Last week we went to Bryce Canyon National Park for a long weekend. It is one of my most favorite places and we go nearly every year. We typically do a lot of hiking but this time we took our bikes.
Erosion has produced many incredibly beautiful formations.
Hoodoos are where erosion has left stand-alone formations
There are many hoodoos and windows.
The skies are blue and the stars are amazing due to dark skies, free of light pollution.
Even a stroll along the rim is stunning.
There is a bus system in the park that will take visitors from one lookout point to another. But I really feel that it's better to really experience Bryce by hiking down into the canyon.
We've been to Bryce every season of the year. At one point or another, we've hiked every trail, many of them multiple times. This photo shows hikers doing the Queen's Garden and Navajo loop.
There are many paved trails within the park to ride a bike. Additionally, there is another long (paved) trail connecting Bryce Canyon with Red Canyon.
We decided to ride our bikes to the farthest lookout point, Rainbow Point. Unfortunately, the map we consulted did not give us a clue how much climbing we were going to have to do in order to get there. Although we've driven the route MANY times, you never realize how much of an incline, and for how long, until you ride a bike (or run) up it. We had no clue that overall we were going to have to climb just under 3,000 feet! Because of all the curves in the road, we didn't know that much of the climbing would be for miles at a time, affording little opportunity for legs to rest.
We stopped at a couple points but for the most part, just headed straight up. There were a few times where I had to stop and just let my legs take a break. My quads went from being on fire to complete fatigue. (It is just over 38 miles round trip.)
A couple of miles from the top, I was stopped, just standing there straddling Lila. I pretty much had decided I did not have the muscle strength in my quads to make it the rest of the way to Rainbow Point. I was contemplating what to do since Bob was ahead of me (and out of sight because of the curves). I was ready to give up.
As I stood there, the driver of a vehicle going downhill, shouted out to me. I can still recall the tone of his voice. In a very deep, solid sounding tone, he slowly yelled, "YOU CAN DO IT!". His words bounced around my head for a moment and then the thought occurred to me that he thought I could do it, so dammit, I guess I better do it.
I put my feet back on the pedals and slowly continued uphill.
I guess he was right. I could do it, I just didn't know it.
PS - There are rumblings of having a mini-BAR at Bryce Canyon next year.