Definition of a hoodoo, according to Wikipedia:
A hoodoo (also called a tent rock, fairy chimney or earth pyramid) is a tall, thin spire of rock that protrudes from the bottom of an arid drainage basin or badland. Hoodoos, which may range from 1.5 to 45 metres (4.9 to 147.6 ft), typically consist of relatively soft rock topped by harder, less easily eroded stone that protects each column from the elements. They generally form within sedimentary rock and volcanic rock formations.
That’s the theme of today’s blog post. We spent one full week in and around Bryce Canyon, exploring these most amazing rock formations. Who knew (whoooo noooooo) that rocks could be so interesting? We stayed at an RV Park just outside of a small town named Panguitch. The center of town has one intersection with a 4-way stop. That should tell you how big the town is. It has 3 LDS churches and one grocery store. BUT, it has a State Liquor store, which was quite amazing! We moseyed on in there one day to find their “huge” selection of wine. 10-15 bottles. Period. And outrageously priced. Barefoot Chardonnay was $10 per bottle.
Anyone who drinks wine knows that is about the bottom of the barrel wine, and you can get it for around $4-6 a bottle anywhere else. These folks don’t believe in drinking alcohol, so they are going to make it painful for those of us that do!
On our first day out, we drove to the entrance of Bryce Canyon and parked the BAT (Big-Ass Truck for those of you who didn’t know our truck had a name). Bryce has a wonderful bus system, same as the Grand Canyon and Zion. We took the bus around the park, to get our sense of bearing and determine where we might want to hike. It was a lovely day, and we got our first peek at the hoodoos.
The next few days, the weather was iffy, so on one of those days, we drove down the famous scenic Highway 12, which takes you not only through Bryce, but beyond into the Grand Staircase-Escalante. This is our country’s largest national monument, encompassing approximately 1.9 million acres. HUGE! It is a Delaware-sized museum of sedimentary erosion that walks you down through a 200-million-year-old staircase of animals (that’s us!), minerals and vegetables— a.k.a the longest, slowest front porch ever. The colors of the rocks are stunning, ranging from pink, grey, white, vermillion to chocolate.
Since the sky wasn’t blue, the colors didn’t come out quite as brilliant in the photos as they were in real life, but trust us – this was stunning!
A few days later, the weather was nice enough to go on a real hike in Bryce Canyon. We opted to hike the Sunset to Sunrise Loop, and added on the hike to Queens Garden and Navajo Loop. All in, it was supposed to be a 4 mile hike with a 600 foot elevation change. Except for one little thing…..we were about 80% done with the hike (climbing BACK up the 600 feet) when we met some other hikers who said that the final part of that trail was closed and we had to go back the way we came.
Long story short, our hike was about 45 minutes and a mile longer. It still wouldn’t have kicked our butts, but since we were starting at about 7,000 feet in elevation, climbing back up to the top at the end of the hike was a killer! Still, we came across the most stunningly beautiful views of these hoodoos, up close and personal. Maggie came with us the whole way until the last 100 yards. She absolutely gave up and refused to move, so Richard picked her up and carried her those final steps.
We are really enjoying building up our endurance and staying in shape while viewing some of the most gorgeous scenery in the country.
Our final hike was in Red Canyon, not far from where we were staying. Prior to taking this hike, we met a couple from Tennessee who inquired about Maggie, asking what kind of dog she is. When told she was a Havanese, they laughed, opened up their car door and took out their dog – also a Havanese! And then we asked what their dog’s name was…..her name was Maggie!
And our Maggie Mae continues to enchant all the Park visitors. We got stopped no less than 15 times along the Bryce Canyon route, and for the second time, folks asked to photograph her. I swear we are going to put that tip jar around her neck! She is such a champ, hanging in there almost the entire way! She (and we) slept well that night.
Next up is a 5-day stop in Richfield, UT (we are already here and their State Liquor store is just about the same as Panguitch’s, LOL!), then on to Salt Lake City. SLC will be fun (?) as we lived there for the first 4 years of our marriage and is where our son Michael was born. We plan on visiting the old homestead and seeing some more sights, interspersed with flying out to CA for the weekend to attend our goddaughter’s wedding.