Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tour of S Utah Day 5.5: Auto tour of Bryce

After our little late lunch – early supper post Thunder Mountain ride, we carried on to Bryce National Park.  We rolled into Sunset Campground of only two auto friendly campgrounds in the park at around 5 PM on a Monday. Out of around 100 campsites, there were exactly 4 left.  Lucky us. We staked our claim and motored out to drive the 15 mile paved road to the southern end of the park.  Rain showers came and went, but mostly came.  By the time we reached the end of the road, the skies had cleared a bit to allow gazing at utter spectacularness. 
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We strolled a little 1-mile nature trail that had interpretive signs about the ecology and wildlife, one noting that Peregrine falcons can often be spotted soaring off the cliffs in this area. 
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Just minutes after reading an interpretive sign about Peregrine falcons, we spotted this raptor cruising overhead. We think it was a Peregrine.
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Another sign informed about the Bristlecone pines.  I love these gnarly, old trees. In this area, there were old ones and young ones.  I hugged this little tree for good luck.

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The rim of Bryce is all above about 8000 feet, and normal nighttime temps in May are in the mid 30s.  It was no surprise then that snow patches persisted.
As we completed our little hike, the rain came back again so we hopped into Dewey and headed back.  We made a super quick stop though at this amazing natural arch.
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Camp life in Dewey is a mix of dancing around each other inside the van and utilizing the outdoors as much as possible. 
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Since rain was likely, we set up the awning.
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But we didn’t need it all the time.  After snacks and drinks, we turned in for the chilly night ahead of us. Good times.

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