At Bryce National Park we were scheduled to be reunited with the Zeiger clan. Michael is Kristi’s brother, but he might as well be mine as well. We go back almost 30 years! His wife Dawn and our niece Kiley are very special to us, so it was great getting to share a week of travels with them.
In past blogs I have described the difference between a “drive through” park and a hiking park. This was largely a drive through park. When I say that Bryce is a one trick pony, I don’t mean that in a bad way. It is just to advise the reader that unlike Glacier National Park, Yosemite, or Yellowstone, this is not a place to stay for more than 2 days. With that said, the pink, red, and pale white rocks formations were breathtaking. The tall spires are called hoodoos and they are beautiful.
Each stop along the 18 mile road within the park delivered a new perspective of this place. After taking in most of the popular sights, we stopped at the lodge for lunch. Again, not to sound like a complainer, but the lodge was just “OK” It did not match the grandeur of some of the other National Park Lodges. When we got back to the campground I threw a brisket on the smoker and we all kicked backed for a while the meat cooked and cooked and cooked and………..By 10 PM the meat was nowhere near done. The smoker just would not come up to temperature for some reason. The brisket was going to have to be dinner for the following night. I stayed up 1am cooking that damn thing and I could still not get the internal temperature that I wanted. The flip side of staying up that late was some awesome stars. There are not too many places left in the United States that is dark enough to see stars like these. Laying on my back on a picnic table staring into the heavens on a night like this one never gets old for me.
The following morning we did a little family hike right behind the campground that brought us to a rim trail that probably had the best views we had seen yet. Kiley hiked like a Billy goat. She is such a trooper. She has been hiking with us since she is four years old and has never once complained.
I think she is really beginning to feel at home out here in nature. I am so proud of our niece. She is a very special little girl. After our hike, we split up by gender. The girls went shopping and the boys headed out to Kodachrome Basin state park for a little more exploring. In retrospect I would have cut this stop down to day and a half, but this time 3 days worked well because it gave us a chance to catch up with the Zeigers.