I woke up this morning with vertigo so Hubby had to look after all the packing up and getting ready. Luckily it wasn't too bad a case and once the stimatil kicked in I could functon OK. The drive out of Zion is picturesque. This is the sentinel slide area. At one point a very large secton of the cliff came away and the resulting landslide dammed the river. A lake formed behind it and it took the river roughly 1000 years to break through.
The road winds up a series of switchbacks to a tunnel that has been blasted through the rock. The engineers kindly put in some windows at several points as well. You can get a little peak at the canyon from each one. On the other side of the tunnel the landscape changes. Chequerboard Mesa is the main landmark on this side.
Bryce canyon is only about an 90 mins from Springdale. We parked at our hotel and took the shuttle out to the park. Bryce canyon isn't actually a canyon because it is not carved by a river. This area experiences about 200 days per year where the temperature goes both above and below freezing. The constant freezing and melting of ice has caused the unique formations in Bryce Canyon. We stopped at sunset point and decided to tackle the Navajo trail. This is a 2.2km loop that descends 167m down into the canyon ... the difficult bit is when you have to come back up.
You come across trees in the most unusual places.
We decided it was worth the climb. The Boy hand a small fall on the trail but bravely kept going.
After a break at our hotel we went back for a guided ranger walk along the rim. We were there with a bit of time to spare. The kids have been playing hand games to while away the time at various bus stops and on buses.
This is a pinion pine cone. The nuts were a staple of the native indian's diet and are American pinenuts.
At this point the ranger was explaining how Bryce Canyon is a hot spot for lightening strikes, you can see the scar on this tree ... in fact there were many trees scarred like this. He then went on to talk about what to do in a thunder storm. If you can't get in a building or car apparently the latest advice is to pick your least favourite leg to stand on and stick your backside in the air, that way the lightening doesn't pass through your heart and the exit burn is on your rear ... sitting down would be hard for a while.
These trees smell a bit like butterscotch. The kids enjoyed running round smelling them.
The canyon is continuing to erode at about 4 feet per 100 years, you can see the effect on this tree.
We stayed for sunset:
View Day 13 photos HERE.