In the middle of our Zion Roadtrip, we stopped by Bryce Canyon. It's a funny thing, everyone asks "what's your favorite park in Utah"? It seems to me that each park has a different influence on different people. After visiting so many beautiful places in such a short span of time, I could feel the "magic" that each of these places brought over the visitor. Bryce Canyon was no different, and quickly casts its "spell".
My memories of Bryce Canyon are pretty significant, even though we were only there for two days and a night. We happened to be at Bryce on the evening in which they present the "Dark Skies" ranger program - one reason to ALWAYS check in at the visitor's center of the park when you arrive. The Dark Skies program was a one hour presentation on the growing light pollution on the planet. It turns out that southern Utah is one of the few remaining "Dark Sky" area's in the US (even though the lights from Vegas were visible on the horizon). After the presentation, the visitors convened at the Visitor Center, where 4 telescopes were setup. The rangers turned off all of the lights in the Visitor Center parking lot to make it as dark as possible. We then had the chance to view the Moon, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn (all four were in the sky that evening...). Wow!
The next morning, I got up extra early for a photo session at Bryce as the sun came up. It was incredible, definitely one of my favorite mornings of the trip. I strongly encourage you to not miss the sunrise at Bryce the next time you're there. I took several rolls of film but I haven't developed them yet. I can't wait to see the results. I did take the one picture below on my digital camera...
After the sunrise photo session, I hiked down the Navajo trail to Wall Street, a narrow slot canyon in the middle of Bryce. Due to a rock fall earlier this spring, half of Wall Street was closed, but I sat down at the bottom of Wall Street, took out my flute and played for a long time. It was really fun to see the reaction of folks who had hiked behind me as the arrived at the canyon bottom to discover the source of the music.