National Parks Tour: Bryce Canyon National Park

Sunday, September 12, 201

In Vegas, the room had no coffee. Today, we had coffee in the room but it was all decaf. I understand that Mormons consider caffeine a drug but I wouldn’t think that a major chain hotel would only provide decaf coffee. I feel it was probably just an oversight of the hotel staff.

We had our bags ready by 7:00 and went to breakfast. Again, we were sharing the breakfast area with another tour group – Collette. Most of the breakfast items had been picked over and the kitchen was not keeping up with the demand. I just chose oatmeal. They did have regular coffee but it was very weak.

We left the hotel heading to Bryce Canyon. Soon, we passed a large copper mine.

I-15 was taking us south. We had one rest stop at a typical trucking-type place; however, this one was unusual as it had a small petting zoo on one side of the parking lot. It was not open but some of the animals were wandering around their enclosures. You really wanted to stay upwind of it. Al said the couple runs it as a rescue place and the town helps support it. I would have liked to have found out how they rescued the camel.

Interesting scenery as we continued our journey – wide-open greenish plains with mountains now in the distance, many herds of pronghorn antelope, many herds of cows, and one lone bull that looked like he was out of the fencing and was standing next to one of the access roads. He appeared to be studying how he could get to the large bales of hay that were stacked near a barn.

At 12:30, we got to the Ruby Inn’s complex. I say complex because the Best Western Ruby’s Inn was on one side of the road and Ruby’s Cowboy Buffet, Ruby’s Diner, and Ruby’s General Store were all along the other side. In addition, there was place near there called Ebenezer’s Barn and Grill where they offered dinner and a show. My understanding is that they also had an RV park not far from the hotel. According to the literature, our hotel is the nearest one to Bryce Canyon.

Al and Wade left us to take our bags over to the hotel. They said we could choose the Buffet or the Diner. Chuck and I chose the diner. You do have a monopoly when you can charger $10 for a hot dog and fries and the line to get them is out the door.

We entered Bryce Canyon at 1:30. During our time there, we had two different stops to view the Bryce Amphitheater. The first one was at Sunset Point and the second one was at Bryce Point.

The Canyon was nothing like I have ever seen. So many different formations, arches, and hoodoos (a column or pinnacle of weathered rock). Colors of red and white. Some formations looked like people to me.

There were many trails either around the rim or down into the Canyon. We also saw people on horseback riding into the Canyon.

I walked part of the way down the Wall Street which is part of the Navajo Loop Trail but it was steep and had no railing so I didn’t go far.

Some people did walk the entire Navajo Loop Trail and they were hot and sweaty when they returned. I think it would be better to try it in the mornings.

On our way back, we stopped at the Visitor Center so people could shop and/or get their National Parks passport stamped.

We got back to the Hotel at 4:15. We relaxed for about an hour and then six of us took the hotel shuttle over to the Cowboy Buffet Restaurant. I had the soup/salad bar. Chuck had the full buffet and said the brisket was excellent. We both said we should have had water instead of the wine.

Once we got back to the hotel, we were able to sit outside near the pool and talk with some other couples until about 8:00. We have an early day tomorrow. Bags and breakfast ready at 6:30.

Next Up – Zion National Park

Travel Trivia

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

This Park is named after Ebenezer Bryce, who started ranching the area in 1875. Upon showing the canyons to visitors, he is said to have remarked, “It’s a hell of a place to lose a cow.”

Bryce Canyon is a collection of giant natural amphitheaters along the eastern side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. The major feature of the park is Bryce Canyon, since it was not formed from erosion initiated from a central stream, is technically not a canyon.

The erosional force of frost-wedging and the dissolving power of rainwater have shaped the colorful limestone rock of the Claron Formation into bizarre shapes including slot canyons, windows, fins, and pinnacles called “hoodoos.”

The Paiute in the area developed a mythology surrounding the hoodoos in Bryce Canyon. They believed that hoodoos were the Legend People whom the trickster Coyote turned to stone.

Bryce Canyon offers world-class stargazing due to its exceptionally high air quality and long distance from sources of light pollution.

Prairie dogs were wiped out from the area in the 1950s. In the 1970s, they were reintroduced.

*Trivia provided by Wikipedia, Bryce Canyon National Park literature, and Globus

Author: mmmtravelmemories

A retired college administrator who loves to travel. I write to remember the experiences and, I hope, to inspire others to make their own travel memories.

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