This morning was a struggle – I did not want to get out of bed. I forced myself awake, knowing that Taylor wanted to be on time to meet Andy at the shuttle stop for our hike. I was surprised by the number of people on the shuttle! It wasn’t quite 7AM, and we were not able to find seats! Luckily, the majority of the hikers exited at the Grotto for Angel’s Landing, and we were part of a very small group that exited at the Observation Point trailhead.
The hike is 4 miles one way, and completely worth it. Andy and I got along splendidly, so the three of us ended up having a blast!
The views on this hike are amazing. Not to be totally cliche, but the trail should be called Observation Points.
Andy and I, taking a break to admire our view and play with our echoes (there are some baller echo points along the trail as well!):
Checking out some sweet yellow rock we found along the trail!
Yesterday, the views from Angel’s Landing seemed completely unreal. However, we could see the top of Angel’s Landing from many points on Observation Point. Looking down on Angel’s Landing made it seem almost pathetic! (It’s the protrusion in the bottom left corner…)
Some views from the real Observation Point (aka the top of the trail)!
Throwing rocks down from high places: very important as always.
I mean, Angel’s Landing was sweet because of the adrenaline, but you can’t beat this view:
Where I am standing in the picture above is where we sat and dangled our feet as we ate BBQ chips and drank most of our water. I could have sat there all day, but we were running low on fuel – especially water – and we knew that we had to head back to rehydrate.
A few pictures of the hike back down (which was significantly easier than the hike up – look at these switchbacks!!)
Upon finishing the hike, we ran into Andy’s mom and her brother who had just finished the Weeping Rock trail, a short hike that began right by Observation Point’s trailhead. They claimed that it was worth seeing, so I slugged along behind Taylor and Andy. It ended up being totally worth it.
Plus, we saw this kid trying to catch some water 🙂
After our hike, we took the shuttle back to the Lodge where Taylor could fill his craving – ice cream – and I could fill mine – a tall glass of ice cold gingerale. With gingerale and soft-serve ice cream in hand (such a good deal – $2.75 for at least 16oz of ice cream), we went outside and sat in the shade on some rocking chairs in front of the Lodge with Andy and relaxed.
We were all so tired. After I finished my gingerale, Andy told us that he was going back to his cabin to rest and that we were welcome to another shower. Andy was waking up at 4:30AM to hike The Narrows from the top-down route, which means he would be embarking on a 2-day adventure!
Taylor and I told him that we would come by for a shower soon, and we relaxed in the grass for a while longer. We gathered some dinner food and took our cooking supplies to a river close to the Lodge. We found a soft, white-sand spot to prepare our mac and cheese and mashed potatoes, which we ate on Taylor’s Boeing Blanket.
After dinner, we went back to Andy’s and showered. We hung out for a bit (he was the only one there) and, eventually, we parted ways. It was time for us to hit the road and for Andy to go back to sleep. We returned the Burke’s red parking permit and were on our way to Bryce.
As we pulled into Bryce Canyon land, we noticed that a bunch of cars were parked everywhere… as if for an event. We realized we were by a rodeo and asked someone if there was a late-night rodeo going on. To our surprise, we learned that July 24th is a holiday in Utah, and it is celebrated with fireworks the weekend before! Everyone was waiting for fireworks!! So, we found a parking spot, put on some weather appropriate clothes, and sat on top of Eddie with the Boeing blanket to watch the fireworks 🙂
Afterwards, we were pooped. We pulled into a nearby Best Western (in hopes of a free continental breakfast), got Eddie ready for bed, and called it a night.