Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Put Your Boots on the Trails to Find the Power of Bryce Canyon

One of the things that makes Zion so striking in your eyes and heart is that you are IN the canyon; not standing on some overlook looking down into it. You are in the picture. You are part of that life... not just observing it.

That said it still takes more than just walking through it. You do have to make the conscious effort to open your heart up to the possibilities of a place.

Now... don't go gettin' all foamed up worryin' that the ol' buster has gone mush brained! That's nothing new anyway. The canyon lands, the high lonesome and far country have always been spirit lands to me. They have always been the places to restore my faith and peace. They are the air I need to breathe.

The Grand Canyon and Bryce are more difficult to both get the feel of and photograph for that same reason. If you stand apart you will never get to know them. You can't remain aloof and learn their secrets.

With each of them you start, standing above and somehow separate from them. To really experience the spirit and soul of such places you have to get away from the paved trails and guard rails. If you want to gain the power of the land that Thoreau, Emerson and Muir wrote about you've got to put your boots on the trail.

You've got to move your concentration away from maps, Ipods, gps's and your IRA... and just go quiet. You won't hear a thing if you leave all that noise screaming between your ears. Put it aside and let something pure and real take seed.

Again this isn't earth worship... it is walking in the purity of creation... without all the distracting and useless noise of soh-sigh-uh-tee blocking out a clear and joyous "conversation". This is where I go for a conversation with the Boss. No intermediaries required.

Getting IN to the Canyon, we started at Sunset Point on a three mile hike. I'm thinkin'... considerin' the only way out is UP... it likely equals six or seven miles of flatland walkin'!

That first section you wander along the rim of the canyon toward Sunrise point and then drop off the edge down a dirt path headed for Queens garden. No worries... I saw some fellas older and more stove up than me!

In places the trail passes through doorways cut into the crumbling stone... and opens new vistas as you walk through. Here inside the canyon there is beauty that many... maybe most even... see only as barren and tortured rock...

Life struggling to survive...

*The Beauty of Bryce Canyon*

I am sometimes saddened by the people I see on the trail. Their focus is on the paper map in their hands... Where have we come from and Where are we going? ~ and in the process ~ miss so much.

Too often they can't answer that question... because they pay so little attention to Where they Are... and yes I'm talkin' about a lot more than the dang map, or a walk in the park...

I can't tell you what to think. Ok I could but I won't :) I don't know the answers for you... just... think on it some... Things like; What is the value of something offered to you that is free?  Zero plus Zero = Zero... Nothing is ever free. There is Always a price. If you sacrifice true treasure for a valueless "Gift"... who has won the deal? ... and what is the true cost of the free "gift"?

What lights up your heart? What feeds your soul? It's those things of value to spend your life pursuing... not careers whose only benefit is corruptible dollars. 

*The Queen? and an animal... ?*

Walking in such places as this... or straddling my motorcycle in the wind... that's where my mind wanders.

Down in the bottom of Bryce Canyon is The Queens Garden. It's named for a rock formation that most see as the likeness of Queen Victoria. If you crank up your imagination a lil' bit more... you can see her standing on a camel. ;) Can you see it?

I'll help out a bit...

Does this help a lil'?

I personally don't see that it takes that awful much imagination. A little mascara and lipstick and it'd be lifelike! :)

*illegal Rock cairns that keep coming back in the bottom*

Yeah, they don't want everyone piling rocks in the canyon... that opens a can of worms they'd have trouble stopping... but every time they knock these down... they come right back. These popped up in just three days... We were showing our pics to a ranger in the visitor center to get our "pins" for walking the Hoodo trails (you'll have to go to the park and hunt that up yourself!) and he spotted this pic as I was scanning through for our "Proof" pic... "WHOOOOAAAA! Go back!" he said.

"I just wiped those all out Thursday!!" He sounded a mite frustrated. So... I'm bettin' the "ringleader" culprits are gonna find their purty faces on a trail cam or two. ;)

We had a guest join us for lunch.

He/she flitted about and landed on the log bench right behind me a couple of times. Brazen lil' beggar.

I got lucky and managed to get myself in gear to actually be able to catch the portrait as it zipped around us...

The personality of the canyon is completely different to me... when I am looking at it from within. When the canyon is all Around me, when I feel it's breezes on my face and can taste its scents in my nostrils; Looking up at it, in awe... rather than staring Down into it... and seeing too little.

