We made it to Bryce // Day 2

Today was a true combo of driving and hiking. The hike we did reminded me that yoga is not necessarily cardio. I obviously made it through and we were always going to be fine, but man I was winded for the first twenty minutes.

Despite waking up to some consistent rain, the day turned out to be really gorgeous. The moisture brightened up the red cliffs and made everything seem different from the day before. While you never wish for rain on a trip, it's cool to see how it changes things. All in, we crushed the day pretty good. Lots of driving. Some hiking. Decent eating - but breakfast was incredible.

Favorite moments? Talking about our favorite "Office" episodes on the drive. Trying "dill" potato chips for the first time. Playing with this random cat that came up to our cabin after dinner.

Farewell to Springdale
We let Jake be in charge of picking breakfast this morning. Since his sisters are really picking the rest of the itinerary, he needed to be in charge of something. Plus, he really loves breakfast. After a leisurely morning in the hotel room since it was pouring rain, we pulled ourselves together and headed to Deep Creek Coffee. It looked so cute - but the line was out the door and it wasn't a "fast coffee" place. So Jake pulled the trigger and we went across the street to Oscar's.

Oscar's = life. We sat on the patio outside under wonderful heaters. Kerrianne's coffee mug had a spot just for the thumb. The granola breakfast was incredible. Jake liked his french toast. Bacon was amazing. Plus, we played a quick game of corn hole before hoping back in the car for the day.

Before we left on the trip, I bought a super cheap, foldable lightweight backpack from Amazon. The one that I used in Peru was still in storage and we really needed something. As soon as we were about 5 minutes into the hike, all the layers started to come off and into the backpack. Backpack = win.

Kerrianne had found the "hidden canyon trail" as an alternative to the "angel's landing" hike that is so incredibly popular. Apparently hidden canyon is like the shorter, less crowded version. The hike really had three distinct portions:
  • (1) The first 25 minutes of the hike are constant steep switchbacks. During one of my breaks, I proclaimed that the stair master at the gym clearing does not equal cardio. 
  • (2) Edge of the canyon walking // I don't know how else to describe this but essentially you are walking on the edge of the canyon and holding onto chains. Very narrow pathways.
  • (3) Canyon exploring // It wasn't super obvious that the trail had ended. Yes, there was a sign that said the trail had ended but it also said, if you keep going you need to do some "scrambling" so it felt like there was still more trail to do. End result? The trail never ends you could go on for forever. We only did about 15 minutes of this.

On our way out of the park, we made a quick stop at the "Court of the Patriarchs" since it would be so quick and was supposed to be a good vista. It was absolutely worth the 10 minutes pit stop.

 Drove to Bryce
Accidentally, we kind of missed lunch today. After we finished the hike and started to drive to Bryce, we just never really saw anything that would be lunch. So we had some of our pre-packed snacks. We did make two pit stops on the 2+ hour drive:

  • (1) stopped in a random town that happened to have 4 rock stores next to each other. Jake discovered "dill" potato chips and we all loved them
  • (2) gas station for gas. Kerrianne also got coffee that I can only describe as "smells like you got it from a gas station"

We caught the first glimpses of the hoodoos when we entered Dixie National Forest. The landscape changed to dramatically the minute you officially left Zion. It was amazing to look off into the horizon and see these massive land formations that you just do not see anywhere else, never mind Boston. But the hoodoos, catch your eye immediately. So amazing.

Since we had skipped lunch and wanted an early dinner, we made a quick stop at Sunrise Point in the park for an initial view. Absolutely breathtaking. Plan is to come back tomorrow for a shorter hike that goes down into the park a bit more.
"Hotel" & Dinner
Fun fact about March in Bryce? Nothing is actually open. Even if it says it is open on Google, that's a lie. We booked our room for that night in the morning and decided to stay at "Bryce Canyon Log Cabins". The price couldn't be beat.

I'll admit when we pulled up I was like "where the F are we". It is literally just a bunch of cabins in the middle of a valley - but it grew on me. However everything is closed for winter, so we ended up driving 7 miles back to the Park for dinner at the Ruby's. Ruby's is connected to the Best Western Plus. Don't forget the plus. The meal was not amazing, but we all lived and had slightly fuller stomachs after. Plus, they let Jake and I order off the kids menu and gave Kerrianne and illegal salad.

Tomorrow? More Bryce and then driving to Capitol Reef!

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