On the Way to Fairyland – Day one in Bryce

April 21, 2012

Bryce Canyon from the top, Friday, April 20, 2012

(Bryce Canyon, Utah, April 20, 2012) After breakfast in Zion, we take a two-hour drive east to Bryce Canyon. The grasslands of the Colorado Plateau dotted with small towns, and the town of Bryce Canyon is no different. We’ll stay here tonight, but we’re only passing through on our way to hiking along the rim of the canyon.

A hoodoo stands tall in Bryce Canyon

Marcie and Keith tell us that Bryce is as spectacular as Zion in its own way, and they’re right. The higher rocks that form Bryce are softer, and they’ve eroded into columns of red sandstone capped by harder white limestone. These “hoodoos” (not a scientific term) stand upright until the limestone cap wears away, and then they dissolve into coarse sandy hills.

Roy Michaels of Monterey, California, hiking along Bryce Canyon

Science aside, they’re beautiful. Native Americans believed they were people who were punished for evil deeds and turned to stone, but that seems like a harsh way to describe formations so elegant and inspirational.

As we hike along from Sunset to Sunrise Points, we get to beta-test listening devices so we can hear Keith’s geology talks as we hike at our own pace.

Las Quatras Amigas - Vicke Chegwin, Janice Cross, Annie Fischer, and Lorrie Gervin, of Southern California.

It’s a great idea, but gradually the spirituality of Bryce Canyon takes over, and we move into silence — first by turning off the devices to experience Bryce’s natural beauty without interruption, and then when we gather near the end of the day for two minutes of total silence convened by Marcia. It was a highlight of the day.

We end the afternoon in the same constant state of motion – alternately leisurely, challenging, and social – but always with deep appreciation for the unique natural beauty that surrounds us. Thank goodness there’s another day of hiking tomorrow.

Hiking to Fairyland Point, Bryce Canyon, Utah

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