Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Grand Challenge - Bryce

Back on Wednesday, when I was driving back from Zion and to my hotel in Kanab, I ran into Dane, his wife, and two other friends, who were there to enjoy the other things that the area had to offer.

They had been in the Kanab area since Sunday volunteering at the world famous Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Just think heaven on earth for animal lovers. People from all over come, and some stay, to volunteer at the shelter that takes in all types of animals looking for a second chance.

(The Great Dane is on the right)

We eventually met up for dinner across the street from our hotels at the Spurs Grill. A great place to spend a warm evening eating, drinking, and listening to live Korean music. Yeah, that was a bit strange, but enjoyable nonetheless.

And eat we did, under the guise of packing on the much needed calories for our adventure in three short days. I had already gained close to ten pounds since landing in Vegas, but it probably had something to do with the thin air where we were staying...

Before parting for the evening, I gave Dane my 7 day pass to Zion for his visit on Thursday, while I went to shop and pick up Ranger Dave 200 miles away in Vegas.

I decided to hold off on visiting Bryce until Friday so that Dave could join me, or until Dane realized that he too had a 7 day pass, but to Bryce, that he was holding out on me. I'm still waiting, Dane.

Bryce Canyon

After a hearty southwestern style breakfast on Friday morning at the hotel, Dave and I made the scenic drive out to Bryce Canyon National Park, about an hour and a half northeast of Kanab.

We managed to get there by 10AM and had no trouble finding parking within walking distance of all the trail heads.

Bryce is beautiful beyond belief. My words can do it no justice, so I'll just shut up now and let Bryce do all of the talking.

Who do the hoodoos? We do!

OK, Bryce, stop stealing the show. This is my blog.

Dave and I wandered around the rim of Bryce, snapping pictures of the spectacular hoodoos from up above.

We then noticed that there was a trail that meandered around down below throughout the canyon.

This was Fairyland. The eight mile trail loop was the recommended choice to enjoy all that Bryce had to offer.

We quickly made our way to the trail head, and began the deep descent into the belly of the beast.

Right off the bat, we could feel the effects of the high altitude.

Bryce Canyon sits at 8,000+ ft above sea-level, which is often considered the demarcation for high altitude, and high altitude sickness if you've got it.

We were forced to run/walk on the well-groomed trail, and it took awhile before we could get some acclimation to our new surroundings.

I was now wearing my Adidas Adios in favor of my North Face trail sneakers, which I wore the day before at Zion, and my feet did not enjoy one bit. Adios it was for the Grand Canyon run the next day.
Ranger Dave was decked out in his usual workout attire: Army Ranger shirt, cargo shorts (filled with quarters to annoy the crap out of me when we ran), and his shit kicking boots.

Finally, after two solid hours of running, hiking, power-walking, looking for Dave's license, and leaving with a greater appreciation for the beauty of nature, we were ready to head back to the hotel in Kanab to prepare for the greatest challenge of all, and what we came here to get down...

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