Sunday, March 11, 2012

Bryce Canyon, Part Two

After visiting Bryce Amphitheater we took the 37 mile round trip through the park. The one main park road has outstanding views of the canyons and southern Utah scenery. There are a total of 13 viewpoints where one may stop and take in additional features of the  park. Our first stop was at Sheep Creek Swamp Canyon.
Natural Bridge is one of the more popular spots of the park. A sign at its overlook stresses that it was not formed by a gully as most natural bridges. More accurately an arch, it was carved by rain and frost erosion.
 At Agua Canyon there is a famous hoodoo who has been called The Hunter. He can be seen on the left side of the picture below. By now the sun was setting and creating beautiful contrasts of light and color.
Our last stop in the park was at Yovimpa and Rainbow points. Both offer expansive views of southern Utah. At the Rainbow overlook there was an interpretive sign explaining that we were standing on the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Thirty miles away was the Aquarius Plateau which was once connected to Paunsaugunt. When the entire Rocky Mountain region years ago began rising, north and south faults split the entire tableland in front of us into seven separate plateaus. Recent seismographic readings indicate minute but ongoing activity still in the area today. By this time the sun was fading fast and the air became quite cool, it was time to head for home. On the way home we found a wonderful restaurant, the Cactus Cowboy, in Hatch, Utah.  There we had a very delicious bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup- even the noodles in it were handmade!  As we were the only customers, the owner was quite ready to sit and chat with us.

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