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Friday, October 7, 2011

Albuquerque to Blanding, UT to Bryce Canyon

The hotel in Albuquerque had an indoor pool (yeah), but they did not bother to turn on the heat (booo).  I tried it for a few minutes, but could not work up enough body heat to counteract the frigid water, so I gave it up after 15 minutes of laps.  Short laps they were - I measured this pool to be 5-6 strokes across.  The lap pool at my local Y is a 26 stroke pool or about 1 stroke per meter.  I communicate the size of a pool by number of strokes because I am poor at visually estimating the length of a pool in feet, yards, or meters.  Husker is always considerate of my desire to get my exercise, so when he makes our reservations for any travel, he peruses the available information about the swimming pool.  It is amazing how different the pools can be when you actually get there. 

On Sunday, September 4th, we left Albuquerque behind and drove north to Colorado and west toward Blanding, Utah.  Along the way, we stopped at Mesa Verde NP near the Four Corners in southwestern Colorado.  The drive into the park is worth a trip all by itself.  The vistas are awesome.

Note the cinder cone in the center.  The vista is many miles into the distance.  I have been to Mesa Verde before, but this was Husker's first trip there. 

On Monday morning, we took a scenic byway out of Blanding toward Bryce Canyon.  It was a most fortuitous decision.  The drive was incredibly beautiful!  It looked like something out  of an old western movie.  

We even saw a little of Lake Powell, which surprised us because we were not expecting to see it.  This byway held lots of eye candy.  Note the tent of a camper.  Tents must be pitched on a rocky terrain.

We encountered something on this trip - at every national park - that was unexpected.  There were many German tourists.  We heard German speakers at hotels, in the parks, everywhere.  Welcome!

 Bryce Canyon awaited in all its glory!  And the Germans were there.  I hope they enjoyed it as much as we did. 

 It was an overcast day, and rained lightly for a while.  Rained and eroded the hoodoos some more. 
 This shot is through the light rain.  It appears hazy, but it is a light mist. 
Bryce was exceptional.  It is one thing to look at photos and anticipate what will be before your eyes, but to actually see it nevertheless left me speechless.  Such incredible erosion, the hoodoos, the slender roads along ridges to reach these impossible vistas . . .

We made one last stop before leaving Bryce, and were met by one of the locals who has become a little too accustomed to the human crowd.  

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