Day 30: July 21, 2013

While we did wake in time for the continental breakfast, we failed miserably in trying to snag a free meal. In order to enter the eating area, you needed to present your room card. Thinking it wouldn’t be a real issue, we attempted to sneak in through the back entrance (outside by the pool there was another entrance to the eating area); however, we were quickly spotted and, as we put food on our plates, we realized that we were about to get ourselves into a lot of trouble. We ditched as fast as we could, hopped in Eddie, and drove away without consequence. Whew.

The annual pass saved us another $25 as we entered Bryce, for a total of $124 (or $144, I wish I could remember if we paid a $20 entrance fee in Yosemite). Eager to hike, we stopped by the first campsite we came across, “North Campgrounds,” and paid $30 for two nights. We found the perfect spot for Taylor’s hammock and were very pleased with our purchase.

After breakfast, we began our Bryce hiking adventure of the day: the Figure 8, a 6-mile hike that includes the Navaho Trail, the Peekaboo Trail, and the Queen’s Garden Trail. As we walked from our campsite to the trailhead, we watched the landscape transform from green desert to golden orange larger than life sand-drip castles. The Hoodoos are unreal.

After a bit of hiking on the trail…

…we decided to blaze our own. We followed a small trail uphill and, from there, followed Taylor’s trailblazing spidey-senses.

We came up with our trailblazing theme song, “EX PLOR ERS” (to the tune of TRAN FORM ERS, robots in disguise). It was originally “TRAIL BLAZE ERS,” but we realized that that a Trail Blazer was a Chevy and that our loyalty lied with Eddie.

We did get ourselves a little lost, but with a little wandering and luck, we managed to find our way back to the main trail.

We stopped to make some pasta and mashed potatoes and, somehow, made it back to the trailhead before a torrential downpour. We sat on a ledge protected from the storm, relaxed, and people-watched until the weather passed.

On route to the campsite, we paused by the Rim Trail to venture out onto a canyon ledge:

and take our panorama pic 🙂

Upon return to our campsite, we found a note on Eddie that told us that we could not stay in our spot because we were in an RV lot. We found the ranger in charge of the campsite and explained to him that we would not be sleeping in a tent, and told him that we knew for a fact that the family that had previously been camping there was not staying another night. He let us stay 🙂

We watched “Rounders” before dinner, made a delicious meal on the campfire, hung out in the hammock (I fell asleep in it), and curled up in Eddie for the night, happy with our first day of Bryce adventures.

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