The next day of our road trip had us leaving Cedar City, Utah headed towards Bryce Canyon NP. We left around 9:00am after eating some breakfast and hoped to arrive in just a couple of hours.
Not too far from arriving at Bryce Canyon we drove through a small stretch of the highway labeled as Red Canyon. This was the first indication of the red spires we would be seeing later on. We pulled over for a quick restroom break and to take a couple of quick photos.
We arrived at Bryce Canyon just prior to noon and got lucky with a parking spot at one of the overlooks. All of the parking lots we’d driven by had signs stating that the lots were full, but we decided to drive up to one of them to try our luck. A park ranger warned us that the lot was full and that we’d have to drive down the highway a few miles to catch one of the shuttles back to the park. I noticed that there appeared to be a single open spot behind her in one of the far lanes and she allowed us to pull forward to take the spot.
We walked around and took a lot of photos before noticing that the sky was getting darker and thunder was getting closer. We’d spent a few hours in the area so we decided not to push our luck by staying out in the rain and headed back to the car.
A few hours of driving south brought us to Horseshoe Bend in Arizona along the Colorado River. Temps were hovering around 106, but I convinced Rotchana to make the shortish hike down to the edge of the bluff to see the famous landmark. The trail itself is probably only a half mile in length, but offers no shade and is mostly sand with the return trip back to the car being mostly uphill.
We took 2 water bottles each and made it down to the edge of the bluff fairly easily. We took some photos despite the sun being directly in front of us, and then managed to find an overhang that provided some shade for a small break before heading back up the trail.
I carried Victoria along with my 30 pound camera backpack and charged ahead leaving Rotchana to walk at a slower pace and not feel rushed. By the time Victoria and I got up to the top of the hill I was a sweaty mess and hot, but happy that we had brought extra water. Rotchana joined us about 10 minutes later and we jumped in the car to head back to Page for an early dinner.
Our hotel for the night was a few hours east in Bluff, Utah so we ate quickly and headed out on the road again. For about half an hour during the drive we battled our way through a pretty heavy lightning and rainstorm. It was pretty cool seeing all the lightning around us, but the heavy rain prevented me from enjoying it as much as I would have liked. We reached our hotel around 10:00pm and fell asleep quickly with another busy day in the books.