Tom & Charlene's Excellent Adventures travel blog









Started the day with house cleaning and showers. Ready to hit the road again. Drove to Bryce Canyon, the land of hoodoos! Quite different scenery than Zion. We found a nice camping spot at Red Canyon Campground in the Dixie National Forest. Both National Park Campgrounds are filled. There are no services but it is clean, quiet and has nice restrooms and showers. A bargain at $9/night with our Senior National Park Pass. Regular price $18. Commercial camp near Bryce are charging upwards of $45/night. No Walmart’s in the vicinity.

We parked in Bryce City, UT to take the shuttle into the park. After getting maps at the Visitors Center we hopped on a park bus to ride out to Bryce Point. Our first real glimpse of the park bowled us over. The hoodoos are magnificent. Bryce Point overlooks the Amphitheater. It looks like a city in the canyon below. Hoodoos are eroded out of the cliffs where rows of narrow walls form. These this walls of rock are called fins. Frost-wedging enlarges cracks in the fins, creating holes or windows. As windows grow their tops eventually collapse and sculpt the limestone pillars into bulbous spires called hoodoos. The delicate balance between snow and rain ensures that new hoodoos will emerge while others become reduced to lumps of clay. W e rode entire shuttle route that took us back to Bryce City. Reservations were at 7:30 for Ebenezers’ Bar G Barn & Grill. Seated with us were two women, one for Illinois the other from Michigan and couple from Belgium. They were in the USA for a month celebrating their engagement. They spoke French and understood little English. We communicated with speech, signs and gestures. Enjoyed entertainment by the Bar G Wranglers followed by another chuckwagon meal. We are taking this old West adventure seriously. (There isn’t much else to do after they roll up the sidewalks at 7PM)

Got a surprise as we tried to pull into our reserved camp site – a car was parked in our spot. Seeing me check our reserved tag with a flashlight, they came from the back of the lot saying they didn’t know the site was reserved. They quickly threw things into the vehicle, including their tent and moves. Interesting they didn’t know the site was take if they had followed the posted instructions, paid and attached their receipt to the site post. We slept quite content in our site #7.

Wednesday arrived sunny with a temp of 54⁰. Drove to Rainbow Point the farthest point on the park road. Again the view was spectacular. From the parking lot we hiked Bristle Cone Trail to Yavimpa Point. The trail meanders through a forest of Bristle Cone pines. These pine cones provide food for deer & squirrels in the forest. We could hear chainsaws being used in the forest. Many fallen trees were being cleaned out of the area.

We worked our way back to the park entrance stopping at each overlook. The landscape at each was similar yet different. The overlooks with shuttle service were crowded. At Inspiration Point there were no parking spots available. Tom dropped me off, circled the lot, left and came back to pick me up. I got some great pictures but had to jostle for space against the railings. At Sunset Point we could look down and see 5 levels of the Navajo Trail. Those going down the trail had a spring to their step. Those returning and walking up were slower, hot and tired. The temps were in the high 80s on the trail. Again we heard very little English being spoken. Squirrels and chipmunks were skittering about looking for something to eat. Our last stop was at Fairyland Lookout. Bryce Point was a favorite because it was our first sight of the hoodoos. Fairyland was a favorite because it was smaller than the other canyons. You felt you could reach out and touch the spires. We bid farewell to Bryce Canyon and headed to Ruby’s in Bryce City.

We weren’t really hungry yet so we found shade in Ruby’s parking lot and spent a while updating the blog and sorting through all the brochures we have accumulated. We decided to eat healthy and stuck with the soup & salad bar. Rudy’s has an interesting history. In the 1930s when Bryce was starting to become popular the Rudy family opened a small restaurant for tourists. They soon added an inn for overnighters. The business kept growing. It is still run by members of the Rudy family. Their holdings include the restaurant, Inn, campground, Ebenezer’s Barn & Grill, the Rodeo, gift shop, market, and mock old West street with gift & snack shops. We were thought to attend the rodeo and then found out it is a “rodeo show and demonstration” not a competition.

Didn’t find any squatters when we returned to the Red Canyon Campground. Temps cooled down and it was a fine night for sleeping.

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