There are two main definitions for Hoodoo. One is "to cast a spell" and the other is "a pillar of rock, usually of a fantastic shape, left by erosion". You could say both apply here because these stone pillars do cast a spell. There is ample scientific explanation about how these formations came about but I like the Paiute explanation; that they are "The Legend People" whom the coyote (known for mischief) turned to stone.
Fondest memory: The Hoodoos were impressive.
Favorite thing: The park, like many others has unique features that display the evolution of time on the landscape. These are of some I thought were more interesting. Moqui balls are formed by sand blowing/rolling over rock. In time that rock that has iron minerals in it accumulates the sand, and the sand keeps on rolling until is becomes a hard ball imbedded in rock. The other picture of congregate is a stable factor in preserving rock formations and mountains form collapsing. Just as in concrete mixing, the minerals and rock/pebbles group together and with some rain gets rock hard. Cypress trees are twisted and deformed by the eons of wind blowing them in all directions.
Thirteen years later, I was happy to be driving around the southwest once again and this time with my wife when Bryce came up on the horizon. I had mixed feelings about the place but one doesn't travel around Utah and not make a call at Bryce. It's just too damn pretty and despite an almost Disney-like “can this place be real?” aura about it, it is perhaps the most splendid conglomeration of colorful rock formations in the world. I know one thing. If there is any competition, it's not too far away and it's also in Utah.
We'd been tooling around the Kodachrome state for a few weeks and were happy our Utah adventure was only half over. Many of the upcoming stops would be new and those that were not I had been on my own. In other words, they didn't have any baggage. Bryce was a place of surreal beauty but a sadness hung over it for me that I hoped would be lifted. Ironically, it was to be a rushed visit due to an impending snow storm but in a small park like Bryce, one can do an awful lot in two action-packed days.
We did all the hikes I'd done alone and then some. We even managed to find ourselves on a trail with very few other hikers, no small feat in a place as deservedly popular as Bryce. We did just about every trail in the main part of the park but we never seemed to find that elf without his snowy cap. He might have eroded away in the 13 years that had passed but maybe I wasn't looking hard enough. I guess I didn't need to. I'd already found what I was looking for. I had found my partner in crime and we were on an amazing road trip that had little room for sadness, elves, or snow ball eyes.
It's amazing the difference a well-placed thrown snowball can make. I had stood in this very spot a little over a year prior looking up at the same red rock formation but it was then capped with snow and my the long-time girlfriend had tossed a snowball to make an eye on what hence looked like one of Santa's elves. We had what is normally a popular trail in Bryce Canyon National Park all to ourselves after a huge snow storm had hit that morning. It looked incredible but it made any real hiking impossible.
A year later, I had returned on my own after our break-up to do all I had missed but it was turning out to be not nearly as much fun as I had imagined. In this moment of looking up at the old elf sans his snowy cap and eye, I realized how alone I was and nearly started to cry. Though I later did some solo travels around the world, it was the last time I did a road trip in the US that way. I decided after that sojourn that cruising the open roads of the US necessitated a partner in crime. I just had to find one. (concluded below in Fondest Memory)
…. but now it's 3 a.m. in Central Europe - I am too tired now to write more on explaining how bridges and arches have been formed over the years.
For more information on Geology of Bryce Canyon – please visit Bryce Canyons Website – as below – they can do it much better than me :-)
Fondest memory: Bryce Canyon NP Website
Although we all here in VT do our best to describe our experiences and give tips on the different locations to go, sometimes it's also good to check official websites of places.
Ok - sometimes it's not a good idea, as mostly we here are the best (:-)
in the case of Bryce Canyon I am fascinated abou the NP Services' Website.
It contains all - really all - the visitor wants to know.
They have a nice virtual tour on all the points of interest, and what is even more exciting, they have sections about flora and fauna, with each animal and plant described - for the plants even if they are edible or dangerous.
Good hiking maps are available as well.
Fondest memory: Please check their website !!
