Sunday, 29 September 2013

The Price of Bryce

From our campsite in Kaibab national forest we followed the road North for about 20 minutes until we reached the Grand Canyon National park. Once again the views were breath taking although unless you see it for yourself you can never really appreciate the scale of it. Drops are so high that your brain does not even process it as a danger, allowing you to walk right to the edge and stare into the canyon, fear free. We hiked the trail for an hour or so, until we became separated, neither of us knowing who was in front nor who was behind. I made it around to the canyon to The Abyss while Chris headed down into the Canyon via the Bright Angel trail. It was kind of nice in many ways. We had not had our own space for almost a week, so time spent sat on the edge of a cliff a few meters from the main paved trail gave me a chance to relax and take it all in. From the Grand Canyon we had planned to camp in a campgrounds just on the edge of the National Park, unfortunately we missed the turning, America is really badly sign posted, and pushed on into Navajo Nation, Arizona.

The scenery was breath taking, but I couldn’t get passed the fact that people were literally living in what I can only describe as garden sheds, I know as a man time spent in sheds is often productive and generally enjoyable; but you can’t live in one.

We pushed on till the light started to fade but our planned route over the Mountains was closed so we were pushed back towards the North Rim of the Canyon along H’way 89A-W. A few miles down the road we found a large pull in far enough off the road to set up camp. We were both tired so we just had cereals and biscuits washed down with some Mountain Dew. We will eat healthily again I promise.

From our campsite in Navajo Nation we pushed North West through yet more beautiful landscapes to Zion National Park, Utah. It was around lunch time when we arrived, so we headed into Zion Canyon Brew Pub. The food was great and the service was even better. Jaymes our waiter pointed out some good off-road trails in Southern Utah. After we ate we headed into Zion itself, and took the shuttle up to the Grotto and the start of the Angels Landing trail. The trail was a steep 2.5miles to Scout lookout and a further 0.5 miles of Walking on a narrow path. It was all worth it in the end. The views and the disappearing light made for spectacular viewing.

We returned to the car just as night drew in. We followed Jaymes’ advice and carried on East, looking for a motel to rest up for the night. Unfortunately there was no room at the inn. So another night in the ‘Burb was required. We used a scenic view pull-in spot and set up for the night. Again it was cereals and biscuits on the menu.

At first light we cleaned ourselves up as best we could and made our way along the scenic route to Bryce Canyon just as it opened. We wound our way quietly down the scenic drive before we headed out onto the trail. And that’s where it all went wrong..

After a quick stop, at one of the many viewpoints Bryce has to offer, I handed the wheel over to Chris for a while. We carried on weaving our way up and down the canyon for about 5-10 minutes when Chris failed to spot a tree that had fallen across the road. By the time he realised it was far too late and we collided smashing the tree top into splinters and fortunately only smashing the main headlight and bracket.

Still I was not happy! So to say the drive back west to Cedar City and Tinks Auto parts was quiet would be an understatement. Chris paid for the parts which thankfully in America are very reasonable. We then spent the rest of the afternoon fixing the damage before heading up the road to a motel for the night. We headed out to an American diner ate some burgers and hit the hay.

Today we try to make our way back East and make up some of the ground we lost yesterday. Hoping for some better luck.