Sunday, June 15, 2008

Back to Salt Lake via Bryce Canyon

After a long road trip yesterday to Escalante where we drove through Zion National Park, we had another mammoth trip today returning to Salt Lake City, but first we saw the sights of Bryce Canyon. And what sights they were.

Bryce is full of 'hoodoos', naturally carved red sandstone pillars and fins, in such a quantity, they become eye-boggling. We didn't have time to hike down among them, which must be amazing, so we travelled the rim trail, stopping every so often to look down on a new vista of knobbly rocks.

A Native American legend related to Bryce Canyon has it that the spirit god Coyote turned the inhabitants to stone on account of their wickedness. The white discoverer, Bryce, a Mormon pioneer farmer described it as "a hell of a place to lose a cow". I'm happy to believe both of those stories, having seen the place.

We didn't see any coyotes, but we were chuffed to see a Utah Prairie Dog on the rim trail. He stopped and posed for photos for us, which was cool, as apparently they're quite rare. However the privileged feelings didn't last long. An hour or so later, we were eating our dinner in a tourist trap restaurant and there was one running around inside the restaurant eating fallen bits of food. There's nothing like finding out endangered animals are considered rodent pests to take the shine off seeing them in the wild.

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