After my day at Zion National Park, I was a bit uneasy. Zion was completely overrun with tourists. I couldn’t even find an open parking place at the Visitor’s Center, even though the parking lot capacity was like a shopping mall. I had three more Parks to visit, and I wondered: would they all be crowded out with homo spaiens? I spend my summers in McCarthy, in the middle of what is the largest National Park in North America. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is also fairly empty, and I often have the sense that I’ve got the whole damn Park to myself. Was I just spoiled by the unspoiled Alaskan wilderness?
I left Zion early, mid-afternoon, and I found a nice rest stop down the road and decided to settle in a little early, spend the afternoon reading and recovering from the semi-traumatic experience of Zion. It was a lovely little spot, and I enjoyed the day and the evening, then curled up in the back of my little Fiat 500 and went to sleep.
The next day, things improved. There was a little more room to breathe at Bryce Canyon, and it helped that there was, in fact, an actual canyon, spread out before me, stretching to the horizon line. Standing at the edge, with the open space before me, I felt…well…a bit opened up, myself.
The hoodoos rose into the air, elegant pointed spires standing amidst the rusty red colors that saturated the scene. It gave the place a mystic feel, and I couldn’t help but contemplate the geological wonders of time.
A retired Swiss couple were taking pictures nearby, as I gazed out at the canyon. The woman was sticking her foot out and positioning the camera, trying to capture her foot in a position that made it appear as though she were stepping out into the Canyon. It looked like fun, so I gave it a try: