Monday, July 4, 2016

Bryce and Red Canyons

Today doesn't need a lot of words.  It's mostly told in pictures.  But first let me back up a little bit to dinner last night.

We ate at a place called Thunderbird Restaurant, "Home of the Ho-Made Pies."

I couldn't resist getting the jalapeño/pepper jack cheese burger, but they did have a full menu and the pork chops came highly recommended, as did the fried chicken.

We ate our food on blankets on the lawn outside the restaurant since we couldn't go in with River and I didn't want to take the food into our hotel room.
Today we woke up and they fed us breakfast, since it is a bed-and-breakfast hotel. They made us what she called 1 o'clock waffles. "What happens at one o'clock," I asked?
She laughed and said that's what her husband named them. They're so full of grains (12 different hearty grains are in the mix and today she had added pumpkin and apple) that they keep you full until 1:00pm.  Hahaha, I thought. She doesn't know me very well. (by the way, it was pretty close to 1:00 before I felt hungry for lunch.)

First stop was at the Phillips 66, where I made sure the windshield was clean, and that we had plenty of gas and water for our explorations.


Then we left for Bryce Canyon National Park. But we stopped when we saw Dixie National Forest.




While Zeke took selfies, River and I ran to the top of this! It was scary up there, but we couldn't stop.

Zeke eventually followed us up, albeit reluctantly. To put it mildly, he wasn't as excited about ascending it as I was. Surprisingly, I was more scared going down than I was going up. And standing at the top gave me a tingling feeling in my stones. It was awesome!
 We also learned about these crazy rock formations called hoodoos and how they were formed.

Finally, we moved and and it was a breathtaking day at Bryce Canyon. Not only because we ended up at an elevation over 9000 feet, but because of this...




I hope you find these pictures amazingly beautiful, stunning and gorgeous. And I hope that you trust me and take me to heart when I say that these pictures do not capture the majesty and wonder of Bryce Canyon. I sound like a broken record, but it's the truth.
Photographs don't show the depth of field. You get no sense of how far away the other side of the canyon is, or how much space there is between the near crag and the far one. The green of the trees and the red of the rock is not as deep and rich, even when using the Chrome setting on the iPhone. The frame of the picture gives an impression that there are boundaries to the awesome sights, and there are not. The camera lens and the dots on the computer screen can't perceive the kind of details of light and texture that the human eye can. Part of the incredulousness comes from being fully immersed in this nature and not just looking at a 2x3 inch square of it. The air is so thin and so dry; I'm convinced that adds to the experience of being awestruck by it all.
video




It being the Fourth of July and one of the best National Parks in the country, it was loaded with tourists that I affectionately call "the Throngs". Sometimes there would be a lot of commotion and activity at the viewpoint railings. This kind of thing makes River very nervous, but he was doing remarkably well. He could shelter behind my legs most of the time. But when it got too much, or if a dog was running around, I'd have River jump up on the railing out of harm's way. 


 We were exhausted after the day. During the drive back to our hotel I started getting sleepy and commented how much I hate driving when I'm like that. Zeke told me that his friend, Toni, says when it happens to her she just "puts boppy music on the stereo". So I tried that and it worked. It was fun. Zeke probably wished he didn't make the suggested when I played songs from Abba and Hairspray, but he was singing along the the Go-go's and Devo.

We went back to Kanab for dinner at a Mexican place. It seemed to be one of the only places open for three towns on either side. It was packed, standing room only and a wait. But I put in a take out order and we had our food in ten minutes.

We had planned to take it to the local park in Kanab, but discovered that everyone in town who wasn't at the Mexican restaurant was at the pulled pork feed, or bobbing for apples or listening to live music or gathering to watch the fireworks display.... all at that same park.

So instead we found a closed ice cream shop with tables and chairs under a patio cover and ate our food there. Three separate parties of hungry tourists happened by and thought they had stumbled on the only open restaurant for miles. They were dashed to find that we had brought the food ourselves. I would have told them about the restaurant we went to, but I knew they were packed and closing in less than half an hour.

We had chosen to eat at this place based on reviews we saw calling it The Best Mexican Food in Kanab over and over again. Now the food was adequate but not all that good. I suppose it's not hard to be called the best Mexican food in a town that only has two Mexican restaurants.

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