CANYONS AND HOODOOS

CANYONS AND HOODOOS

We’re moving much slower than we thought … That’s because of the unbelievable density of sights in Utah. As soon as we leave one place and drive 100 miles, there is something new to see. At our next stop in Zyon National Park, we immediately realize that after the quite days around Kanab we now have arrived back in the middle of the tourist bustle. To prevent traffic collapse on the narrow and winding road, shuttle buses take the visitors through the picturesque valley. Our destination is at the last bus stop and called “the narrows”. Depending on the water level, one hikes through the stream in knee- to hip-deep, cold water which has dug this impressively deep canyon over the course of millions of years. Sometimes the gorge is barely more than five meters wide and the transverse tree trunks and the view along the steep cliff facing up to the blue sky give an impression of the power of the water. When our toenails turn bluish, it’s time for us to head back. After all, we’re real adventurers and have done the hike in our trekking sandals and not hired waterproof high-tech shoes like most tourists do here…

A FALL WITH CONSEQUENCES

At the last photo stop of the day it happens: a false step on the steep trail down to the stream and Thomas slips on the pebbles. Actually no big deal, if only there wouldn’t have been the rusty sewage pipe on which he tried to hold on reflexively… The story ends bloody with a large cut in the palm. Because the Americans are overcautious, an ambulance with stretcher is there five minutes later and the wound is being treated. Unfortunately, the cut is larger than expected and needs to be stitched. We refuse the blue light transport with the ambulance, sign both a form to take full responsibility and drive ourselves to a clinic in the nearest city. A few hours later, eight stitches are in the hand and the doctor dismisses us with the remark that these should not get wet within the next ten days… Thus, it is also sorted out who has to do the dishes next week 😊

 REUNION AT THE RED TURRETS

We continue to the famous Bryce Canyon. For many travelers in the United States, this national park is a highlight and indeed, this huge gorge offers even for our meanwhile spoiled eyes a lot. At sunset, the filigree turrets look great already. But it is not until early next morning, after tormenting ourselves out of bed in the dark at temperatures below freezing, standing at the edge of the canyon at sunrise, that their true beauty unfolds! The sandstone hoodoos shine intensely in all colors, from yellow, orange to red, letting one believe it’s a fairytale world one is looking down at.

Just after breakfast with a magnificent view, there is another surprise: we recognize a familiar truck camper from Austrian couple, whom we met in Alaska on our boat tour through the glacier lagoon! The world is just a village and it quickly becomes clear, that we will do the day’s hike through Bryce Canyon together with Margrit and Gerhard. The path leads steeply and in narrow serpentines down into the valley and on the other side up again. It winds its way through the fantastic sandstone rock turret world we admired from above at sunrise and offers new photo opportunities behind every corner. But let the pictures speak… Only one thing can be said, the ascent back up to the edge of the canyon at almost 3000 meters above sea level is literally breathtaking …

 

IT’S GETTING CRAMPED

We decide to go on a discovery tour with Margrit and Gerhard for a couple of days. The huge area around Escalante offers a lot of possibilities to do so. The names say it all:  On the “Hole-in-the-Rock Road” our four-wheel mobile really shakes and swings threatening from left to right and in the “Spooky Canyon” one suffers all of a sudden from fear as one only can continue sideways, with retracted belly and the backpack in hand… The conclusion then makes our night at “Devil’s Garden” where rocks lay like oversized building bricks across the landscape – how they got there remains a mystery.

On a gravel road we get back to Kanab and look forward to seeing again friendly and helpful Brandice in the visitor center. From her we get information about the condition of a sandy track leading to nowhere, a side trip that will turn out to be a highlight! But more of that in the next report…

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