|with Woody and Buzz|
|beautiful campspot beside cloudy creek|
|stroll along the river|
|this was the only camouflaged deer we saw in the front-country|
|last bit before the West Rim|
|TdF? No, the trail switchbacks down to Zion's valley floor|
|view from East Rim|
|slot canyon en route from E Rim|
|Big Bend from above Weeping Rock|
Sooner than we realized, it was Friday and time to leave Zion and head for Bryce. Good thing the drive was very scenic, as we repeatedly had problems finding a decent cup of coffee that would have had to keep us awake on a boring highway drive. We arrived at Bryce Canyon Lodge and were getting our bags unpacked when we had another variety of adventure. Rich had gone out to the car, while I was in the shower. I had noticed that things were not quite right in the bathroom, but certainly weren't anything to be worried about. For example, there was no dowel in the toilet paper dispenser. I got ready to leave the room, only I wasn't able to open the door. I tried jiggling the handle, lifting the door in its frame, but nothing worked. I made a call to the front desk and they said they would send someone up. Apparently, they already knew about it because soon, the maintenance crew was outside the door, along with Rich, who sounded like he would break down the door to rescue me. I wondered aloud if I was going to have to let down my hair out the window so he could climb up (I have short hair), but soon the guys had the door open. What we had not realized when we had checked in was that it was opening day for the season and we were the first to test out their handiwork.
|sunrise was more photogenic|
|no color adjustment was made to the sky!|
Our final day was spent doing some driving to get back to Las Vegas. At first, it looked like it was going to be a long drive on the highway, until I had a look at the map and asked about a nameless road that took us in the right direction and would provide us with new scenery. We checked with the Park Ranger and he was quick to tell us that it was not a shortcut, but he directed us to the BLM office where they could tell us more. The woman at the BLM office got excited and animated when we pointed to the road on the map. She said it was unpaved but very drivable with a regular car, but watch out for the ruts. Aside from a couple of water features, the road was as she said and went through Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, somewhere that a close friend had mentioned many times as a beautiful place to visit and explore.
|Sharks in the desert? Only in Las Vegas!|
We emerged on pavement in a town called Kanab, in Utah, where we found what seemed to be an oasis. Utah is well-known as being the center for Mormons, who abstain from all types of drugs which includes caffeine. It had been tricky that whole week to find a good coffee shop, but there in the little town of Kanab, we stumbled onto a coffee shop/outdoor gear/book store. We spent quite a while there, soaking up the atmosphere that we were used to in Seattle.