Monday, July 5, 2010

Day 15 Cedar Breaks & Bryce Canyon

The Incredible Colors of Southern Utah

Cedar Breaks is located on the top of a plateau at 10,400 ft.

The drive up was the steepest & longest I've driven so far - about 20 miles of switchbacks climbing 5,000 ft.

The view and the high altitude air takes your breath away.

The colored layers are so vivid, maybe its the clear air at altitude.
The amphitheater is about 2,500 ft deep

Fins & Hoodoos

There are 3 sections of the amphitheater,

...same rocks but different type of erosion.
The blending of colors are an artists palette.

We were above the tree line and saw snow in many places.

We drove Scenic UT 12 from Cedar Breaks to Bryce Canyon and went through...
Red Canyon is about 10 mile long, beautiful valley with the most amazing sculpted rocks, 50 - 100 ft high .
I'm getting pretty good at taking pics while I'm driving,
my camera allows me to zoom & shoot with one hand .
an Urn & Balanced Rock
When I was planning this trip, I met with Dan Dailey at the AAA for ordering a Tiptik,
they had a picture of this tunnel on the wall with a car going through it.
I told Dan I'd duplicate the picture.

Wanda drove so

I could take pics of the car going through the tunnels

This was typical of about 5 miles of the canyon.

Bryce was at the top of my list of Nat'l Parks to see.

The view from Inspration point.

I told Wanda that after our week in Utah, we'd have sensory overload of colors & shapes.
Bryce is the ultimate visual experience.

Bryce is also a series of amphitheaters eroded from the cliff face.

We drove the park road about 20 miles to the end and

then stopped at each viewpoint on the way back.

Pioneer Ebenezer Bryce said
" It's a hell of a place to lose a cow"
The Indians called it...

the valley of rocks standing as men

Some of the rocks have already been named but we named some others.

The Natural Bridge
Thor's Hammer

White Face on Red Pedestal

A fortress of rock

A cathederal & churches with white & pink buttresses

3 standing figures

White on Orange Pillars

Castle Walls & Watchtowers

a skull with a headress?
The colors change at sunrise & sunset and in the short time we were there

the rocks were taking on an orange glow. Unfortunately we couldn't stay.

We went drove through some of the most spectacular/ white knuckle driving on our way to Torrey,UT.

We climbed up series of switchbacks ( no guardrails of course)

to the top of a plateau for this view.
We could see where we were heading, a ridge called "the hogback" where the road runs along the exact crest of the ridge for about a 1/2 mile with a 1500' drop on both sides of the road. I drove straight down the double line - of course no shoulders or guard rails.

We ended the day at dusk climbing 10,000' Boulder Mt. with

herds of cattle in the middle of the road - open range. Wanda kept saying she was writing a letter to the Gov. about the danger of cows at 10,000 ft.

As the sun was setting, the colors of the rocks began to change to more subtle shades.

The shape sure looks familiar, Le Petit Teton. We got off the mountain & into Torrey just as the sun was setting.

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