We were up at 6:30 and after a great buffet breakfast at the Best Western Restaurant, we headed back east and through the park for the last time, the only way to Bryce Canyon from where we were. It was a cold but brilliant sunrise that morning, the air was very crisp and clear. It was invigorating after a good night's sleep and a hearty breakfast.
After hiking most of the previous day, I was looking forward to a long drive to Bryce, but my companion thought it would be great to take one last hike. I reluctantly agreed and began the long uphill trail, glad for the cold air as my body started to overheat almost immediately.
After only a few hundred feet of elevation, I was very pleased with myself that I had decided to relent. This was the best hike yet!
The morning light was brilliant, the new vistas like another planet, and the skies a deep shade of blue.
As we continued to climb, the drop-offs were getting a bit steep and high, with railings here and there to sustain the feint of heart. (me) The views kept getting better and colours more spectacular.
I had to keep reminding myself to look where I was walking. The views up and out were so outstanding that one could easily walk out into space by mistake.
We came to a V-shaped bridge, suspended in mid-air. As I rounded the corner, a great sight met my eyes ... yet another grotto. This was so amazing, to stand in this spot and view the towering mountains spread out before us. Later, as we rounded the trail on the opposite side of this little canyon, we noticed that people inside the grotto were speaking and we could hear them clearly. The acoustics were very good and projected the sounds outward.
We eventually reached our goal, the top of the ridge that looked down on the switchback road that had taken us through the tunnel and to this trail head. We were very high at this point. We talked to a very nice couple who only lived an hour away from our friends in England. Imagine meeting someone like that, there!
Andrew taking one last photo before we reached the bottom of the trail and resumed our journey to Bryce Canyon. It was our last moment in Zion and we were reluctant to turn our backs on this spectacular country.
But, we had more canyons to visit and our trip was approaching half done. The road began to rise in elevation and we came across this field that was having something strange sprayed on it. It took a moment to realize that the farmer had left his irrigation sprinklers on all night and the water froze on the wheels and on the grass. It was getting colder as he headed east and north. Did we bring enough layers? We would soon find out.