Bryce Canyon itself is still as magnificent as ever; towering hoodoos, Thor’s Hammer, and all the other beautiful formations around the area. But, that’s where it ends.
Say “Howdy!” to Ryan and Evan, a couple of Chicago brothers out and about and or neighbors. Ryan just graduated from dental school (Would you look at this tooth for me, please?) and is headed to advance training as an orthodontist. Evan, like many of us, is still trying to figure out what road to take as he enters his junior year in college. Hey, Evan, even at 70, Robert still hasn’t figured out what he wants to be when he grows up! You’re not alone.
This is the first time we’ve been back to Bryce in some 5 years and things have changed. First, Melissa finally retired. Melissa was a fun person who worked as the Chief Rangers “secretary”, although she was more than that. She wore many hats and wore them well. We’re sorry we missed her but hope a friend of hers follows thru and sends her our email.
When we were campground hosts in 2006, the place ran like a well oiled machine. You knew who your boss was, what was expected, and you were fully supported. This year there was a sign posted in the Visitor Center that they were looking for somebody to work as a host. Evidently, and from what few stories we heard from hosts and others, things are not right in Paradise; like they now allow dogs on the Rim Trail. Too bad.
They spent a goodly amount upgrading the bathrooms in the campground, but the roads are so dusty (paving was put off yet again) as to make everything a mess. Top that with the usual morons that can’t drive the speed limited and set off a dust storm driving around looking for a camping space. Robert finally got tired of it and started stepping into the road to tell people to slow down. Lot of good it did.
We still recommend Bryce as a destination, but be aware that Bryce along with Zion, Arches, Moab are on some European dream tour and it is CROWDED.
Since we had already seen most of everything there is to see, after a day and a half of eating dust, we departed for Escalante.
We passed right by Escalante except for a stop a Kiva Coffee (an oasis for a good espresso!) near Calf Creek Campgrounds. We had planned on stopping at Calf Creek, but by mid-day when we got there, the campground was full and the parking lot crammed with hikers. So, we just slid by and went on to Capital Reef.
A damper was thrown on the beautiful drive when we came across a motorcycle accident. We didn’t stop because there were already way too many people stopping to gawk. Peg saw they were giving CPR to some poor soul and it upset her. Robert was too busy driving to look, so he didn’t get the full impact of everything.
We didn’t take very many new photos of Bryce, we have tons of them from previous visits (See Adventure 2006). So, here’s some photos from along the way and the few we shot.