Saturday, August 6, 2011

Bryce Canyon - if you hoodoo what I hoodoo

Hi everyone,

So here I am sitting in the airport waiting for my metal tube of death to arrive. I’ve run to the bathroom at least 4-5 times already and I could only choke down three bites of a muffin for breakfast.  Other than that I’m doing fine.  Luckily the kids seem to be handling everything much better than me, although we did purchase some Dramamine for all three of us.

I’ve decided to continue the blog with the daily updates as if I were still actually on vacation.  I’m doing this for two reasons.  One, I’d like to finish what I started.  Two, it’ll make me feel like I’m still on vacation instead of stuck in my stupid office doing my stupid job. I’m not really worried about my boss reading this.  All of you who read this get it from my Facebook postings and I defriended my boss months ago.

Last I left you, we were going to be spending our full day at Bryce. That morning I continued to get an earful about what hikes I would be choosing for the day. I literally had to convince the kids we were taking the easiest trail listed – the Queens Garden Trail.  Of course it does connect to the Navaho Loop which further connects to the Rim Trail, making a nice three mile hike.  That part I left as a “wait and see”.

We were a little slow moving this morning but we got to the trailhead around 11ish. Luckily, the trailhead for the Queens Garden trail is right at the General Store where they sell…….. ice cream!  Not the good scoops in a cone stuff but the cold stuff on a stick.  Either way, my kids were thrilled and I could see a fabulous carrot on a stick opportunity to get them to finish the trail.

Let me just say there’s a reason Bryce Canyon is my favorite.  It’s absolutely gorgeous and fascinating and just plain cool.  We headed out on our easy trail which brought us down into the canyon.  All I kept thinking was that the trail was rather steep going down. At some point we were going to have to walk up to get out of here.  And this was the easy trail.  Oh well, no one else seemed to notice or at least no one said anything – unusual for my group. We reached the bottom where the trail diverges to the right to see the queen.  Well, we’re on her garden trail, I figured we should go visit her.  About 50 feet in, you see this great rock formation that really looks like a queen!  I think they named her Queen Victoria.  Everyone was feeling good so we continued on the trail.  The Queens Garden extends beyond the little side trip to see the queen and we were enjoying the sights.  Incredibly, no one complained.  However, this would not last.  We got to the end of the trail.  Now we had the option to either turn back and repeat what we’d done, or we could continue and do one side of the Navaho Loop which would take us up the canyon.  I almost forgot, I had spoken to a ranger before starting the hike and she suggested we take the Wall Street side of the Navaho loop going up because it was open today and it’s often closed due to rock slides, etc.  We would be lucky to take it and see that trail. Perfect – let’s take the trail that’s usually closed because of the danger. And so we did! 

The minute we started to go uphill and things got a little tough, my son decided it was time to complain that he was hungry and we should stop for lunch. Ugh!  We hiked up a little farther and then we actually found a nice shaded spot to stop and fuel up for the up hill hike ahead. I don’t know why, but I found hiking more difficult after we ate.  I guess all of my bodily resources were being reserved for digesting lunch instead of muscling up the trail.  But the energy kicked in after a while.  Thank goodness because the switchbacks started.  I don’t know who invented switchbacks but obviously someone with a sadistic streak. Switchbacks are these trails that go back and forth very steeply and seemingly without end.  Back and forth we went, up and up the side of the canyon. My kids, who normally complain about everything (see every other post), thought these switchbacks were great and proceeded to run and then yell at us for not moving fast enough. The nerve of those little brats ….

We made it to the top in record time, unbelievably. I’m thinking, but not verbalizing, that the Zion hikes whipped them into shape and made little hikers out of them whether they’re willing to admit it or not. We continued across the Rim Trail to where we originally started and to where the ice cream lay. Of course that’s what was on my kids’  minds and we dutifully obliged.  It’s now about 1:30 and I’m thinking we still have the whole afternoon ahead of us – surely another hike would be in order? The looks of disgust directed my way were frightening to behold.  Instead I reminded them that a geology festival was going on in the park this weekend and we had about 30 minutes to get to a talk about the development of the canyon. The looks were less hostile but no one was exactly jumping to go. But I dragged them anyway.  The talk was confusing but we did learn a few things.  We already knew that the funky points in Bryce are called Hoodoos but the ranger talked about how they form and how one day they’ll erode away.  Good thing we visited now instead of 20 million years from now.

After the talk we hung out at the Bryce Lodge.  They have internet there so I was able to begin posting again, much to the relief of my mother who was beginning to believe my husband’s Facebook post that I was eaten by an elk. It was a nice break and revived us enough to decide upon the dinner place about 40 minutes away. I had it on our itinerary to go to the Café Adobe in Hatch and we went for it.  Best place of our trip so far.  We had delicious chimichangas with a green chile sauce that was tdf. I was expecting the chimichangas to be greasy since they’re fried but they weren’t.  They were tasty with the right amount of crispiness. The refrieds were a great compliment but I couldn’t eat the rice because I can’t have cilantro.  I’m allergic.  I won’t die or anything but I do feel like I can’t breathe for a short period of time.  This makes me anxious and then it’s impossible to enjoy my food.  So it’s like an allergy and psychiatric condition all in one.  For dessert we all wanted to try fried ice cream.  It was weird but good.  There’s this coating of coconut and something else that covers the scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Then the whole thing sits in a yummy pool of caramel.  My husband didn’t want dessert and my son doesn’t do caramel so that left way too much for my daughter and I.  We plowed through like troopers and eventually finished.

More tomorrow – our trip to Capitol Reef and more hiking!

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