We stayed a night in the strange town of Kanab, which is where a ton, and I mean a TON of western movies were filmed. It’s kind of known as “Little Hollywood” and heaps of major movie stars, directors, producers and other film people stayed in the town whilst filming their movies, predominantly in the 40’s 50’s and 60’s. We stayed at an inn which is the proud temporary home of most of these people, including many movie stars. We stayed in Ronald Reagan’s room (an actor before he was president). It was quite the upgrade from what we paid for, since when we walked into James Dean’s room, it wasn’t quite suitably ready for us, so we got upgraded to RR’s room. Swanky!
The next day, after our $5 breakfasts we drove to Bryce Canyon National Park, which in my opinion, is the most striking national park that we’ve seen in America. We only had a day and a half at this park, but we saw it all to the best of our abilities. Bryce Canyon is full of hoodoos, also known as “fairy chimneys” “goblins” “spires” “tent rocks” or “earth pyramids” but I prefer hoodoos. We saw a small collection of adorable hoodoos in Alberta this year. They were pretty cool. Even cooler is the desert pinnacles not far from our home in Perth, Australia. But these hoodoos in Utah completely blow those ones out of the water. They were mesmerizing. There were a vast number of them. They all travelled up towards the sky, like so many fingers reaching up from the earth, all yellow and orange and white. They didn’t look bad in any light; we saw them in the morning, the afternoon, the evening. And they were good looking in all lights. If you are interested in knowing how they form, check out the park website here.
Our first order of business upon arriving was to do the self-guided driving tour that is recommended. We were armed with a full tank of gas and a map of the park and its many viewpoint stops. The park recommends driving all the way to the end, which is called Rainbow Point, and drive back towards the Visitor Centre, stopping at Bryce Point and Sunset Point, two viewpoints not to be missed. It took us a couple of hours to do this stretch of only about 27 kms as we stopped a lot to take pictures and marvel at the scenery.
Our second day we had the whole day to enjoy the park. We got up at sunrise and drove back to Bryce Point where the Peek-a-Boo hike begins. It was a nearly 9 km hike listed as “strenuous” in the information. I did find it hard, especially on the way up. Callum didn’t even break a sweat or get out of breath. He’s pretty fit though. Two things made this strenuous hike worth it, in my books: the obvious good scenery, and, the fun little activity of trying to locate three plaques along the hike. I am such a kid when it comes to doing things I don’t want to do. If I can make a game out of something, collect things, or achieve certain pre-determined goals, I am more inclined to do it. In this case, you had to reach the plaques and take a photo with each one in order to receive a small reward. Yes! A small reward! Why, that could be anything! It could be a coin-sized token! Or a free postcard! Or a badge! Or a pin! Just think of it, a pin! For free! Let’s do this darn hike. One of the plaques was “the wall of windows” which was fairly early in our hike. Callum asked “do you want to do this thing?” I was like “Obviously. Take my picture.” The second plaque was about half a kilometre out of our way off the Peek-a-boo trail, but it was worth it because I was going to earn a small reward! It was the “Navajo loop” plaque and we went, we snapped a pic, and we left to rejoin our original trail. The last plaque was the “peek-a-boo loop” and I took a final picture. After the ascent and a moment to catch our breaths, we drove back down to the visitor centre, had showers and then I went up to the information desk. I showed the nice man my three pictures. He smiled at me kindly and handed me a…. a sticker. I did all that work for a…….sticker. Amazing! I got a free sticker! Yessssss. Wish I still had a sticker book.
Bryce was one of my favourites. I’m so glad we went. If we hadn’t, I would never have gotten that sticker.