Published: August 15th 2012August 16th 2012
The road is long
blue skies...to balance the storm clouds eleswhere!
Woke up at 2am.....heard a noise outside, checked and saw a deer wandering off. So I was awake. Less than 100 yards from the rim of Bryce Canyon. I had
to go check whether the stars were as astonishing as I hoped!
Christine heard me rustling about & clearly thought I was nuts. She was right. It was a bit windy and pitch black nearer the rim, away from the low lighting round the lodges....and the sky was clearly full of clouds, because it was clearly not full of stars. Not
a photo opportunity at all......Bah! Her assumption I was mad was fully confirmed when I found I had picked up the non-working doorkey, so she had to stumble out of bed to let me in! Still, at least there were no bears about.....
The morning came and we said a fond farewell to the main Lodge, with a promise to return again one day, and headed on to the end of the park, 15 miles further on to Rainbow Point. We took a few more pictures, then decided to head out. A quick stop at the Visitor Centre was accompanied with yet another downpour, just like at
Red Canyon yesterday....
....and the drive was punctuated with more stormy rain and distant lightening....as well as temperature that showed 101 degrees in Kane!
Surprised to find Arizona time is an hour behind Utah....so we have gained another hour today.....very odd, we moved from MST to MDT, which is the same as PST.....got it? No, me neither....that desert climate clearly does strange things to the State legislator.
Arrived at our salubrious Holiday Inn (hey, gotta use those points sometime!) and once again, the heavens opened. I've heard of storm chasers, but wasn't aware storms could chase back!
Anyway, the room was clean, tidy & quite big, has decent wifi & cartoon network, so all is fine. We checked trip advisor for dinner recommendations and duly hit Bonkers for some very nice fare....got back, charged up devices & even had a short dip in the pool (too cold!)....then took to bed early: tomorrow is an early start for our raft trip!
Just to give the 06:00hrs rising for the raft trip that extra frisson of excitement, my stomach took a rather sudden dislike to the seafood medley from Bonkers.....at 02:00hrs :-( what Christine & I previously
called my "Zion Experience"....my previous opinion of Bonkers was instantly reversed! Hey ho....get a bit ill, may as well be me
So we headed out just 2 blocks to meet up with other early birds for a "Colorado River Discovery
" trip. We got on the bus ride with a very entertaining driver ("have you guys just come into Page ? well, you've about seen it all"), on down the 2 mile long Government tunnel to the foot of the dam and boarded our craft with about 10 other happy souls.
The start was pretty cold (it was only 7:45 at this time & the sun was behind the rim) but our guide (Becky) was a chirpy lady full of enthusiasm for the canyon.
The ride down was great & the scenery spectacular
. We stopped about half way to view some petroglyphs, and just to mortify to the kids, I stripped to my budgie smugglers and took the plunge into the icy waters: boy, it was cold
, and quite a current (even if I did only swim about 5 strokes out!). Around 9 degrees (47 in old money), according to Becky - suffice to say I
didn't stay in long.
A couple of others finally went in, including a small girl from another boat. Stephen pointed out the difference: for her, it was "aaaaawwww"....for me, it was more "aaaaarghhhh!".....
We cruised on downwards, right round Horseshoe Bend where we could see specks of humans on the rim, some 1,200 feet above us, and on to Lee's Ferry Crossing where our 3 hour cruise ended. Great fun!
An hour's coach drive back was followed by ticking off another chain - Denny's - for lunch and blog update....on to the Grand Canyon next !