Posted by: Jack | April 2, 2007

Epic Journey: Day 7 – Bryce Canyon

Today was a relatively uneventful day. I woke early to the distant sound of wild turkeys and realized that temperatures had really dropped during the night. It took a fair amount of motivation to climb out of my sleeping bag and run to my pack for some warmer clothes. After breakfast I geared up and hit the trail. Having grown bored with the backcountry solo experience the previous night, I had decided to pack the remainder of my hiking into this day and camp at a campground rather than the next backcountry site. Even so, I really didn’t have very far to travel. I soon came to what was described in the backcountry guide as the most reliable source of water in the area. Seeing as this was early spring and runoff from melting snow is the major source of water I was fairly surprised about the level of flow.

Despite the dramatic scenery in the northern areas of the park, the backcountry proved to be relatively monotonous. I did take a lot of pictures but they all basically look the same. However, I thought this tree was pretty cool.

The trail did become a bit strenuous as it climbed to the rim only to descend back to the canyon floor numerous times. Just after noon and 7 miles later I reached the main highway that travels through the park. For some reason the trailblazers chose to not include any loops in the backcountry trails so this highway was my route back to my car. Although the sun was high and the sky was clear, a cold wind was continually whipping across the road which was a little less than pleasant. The only real upside to this stretch was that as I strode the 4 miles of pavement I was able to accurately figure out my average hiking speed with pack based on the mile markers (3.6 mph if you care to know).

Rather than following an additional 2 miles of road directly to my car, I sort of went past it and met up with the scenic Rim Trail at Inspiration Point which I then followed back to my car. As well as actually being a shortcut, this route provided some more great views of Bryce Amphitheater.

It was finally growing quite hot as mid-afternoon came around and I was relieved to make it back to my car.

I unpacked all my gear and consumed a quick lunch before driving back to the visitor center. Feeling lazy, I spent most of the remainder of the afternoon learning various things from the park museum and watching a short and super cheesy film about the local land formation.

The day wound down very slowly as I settled into the campground, ate dinner, read a ton of my book and called Anna and the parents. Although I had covered my longest distance on foot of the entire trip, due to a lack of excitement the day really seemed like a long day of relaxation.

Continue to Day 8

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