Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bryce Canyon

The canyon is named after Ebenezer Bryce, the Mormon missionary who first settled here. Beyond this simple fact, descriptions become difficult. If the Grand Canyon amazes you with its scale, this “little gem” of a canyon defies words for a different reason. It is fantastic, in the very literal sense of the term. The term for the columns you see is “hoodoo” and here they cluster into town, villages, congregations of stone people. At one overlook several of us agreed that they looked at times like the terracotta Chinese “stone soldiers.” But rather than being man-made, these are natural and the ancestors of Paiutes believed that the gods had turned an ancient race of people to stone for some unknown transgression. Regardless, Bryce takes your breath away.

In fact, Bryce leaves you breathless in more ways than one. The park, the rim of which can be circumscribed by an eight mile hike, ranges in altitude from about 7,500 to 9115. We followed our usual pattern of walking about a mile and a half after breakfast and then reverting to the car to see the more distant sights. Except that this walk wiped us out for the day and we staggered from vista to vista through the afternoon. I suspect that had we an other day here we would have either slept in the afternoon or read on the expansive veranda or the Bryce Canyon Lodge, where we did not stay, but did provision and eat.

This canyon is simply not to be missed. Our only regret was that we did not visit when we were younger and could have hiked down into the these phantasmagorical formations.

Just a final note, anything is possible with Photoshop. The only processing I have done on any of these images is with Preview and that only to apply auto level color adjustment when I thought it necessary to make things more lifelike. And, for those who care, I took 218 images yesterday and I am really having fun with the new Panasonic GX7.

The morning light makes some of these formations appear translucent

The green forests that dot the canyon add another color highlight

Erosion is what made this canyon and this is a striking example

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