Standing at the rim of the Bryce Canyon National Park, we are waiting for sunset. Oddly enough we are facing east. As the sun sets behind us, the hoodoos begin to change colors. They look like they are even changing shape. The stark contrast between the red rock and white snow adds a layer of mystery. My eyes are trying to take it all in. Every second it seems to look different. I want to snap another picture, but I refrain and just let my soul soak in the view.
After standing out at the rim for what seemed like hours, I couldn’t feel my hands or legs anymore so we turned and headed for our hotel for the night. The goal was to get up and going early for sunrise!
The next morning we layered up, knowing we had frozen the night before. I think I had on every layer I brought with me. The temp was in the low 30’s and there was a stiff wind at the canyon. Standing in silence we waited. Waited for the sun to crest over the mountains. Like a warm blanket, the sun started to cover the walls of the canyon. Each hoodoo was washed with light causing the colors to glow. It was magical!
The adventuring really started with the hiking! I was so ready to go down the trail to be among these beautiful rocks. Still wearing just about all my layers, because of cold temps, Dad and I set off exploring. The trails are steep and rocky, and made even more dangerous by the snow, ice, and mud. Hiking boots are required. In a way, this is part of the fun. At first we tried to find the driest path, but within less than half a mile, it didn’t really matter anymore. My boots succumb to the mud and I found a bit of enjoyment squishing through it!
Quickly the sunshine warmed us. Layer by layer we peeled back clothing. My soul was warmed by the sunshine and being in nature. At points the only noise we heard was the sound of our boots on the trail. Then you would hear a few rocks falling or people talking and laughing. Words were almost not needed on the hike. There were no words that could describe the beauty, and I didn’t want my voice to break the silence.
After about 2 hours and around 3.5 miles, Dad and I reached the top of the canyon again. Our hearts were racing due to the last 30 minutes going uphill to the rim. The trail in this section was the muddiest and iciest of the whole hike. I told Dad that I wasn’t sure if my heart was racing due to the altitude, going uphill, or because I was nervous about slipping. So worth the rush!
We collected Mom and Kristin and headed down the road to find a fun lunch spot and to see the rest of the park. We had a full afternoon!
Ending the day was just as breathtaking as the start. Mom and I layered up again and headed out to look at the stars. Bryce is known to be a great star viewing location. Quickly we discovered that the full moon wasn’t going to let us see the starts. But have no fear, we drove to a canyon overlook spot and were greeted with a treat! The moon was full and bright so it provided its own masterpiece. Side by side, Mom and I stood. Not wanting to make a sound. We were alone at the rim and there was a dreamlike quality to the view. No photo could ever match what we saw. It was a show just for us! We drank in every second.
As I type this, we are heading to spot 2! For those of you who have been following my posts on Facebook, be looking to see what today brings! I don’t even know for sure what I will have to share with you in the next 24 hours. Stay tuned! Here are some pictures from Bryce Canyon National Park for your enjoyment!