Our Chalet Truck Camper

Our Chalet Truck Camper

Monday, June 16, 2008

Bryce Canyon and Cedar Break Parks

June 15 - Bryce National Park and Cedar Break National Monument

Today was a rock day - pink, red, white, blue, cracked, whole, crumbling, covered in some snow, tall, short and solid. We're still on East Coast body time so were the first people in the door at Bryce Canyon National Park Visitor Center this morning. Got good ranger advice as always on the best way to see the park since we weren't
spending a week there.

First stop was jaw dropping even after all the geology we've seen. We walked the rim trail from Sunrise Point to Sunset Point to Inspiration Point to Bryce Point about a two mile hike in all. This is the rim of the Bryce Amphitheater and probably the most dramatic views in the park. Took the park shuttle bus back to Sunrise and the TC as we were really tired. Sunrise Point is the introduction to the Hoo Doo rock
formations that stick up like sharp fingers in a azillion colors but mostly red. This is all at an elevation of about 7,200 - 7,500 feet and these sea level lungs took a beating. Joe carried the pack with water, sunscreen, dry socks, etc. etc. and we used them all.

We then drove the main park road to Rainbow Point, about 18 miles one way stopping at every view point along the way. I kept thinking of Farctic Ox and Cheryl who hike DOWN into the canyon. Power to you Ted! Glad we got going earlier since it was a bit cooler but the later in the day it got the more tour buses showed up and this isn't even high tourist season yet. We are seeing few TCs in the last couple of days but are seeing more and more of the rental C size RVs.

As we left the park, we could see a huge smoke cloud coming from what looked like the Dixie Forest east of us where we had passed the day before. Long lines of fire trucks, pickups filled with men and tanker trucks passed as we went west. Hope it is small and put out quickly. We learned a lot about the role that fire plays in these huge forests and for the most part it is beneficial but really ugly to view plus
the loss of wildlife.

Route 12 out of Bryce, down 89, over to a road we wanted to take called Fish Hatchery Road but it was closed due to a bridge being out. We took Route 14 up to Cedar Brakes National Monument, climbing and climbing and finally getting there and being at 10,300 feet. Crystal clear, beautiful scenery in a small park. Eight years ago the cedars were devastated by a borer beetle and vast stands are dead standing
timber. I shudder to think what a fire through there would look like.

Made a lot of people mad going downhill to Cedar City since we were in tow haul and not pushing the speed limit. Out west there are a lot of places to pull over for faster traffic and we used them as often as possible. Ford performed well, TC is a great home to be carrying around with you. We needed to reprovision so we are in the parking lot at Cedar city Walmart tonight with maybe 20 other RVs, using wi-fi
that's just out there. Tomorrow we head for Zion National Park and will try to camp there overnight.

It's hot, we're both tired, altitude got me a bit today but the TC is comfortable and we want to keep going on this trip. North Rim of the Grand Canyon calls! We understand from some of the RVs around us that it is snow clear and open. We'll see.

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