Another post written in bed, with throbbing feet, and tired eyes. Started out early, and a short Skype with the family who were in the park. Melvin was more determined to go down the slide than talk to me, but that's life.
I had a quick breakfast in bed, then hit the road towards Bryce Canyon. For some reason I thought it was two hours, but it was actually closer to three. Oh well. It was a beautiful drive (although the road was littered with dead deer) and I listened to some kind of talk radio station. I heard a very funny story about a couple who had been arrested shortly after dropping their kids off at the first day of school. They had been smoking a celebratory joint in the car, and were caught because while the speed limit was 25 mph, they were driving 6.
I can't get over how different, almost immediately, Utah is to Arizona. It's green. There are rivers and relatively lush fields. It's really, really beautiful. Huge meadows with ridiculously picturesque creeks winding through them, rolling hills, cows dotted around, and red and white wooden houses with obligatory picket fences. It's just gorgeous. It's what I imagine pioneer American to have looked like. I'd stop here if I was wandering around looking for somewhere to call home. It's far more appealing than the neighbouring deserts of Arizona, that's for sure. Anyway, because of all this, it's a lovely drive. After a couple of hours, I spot the familiar red rocks up high in the hills, and just a short while later, I'm at the park.
I have a quick lunch, and then head out to hike. I've been to Bryce a couple of times before, but never gone below the rim. It is – as with most canyons – definitely worth it.
Once I leave the popular trail, the crowds disperse and I'm on my own for great stretches. It's hot and hard, but extremely beautiful.
There's a lot of up and downs, but some spectacular views.
I must admit I was pretty pleased when I rounded the corner and found myself back at the start of the loop. I ate, I drank and I considered doing another hike, but time wouldn't allow it, so I started back up the switchbacks to the rim.
What a beautiful place.
An hour and a bit later, dodging more dead deer, and I was in Kanab, my final spot for this holiday. Kanab is great. It's a small town, but with a really friendly feel to it. It was settled by Mormons in 1870. There are quite a lot of churches, but not as many as Page, interestingly enough. Page has 28 churches. 28! For a town of just under 7,300 people. Anyway, it's very nice here, I recommend a visit.
Tomorrow is more hiking, this time in Zion Canyon. I'll be doing Angel's Landing – a hike along a huge ridge, with 1000 metre drops to either side. Eek. For now, I'll sit here, with my belly full of ribs, and watch some telly.