy, I wasn’t sure how I would make it but we had no choice. Using my monopod as a walking stick, I heard a smart mouthed jerk say to his family, “Here comes granny and her cane”. I wanted to hit him with it, but I need all my strength to get back to the truck and re-fill my water bottle. I had to stop at every other corner of the climb to catch my breath and take a sip of water. Twice I had mild chest discomfort and was a bit concerned but determined to keep going. There was a lady half my age, stopping at the same distances I was so I knew it wasn’t just my age. When we finally made it to the top, I thanked God and asked someone to take our picture. I didn’t even care if my hair was in my eye, I just wanted to hurry up and get to the air conditioning in our truck and drink a gallon of water. Like others I heard the day before say after climbing this trail that they were glad they did it, I was too. But I will never do it again!

Continuing on past Sunset Point, we stopped at Natural Bridge, Ponderosa Canyon, Black Birch Canyon and at the end of the parks road, Rainbow Point. All the stops were picturesque and diverse from the Ponderosa Pines, Grey cliffs, White cliffs, pinkish colored rocks and all sorts of shapes and sizes of rock. Truly a geological wonder! We headed back towards the park entrance but stopped at Bryce Point which we had missed earlier. The sun was lowering and the light was just glowing on the shapes of the hoodoos, giving an awesome texture to the canyons formations. Our last stop was just outside the park entrance, Fairyland Point. This was truly one of the most magnificent views and you could see Bryce City in the distance. There was a storm approaching and the dark clouds let go of rain that swept across the landscape, captivating my eye thru the viewfinder of my camera. When we heard thunder, we knew it was time to go. Bryce Canyon National Park is one of my favorite places in the U.S that we have traveled to. I recommend everyone visiting it at least one in their lifetime.

A Deer surprise

As we were on the road leaving the park, we saw a mule deer doe run across the street. We pulled over and I started photographing her when we noticed she was looking at something. Just then, an adorable spotted fawn came leaping toward her full blast from its hiding place. The fawn nursed shortly before mom looked back and noticed we were watching her. She led the little one deep into the forest, making sure he was safe. It reminded me of Bambi and how brave and protective his mother was. It was a wonderful way to end a perfect day!

2 Comments

  1. Thank you for these great photos!! And your story!

    • Thank you for following our photo-blog! We are truly blessed to be able to share our journeys together! Happy and safe travels!

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