Winter Journey – Last Days at Bryce Canyon – April 2017 (2-4)

Sunday April 2nd – In the morning here at Bryce Canyon, we are happy to see at least partial sun today. After breakfast, we take care of some bookkeeping business, then put tar on the seam of the roof, and hopefully this will take care of the leak over the table. In the warmest part of the afternoon, with the solar panel hooked to the Suburban battery, the vehicle starts and Clifford drives it to the auto repair shop in Bryce Canyon City to drop it off. He rides his bicycle back to camp, making use of the great bike trail here.

After he gets back, we go for a hike on the Rim Trail to Sunrise Point.

Walking the Rim Trail to Sunrise Point
Rim Trail to Sunrise Point
Spires at Sunrise Point

It is a lovely day for a hike, except the melting snow has caused the trail to become exceedingly muddy.  Back at camp, after a couple of brief calls, I work on the next blog and do some editing for one of my authors.

Monday April 3rd – There is snow on and off all day. I walk down to the entry station to pay for a couple more days and over to the Visitors’ Center to mail a postcard to friends. Then I hike to the Rim Trail, but it is so muddy, worse than yesterday, that I don’t go far.

Snow “off” at the junction of the campground and the Rim Trail
Snow “on” again, making the trail even muddier, since it melts as it reaches the ground

We hear back from the auto shop; the Suburban needs needs a new fuel pump and a new starter. Whew, that is going to be a lot of money for us.

No solar today, but there is electricity in the restroom, so I take a chair, laptop, journal, and thermos of coffee, and get myself set up to write in my journal while my laptop charges. Good thing the restroom is clean. In the later afternoon, after the laptop is charged, I do quite a lot of research on book agents, learning what is needed to find an agent for Ang’s books. (Novels of Shannon series by Angela MacDonald.)

We have fried chicken and quinoa and veges for dinner, then more journal writing, as the laptop is done for the day.

Tuesday April 4th is a rather chilly day. It is 18 degrees this morning and the high only reaches 38 degrees; mostly sunny, but a very chilly wind. So much for spring! Clifford rides his bike to Bryce Canyon City to pick up the Suburban and then, in spite of the chilly temperatures, we go for a drive to Inspiration Point.  The light is better than the last time we were there.  Even though it is chilly, I walk to other close-by viewpoints to get slightly different angles of the canyon formations.  We then to back to Bryce Canyon City to treat ourselves to a late lunch at Ruby’s Inn. This is our last opportunity to do so, since we will be leaving tomorrow.

Inspiration Point, looking south
Inspiration Point, looking north

We stop at Fairyland Point on our way back to camp, since we have not been there yet.

Formations at Fairyland Point

For the rest of the day it is great to be inside out of the chilly wind.  With the sun shining, the laptop is charged and I get lots done: editing, blog writing, and email. A couple of my kids called; always good to talk to them. It was a busy and interesting day, in spite of what the weather is doing.

Winter Journey – Snow Continues at Bryce Canyon – April 2017 (1)

Saturday April 1st we wake up to six inches of new snow, which I think is very exciting!

Six inches of new snow at Bryce Canyon

This morning I hike to the Rim Trail from our loop, thinking there is a trail all the way to the rim, but if there is, it is soon obscured by the new snow and I am doing a steep cross-country hike to get to the rim. I probably won’t do that again, but at least I get to see a different part of the Rim Trail.

Rim Trail toward Fairyland
Formations seen from the Rim Trail
Formation along the Rim Trail
Formations along the Rim Trail
Overlooking the canyon
Spire seen from the Rim Trail
Formations along the Rim Trail

I was especially pleased to find an arch, with views to the canyon beyond.

A view through an arch
A different angle and a different view through the arch along the Rim Trial

Returning to camp, I hike toward the section of the Rim Trail that I am familiar with, as I know it will be a safer way to way back to camp.

The junction of the campground trail and the Rim Trail – I have been here before!

After I get back, we both walk over to the Visitors’ Center to look at maps, considering whether or not we will try to go backpacking overnight, but it does not seem likely, given the snow and chilly temps.

Although the Suburban wouldn’t start this morning, it does start in the afternoon, so we go to Bryce Canyon City for propane and then drive the scenic road, finding that it is closed at the halfway point. We won’t get to see the furthest view points, but do stop for photos on the way back to camp.

