Ruth, with our friend Andrei at the Orheiul Vechi Historical Complex at Trebujeni, Moldova. Photo taken December 2, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Wow...what a place!

Nice short drive of only 58 miles (93 kms) yesterday morning as we made our way from the eastern outskirts of Zion National Park up in altitude to Bryce Canyon National Park at 7,500 ft.

Yesterday's drive, 58 miles (93 kms).

Really pretty scenery along the way. We really like this area. Too bad it's not warmer during the winter or we would spend more time here. Even now it's a bit chilly, but for a week of beautiful hiking we'll put up with it!

Scenery along the way.

We arrived at Bryce Canyon City at around 11:00am. Not a city, in fact its hardly a town because it all centers on the tourist businesses of Ruby's Inn. But, due to some wierd law, they are actually able to be recognized as a city. Legally, it's called Bryce Canyon City. Really, it's just Ruby's Inn, and now a couple of other businesses.

Ruby's Inn owns the main hotel and general store, and the commercial campground outside of the National Park. And, much of the surrounding land.

They have very specific parking regulations for RV's. There's a brand new lot across from Ruby's Inn, and it said specifically "RV, Truck, and Car Parking". So that's where we parked.

We went across and spoke to a lady at the info booth and asked about overnight parking, and the free shuttle bus service that takes you in to the park. It's free, provided you have a park pass. But, we don't need one because this week is free National Park entry at all the U.S. National Parks in celebration of their 100th anniversary. So, riding the bus is free. Turns out that it stops right at Ruby's Inn and it runs every 10-15 minutes. 

We had already researched the campgrounds inside the park. They are $30 USD ($39 CAD) per night, with no services. No thanks.

The lady in the booth says "well, we recommend that you park in our campground". Well of course you do...Ruby's Inn Campground is a business. But, she did go on to say that most of the tourist related businesses in the area don't open until next weekend and that we could probably park in one of their lots and not be disturbed.

We went back to Sherman and had some lunch, and then took the free shuttle bus into the park. We stopped at the Visitor Center and got some info on the hikes in the area. It was already afternoon, so we decided to do a short 2 mile hike (but listed as strenuous) at the far end of the canyon. We hopped back on the bus and took it down to Bryce Point.

Got off the bus, and had our first view of the canyon...

Wow...what a place!

Be warned...there could be lots of pics over the next couple of days!

Very cool scenery!

Check out this guy standing way out there!

I'm usually pretty bold about that kind of thing, and thought it would make for a neat picture. But I got half way out and decided that guy was plain crazy. Nothing but a sheer drop off either side, and gravelly rocks and only about 2 feet wide. Plus, there were gusty winds.

That's as far as I got. Brave, but not stupid.

Check out the girl sitting in the top left corner.

Now that's a view!

Notice I've got my Iceland jacket on. This is the coat I bought in England in 2012 in preparation for our October visit to Iceland. Ever since, I call it my Iceland jacket! 

I've got it on because the high temperature up there at 8,300 feet was only about 51F (11C) yesterday. The chilly weather is one of the reasons the park is still pretty quiet. That's okay, I wouldn't want to experience the huge crowds in busy season.

We found the trailhead leading down into the canyon. We were going a mile down, and then turning around and a mile back up. Just a short preview of the hike we have planned for today!

Still some patches of snow around. Yes, she actually threw it at me! 
Good thing I stepped out of the way just in time!

Going down into the canyon.

Can you see me by the hole through the canyon wall?

I had the GoPro going for part of the hike. Here's a short video of what it looks like when you go through that hole in the canyon wall...


Wow...we love this kind of stuff.



The windows.

Spectacular scenery.

We made it to the cutoff where the trail meets another circular route that we'll be doing today. So we turned around and hiked back up. Funny, but after beeing a few weeks near the coast, I didn't know if the altitude would affect me. I didn't notice any difference at all, but Ruth complained of a minor headache that could be attributed to the altitude. Who knows.

Kevin, back near the top.

Ruth at the top.

