Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce, Zion’s cousin from the north. While  Zion is sombre and thought provoking, Bryce is like that fun European Chick that promises you a quickie.  But, if you spend more time with her, you’ll fall for her.

I was there for a quickie.

Hoodoos; that’s what Bryce is all about. You get a sense of it as you drive towards it. First as you pass Red Canyon, and then as you start approaching Bryce Canyon.

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Voodoo – Hoodoo

If you look long enough, you’ll realize that nature is bizarre and the essence of beauty is randomness and chaos. I came to this soul crushing conclusion as I meticulously planned to get my life in order.

There are several reasons to visit Bryce. You may want to get over someone you just broke up with. Maybe you just like nature a lot. Or,  you’re just an adrenaline junkie. Or, Maybe  you’re  an avid star gazer. This last reason alone is good enough to visit Bryce. Bryce therefore has a lot to offer, including a pretty sweet sit down restaurant with Waiters in bow ties. Waiters in bow ties inside a national park.  Just making sure you got that. The beer selection is questionable though. This seems to be the case with most of Utah.  But, they do have bison meat!

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Hoodoo from underneath

A lot of Bryce is visual appeal.. in my opinion. You can soak in the essence of Bryce by doing the relatively easy Rim walk. This is a stroll around the edge of the canyon, that passes through the main vista points giving you an unparalleled look at what Bryce is about.  If you’re lazier than that, you could just take the free shuttle that stops at pretty much all the important points and just hang around there.  But, as always do a hike. Bryce back country is stunning.

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The call of hoodoo.

There is a small town approximately 20 miles away from Bryce called Panguitch. I’m surprised this place is on the map. It’s tiny. But if you’re a comfort seeking traveller, there are some relatively inexpensive motels here.  The town boasts two main roads that criss cross it. A few restaurants with yelp reviews. Stay here for the night.

Now that you’ve read this ramble on Bryce, let me conclude with the real reason to visit Bryce. The Night Sky. Go to the Sunset Point after 10 in the night. Turn your flash light off and look at the night sky. Wait for your retina to adjust to the absence of light. And … what you’ll see is only a glorious Night Sky. If you’re lucky, you’ll see the milky way with your naked eye.  If you’re luckier you might see a shooting star. Don’t make a wish. That’s gay. If you’re with a girl who you’re in love with. Kiss her.

Zion National Park

There are a myriad different blogs that talk at length about what to do in Zion and how to plan your trip. But, here’s what you should actually do.

First up Zion is bloody beautiful. The best way to see Zion sadly is to go on a few hikes. You might break out into a sweat and get furious, but this is well worth it. July might not be the best of months to visit Zion though. The sun is at its menacing best and there is no respite from the sweltering heat. There are a ton of people and the place is hella crowded. You might have trouble finding parking. I went in July.

Here’s why you should go though.

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The narrows

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The Narrows

Now that I’ve convinced you, pick a place to stay. I’m cheap , so I like to pick places that are dirt cheap. Zion ponderosa is a resort just outside the park on the east entrance. I rented a wagon that looked like this,

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The Wagon

At 153 bucks for 2 nights for 4 people, it is discomfort at its very best. The restroom and shower areas are a bit of a walk away, and if you decide to answer nature’s call in the middle of the night you may get lost and die. So definitely take a flashlight along with you. This was still worth it though. They do have a restaurant by the reception at this resort. I wouldn’t recommended it however, even if they gave you the food for free.

Any amount of time you spend at Zion might seem insufficient. If you have a couple of days at Zion and you’re not at your healthiest best, do what I did.

Day 1:

Go to the visitor center, hop on the free shuttle, and enjoy the 40 minute ride up to the Temple of Sinawawa. They have a nice audio explanation of the whole place that is constantly playing in the background. This is gloriously in audible. Around the Zion lodge area which is roughly the mid point of this one way trip, is the trail head to the emerald pools. Do this hike. It is beautiful.

Now that you’ve sweated it out a little bit, come back to the Zion lodge and relax. They have restaurant that serves decent food there and some beer on tap from local microbrews. Definitely enjoy your well deserved extravagance.

Day 2:

Force your ass to wake up early and head to the Zion Visitor center once again. The earlier the better. Board the free shuttle again and head to the Temple of Sinawawa yet again. Around here is the trailhead to The Narrows. Actually, you’ll have to endure a boring walk called the Riverside Walk, before it ends and leads right into the narrows. Do this for 4 hours. It is beautiful. 2 hours upstream and 2 hours downstream. You’ll be pleased with yourself. Also, there is a very real chance that you’ll be completely wet. This is because you’re walking through a river. So make sure you’re adequately dressed. Walking through a river comes with usual risks of slipping on rocks and breaking your face or fracturing your nose or cracking your skull. So don’t panic and walk carefully.

That’s it. As a lazy person, you’ve just experienced Zion. Now a wave of satisfaction will sweep through your body followed immediately by another wave of extreme irritation because everything from your socks to your underwear is wet. Don’t worry you’ll be over it.

Introduction

I like the outdoors. Quite a bit. But I’m Lazy. Fairly Lazy. I venture out and about every once in a while to the not so remote corners of this beautiful country and look slightly bad ass. This blog is a chronicle of my lazy misadventures and the associated melodrama.