The Day 2 Replay:
Getting to Bryce
*Woke up at the Luxor, Las Vegas!
Who am I kidding I barely slept, the beds were very comfy but I was too excited to really sleep
*Woke up early and showered before anyone else was moving
*Woke my daughter to come with me to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast
*We rode together and got egg sandwich breakfasts for all!
*Quick pit stop Walmart for a cooler and some drinks (since they weren’t up yet)
*Checked out of Luxor, drove around Vegas, stopped by Old Vegas for some sights and photos
*Headed North towards Bryce!
*Stopped in St. George for gas, also grabbed tacos
*Stopped off at a couple side of the road pit stops for sightseeing, a scenic brook, and a snow bank
*Arrived in Tropic, at Bryce View Log Cabins
*Drove into Bryce National Park
*Parked at Sunrise View and walked the rim trail up and around to Bryce Point, enjoying the amazing view and fresh air
*Ate our picnic sandwiches on the rim at sunset (around 8:30pm)
*Could not find any info about the star gazing activity and the visitor center was closed, we had no internet, so headed back to the cabin
*My oldest opted to grab pizza and a beer, came back with pizza for the kids
*I soaked in the tub, as it was super clean and I was feeling like I needed to soak
Walked 8.8 miles
Told kids plan for morning!
SLEPT REALLY WELL!
Waking up in a pyramid is AWESOME!!!!
Did we even sleep? We were up pretty late out sight seeing in Vegas!
I showered, got my daughter up and we went to grab Dunkin Donuts breakfast sandwiches. When leaving, I called the boys who were only just getting moving, so we decided to quickly run through Walmart near by and grab our trip essentials! We got our white Styrofoam cooler, lunch meat, water pallet, gatorade‘s, some fruits, rolls and oatmeal’s (that could be made with the electric kettle) and of course milk for my tea :-) I don't want to spend money and time every morning hunting down caffine! We bought the ingredients for Smores and some soups and instant mac and cheese. Traveling food!
I realized we were just a couple blocks from where Tupac was shot ( East flamingo and Koval Lane) and I was hoping we could go by and have a moment of silence or something. I was very disappointed when we drove down there and there was nothing marking the space. There was no memorabilia or anything. Just a regular old corner. I later learned the Luxor was the last place he stayed, so that made me feel a little better. RIP Pac! But a nice street art memorial would be appropriate.
When we got back to the Luxor we carried the cooler up to the room (which was quite a hike) and went to the ice machine where we filled it up for the day! One of my favorite ways to save money is to not keep buying ice LOL!
The next part was hard. As much as I wanted to get on the road and start my itinerary and be on time I was torn with wanting to explore the area more. I wanted to walk around Vegas and take pictures. I wanted to see some of the other hotels. I really wanted to go in the pool at the Luxor! Their pools are absolutely amazing :-)
This is where will power is helpful. I could have blown the whole day and would have later regretted it - so into the car we piled with our full cooler and decided we’d quickly drive around then stick to the schedule.
We settled for a few pictures, a drive through New York New York, and a drive to Fremont Street. Well we had been commenting about how we had not seen any police officers we did see some down by Fremont. We also saw quite a few sketchy people and could tell there are a lot of homeless drug addict’s in the area.
Then we got on the road for Bryce!!
I knew the Drive would be about five hours. But I do have to say is it was so scenic and beautiful.
Mountains, beauty, air all around us.... we enjoyed the ride very much.
We made a pit stop in St. George for a gas fill up, potty stop and got some tacos. Then back at it.
My oldest son was watching as a creek/river running alongside of us would come in and out of view. A couple of times he’d asked me to stop so he could walk down to the water and check it out. There was finally a good point to stop so he and his brothers ran down and my daughter and I finally had to go down after them!
I did not know how cool this little spot would be. Maybe we just needed a little time out of the car or couldn’t wait to put our feet on this beautiful ground but within minutes we were all barefoot climbing into this little river running through and enjoying the mountains around us. The boys were building rock towers. Me and Jas were looking at everything. Such a dry climate and yet everything was alive! We built a few rock towers, played in the water and enjoyed the presence of being. Rushing water, mountains all around us and the fresh air all around - deep breath - OK back on the road and back in the car next up Bryce!
Wait, is that snow?! Of course we have to stop for snow we haven’t seen snow in a really long time. I think we have time for a quick snowball fight?! Yes we do!!
OK for real this time next stop Bryce!
Actually, our next stop was Bryce view log cabins where we stopped off to unpack.
Check-in was quick, the girl inside was extremely courteous and it seemed almost too good to be true. Apparently I lost my mind for a minute because I did not realize that I had left my pocketbook open on the counter in the lobby.
We went to check out the cabin. The five of us were just so impressed looking around and admiring our home for the night. We brought our stuff in, put the stuff from the freezer into the fridge raider, and decided to go up to Bryce for a hike before the sunset. It was around 530 or 6 o’clock. Still warm but not extremely hot. In fact the weather was warm one second and chilly the next then warm again. You can feel the air current changing as it’s blowing by you.
