Bryce Canyon---Queen's Garden Trail and more

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Flag of United States  , Utah
Monday, September 19, 2011

 "Some people say there is a new sun every day,    
that it begins its life at dawn
and lives for one day only.
They say you have to welcome it.
You have to make the sun happy.
You have to make a good day for it.
You have to make a good world for it
to live its one-day life in.

And the way to start, they say,
is just by looking east at dawn.
When they look east tomorrow,

you can too.
Your song will be an offering---
    and you'll be one more person
in one more place
at one more time in the world
saying hello to the sun,
letting it know you are there."
                        -Byrd Baylor, "The Way to Start a Day" from The Earth Speaks

Today is the last full day of our program. Where has the time gone? We got up early, grabbed some coffee and boarded the bus for a Bryce Point sunrise. Mary read a poem by Byrd Baylor (excerpt above). It was such a blessing to experience the inspiring words in such a beautiful place with such a lovely group of people.  We returned to the hotel for breakfast but by 8:30 were on the road again to spend the day in Bryce Canyon National Park.  The Queen's Garden Hike was pretty arduous but well worth the effort! We enjoyed sharing some time with David and Mary on the return trip. 
In thinking back we were first awed by Zion where we were looking up, then by the Grand Canyon where we looked down.  Now we were at Bryce where we had the pleasure of seeing it both ways! We were totally captivated by this place---like nothing we had ever seen before! In a way it seemed
other-worldly. We were even been reminded of drip sand castles contructed at the beach---in MUCH larger scale! These beautiful and bizarre rock spires are called hoodoos, a word with multiple meanings: 1) A pinnacle or odd-shaped rock left standing by the forces of erosion, 2)To cast a spell or cause bad luck, 3) Voodoo. It seemed fitting that the definition of hoodoo actually describes the feeling one has upon viewing them in this huge expanse---something very akin to a magical spell.



We enjoyed box lunches at Rainbow Point and afterward took a shorter hike to Yovimpa Point where David pointed out some details about trees, especially the bristlecone pine, one of the oldest trees on earth.

In returning to the bus we spotted a shrub called rabbitbrush with yellow flowers, each housing many ladybugs.

Made a stop to view Natural Bridge, another interesting structure.

 On the bus ride to the Visitor's Center we saw a number of pronghorn antelope but they were hard to photograph with the bus in motion. It was pretty exciting to see an animal we'd never seen in the wild before.  Our quick stop at the VC allowed us time to spend $50 or more on park souvenirs. 

Back to the hotel with a couple of hours to clean up and relax. Our farewell dinner was at the Bryce Canyon Lodge, a lovely place. We were able to sit with Mary and David and others; had a delicious meal and pleasant conversation. After dinner we checked out the gift shop where John spotted a very unusual jacket and just insisted I get it. Lucky me!

Back to the hotel to pack and hit the sack! (Hey, that rhymes!)

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