[2-July-2006] We woke up by 11 am in the morning, checked out of the hotel and started of towards Bryce Canyon. We stopped at a curios shop before exiting Las vegas. All of us wanted to get some souveniers from LV. So, after stopping at a couple of shops and having our lunch from Denny’s, we left LV by around 1:30 pm and headed towards Bryce. And we lost our way just after we entered Utah from Nevada 🙂 .
The route was so good that whole gang was enjoying it and nobody looked at the maps for a good 1.5 hrs and when we finally realised that something was wrong and checked the maps, we realised that we had crossed the Zion National Park touching its border rather than driving through it as was the original plan. But, no worries, we soon found the route to get back to Panguitch and reached there by 5:30 pm. Yess, we missed out on the beautiful Zion Park, but then we also did enjoy the drive on the route took.
We stopped at Panguitch for gas and were soon back in the car rushing towards Bryce Canyon to see the sunset. We reached Sunset Point, Bryce Canyon by 7:30 pm just in time for the sunset. Bryce Canyon did look very beautiful at sunset. After sunset, we reached Rainbow point (the last view point at Bryce) by around 9 pm. By then, its already dark and the whole place was deserted. It looked really spooky. This is where I get a call from Milan (My coleague who came to Bryce with his wife and had camped there for a night). Over the phone, we updated each other on the plans and agreed to meet the next day at Sunrise point.
Long ago, at the end of the Ice Age, the Paleo-indians hunted among the magnificent fins and hoodoos of Bryce Canyon. More recently, it was the Paiute Indians that lived and hunted around Bryce Canyon. John Wesley Powell reported the names that the Paiute Indians had given to many of the rock structures in Bryce Canyon. A Paiute Indian myth says “the animal legend people who lived in Bryce Canyon long ago, displeased the coyote. Angered, he turned all the people to rock.”
Today, while visiting Bryce Canyon think of the legend when looking down into the amphitheaters and imagine the ancient people with their straight posture, in the form of hoodoos. The name Bryce Canyon in Paiute means:”bowl shaped canyon filled with red rocks standing up like men.”Long ago, the rocky area of of Bryce Canyon was once covered by sea, mountains, desert and costal plains. The existing geological formations were all subject to the violent storms and changes that occurred over millions of years.
We reached our hotel at Tropic by 10:30 pm. No restaurants/food joints were open at that time and we all went to bed with a light stomach :). Back the hotel, 2 guys proposed to skip the rest of the trip and head back to LV and spend the next two days there and go back home. The plan seemed do-able except that changing plans now would mean –
- Loss of money (Cancellation of hotel bookings in Flagstaff and Fresh Booking at LV)
- Going back without seeing what we actually came here for.
Thank god, the rest of the gang was against this idea. I really wouldnt have wanted to go back to that artificial lights and hype skipping one of nature’s miracles. I mean whats the point in going back to the artificial hub? Ok, if you are going gamble, visit bars, strip joints etc it might make more sense. But the guys proposing this dont even take beer, the dont smoke and dont even mention strip joints. So, even if we went back to LV, all they are going to do was stand in front of those casinos and shoot pics. I mean, is it really worth missing the Grand Canyon for that? I dont think so. But then, different people have different tastes and I respect that too. All said, I have to admit that the LV visit was actually a failure. We cant even say that we have been to LV as we really didnt see anything at all there. But, I am ok with it. I might still get a chance to visit LV sometime in life.
Agreeing that we are going ahead with our planned trip, we all went to bed by around 12:00 am. For some reason, I woke by 4 am in the morning. I was tired and all. But, still oculdnt sleep. By 5:30 am, we were all fresh and dressed up. We checked out of the hotel and headed towards Sunrise point. On the way, saw a Lama for the first time in life. I’ve known Lama as the mascot of Winamp and have always wondered how the real thing looks like :). So, after witnessing the first rays of sun touch and dance across the multicolored landscape of Bryce, we returned to have breakfast at the Bryce jn. We met Milan there who helped us chart out rest of the trip. He himself was heading in the same direction but was planning to spend more time at Bryce. We headed off towards Arizona to see the Grand Canyon.
For more photos of Bryce Canyon, visit my album online here