It ain't just Bryce... it's the plains of Wyoming, the beaches of Oregon, the high mountain valleys of Montana...

Climbing back out of the canyon at Sunset point takes some ambition. They've cut a trail that seems to have used Walters wiggles in Zion as an inspiration.

Only here, they call it Wall Street... It's sort of a Walters Wiggles on Steroids!

It sounds kinda silly I suppose, but it struck me that this tree and me hold something in common. Both of us stretching and reaching for what we need.  Something a ways from where we are. ;)

This was the section that hollered out WALTERS WIGGLES!!! :)  Don't know if this old boy is named Walter... but he came sizzlin' past... his walkng sticks clicking on the path... He didn't look left, he didn't look right ~ up or down... just stick a foot out in front and click, click, click, go!

This section was only part of the climb. There was quite a lil' bit more before and behind!

*Looking back down into Wall street in Bryce Canyon*

With not so many breath catchin' breaks we made it back to the top. 'course, that trail racing Ol' boy was long gone... Click Click Click!

On the way back to camp after the obligatory stop at the Bryce Lodge for a granddaughter post card we made a quick stop in fairyland canyon and then took our rejuvenated spirits back to camp.

There's a lot more to see where ever you wander than you can see from the road. You don't have to make a ten day expedition. There's trails just about anybody can make it across if you take your time. Hell if the guide says it will take two hours there's no law that says you can't go slower and take four! Fill a ruck with water and snacks... and go.

You aren't gonna regret it... GO! Click Click Click! :)

Just Do it... One Day at a Time


Teri said...

Great photos, looks like a great place to hike.

Brian said...

Teri; a good place to hike... a good place to sit on a bench and just soak. Lunch in the bottom was fine. We lucked into a patch with few people going by... and quiet, just a soft breeze. It's so much better in it than above it.

Gaelyn said...

I loved being down in the Bryce canyons amongst the towering rock people. Took 5 hours and 100s of photos to hike the Navajo loop which included Wall Street. Love it there.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the photos Brian. I last saw the "Queen " as a lad of 11 or12 some 50 plus years ago. She still looks as I remember although I must confess I didn't remember her standing on a camel.


Janna and Mike said...

We huffed and puffed up that same path in late April--Bryce Canyon definitely spoke to me--we saw many of those "illegal cairns" in our hikes--didn't know they were illegal but wondered why people felt the need to do that??

Brian said...

Gaelyn; We walked a lil' quicker... like 4 hours ;) Hard to make an progress when you're; "Oh! There's one ~ point, aim Click!... put the camera down ~ "Oh! There's another!" ... I'm almost as bad as the "ones" with the maps! :)

Howiet; You are welcome sir! Let's see... 50 years no appreciable change... I guess I can count on her being on the throne 'till I'm at least too old to come back and find the camel has bucked her off! ;)

Janna and Mike; It talks to those who will listen... but... people were looking funny at the puss gut biker cowboy holding the stones between his hands with his head back and his eyes closed, moaning mantras! ;) ... The cairns... I took the pic thinking it was kind of an interesting "plot". Didn't know it was a problem till I was talking to the ranger and he got all exasperated :) guess I can see his point; If it spread all over... and every step of the trails was littered with little rock cairns, it'd be a pretty negative modification of the place... as old Barney Fife would say; "We've got to nip it in the bud! NIP IT!" ;)

Anonymous said...

Howdy Brian,
Thank you, for the wonderful trek!!
I've been thru Bryce with several of my e-friends, like Janna & Mike and get a thrill each time!! My wheelchair won't climb stairs and the charge only lasts so long, so, I just enjoy going along with the ones who can and the ones who can describe the wonders so well!!
It has been a pleasure seeing the
beauty of it thru your eyes & mind!!
butterbean carpenter
(plumb broke down cowboy)

Brian said...

Butterbean Carpenter; I hope you understand how valued your words are to a fella like me. That I can share my good fortune with others and hopefully put a shine on their day is frosting on the cake! and only adds to my Fortune! I appreciate MY e-friends more than they can know! Thank You So very much.

It's gonna take me a couple of days to sort through the 365 photos I made today in The Zion Narrows... but I think You'll enjoy that trek as well... 8 or 9 miles that purty near did me in! ;)

THAT is an AWESOME place.