|Mon, 23 Apr: Another travel day. When we do back-to-back travel days the "getting ready" part is easier since we don't unpack everything. Even so we didn't get underway until 0915.
Our drive was uneventful. The weather was gorgeous and traffic almost nonexistent. We took I 15 Business Loop through St. George to I 15, then UT 20, UT 89, UT 12, and finally UT 63 to Bryce Canyon National Park. While on UT 20 we climbed to just shy of 8,000' feet (from St. George at 3,023'). Here at Bryce Canyon's North Campground we're at 7,890' and the weather is cool. In fact. they're predicting an overnite low in the 30s. Quite a change from the sultry Las Vegas and St. George weather.
We arrived at the park's North Campground and located a reasonably level and large enough site in Loop A. We arrived a few minutes after noon and once set up, paperwork and payment (less our 50% discount for our "old fart" cards) it was time to eat.
We added 144 miles to Carpe's odometer and consumed 21.3 miles in the process. That works out to a paltry 6.8 mpg, but given the climbing we did not unexpected.
Following lunch we walked to the Visitor's Center and confabbed with a park ranger about best photo vantage points. He admitted he didn't know much about photography and couldn't recommend any particular ones. We walked back to the coach and loaded our cameras in Dinkum and headed out.
It was a mostly cloudy afternoon, but we did get some good images from several of the vantage points (Sunset, Bryce, & Inspiration). We plan to arise early and, if the sun looks good, drive to Inspiration and/or Bryce Points for some sunrise pix.
Back to the coach for some adult libations and a relaxing evening.
Tue, 24 Apr: What a difference a few thousand feet of altitude makes! We slept under two blankets this morning and ran the heat when it was time to get out of bed. The low was forecast to be in the low 40s, but our thermometer showed 49° F. It is forecast to get cooler as the week progresses with the possibility of snow Thursday evening.
We pried ourselves out of our warm bed a bit after six and drove to Bryce Point to photograph the Amphitheater at sunrise. We and several dozen other stalwarts... We did manage to get a fairly good spot and took some passable images (see pix). After lingering a bit in the cold we headed back to the coach for hot tea and other sustenance.
At 0800 we started our generator and got the electric heater running. We are allowed to run our generator from 0800 to 2000 only. We've found that 1½ to 2 hours is enough to keep the house batteries adequately charged.
It took us about ninety minutes to get our house battery bank charged, so at 0930 we shut down the generator and headed out to play tourist. This time we drove to Rainbow Point, which is the furthest south one can drive. We spent time at both Rainbow and adjacent Yovimpa Points and then drove slowly northward stopping at each lookout as we went. We took dozens of images and some of them are worthy of publication. Please see our posted images at the top of this page.
Back to the coach about 1300 for lunch. Following lunch we drove to the Bryce Canyon Lodge, the last remaining railroad-built lodge from the mid 1920s. We didn't have our cameras with us so the photo will have to wait. From the lodge wedrove into the City of Bryce Canyon to check out the general store. Selection? Nil... Prices? Forgetaboutit!
Then back to the coach for some quality feet-up outside amid the pine trees (the scent of pine is intoxicating!) It was nice in the sun, but the breeze came up and it was a bit too cool so we moved inside. Today's high is in the low 70s. Tomorrow's in the high 60s...
Our plans are very, very unsettled at this time. We'd originally planned to drive from here to Moab in the eastern part of Utah. There are no easy or direct ways to get there so we're rethinking... Possibly drive from here to Salt Lake City (Ogden?)
Not sure how long we'll stay here either. Thursday, the day we're currently scheduled to leave, is forecast to be rainy throughout the state. We might stay here until Friday or Saturday, but then again the rain elsewhere is forecast to be snow here with lows in the 20s. Such a quandary...