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Bryce Canyon

Our uneventful day full of sightseeing and hiking through the Zion Canyon Park drew to a close in the late afternoon and we decided not to repeat the Golden Hills Restaurant dining experience by trying to find a motel closer to Bryce Canyon. We stop in Hatch, Utah at The Riverside Inn, a AAA rated motel, to find they have only one room available. The owner digs out his phone book and gives us several decent motels in the area we can call, even loaning us his phone to call them. How many motels have you ever stopped at would do that for you? If I'm ever back in that area, that's the first place I'll be trying to stay. After checking into the Mountain Harvest Motel for the night, we head back to the Riverside Inn where they also run the Cactus Cowboy Restaurant. We walk into the restaurant to see several cardboard cutouts of famous cowboys: Roy Rogers with Dale Evans, John Wayne, Gene Autrey, and Tex Ritter. The tables all have baseball-like movie cards under the glass top with cowboy movies like High Noon with Gary Cooper and Belle Starr with Randolph Scott. I end up ordering the first Bison Burger I've ever had which turns out to be very good.
The motel was comfortable and we all got a decent night sleep after making a joke of checking both of our alarm clocks to see that they were not set to go off at a before the sun wakes up time of the early AM morning.

Taking the exit to Bryce Canyon, we stop at the first viewpoint called the Birdseye Trail which I think is a part of Red Canyon. The many interesting rock formations prove to be a preview of what we'll see in Bryce Canyon.
Castle on the Hill

Stopping at the Red Canyon Visitor's Center, the Ranger tells Mom that the Sunset to Sunrise Trail is absolutely fabulous and she shouldn't miss it. Being the jokester that I am, I ask, "Is that an all-nighter?"
"No," was her serious reply. "It's a 3 mile hike and shouldn't take more than 2 or 3 hours."
"Oh, okay, I just thought that if you left at Sunset and arrived at Sunrise, it would take all night!"
"I never thought of it that way before," she laughed.

Thinking that the shuttle system is the same as Zion's where the shuttles stop at every point coming and going, we board the shuttle to Bryce Point planning to disembark at Sunset Point and begin our hike to Sunrise Point. The bus pulls into the Bryce Canyon Lodge parking area and the bus driver announces over the loudspeaker that everyone needs to leave the bus. His bus has a hydraulic leak and is being pulled from service. The bus behind us will be going on to Bryce Point or we can catch the next bus back to the Visitor Center. About this time, Dad realizes it just about noon and Mom has to eat. Being diabetic, she has to be careful of what and when she eats so they head to the Lodge for lunch while I try to figure out exactly how we're getting to Sunset Point. It turns out that the shuttles run from the Visitor Center all the way to the end which is Bryce Point and only stop at the other Points on the way back.
It's not far from the Lodge to Sunset Point by way of the Rim Trail so after lunch we set out on our hike.
Bryce Amphitheater.
The Ranger at Red Canyons told us to start at Sunset because it's steeper and easier to go down than up. You have to climb just as high up Sunrise Point but it's not as steep, just a longer climb.
The Switchbacks going down Sunset Point.

The trail got a little too uncomfortable for Mom and I ended up walking in front of her so she could brace her hands on my shoulders to help keep her balance. When the trail evened out she'd say okay and let go until the next steep curve.
However, it was a loose rock in a relatively flat spot one mile down that sent her tumbling to the ground, skinning the knee she'd just healed from an infection. One mile back up the steepest section or two miles back up at an easier ascent? She chose the two miles so on we continued.
Queen's Garden
Which one do you see, the King on his camel or an elephant head?

All three of us are out of water and sunburnt as we get Mom to the First Aid Station. She wants us to continue on without her and after the Ranger assures us she'll be alright, we board the bus to Bryce Point. Dad's also hiked out and the only trails left are the strenuous ones that can't be done in the time we have left and I've no intention of spending a second day here. All the trails hook together at some point and you can walk from one end to the other if you so desire. But how many rock formations can you see before they start running together in your mind?
Bryce Point
Inspiration Point
Picking Mom up at the First Aid Station, we stop at the Fairytale Point Viewpoint on our way out of Bryce Canyon.
Fairytale Point

More pictures of Bryce Canyon can be seen here.

Realizing that we're going to pass by the Mountain Harvest Motel where we stayed last night in order to get to the Grand Canyon North Rim, we call them up to see if we can get the rooms we had last night. Yes we can but the price she quotes us is much higher than what we paid yesterday! "Why?" you ask. It seems that Lisa, who knew we were calling from the Riverside Inn gave us the rooms for the same price that the Riverside charges. You'd think that they'd be happy to fill the rooms instead of having them left vaant for the night but, no, they were going to be talking to her about this and would we like the rooms or not. No thanks.

We went into Panguitch and stayed the night there. Mountain Harvest will not be getting any repeat business from us. Do you think we're being unreasonable? We weren't expecting to find a motel before Panguitch anyway, just happening to luck into the Riverside Inn who directed us to Mountain Harvest Motel.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
sillyliss
Sep. 25th, 2007 02:56 am (UTC)
More great pictures! I love the one of you with your mom. That is sweet. You should frame it for her for mother's day.
katsurian
Sep. 25th, 2007 03:02 am (UTC)
Now there's a great idea! And I even have plenty of time to find or make an interesting frame.
zebulen
Sep. 25th, 2007 06:35 pm (UTC)
I like the amphitheater. Those canyons look like a mountain in reverse - a steep slope with trees at the bottom instead of the top!
katsurian
Sep. 26th, 2007 12:32 am (UTC)
lol It is, isn't it. I hadn't thought of it that way. :)
My first glimpse from the Rim Trail had me thinking how easy it would be to get lost in there if you left the trail.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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