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Zion/Bryce/Grand Canyon Trip

Day 4 of 7

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Tuesday, May 19th
Observation Point

I got up Tuesday morning to find that it hadn't rained and we were still alive, 20 feet from the cliff. It was definitely warmer than Monday morning, and we got up and started to break camp for a relatively early start. A solo camper walked by our campsite as we were getting ready. She had camped up toward Cable Mountain (she hadn't made it all the way), and was headed back down. So we hadn't been the only ones up there.

Our camp in the morning. That open area behind Weihaw is a cliff!

At 9:30am we were off, heading back down the East Rim Trail.

Ben picked us up and we drove to the end of the road and did the gentle Riverside Walk.

After doing the walk, we drove into Springdale where we stopped at the Bumbleberry Inn for some pie, hoping the employees wouldn't mind our stench too much (two days of hiking in 90-degree weather without showers...well, you can only imagine...).

The south entrance to Zion National Park, as seen from the inside.

From there we made the 2-hour drive to Bryce Canyon National Park. Along the way we passed through the Zion-Mt. Carmel tunnel. It has some unique windows which give nice views of the surrounding area.

A window into the Zion-Mt. Carmel tunnel. (this is not the tunnel itself)

I'd of course seen pictures of Bryce, so as we drove into the Bryce Canyon Lodge I was perplexed. The lodge is situated in a forest on the plateau above the Bryce Amphitheater, and gives no hint of what's below. So after taking a shower, I made the 200 foot walk over to the edge and marveled at the view.

After dinner at the lodge, I went on the briefest stargazing trip I've ever done. I walked out toward the edge with my flashlight. But as soon as I got within 10 feet, I decided I didn't want to be walking so close to oblivion in the middle of the night, with no lights around. Turning my head up at the sky wasn't a great feeling, either, even if the sky was perfectly clear and the stars were amazing. I quickly turned back and went inside our cabin. If you get a choice, go for the Great Western Cabin instead of the motel room. The water pressure of the showers leaves a little to be desired, but it's comfortable and has ambience whereas the motel room could be any motel room in America.

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