Zen On Dirt

Days in Bryce

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[I’m almost caught up on this blog! Dang! Let’s see if I can keep it up]!

One of the reasons we bought the Scamp was to aid in the ability to stay in remote places for longer, more comfortably. Sure, we survived pretty happily living out of our minivan last summer, but working was never comfortable unless we found a coffee shop or library, and when the wind blew or the weather sucked…well, there were some long nights in the tent playing GO or reading.

We both felt like there were a lot of places where we’d rushed through in the past. Maybe spent a night, maybe two, but never really put in the effort to get to know a place. Moab was like that. The Bryce Canyon area was also like that. We’d both ridden Thunder Mountain multiple times, but neither of us had even been to the National Park around the corner in 20+ years.

Leaving Moab, Bryce fit the bill of what we were looking for: High altitude -> lower temperatures. Riding options. Free camping. Walking options, because we really needed to get some solid legs underneath us for our next planned play date. Our plan was to place a focus on working for a few days with mini-adventures to explore a place that is beyond stunning and hadn’t received our full attention in the past.

We started with riding bikes down Thunder Mountain.

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The last time we rode this was on our way back to Tucson after riding the CDT. We had dead legs. Today was much better.

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The late evening light made the rocks glow.

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The next day, we ventured to Bryce Canyon National Park. May 1. Time for a new annual Parks Pass. We put many hundreds of dollars of Park visits on last years $80 pass. I hope we get to do the same this year.

The complaint about National Parks is always the crowds. If you go to the most popular trail in the park, in this case, Wall Street, you find a lot of people.

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It was actually a hilarious number of people. But once past the iconic part of the hike, we ran into next to no one.

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It doesn’t take much walking to go farther than 99.9% of park visitors.

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We ended up doing the “ultimate” hike in the park, according to the map at least. As we’d pondered the park map handed to us at the entrance station, we decided that anything that was called the ultimate hike was worth doing.

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It was pretty damn neat.

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I mean, for a National Park and all.

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The following day, we worked all day. But, when the park is a 15 minute drive away, it doesn’t take a whole lot of motivation to head over there late in the day. Scott joined me for the start of a run on Fairyland, a 8-mile loop that was described as less busy and scenic.

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The trails in National Parks are pretty good running. Even I can mostly avoid falling off the edges of them.

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Scott turned around a few miles in, opting for a shower instead of a long run. He’s a smart one, as I ended up missing shower times and had to wait for an entirely different state before I could take one.

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My route went by the Great Wall, shading me from the setting sun. Then it was a reasonable climb back to the rim and a 2.5 mile surprisingly hilly jog along the Rim trail back to where Scott would meet me.

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He brought me a sodie pop and a bag of chips and we watched the sun set over the Hoodoos at Fairy Point. Highly romantic. I think.

As seems to be the case with every place we visit, I added more things to my List of Shit to Do than I managed to cross off. A Trans-Bryce run. A ride back up to Powell Point. Lossee Canyon. Grandview Trail. Virgin River Rim Trail.

But we had a bikepacking date on the Kaibab Plateau, and it was time to go!

 

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