Saturday, June 11, 2016

Bryce Canyon, UT: Hoodoo You Love?!

The Lucky Charm's 2016 Summer Adventure may end up feeling more like a Winter Adventure as we head north two weeks earlier than usual, to MUCH colder weather:  Destination Canadian Rockies!  But first, a stop at Utah's utterly astounding Bryce Canyon National Park.  We'd seen photos, but weren't prepared for the gasp-worthy beauty of the world's-largest concentration of HOODOOS!



Hoodoos may look like Poopoos (from a giant prehistoric pteradactyl?) but they are actually beautiful and bizarre rock spires left standing by the forces of erosion.


I'd try to explain how these are formed, but the Visitor Center did the heavy lifting for me.  Here ya go!  #scienceissexy


56-square-mile Bryce Canyon is not actually a canyon, but "Bryce Series of A Dozen Limestone Ampitheatres" doesn't have the same catchy ring to it.


Each ampitheatre is crowded with animated rock sculptures -- spires, pinnacles, windows, arches, temples, castles, walls and more.



The Paiute Indian original name for Bryce Canyon was UNKA TUMPEE WUN-NURRX TUNGWATSINI XOOPAKICHU AHNAX.  (I kid you not.)  This meant "Red Rock Standing Like a Man In a Hole."  Or "Make America Great Again."  One or the other.


Intrepid hikers can go down into the hoodoos and hike to their hearts' content.  We chose the most popular (for a reason) Queens Garden/Navajo Loop, three miles of sheer gorgeousness.



The #1 cause of rescues and hospitalizations in Bryce Canyon is improper footwear.  Indeed, we saw our fair share of tourists (mostly German, some Japanese, a few Russian, no judgment) tiptoeing their way along in dress shoes.


The switchbacks descending down into the canyon, I mean ampitheatre, provided the 600 foot of elevation change, and were stunning enough to make us forget we don't particularly care for elevation change (or climate change either).  Remember: what climbs down, must also climb back out!


Since Philip turned 62 this year, we were eligible to purchase the National Park Service "Senior Pass" for the astounding price of $10 ... for life!  AND as his spouse, I also get free entry (even though I'm only 35, wink).  That's right, having forked over a Hamilton, for now and evermore we can enter any National Park or Monument for free!  Single ladies, something to consider when you're filling out that "desired age range" field on match.com.


Bryce Canyon was a delight to behold and had us oohing and aahing all day long.  Be sure to visit this uniquely different natural wonder when in Southern Utah!