Thursday, 28 April 2011

Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks

It's Thursday now and I think it was Monday when we went to Bryce and Zion National Parks but the days are starting to blur... We're almost half way through the trip now - so we've got just over three weeks to go. Can't quite believe how much we've done and seen so far. And how many miles we've driven. I think we're near to 2,000 miles now.

So yes, we actually arrived at our motel in Tropic, Utah (just outside of the park) on Sunday early evening with plans to do a quick stop at a look-out over Bryce before dinner. But it was pretty much zero degrees when we arrived, we'd been driving for five and a half hours, and - actually - we couldn't be bothered.

We'd starting getting into the habit of squeezing as much into every day as possible, but burn-out was approaching. And it wasn't like our day had been uneventful. We had driven via Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell. Stunning.

So we had a well deserved 'night in', which included a crappy-but-good fast food dinner of battered shrimp and fries, hit the laundromat and watched Poirot on cable and played Gin Rummy, or some variant thereof. Super.

Less super was the washing machine breaking on our second load and not draining the water out, thus leaving us with a bundle of dripping, non-tumble-drier-able clothes. Lucy was not happy: "Travelling sucks. Why is there no spin setting?!"  Adam wrang out the clothes. Lucy was less angry. Especially after the satisfaction of setting up Stage One of the clever drying system.

Stage Two involved a chair on a bed near a hot-air fan heater. There is no photographic evidence of this but, believe me, it was awesome and our clothes were dry before we went to bed.

The next morning, refreshed, we woke to snow. SNOW! For the second time on our trip. We weren't expecting that, but we wrapped up and drove down the road to Bryce Canyon National Park. The Rough Guide: USA book said the best time to see Bryce was in the winter when the hoodoos (top-heavy columns) are covered in snow, so we were pretty lucky. This place was incredible. I'd love to have walked down into the basin but we were short of time (and breath: part of the canyon rim we walked up to was 7,777 feet above sea level).

It took us about two hours to drive west to Zion National Park. It's very different: to start with, you don't walk the rim; you drive straight down into the basin. Which was actually my favourite part of this park. The sceond pic is of the Great Arch that you see when you come out of a scary-ass long tunnel that goes through the rock face.

It's pretty lush (or "verdant" as Adam so proudly announced) down along the Virgin River. We did a short walk to the Lower Emerald Pools where the waterfall was doing its thing.

With Utah done, we headed west for something entirely different...

Las Vegas.

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