Friday, July 22, 2005

Day 22

Location: Escalante Outfitters - Escalante, Utah

Total miles traveled: 8,614

I'm sitting in a nice little coffee shop in the middle-of-nowhere town of Escalante, Utah. It's a very nice place with a little shop and attached bar. And they also offer wireless Internet, so I decided to stop.

Despite an unpleasant dream about a Tyrannosaurus in Endwell, I slept pretty well last night in my's nice not having to use my fleecy blanket in this warm Utahanian air - I get little red fuzzies all over my clothes when I use the blanket.

Anyhow, Zion National Park is only about 80 miles from the Grand Canyon so it didn't take me long to get there. I arrived in the early morning so I was one of few people driving through and got to enjoy the scenery, which I found much more impressive than the Grand Canyon.

At the recommendation of my friend Thaddeus, I took the park shuttle to the trailhead of the Angels Landing trail, which is just a little over 4 miles, round trip; however, it's an ascent of 1500 feet. The climb was definitely worthwhile, even though at some points on the trail there's only 3 1/2 feet of rock for you to manuever on, and then just sheer cliff. Needless to say, the trail isn't recommended for those with a fear of heights...I thought I might have some trouble getting near the top, where there are chains you can use to help you climb near the edge, but I actually was surprisingly fine at that height.

3 or so hours later after I got back to the trailhead, I stopped for lunch at the Zion Lodge, and then eventually took the shuttle back to my car. My next stop would be Bryce Canyon National Park, only about 50 miles away.

There's one major road that goes into Bryce Canyon that offers pull-offs for scenic views and trails. Tired from my earlier hike, I didn't do much walking, but I enjoyed the scenery from the pull-offs. I actually found this place more impressive than the Grand Canyon, as well. Thad put it well earlier when he described places like the Grand Canyon as "pre-packaged." It was much quieter and less congested at Bryce Canyon and it just had this feeling of being more "undisturbed" than the Grand Canyon.

Gotta get outta here...the place is closing. I'll post some pictures soon. Next stop...Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park, then I'll be just a short drive from the Utah/Colorado border.

I'm having some issues with the picture-posting feature on this web site...hopefully I'll be able to get at least one up, then I'll add some more later when it's working better.

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