Monday, October 5, 2015

BRYCE, ZION, AND GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARKS

Bryce Canyon National Park

HOO DOO? WE DO! 

We visited the land of the hoo doos, Bryce Canyon, enjoyed a cool oasis along the Virgin River in Zion National Park, and got completely gob smacked by the Grand Canyon! It is safe to say, they left us speechless. Each canyon has its own unique and diverse beauty, and really must be experienced to fully appreciate them. I hope the pictures inspire you to see them for yourselves someday!  
 
 Bryce Canyon

You’d think we were a bunch of kids planning to go to Disneyland instead of a group of adults going to see hoo doos! Truthfully, the land of the hoo doos, Bryce Canyon, is nature’s Disneyland on a grand scale. Deep inside canyons painted in the shades of sunset, millions of hoo doos stand like sentinels; sculpted and carved out of sandstone by eons of  blowing wind and rushing water.

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Bryce Amphitheater

Canyon Lands!

Bunched together in lower Utah and upper Arizona are three of the most spectacular natural landscapes in the US. Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks are in lower Utah, and across the border in Arizona is the Grand Canyon. Ancient seas, rivers and shifting tectonic plates all came together to carve the sandstone into wondrous shapes. Layers of stone now exposed seem painted in shades of rust, pink, gray, white and chocolate. Each has its own unique trademarks: arches, hoo doos, weeping waters, and impossibly deep canyons.

Zion National Park 

 Checkerboard Mesa, carved out of Navajo sandstone. Zion consists almost entirely
of desert sand dunes with thicknesses up to 2,200 feet.

Deepening Canyon

The next stop on our tour was Zion National Park and boy, was it hot! Fortunately, we had a welcoming respite from the heat in Zion’s Deepening Canyon, an unexpected oasis in the desert. The Virgin River cuts deep into the Navajo sandstone leaving a small paradise where animals and plants alike thrive in the cool, moist air. Water seeping from the canyon walls, cools the air even more.

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 Weeping Rock

 A cool oasis in the desert.
The trail along the river winds down the steep walled canyon to a lovely spot that is a
perfect place to kick off your shoes and relax awhile.
Only in Utah!


After a hot day of sightseeing in Utah, what could be better than a cold bottle of Polygamy Beer with your harem? Nothin’, if you ask the guys on the trip. Dianne, my new buddy in crime, bought a six pack which we all downed with pleasure. It cooled us off, provided some great photo ops and a lot of laughs!
 
  Polygamy Beer and the Harem 
 From right to left: Gerda, bride #1, Virginia, bride #2, Ken, our good-natured driver,
 Dianne, #3, and me, #4

Grand Canyon


The next morning, we headed for the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. I am so thankful that the haze lifted enough to take some decent pictures. I visited the South Rim a few years ago and I could barely see anything because of the dense haze. This time, it did not disappoint! The views are magnificent, especially when you can see them!

Gorgeous weather, vibrant colors, blue skies and a good camera! What more 
could you want?

Grand Canyon Lodge 
 Bottom right: Dodie and Linda Villajoaquin relax in front of the Lodge.
Bottom left, Diane graciously let me pose her enjoying the view from one of the log cabins.

The Grand Canyon Lodge offers everything you need for the perfect Grand Canyon experience. The Lodge, built right on the edge of the north rim of the canyon, provides breathtaking views while you eat or stroll along their scenic paths. Self contained with its own post office, gift shop, restaurants and comfortable rooms, they also offer individual log cabins. The log cabins, some with full views overlooking the canyon, are ideal. Tucked into a quiet grove of fragrant pine trees, you won't want to leave. I know I didn't! I could have definitely stayed a couple of more nights. But, there's many more miles to go and much more to see. Stay tuned because the best is yet to come!!

Next Time:  Arizona--Home of the Western Movie!

**Some of the pictures provided by Larry Miner. Thanks, Larry!

Remember to double click on any picture and see a full screen slide show of all the pictures!



2 comments:

  1. Hello Barbara I'm Jacqueline, Paris cousin of Ginette Dacher who directed me to your extraordinary blog. I am full of admiration to you for your way of relating your travel, your style, all the photos, well everything. Thank you so much for sharing.

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    1. Merci, Jacqueline! I am honored that you like my travel blog and I appreciate that you took the time to let me know. I'll have to thank Ginette for sharing!

      How wonderful that you live in Paris! I spent a fantastic week there a few years ago and I look forward to seeing more of France. All the best, and Bon jour!

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