Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Helluva Place to Lose a Cow

I followed the long single ribbon of asphalt out of the Grand Canyon National Park's North Rim, through the rain.

In time, the morning chill evaporated. The rain stopped. The temperature rose.

And then I was sweating in 100+ degree temperatures again.

I overnighted in Kanab, Utah, a small town that benefits from being the largest small town near some great movie backdrops. I checked into a Best Western, showered, turned the A/C on high, did some laundry, and left only (twice) to go to a nearby restaurant owned by a guy from Matawan, New Jersey (home of the Jaws shark incident).

The following morning, I drove up to Bryce Canyon. I'd camped here in 2002 with my Aussie ex. We'd both been dehydrated and worn out, me from riding a mule into the Grand Canyon and him from hiking down the canyon to the Colorado and back in one day ("That warning not to do it is a challenge to an Australian!"), so we'd taken short hikes in Bryce.

I thought I'd hike in today, but the walk down was steep. I'd parked at the gate and taken the shuttle bus in, and as I gazed down into the weird alien-looking valley of vertical formations.

Bryce is amazing and compact and easy to get around. It should be on every American's list of places not to miss in their lifetimes.

I took a short hike along the rim, decided not to camp, and caught the shuttle back to the Visitor's Center.

I was going to head to Zion for the evening.

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