… or maybe I should say, where do you think you are? Maybe you’re in a magical place — at least it seemed that way to us! We’d never been to Bryce Canyon National Park before, and the contrast with Zion NP was amazing, considering how close they are geographically.
Of course our drive from one to the other wasn’t without a bit of drama. First the rain through the mountain passes…
…then there was a tunnel sign just before the Red Canyon Visitor Center in the Dixie National Forest with a height restriction lower than our rig. Oh no!
So we stopped at the Visitor Center and found out from the helpful and reassuring rangers there that the measurement on the sign was made from the side of the tunnel rather than the middle, and that big rigs — including semi-tractor trailers — go through the tunnel all the time.
We got our first glimpse of the hoodoos that the Bryce Canyon area is known for behind the Visitor Center. Like stacked rocks ready to fall over, they stood like red sentinels marking our way.
This travel day was also our one year full-timing anniversary and it was hard to believe we’d been on the road a year already — yet it seemed more than a year since leaving the house behind.
After setting up at Ruby’s RV Park outside the entrance of Bryce Canyon National Park, we retraced our route to the Bryce Canyon Pines restaurant we’d passed on the way in. Their tantalizing “homemade soup and pies” sign wooed us, and we devoured a great meal and excellent blueberry pie.
Settled cozily near the fire and beside a window, we watched a quick snow-flurry squall pass through, and on the way home stopped to take in the view of the historic (and still functioning) Bryce Canyon Airport.
Using native ponderosa pine and techniques they used to erect barns on their own properties, the local ranchers and farmers built a hanger in 1936-37 that’s still in use today and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s the only log airport structure in Utah, and the mile-long runway is the longest of any rural runway in the state.
It was mid-May and, with the snow-capped mountains in the background, we wondered if we were early enough to avoid big crowds, but at the cost of cold weather that would prevent good hiking. At 8000′, the Bryce Canyon rim was certainly capable of getting snow this time of the year.
We’d find out in the morning!