September 23, Bryce Canyon NP

Today was spent exploring the park. This was Ton and my third trip to the park. Our son Dylan had worked here one summer so we have a special relationship with the park. We were surprised how busy the park was, we expected that it would be on a shoulder season, but all of the facilities were full. We were lucky to get a spot in the campground.

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We began with a drive on the 18 mile loop stopping at all of the pull outs and taking a bunch of photos of the hoodoos and the other scenery. For us it was still quite beautiful the third time thru, for Pae and Supachai they seemed to really enjoy the experience. To make up for missing the Bristlecones Pines at Great Basin we hiked the Bristlecone trail here and saw some, though apparently not as old as the ones at Great Basin. We also hiked the Queens and Navajo Trail loop. Ton and I had never done the Navajo trail and we were glad we did, when it was done!. We climbed out on the Navajo trail and it was quite steep, but worth it. The park service here has put in a program where if you hike three trails totaling 4 miles you get a prize. You prove it by taking pictures of markers on the trail. Ton and Pae were very proud of their pins.

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Looking Down in Bryce Amphitheater

We finished out the day by attending two astronomy talks. The first was on the history of astronomy and it was standing room only, probably over two hundred people. Bryce has the reputation as the best place in the US to stargaze and they set up 5 telescopes in the visitor center parking lot. Again their was an amazing amount of people there, but the views were awesome.

ducksksr@gmail.com travelin tiger 2013