We went back to the visitors center and watched a 20 minute movie about the park. Then back to Sherman and tried to decide where to overnight. I asked at one of the hotels about their parking lot, and the girl said that if I parked at Ebenezer's Restaurant we should be fine becuase it doesn't open until this Friday. Sure enough, we were okay and one other RV parked there as well after we did.

But, we've also learned of a little known Dixie National Forest boondocking spot that is located only two miles from the National Park entrance. that's where we plan on spending tonight!

Gotta go...busy day planned for today!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Check out the deals of the day at Amazon.com...


And in Canada...





30 comments:

  1. Such amazing photos, thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks George, glad that you enjoyed them!

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. It is so spectacular here. Totally unbelievable and the pictures just don't do the area justice.

      Delete
  3. In the video, was that wind we could hear?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. Seems a little windier today. Might have to wear my touque!

      Delete
  4. We've been there twice and I still get excited every time I see someone's pictures. Your pictures are beautiful. We were there in October the second time, and it actually sleeted and snowed as we got to the highest elevation. I'm looking forward to all of your pictures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We remember seeing your pictures and other bloggers' pictures of here and have wanted to visit ever since. So glad we have finally made it here.

      Delete
  5. Pretty much all of southern Utah could be justified as a National Park. It's just one thing after another there, Bryce and Zion, Escalante Staircase, Capital Reef, Monument Valley, Canyonlands and Arches, on and on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely agree with you on that! We unfortunately don't have time to do all the parks so last year we went to Zion NP and Kodachrome SP and this year it is Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef. The other parks will have to wait for another visit.

      Delete
  6. Oh my goodness!! It is even more amazing than I thought. I have always wanted to see the canyon, and your pics are the best alternative to ever seeing it in person. Thanks so much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We had high expectations for this park and were afraid that we might be let down but there was no chance of that. It is even more beautiful than we had imagined. It is fantastic seeing it from the rim but even more amazing from the bottom of the canyon. We really hope that you can manage a visit here sometime in the future, you won't regret it, that is for sure.

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. Thanks Peter, it is truly spectacular here!

      Delete
  8. I don't think there is any place in Utah that isn't drop-dead gorgeous. How amazing is our God to give us so much beauty! Enjoy your adventure...you are on a good one for sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have only seen a small portion of Utah but we have to agree that is certainly one of the most picturesque states in the country. We are really looking forward to our visit at Capitol Reef as well.

      Delete
  9. Great post today! Loved you photos, video and story telling. Thanks for keeping us in the loop with your travels, especially in the national parks. Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you enjoyed the post! If you thought this post was good, it is only a tease for what we have in-store for you in today's post. It is truly spectacular here.

      Delete
  10. Truly spectacular! No wonder some of my ancestors decided to call Utah home!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is amazing here! Your ancestors did well on calling Utah home. :-)

      Delete
  11. Isn't Bryce gorgeous!? We were there in 2006 and hiked every single trail, including some on the fringes of the park where we didn't see another soul. We were there in May so a bit warmer than what you're experiencing. Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it is brilliant! We wish that we had more time here so that we could do more hiking. There were definitely some trails further down the canyon that we would have loved as well and as you say without a ton of people. We have actually been lucky because it isn't crazy busy here at the moment and even on the most popular trails we didn't feel crowded.

      Delete
  12. We traveled for 13 years in our motorhome and worked one summer at Ruby's Inn. Jim led ATV tours and I worked in the General Store. Ruby's Inn was started and is owned by the Syrett Family. There were 146 members when we worked there in 2007--I'm sure there are many more added to the family by now. By incorporating into a city, the city becomes eligible for grants and other fundings relieving the family of using personal funds. Becoming a city was a long process.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think Jim's job of leading the ATV tours would have been a fun job to have had here, I bet he enjoyed himself.

      Thanks for the info of how Bryce City came about.

      Delete
    2. He has crazy stories to tell about the communication gap with Foreign visitors and out-of-control large families. We both had a great time. The family was wonderful and remain our friends.

      Delete
    3. I can just imagine the stories he must have! Glad you enjoyed your time there, it would have been a wonderful area to work in.

      Delete

We love hearing from you! Please take the time to leave a comment...