Memories from October 29, 2018.
Today was mostly a getting off trail to resupply. Along the way, I encountered Germans and Bryce Canyon. One was great the other was a let down.
I woke up in Sheep Canyon and was quickly in the slot canyon up Willis Creek. This time there weren’t pools of water to avoid and the floor was level so I could pretty much just enjoy.
Okay, there was a pool of water but it was pretty and there was a bypass route.
As the slot canyon was winding down, I saw two people ahead, one taking a picture, so I stepped behind a turn, waited a second, then continued past. “Thank you” the photographer said in the most quintessential German accent. This made me so happy. Every German I met two years ago on my last through hike was a fantastic hiking companion: polite, good natured, and as tough as nails. Also, all the Germans I’ve met in normal life have been good people. I spent most of the road walk to the Grand View Trail contemplating Germans.
The iconic walls of Bryce Canyon had appeared in the distance and were drawing close, though always distant or partially hidden by the developing pine forest.
The Grand View Trail has devolved from a clear double track to a faint, though well signed, use trail when it hit the clean, taught fence of Bryce Canyon National Park. I had turned off the Hayduke route to head north on the Under the Rim Trail so I could resupply in Bryce Canyon City. There was a gate in the fence so I walked over to it and found the Under the Rim Trail. The gate looked almost new which is very unusual in the backcountry.
The trees in the area were mostly burned and there was a moderate amount of deadfall across the trail. The marks of old trail maintenance were there but nothing recent.
This was all explained when I got to a campsite where I was to turn up a connector trail to get to the road. In my defense, I had to turn around to read this and there hadn’t been any signage on the way in.
I did finally get a good shot of Bryce Canyon, though.
Walking the scenic drive towards north was not particularly scenic other than at the designated overlooks.
I was a little over half way to the visitor center when a car stopped and asked if I’d like a ride (hitching is illegal in national parks otherwise I’d have had my thumb out). My benefactors were a German mother-daughter pair who were touring a bunch of the local sights. Aren’t Germans wonderful? (disclosure: I’m not any part German).
They dropped me at a lodge where the registrar where the person working the front desk circled the laundry facilities while detailing the complex. Yes, my clothes are dirty.