A Paiute Indian myth says “the animal legend people who lived in Bryce Canyon long ago, displeased the coyote. Angered, he turned all the people to rock.”
After finding a great campsite, we drove immediately to the canyon rim. The hoodoos do resemble people. Some stand alone, others side by side.
This is the most amazing canyon. The Canyon is at a high elevation and the wind was blowing so hard that at a few points we were hanging on in fear of being blown off the cliffs. We could not get enough. We drove the length of the park, looking at each and every view point.
We hiked on one of the trails. It took us through the woods and up to the highest point in the park. It was as if we were in another world. We became infected with the magic of the canyon and before the evening came we knew we needed to stay a second night.
When we arrived back at the campsite, the rangers greeted us with bad news. A tree fell in the wind across our campsite. We were very lucky; we were not there at the time. It would have crushed our van. That is where we should back up to. If it happened at night while we slept in the van? I shudder to think about it. They gave us the option of changing campsites, but there were only two spots left. Since we were not putting up a tent, we stayed. There was a great discussion about the tree branches and the rule that we are not to gather wood from the site. The rangers told us officially that they would be coming back to clear the wood and no, we could not burn it. However, they indicated that they knew we would and they would not object.
The wind died down and the temperature dropped as evening turned into night. We warmed ourselves with our campfire. Thanks to the free wood.
Early in the morning, we set out on another hike. This time we were going several miles and would descend into the canyon. Wonderful. Amazing. Marvelous. There are never the right words to describe the beauty, the starkness, the splendour, the pure magic of this place. We hiked deep into the canyon. The size is so much more real when seen from the floor looking up.
Hiking among the red rocks with the blue sky above us, was invigorating. At the bottom there is a small wooded area. The riverbed bone dry. It is remarkable that trees manage to find enough moisture to sustain them. Everything was dry yet the sun made the rocks glow with life.
We spent the rest of the day in total relaxation. As night fell, so did the temperature to the freezing mark once again. I think it is time to head back to Canada.