Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon NP is famous for its bizarre geologic features called “hoodoos” - a name that sounds more like a cartoon character than a unique geologic feature.   Since Bryce was also on my sisters bucket list, we thought why not cross off two bucket list items while she is out here.  The drive from Zion to Bryce was an hour and a half and well worth it.  We were sorry that we only had one day to explore this unique national park.

A "hoodoo."  The word means rock or
pinnacle left standing by the forces of erosion.
The park lies in southern Utah on the eastern edge of the Paungaugunt Plateau and the park’s wondrous landscape draws visitors from around the world who come to marvel at the serious horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters.  The amphitheaters are the setting for the amazing landscape of hoodoo spires, slot canyons, rocky fins, and curious windows.  What first appears to you as a deep canyon of red rock forms a very complicated picture when you look closely.  The powerful forces of ice and rainwater have eroded the fragile limestone and created colorful and whimsical formations that captivate the eye.

Technically, Bryce Canyon is not a canyon as it was not carved
by flowing water.  Freezing, thawing, and rainfall do most
of the sculpting of the limestone.
When you first see Bryce Canyon the question “who would live here” comes to mind.  It looks so inhospitable, uninviting, and unproductive.  And while the park was named after the early Mormon Pioneer Ebenezer Bryce, a recent archaeological survey showed that people have been marveling at Bryce's hoodoos for at least 10,000 years.  Many just passed through finding the land unsuitable.  But it was the Mormon pioneers that manipulated the environment in order to make the land productive by diverting water from the plateau top into the valley making the dry valley an oasis.

Natural "windows" dot the landscape

In 1924, Congress designated Bryce as a national park but access was limited and visitation was almost non-existent.  The combination of the Union Pacific Railroad and the development by the Civilian Conservation Corps transformed Bryce into a national destination and later an international "must see." Today the park attracts more than 1.5 million people. Bryce Canyon National Park truly is a remarkable place.

More pictures from Bryce....
Mom and Dad posing with the breathtaking landscape.
The Rim Trail allows visitors to walk along the edge of the Amphitheater and get an expansive view of the remarkable scenery.  
The Paiute Indians believed the hoodoos are "legend people" that were turned to stone by a coyote as punishment for bad deeds. 
Bryce Canyon Lodge was constructed in 1935 and is a National Historic Landmark.
Completion of the lodge saw the influx of visitors who were eager to explore the area.
Lora, my sister and I, felt compelled to have our picture taken in front of the sign - just like when we were kids.

1 comment:

  1. Bryce is one of my favorite places on the whole planet! I am compelled to return every few years (I feel like a salmon and keep expecting my sides to turn as red as the amazing rock walls).


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