My favourite rock formations are in Bryce Canyon.
Although it is called Bryce Canyon, the structures you see are not “real canyons” and not carved by flowing water. Instead, water forms the structures in the form of "frost-wedging" and chemical weathering.
For 200 days a year the temperature goes above and below freezing every day. During daytime temperatures, melt water seeps into fractures and then it freezes during the cold night, expanding the cracks (“frost-wedging” which slices the rocks). The acidic rain water also dissolves the limestone.
I am glad this phenomenon is not very significant in Egypt as such frost-wedging would cause catastrophe to the Sphinx!
My favorite thing about Bryce Canyon would have to be the hoodoos. They are so unusual, and everywhere you turn in the park, there they are.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory is overcoming my fear and being able to walk down the Navajo Loop trail. I didn't know if I was going to be able to make it.
Back on our September trip to Wyoming, we purchased a now discontinued National Parks Pass. Parks passes are honored for 1 year from the date that you buy one. (So that's how we got into all 5 of Utah's National Parks) Since the beginning of 2007 Parks Passes are no longer offered, instead The NPS have introduced a new system, The "America the Beautiful" Passes. These will replace the traditional pass, the Golden Eagle, Golden Age and Golden Access passes. The new standard pass is $80, which is $30 more expensive then the pass we bought but does allow access into the areas that were only formerly available with the Golden Eagle pass (which at $15 more that the regular pass was still $15 cheaper than this new one) Ah but time marches on and prices keep going up, what can you do? It's still more than worth it to support the parks. You can of course still buy a weekly pass to each park, which is $20 per vehicle, $10 if you are on foot or bike.
Check out the NPS website for more details on ALL passes.
For all National Parks Passes
Favorite thing: The old postcards of Bryce Canyon are as much a work of art as they are pictures of the canyon. While the details may have changed, much of the canyon still has the awe and wonder that it did when it was first discovered.
Favorite thing: There was a formation in the Queens Garden called Queen Victoria. It slowly 'melted' in the winters cold and wet, losing that appearance. Attached is a picture of the formation before it disappeared. When I find it, I'll add a picture of the actual statue in front of Buckingham Palace, London from which the rock took it's name.
Favorite thing: In October or November, 2006, the walls above Wall Street collapsed from the natural erosion of water, freezing and thawing. The park has decided not to reopen the trail because it is a great opportunity to study the natural processes of the canyon.
Bryce Canyon Entrance Fee (Include unlimited use of park shuttles in summer months)
1) For a private vehicle (Non-Commercial)
Fees $20 - 7 Days
2) Motorcycles, bicyclists, or individuals traveling on foot.
Fees $10 - 7 Days
3) For other types of vehicles, http://www.nps.gov/brca/planyourvisit/feesandreservations.htm
Let’s make no secret of it. We both like a nice cold glass of beer. Being abroad is always a challenge to find a beer we like, which reflects our taste of having a beer. In America it wasn’t really that hard to find the brand we liked, it was clearly Budweiser, popularly referred to as Bud.
Budweiser is a lager made with a proportion of rice as a substitute adjunct for barley malt. This immedaitely shows the problem for selling it in Europe as traditional brewers serve beer with only the four main ingredients (water, hops, wheat and barley). So Budweiser is not produced accoring to the German "Reinheitsgebot". But we found out that it didn’t taste distinctively different.
The Budweiser bottle is a rather familiar icon to most Americans. The bottle has remained relatively unchanged since its introduction in 1876. We liked it, but the fraze “King of all Beers” is a bid of an overstatement!
* The proces of erosion happens all the year round, but especially during a period of thaw;
* The steep and heavily erode stone walls and the severe cold winters don't allow too much fauna to grow;
* The National Park is named after the Mormom Ebenezer Bryce, who tried to drive his cattle through the canyon;
* Bryce Canyon consists of 37,277 acres of scenic colourful rock formations and desert wonderland;
* Hoodoo is a pillarn of rock, usually of fantastic shape, left by erosion.