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Hoodoos in Bryce Canyon
I took two shuttles to get out to Rainbow Point this afternnon. The trail is only 23 miles, but I decided to get a permit and stay out for a night. It really is a beautiful hike, and I seem to have the whole back country to myself.
The second shuttle was an actual bus for which I had to make a reservation. It was doing it's last run of the season, and had a crowd on board for the tour. I got on, and the guide said "Are you the hiker?". I said yes, and he replied "You are gonna walk out?" "I am" I replied. "Better you than me" he responded. Was I missing something here? It looked to be a fairly easy hike.
I sat down, and put my beat up old pack in the seat next to me. It has been a great pack, with about 4,500 miles on it, and I bet it could do that again with some minor repairs. Osprey really dows make a good pack.
The passengers seemed to find my little trek more interesting than the tour, and upon sitting down, and once we stopped and got out, I got the standard questions...
How far are you going?
How long will it take you?
Are their huts to sleep in?
Where will you sleep? (very common)
Are you going by yourself?
Aren't you scared?
I don't mind the questions. We all started sometime, and probably asked the same questions at some point. Everyone wished me good luck, and I told them all to also enjoy their trips. As always out here, everyone was very nice.
We arrived after noon, and I found the "Under the Rim Trail" and headed down it, passing quite a few people until about a tenth of a mile out, and then saw nobody else for the rest of the day.
The trail dropped briefly through spruce and fir at about 9,000 feet, but everything quickly changed to mostly Ponderosa Pines for the rest of the day. The views up to the rim, and out over the mesas were spectacular. It was also pretty cool to gaze up at the Hoodoos. I found myself singing "Voodoo Woman" for the rest of the afternoon.
The rock formation colors are brilliant pinks and reds rising above the forest that has red, yellow and orange splashes scattered throughout as fall is arriving. The temperatures were in the mid-seventies today, and the sky a brilliant egg shell blue. It is a small national park, but between Bryce and Red Canyon, this really is an impressive place to visit and experience.
I would rate this trail pretty easy, but the deep sand will give your legs a little workout, and suprisingly, there are quite a few blowdowns. I guess the smaller parks don't get the funding of the bigger parks. It does seem to get an impressive number of tourists though, many of them foreign this time of year.
I wound my way along the gentle roller coaster, really taking my time, and stopping for numerous breaks at good vistas, and to eat. I finally arrived as "Swamp Canyon," which is actually up on a little knoll. Someone made a straw pad, whick I pitched my tarp on for the night. It makes quite the comfy mattress.
I will sleep well tonight.