It was nice and mild when we work up in Page on Tuesday. A bit of rain, but not to cold or to warm. I, in my infinite wisdom, dressed in a t-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops. I must be tired cause I obviously didnt realize where we were headed; to Bryce Canyon National Park at 8,000 feet elevation. The rain in Page.... was snow in Bryce.
Yes, I froze my butt off when we got to Bryce. So the flip-flops were traded in for socks and shoes, and the shorts were traded in for a long pair of pants. But it was so cold and windy, that in addition to the shoes and long pants, the entire winter outfit was dug out of the trunk of the car. The thermometer read 35 degrees, but the powerful wind made it feel more like 25 degrees.
We couldn't check in right away, so mom and I bundled up and visited a few of the rim overlooks. Bryce Point, which has one of the most stunning viewpoints of the main ampitheater was so windy, I felt like I was gonna get blown off the look out area. But the wind kept the sky very clear and the sun was able to poke through the clouds at times lighting up sections of the canyon creating some very nice dramatic photos.
We were very happy to get to our wonderful cabin in Bryce, complete with a stone fireplace to warm up in.
In the morning, we packed up quickly and headed back out to the rim overlooks to catch some sunrise light on the beautiful ampitheaters. It wasn't as cold as the night before, but we were a little better prepared.
After a late breakfast, it was onto Zion National Park.
I think we are completely missing all the fall color this trip. At Bryce, the aspens trees had no leaves on them while down at Zion, the tress were mostly still green. Where is all the fall color out here in the west?
The highlight of Zion so far was driving back to our hotel from dinner at Zion Lodge. We opened the sunroof, pulled over at a turnout along the darkened Zion valley road and turned off the lights of the car. The stars above us seemed endless and so clear. We could even see satelites traveling along in space.
After another trip down the valley in the morning, we headed out of Zion headed for Great Basin National Park in Nevada. On the way, we stopped at Zion's little visited Kolob Canyons. This canyon is in the way NW part of the park and has to be the biggest kept secret at Zion. It was amazing and equal in grandure to the main Zion Canyon, yet there was hardly anyone there.