If you missed the first portion here it is: 1-Day-Turned-Into-4-Days Camping Trip.
After leaving Devil’s Garden hot and sweaty the road led us to Bryce Canyon National Park, yet another national park to add to J-Man’s list making it 15. He has now visited 4 of Utah’s 5 national parks. Zion National Park is the last one to visit in Utah. That was pretty cool for us since we treasure our national parks.
We arrived in Bryce Canyon during a thunderstorm so we decided to drive around to the overlooks and check out the views. We also needed to find some place to make camp for the night so we drove around some areas that allowed dispersal camping. We picked our camp site, grabbed some dinner at a restaurant I do not recommend (Ruby’s Inn) and after the rain subsided we headed back into the park.
Amazing sandstone formations.
I remember visiting Bryce Canyon back in 2005 during Bedge and I’s 4 month road trip. We only spent a day there unimpressed without the desire to go back. I am so happy that we made this trip. Our opinion of Bryce changed dramatically and we are planning another trip back. I have no idea why we were so negative about the park and the scenery. It is absolutely beautiful. Maybe we were tired or cranky our first visit. Who knows. I’m just glad we gave it a second chance.
Checkin’ out the view.
One of my favorites. Like father, like son.
First overlook we visited in the park.
Because of another thunderstorm rolling in that evening and bringing tremendous amounts of lightning with it we made the decision to get a hotel room. I wasn’t super comfortable sleeping in the roof top tent while lightning was flashing all around us. I haven’t heard of anyone being struck in a roof top tent but I certainly didn’t want to be the first.
Here’s a little tip: Bring ALL of your toiletries even if you think you will be gone for just one night. I was missing shower products, lotion and other items I normally bring along. Considering I planned for only one night away I packed light leaving behind particular items I kinda needed. I know hotels provide certain products but this picky girl hesitates to use them. Thank goodness I brought extra’s of everything for J-Man. I always bring multiple outfits for him. He is 3 after all and can go through numerous wardrobe changes throughout the day. I wish I would have had an extra pair of shorts. Yes, I wore the same shorts for 4 days. I brought pants but it was just too warm to slip them on.
We unexpectedly stayed 1 more day in Bryce Canyon. We were having so much fun we just kept extending the days until Bedge’s time ran out.
Our time at Bryce Canyon was spent hiking the Navajo loop, which takes you into the canyon amongst the hoodoos. J-Man hiked the entire 1.8 miles. Going down into the canyon was easy and he was a trooper hiking the whole way back up.
Leading the way.
Heading up out of the canyon. Thank goodness for the numerous switchbacks.
We also hiked Queens Garden. Although we did not do the entire 1.8 miles of the hike it’s my favorite hike there so far. I felt like I was in a fairyland with the unique weathered trees, sand different shades of pink and the windy trails. We hiked this trail in the evening and it was simply beautiful.
A rare photo of Bedge and I. J-Man used his photography skills to take it.
Looks like fairyland to me.
Sandstone tunnels are always fun to walk through.
We spent an evening at Sunset Campground in the park, strolled to a few short overlooks, stopped into the visitors center, had pizza at Valhalla Pizzeria, J-Man played in the rain and we took time to just chill.
Didn’t see much of the campground. Arrived in the dark and left super early.
There’s nothing like having breakfast on a big log while waiting for daddy to photograph sunrise.
Did he leave the visitor center without a book? He sure did. He got one instead at the gift store in town.
Pizza wasn’t bad and it’s conveniently inside the park.
No words needed. Ha.
This wigged me out a bit. I DO NOT like snakes.
We also started a new tradition.
Typical family picture.
Best national park sign picture EVER!
(If only it wasn’t blurry. Bedge is one jumpin fool. Cracks me up!)
This trip has emphasized that even though I am very much a planner and control freak we love just hitting the road with no agenda. It gives us surprises, unexpected destinations and minimizes the stress. We don’t have to be anxious or worried that we aren’t going to get to a particular place on time or miss out on doing something on our list.
Have you ever taken a trip with no plans, no reservations or expectations?