As we were loading up the car I realized I did not have my pocketbook and sent one of the kids into the cabin thinking it must be on the table. The person checking into the cabin next to ours said did you lose your bag? There’s one up in the office. And then I started to panic realizing I had left it behind. But when I arrived in the office she said she was just getting ready to call me and see if it was mine. It was wide open with my cash still in there my America the beautiful pass still in there all my debit cards and credit cards still in there and I was just amazed at how good some people are!! I took a minute to appreciate that one. Thank you Jesus. Next stop: Bryce.
It was a short drive from Tropic in to the park, and a beautiful ride. Entering the park I did not have service and we did not have a map. I had saved pictures on my phone but I didn't want to stop I wanted to go. We got on track and made our first stop at Sunrise Point.
BRYCE - our hike and adventure....
We parked right along the walk way, and walked the rim trail from Sunset Point to inspiration point and up to Bryce point. Wow. None of us had ever seen anything like it in our lives.
The colors. The shapes. The shadows. GREAT photos, great view. Inspiring and exciting just to be there and breathe the air - you are so high up and the air definitely feels different. We looked over the edge with sudden recognition of our own fragile lives while imagining how all of this stood for ages. The spires and hoodoos, and rock shapes were intentional. God, you did all this. The walk was fun as the boys were running and excited. My daughter was on a quest to get to the top and she moved faster than we did as we took in all of the sights and I took pictures. It was not very strenuous but you are certainly inclining. As the ground goes steeper toward the top, the rocks below seem to change. We walked for a while, but it was all the most interesting trek so far. At Inspiration Point I asked if we wanted to keep going and they all said "yes!". We went up to the highest point in the park and stood at the fenced ledge realizing how high we had walked. It felt great. I didn't want to leave. The park was uncrowded. The purple and orange were turning to reds and pinks. A few deep breaths and we decided to turn back around. We walked back down slowly. The sun was on my face. The breeze felt heavenly. I wondered if we were closer to heaven. Going down goes much faster then climbing up! I went to the car to grab our picnic food and we watched the sunset by the wall. We ate some of our rolls with lunch meat at the edge, and watched the colors shift and shadows sink. Reds turned to pinks and the pink seemed to lift to the top and disappear.
Problem: on my agenda I had planned to have an astronomy event that night at Bryce. It had been advertised on the website but we could not find it, nor could I pull up the Web. We were very disappointed that we did not have more information of where to go or what to do. The visitor center was already closed so I could not ask. I know that this is one of the dark corners and the view is supposed to be incredible but that night was actually cloudy and we were not able to see the stars. Maybe that’s why they canceled the event due to clouds but I couldn't confirm. No astronomy event for us. Milky Way sadness - I wanted MORE!!
I did not want to leave the park but we left and went back to our awesome log cabin. My son went out for pizza and beer up the street and brought back pizza for the family.
Pros of the day: WOW!!!!!!! The Planet we live in it full of life and diversity. Seeing so much beauty in one day made us all appreciate the land we live in. Because this was so drastically different from anything we had ever seen we were truly impressed. My youngest son decided he wants to have a son named Bryce. My second youngest found a rock at Bryce that he kept, named him Neil, and decided to make him a travel log of all our adventuress. He photographed all of Neil’s cool experiences the rest of the trip. So biggest Pro- you can’t go wrong in this part of the country. This is why I say just go. No matter how much time or how much money you have there is a way to make it work. It will blow your mind to look at these places on Earth. The weather while changing was great! So the beginning of June is a GREAT time to make this trip. While it was HOT in Vegas, in Bryce it was warm, sunny, and breezy, cooler than expected when not in the sun. We were at an elevation of 8000 feet. We flew from Sea level, to Vegas, and drove to Bryce which is a change of climate. I had read many articles about the altitude change and dehydration, so I nagged my children effectively to drink a lot of water. They seemed to be doing great – despite the change in air pressure.
Where to stay: There are so many log cabins in the area, I would recommend a cabin over hotels. There are a few hotels right outside Bryce, however they were very expensive! The cabins are close by, cheaper AND really set a mood. I do recommend Bryce View Cabins. We had an excellent stay, and seriously after the pocketbook incident to say I felt safe is an understatement. There is a little Pioneer Village which would be a great spot to walk around and take photos time permitting, but it does close early. Also, ask housekeeping for more cutlery, they provided cups and bowls in the kitchen area. We used there to make our breakfast in, and even make hot cocoa to go! (In our electric kettle)
More Pros: While Bryce View Cabins is a short drive from the actual park (and a shorter drive to the mossy cave and waterfall we will go on in the morning), it was well located. This place is in the middle of a little town strip so convenient to food and drink. The cabin itself was cozy, and met all our needs. I appreciated the fridge and microwave. I don’t usually take a bath in hotel tubs, but it was so clean and my leg muscles felt pretty well used so I did take a quick soak before bed. It was a great place to stay and I liked the location.
Cons: I still wish the Luxor would have had a fridge. It would have made my life a little easier. They charge $25.00 to keep your food refrigerated at the front desk!??!?
More Cons: The town of Tropic itself though adorable and definitely true to character, was expensive. I may have stayed longer if it had been a more reasonably priced area. Although, no not as expensive as Vegas, they are definitely banking off the visitors coming to stay at the National Park. But my goal was to keep this trip with in the budget so I was not splurging at the pizza place for their over charged drinks!
Dunkin Donuts $32.00
Bryce View Log Canyons $173.99
Daily Total - $394.99
See Day 3 for more Bryce and Zion...