Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon 2014 - ER (3 of 12)

This spring we had a chance to visit another National Park, Bryce Canyon. While it is not very far from Zion NP, they are entirely different. Zion is a in the Canyon while Bryce is on top, yes I am being general here. Zion is intense views of the geology while Bryce is sweeping views. Both have famous trails, we did Angel’s Landing in Zion while we did Queens Garden in Bryce.

Isn't she regal

Isn’t she regal

 

I was shocked by the amount of snow and cold temps in Bryce. There was even a bit of the road with low visibility due to the high winds on the ridge blowing snow across the road. Zion was full of people and wildlife; Bryce was so wonderfully peaceful and quiet. I would say serene.

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I’m going to let the images speak for themselves.

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If you would like to see more photos please visit our Shutterfly site.

Into the Heavens

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Last year we had the opportunity to visit three wonderful National Parks; Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Sequoia.  This year we found some time off while in Utah and couldn’t pass up the chance of visiting two more National Treasures.  A few years ago we took an Easter trip to Canyonlands and Arches, both must see!!!  Our route this spring took us through a small town called Kanab, which is located right between Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon.  With a four-day gap in the schedule we made haste and enjoyed the views.

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First stop was Zion and a crazy hike to Angel’s Landing.  Now I should preface this with neither Josh or I are afraid of heights and we are both exceptionally sure-footed.  This nearly 2.5-mile trail leads you up trails, switchback and some sheer drops to a crest of 5,790 feet.  What makes this scary is that for most is that for the last half mile you are scaling rocks with only an interspersed chain to help you up and down.  It is epic, a very fun hike and on the clear day we had nothing something to fear.  Although we did see more than a few folks have troubles with the height.   I think it was the perfect place for lunch.

 

Just Hanging Out

Just Hanging Out

View from the top

View from the top

 

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Even if you don’t have the desire to scale a cliff, the rest of the trails and views are just amazing.  We every trail, picnic table and stop sign is welcome to views that give you pause.  In total we hiked five trails and had a few delightful encounters with the local wildlife.

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I know I’ve said this about nearly every National Park but there really is nothing like it.

Angel's Laning from the trail

Angel’s Laning from the trail

Look Closer, see the tiny people

Look Closer, see the tiny people

Rawr I’m a Bear

How many Scottie moms out there refer to their little fur as a bear cub? With all the hair and those little legs they look like little bear cubs. Well I can assure you that they look nothing like an actual bear when one is dangerously close to your campsite.

Bear 1

On our last weekend in Colorado we took advantage of a few extra days and went camping in the mountains near Colorado Springs. Not near the burn areas but not far away either. Being a holiday weekend the camping sites available were a bit limited, so we ended up near the dumpsters and that’s where the fun begins. Around 4am we had a visitor, a black bear variety guest. He made quite a racket pushing the dumpster across the parking lot before opening and diving into it. Now I was terrified, but Josh being well Josh he knew it was his duty to chase the bear away. And to his credit he did scare the bear off, for about 20 minutes. So for the next 2 hours we were woken multiple times by the garbage bear and his snacking attempts. Each time we chased him off but each time he moved a bit slower. That was until around 6:30 when it was so light out that we got these shots of him. It was quite unnerving to have a bear this close to the campsite and from the looks of the dumpster he visits often.

Bear 3

Now what was Pippi my fearless terrier doing during this ordeal? She was wide awake, starring that bear down and not making one tiny little peep.

How Grand is that Canyon

We finally got to visit the Grand Canyon, a destination that just about everyone we know has been too and loves.  We seem to always being going just past Phoenix with no time off to go see this national treasure.  So after a little planning we worked it out to spend a few days explores the canyon.

Sunset in the canyon

Sunset in the canyon

Just check out the views

Just check out the views

We scored a one day permit to hike down into the canyon, to Horseshoe Mesa.  We didn’t go all the way to the bottom but it was a haul.  I’m not going to lie it was hard.  This section of the park was one of the early tourist destinations, with trails cut for mules.  That sounds well and good but a large part of the trail in covered in sort of slanted cobblestone.  Not fun at all to hike on.  By the bottom my toes hurt but wow!  This is what met us there.

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After setting up camp there was nothing to do but enjoy the views and relax a bit.  The weather on the top of the canyon was quite cool and windy but down at the lower elevation it was delightful.  Just a sweatshirt at night to enjoy the stars.  Tucked into our sleeping bags that evening it was a delightful sleep.

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Now the way down was hard but the trip back out was very tough.  Just need to take breaks but I would do it again to see stuff like this.

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The Rains Come

The rains have followed us a bit this trip. While in Holitika on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand we got caught in a crazy storm. It down poured for over 24 hours and causes massive flooding. The main bridges to the north and south of us washed out. This is a video I shot from a pedestrian bridge to show a bit of the crazy waters.

A Mighty Boulder

Alright these are the last photos from our camping trip but with so many cool places to shoot it was impossible not to take advantage. Hickory Run State Park in Pennsylvania in home to a large boulder field. Another delightful feature that those pesky glaciers left behind.

We did have to share the surroundings with gaggles of teenagers, troupes of Boy Scout and clusters of families but I think we captured the moment just for us.

It was a bit treacherous to hike out onto the field, the boulders move!!! And my camera is precious to me. I’m sure that we looked like goofballs out there but it was fun.

As if the rocking boulders weren’t hazardous enough, there are pits too. This is Josh doing his impression of a dwarf.

Water, Water Everywhere

While Josh was doing a little fishing I thought it might be fun to try my hand at moving water photography. The first few shots I took were from a wooden platform.

After that I got a little braver and climbed some rocks to get into the steams a bit.

That just wasn’t good enough so I donned my water shoes and climbed out into the rushing waters. This really is the best way. Had to really get a solid grip on my tripod. I’m very happy with these and I’m only going to get better!