Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Day Five: Price to Bryce Bicycle Ride


Thursday, August 30.  Day 5 of the Price to Bryce Bicycle Ride.  Escalante to Bryce Canyon National Park.

Day 5, the final day of our Price to Bryce adventure.  Excited to complete the goal but not eager for the trip to end, we started the day by sleeping in, followed by a late and leisurely breakfast at the Slot Canyons Inn.   
   
While enjoying eggs, sausage, fresh fruit and strong coffee we were “entertained” by stereotypical Ugly Americans—a couple from California who regaled us with tales of their wealth and travels.  Yes, he started a half a billion dollar software company. Yes, they’ve traveled all around the world many times.  Yes, they live in a giant house in Palm Springs with a 500-bottle wine cellar.  Yes, it’s quite a chore picking out a bottle of wine each night for dinner.  Oh my, I feel their pain and... on that note, it's time for us to be moving on. 

                                                             ****


Map, and elevation change graph for Day 5.
Elevation graph:  x-axis starts at zero, each hatch mark equals 10 miles.
y-axis, first hatch mark is 6000 ft., each hatch mark equals 1000 ft.

          We were on our way, only 50 miles from Bryce Canyon National Park, by the time morning clouds burned away to reveal a blue sky. 


          The first summit provided a wonderful place for a short break: a canyon overlook, a rock wall on which to rest, and an outhouse.  What more do you need?


View from rest stop at the 7600' summit between
Escalante and Bryce Canyon.

          Rolling downhill from the summit Tim and Mark passed through the towns of Henrieville and Tropic. Just beyond Tropic peals of thunder rocked the sky as dark storm clouds billowed upon the horizon.  A few miles later I caught up with the bikers as waves of rain and hail washed across the road.  Tim and Mark rushed for refuge in the FJ to wait out the storm.


Entering Henrieville, Tim and Mark encounter an
unexpected road hazard.

Leaving the town of Tropic as storm clouds build.

         Under light drizzle the cyclists started the final steep push to Bryce Canyon’s entrance at 8,000 feet.  Thunder rumbled and lightening flashed but the storm stayed in the distance for the last few miles to the park.


The final uphill climb through drizzly, dreary skies.

We're only a few miles from Bryce Canyon, and
we can see the storm moving away from us.

         As if on cue, clouds parted and sunshine spilled into our little corner of the world as Tim and Mark arrived at the park entrance sign.  There were big smiles, congratulatory hugs, lots of picture-taking. Finally we loaded the bikes on the vehicle and drove to The Best Western Bryce Canyon Inn.


The final few minutes.  Mark and Tim enjoy a relaxing ride
on the entrance road to Bryce Canyon National Park.


We made it!

Mission accomplished!  The driver and the cyclist celebrate
the end of a rewarding journey.

          The celebratory dinner in the National Park’s Bryce Canyon Lodge was marvelous, the best meal of the trip.  I indulged in Maryland-style crab cakes, Tim devoured a rack of ribs and Mark feasted on lobster and flat iron steak.  The evening was perfect, a fitting farewell to an incomparable adventure.


The "hoodoos" of Bryce Canyon.
          Bryce Canyon National Park is beautiful in every season.  Click here to experience the park during winter.

To view the first four days of the Price to Bryce adventure, click on the following links:
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4




6 comments:

  1. Hooray! And congratulations to Tim and Mark (and their support driver) on completing this journey through some extraordinarily beautiful parklands and canyons.

    We're used to seeing all those thrilling sandstones in sunlight, but I found it interesting to see the landscape under storm-clouded skies. Equally stunning.

    Thanks so much for sharing this journey, and the parks, inns and restaurants along the way - it makes for a great travel planning guide.

    Guess the only question left is: What's the next trip?!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Vickie,

      I'm happy that you enjoyed this report and that you're willing to use it as a travel guide if/when you travel to south-central Utah.
      It was a splendid five-day adventure and I'm pleased to have been able to share it with you.
      Thanks for your comments along the way!

      I'm on the next trip right now—in Grand Teton National Park. It's not quite so unusual as the Price to Bryce trip, but equally spectacular!

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    2. Ooooh, the Grand Tetons - spectacular! I spent my childhood surrounded by images of the Tetons: my stepfather was an avid trail rider and fly-fisherman and had some of the best rides of his life in that national park.

      I hope you have a fantastic trip, great weather and come back with lots of photos.

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  2. First of all congratulations to the entire team for completing this outstanding "Bryce to Price" trek. It's understandable why none of the participants were eager to end the trip.

    You state: "A canyon overlook, a rock wall on which to rest, and an outhouse. What more do you need?" Well, that would be quite ample for me! However, I suppose there are those who require more, such as the "stereotypical Ugly Americans" that you described at the beginning of your report! :)

    You did a superb job Rita with this 5 part series!

    John

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    Replies
    1. Hi John,

      You're right—I assume the Ugly Americans wouldn't be happy at that overlook unless maybe it came with its own 500-bottle wine cellar!

      I've really appreciated your comments and compliments along the way. This journey was dreamed up by Tim more than a year ago; it was wonderful to see it come to fruition and to have been such a success.
      Thanks again for following along with us!

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    2. I forgot to mention that I hope all of us California wanderers aren't so boorish to fellow travelers. (Of course, like John, I'm from New Hampshire, so perhaps my Californian-isms are tempered by Yankee restraint...)

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