Inspiration Point – looking south with snow still seen on this northern exposure
Inspiration Point looking north: the snow is nearly gone from the southern exposure on The Silent City Amphitheater

Once there, since the sun is shining, we sit out for a bit. Too chilly for cello, however, and soon to chilly for us.

Winter Journey – Snow in Bryce Canyon– March 2017 (31)

Friday March 31st – Snow and sleet off and on all day, with the high being only in the mid-30’s.

Snowy morning at North Campground

For this whole trip, while much of the nation, including where my kids and siblings live, has been overwhelmed with snow, on our travels we have had none. Until now!

This morning I go to the Rim Trail, hike to Sunset Point and then on to Sunrise Point, which is another half mile. I was mesmerized by the snow, almost mist-like, falling on the formations in the canyon.

Living on the Rim (Trail)
View where the trail from the campground joins the Rim Trail
Snowy morning on the Rim Trail
Snowy view from Sunrise Point
Hiking on the Rim Trail
Hiking on the Rim Trail
Hiking on the Rim Trail – close up of the formation
View from Sunset Point
Misty snow in the canyon
Snowing on the trail as I hike back to camp
Nearing the junction to the campground
Old tree at Bryce Canyon

I sure was hungry by time I got back to camp. Memo to self: be sure to take a snack of some sort in the camera bag when going on a photo outing before breakfast.

After breakfast we planned to go for the scenic drive the length of the park and stop at other view points that we have not yet seen. However, the Suburban won’t start, which is a great disappointment to us, as we thought that it had been fixed. So, it is a stay-at-home day. Clifford does his studying and research while I download my camera and do some editing. Talk to my daughter Becka when she calls on her way home from school. It is a productive day, in spite of the Suburban issues.

Winter Journey – Bryce Canyon– March 2017 (29-30)

Wednesday March 29th – a bit cooler this morning (24 degrees) being here at Bryce Canyon, further north and high higher elevation that we have been. I hike to the Rim Trail from the campground and am delighted to see the rock formations.

Rim Trail junction with North Campground

While it is tempting to hike the trail toward Sunrise Point, I resist and head back to camp, as we plan to go to Bryce Canyon City, about three miles away, to do laundry this morning. However, the Suburban won’t start! So, we scratch the laundromat plan and get on with other activities, waiting for the day to warm up.

In the afternoon, the Suburban starts and we drive to the auto repair shop in Bryce Canyon City. It is very fortunate that a small town like this has an auto repair shop and they also have a fuel filter in stock, which the mechanic thinks is the problem. So we walk across the highway way to Ruby’s Inn, which has everything from food, to camping supplies, to a rather well-stocked gift store. We get snacks and sit in the outdoor seating area to wait for the Suburban to be fixed.

After we pick the Suburban up, we decide to head on to see other view points, going to Paria, Bryce, and Inspiration Points. Each one is quite awesome.

First stop – Paria Point (I think – we were confused about where we were before we got there, let along after I review photos days later!)
Moving along the rim to take photos, I’m not always sure where I am, but I think this is closest to Bryce Point
Inspiration Point
Inspiration Point

Back at camp, I do some editing and post a blog. Turned out to be a good fun day.

Thursday March 30th – This morning I get up a little earlier and make it up to the Rim Trail right at sunrise and then hike the trail to Sunrise Point, about a half-mile further on.

Sunrise moment at the junction of the trail at North Campground
View of the canyon walking the Rim Trail toward Sunrise Point
View of the canyon at Sunrise Point
Close-up taken at Sunrise Point
Formation seen from the Rim Trail hiking back to North Campground
Formation seen from the Rim Trail hiking back to North Campground

After breakfast we head to Bryce Canyon City, taking care of the laundry and browsing the Ruby Inn gift shop as the clothes wash and dry. Back at camp, I post another blog (someday I will get caught up!) and do more editing. Becka sends a text with the news of a huge fire under I-80 in Atlanta that has caused a portion of it to collapse. In talking to her later on the phone, that section of the interstate is one that she might have traveled to get home if she had not decided to meet a colleague after school for an adult beverage. Glad she is home safe and sound!