Saturday, 25 April 2015

Where only Angels Dare to Tread

Location: Bryce Canyon National Park, Hwy 63, Bryce, UT 84764, USA
After leaving Sophie with the bags I headed further up Angel's Landing, with the wind howling and Crocs on my feet I was feeling confident. Most of the hike there are chains to help you on your way but it was definitely a scramble in places to get up. There were a couple of hairy sections where the trail narrowed with vertical drops both sides but the chain helps to keep you moving forward. After a while of fairly hard graft I made it to the top with absolutely amazing views up and down the canyon. With the wind still blowing and the water and snacks with Sophie I headed back down. The down was harder than the up. The fairly constant stream of people meant constant stopping but did give me an opportunity to take in the view. After longer than expected I made it back to Sophie and we headed off down to Scouts Lookout out together.

We carried on hiking for a little bit up towards the rim before heading back to the Zion Museum to watch the Zion National Park film. They are brilliant and completely over the top but do give you some interesting information about the place so we went into the warm, dark cinema to watch. After we both nearly fell asleep during the 15 minute film we decided to head back and catch up with our new Canadian friends, have some food and probably get an early night. However, when we got back there was a note in our anti-squirrel box saying that they had left early and gave us their contact details, they also left us some Easter candy which was a welcome surprise.

The next morning we woke early and did our normal routines to get ready for leaving, with one notable exception. While getting out the tent I managed to twinge my back, nothing major but enough to make it hurt, a lot. This slowed us down a bit getting to our next warm showers host's house in New Harmony. We stayed with Matt, Rachelle and their 4 kids for two nights and managed to rest my back a fair bit. Matt had done a quite a lot of cycling touring and knew the area really well through work. We talked about wanting to go to Bryce Canyon National Park but that we were worried about elevation and temperature. But he echoed the comments that the 5 Canadians had said that it wasn't that bad this year and that they hadn't had much snow. Matt also told us about a beautiful ride after Bryce Canyon along Hogs Back where the road winds up between two canyons and you can see for miles.

Feeling confident that Bryce Canyon was do-able we headed off to Cedar City to re supply and stay the night with David, another warm showers host. After a great evening we woke early and started our 18 mile ascent up Cedar Mountain. The road was never steep but it just went up and up and up. This was the longest and highest climb we had done so far and we were both focused on the photo at the summit stating that we were at 9,910 feet. Alas, there was no sign. No glory photo to take. We had a spot of lunch, wrapped up warm because we were now surrounded by snow and carried on towards the National Park. The last 10 miles of the long day was tough because we were tired, there was a bit of a head wind and there was some climbing from the highway. But after a long day we arrived, set up our tent and were greeted by Jeff. He and his friends were taking a tour around the National Parks in an RV and invited us over for fajitas and beer.  After talking to Jeff, Jake, Susanne, Amber and Bobbie late into the night and drinking their beer and whiskey we headed back to the tent for a well earned sleep.

1 comment:

  1. Glad things are going relatively smoothly and you're meeting some awesome people along the ride! Amazing!!