Bryce Canyon

We drove from Kanab up to Bryce Canyon on Sunday morning. Our first task on arrival was to nip into the campground and reserve a spot. We’ve learned from Zion that you take an envelope from an unmanned station at the entrance, fill in your registration number, the pitch you’re taking and a few other details on the outside, then detach a small chit, put your money in the envelope, seal it and post it into a box. Quite strangely, you then take the paper chit and attach it to the marker post of the pitch you’re taking with a bulldog clip (this is the bit we failed to do when we arrived at Zion in the dark on Friday night – we left the chit on the dashboard; luckily no-one seemed too concerned. They probably clocked us as novices) . You wouldn’t go attaching paper to fence posts at home and expect it to survive for more than half an hour…. Mind you we later had constant rain / sleet / snow overnight, so the same rule should probably apply here as well.

Having marked our territory, we made a quick stop at the visitor centre then drove the 18 miles to the farthest viewpoint before slowly working our way back to base. This first viewpoint was deemed a very apt spot for a Pesketeer pic….

It was whilst at Rainbow Point that we came across our first American nutcase, a young lady stood looking at a tame raven using her phone screen (but not actually taking any pictures of it) and repeating “he’s tAlking, he’s tAlking” (the raven was doing nothing of the sort, needless to say). After a couple of hundred repetitions, Mark quietly awarded her the official designation of window-licker…. We’ve seen ravens a couple of times since and each time I’ve done no more than mutter “he’s tAAAlking” (honest) but Mark has then launched into a worryingly lizard-like window-licking impression, complete with slurping soundtrack. Luckily no-one else has witnessed this or he may have been taken away for assessment by now……

We did have some snow and sleet for a short period during the day, though nothing like what was to come the next morning (unbeknown to us at the time). I suppose that’s what you get if you go nosing around National Parks in November…

Luckily it did clear up and we got some fantastic views of Bryce Canyon:

Back at the campsite we had plenty of early evening entertainment in the form of the many late-comers doing a lap or two of the campsite before departing, having finally convinced themselves that the place really was full. Schadenfreude, I know, but then there was a campsite half a mile or so outside the park gates that would no doubt have cheerfully accommodated them all.

Mark then spent the rest of the evening trying to work out what the Tenty Bloke opposite was doing…. There seemed to be a major carry-on over a campfire and Mark couldn’t quite work out what he was trying to do.  The fire was blazing away: at one point Mark suspected he’d poured too much meths on to start it and was trying to damp it down, then he seemed to be blowing on it, then tying newspaper knots and putting those on, an approach that Mark smugly announced will do nothing on a fire that big…. oddly no sausages ever seemed to appear out of the back of the car to be cooked on said fire.

Monday morning dawned and needless to say, Mark took great enjoyment from the generally soggy conditions, his first task of the morning being to open the curtains and emit a loud Dads’ Army “We’re Doooooooooomed”.

Little did he know that things were about to get more serious on the snow front. we had a brief stop at the visitor centre to try the wifi (no joy). by that point the snow was starting to stick on the car park so we figured we’d better exit stage left sooner rather than later…

A surprisingly short amount of time later:

Luckily it was Mark’s turn to drive! This was a great time for him to discover that the windscreen wipers are rubbish…. Not daring to stop, he was left with little option than to peer forwards through the gaps as best he could….

Yippee – a snowplough appeared coming up the hill behind us and managed to get past and clear the road ahead…

Phew – we could now pull over and dig out the windscreen.

Our escape from a snowy Bryce Canyon complete, we continued eastwards over the pass and down towards Boulder.