It’s day four of our Canyons of Utah: Zion & Bryce Tour, and the proverbial sun has set on the Zion National Park portion.
After a successful two days it was time, as the Jefferson’s said it best, to ‘move on up’ but instead of the east side we followed beautiful Mt Carmel Scenic Highway (US 89) up the plateau towards our second, and final stop, Bryce Canyon.
We felt today would be a good day to check in from the field.
After a meet and greet dinner on the first evening at the Rib and Chop House, in St. George, the group divided into two smaller groups and departed for Zion on morning one.
The “Rattlesnakes” slithered up the more remote Kolob Terrace Road, which is a 21-mile scenic drive, starting at the small town of Virgin (west of the Park entrance). We stopped to capture images of Hop Valley and other various towering sandstone walls.
Following a morning of photographing various locations in Zion Canyon, including the world-famous Angel’s Landing from the river bed, as well as the Temple of Sinawava, which leads to the Narrows, lunch was at the one and only Oscar’s Cafe, in Springdale. If you haven’t been to Oscar’s, it might be a reason in and of itself to visit Zion.
We’ve written about this eatery in the past, and it really lived up to the hype on this particular Sunday. In fact, we loved it so thoroughly that much of the group was unable to eat much for dinner because bellies were still far too full.
A particular spot along the Virgin river, near (but not too near) the mouth of the Narrows just may have provided the best scene for us, and we spent a great deal of time listening to the waters trickle and the singing birds while making careful compositions. Slowing down the water, framing the large sandstone boulders with green trees and red or black rock.
Wonderful shared moment.
The time, as it always tends to do, called on us to leave the following day, and rain, cloudy skies, as well as a herd of wandering Bighorn Sheep along Checkerboard Mesa waved to us ‘goodbye’ as we exited Zion National Park via the east entrance.
Heading up the Paunsaugunt Plateau on US 89, we passed into a storm dusting the pines, and the roadside landscape, with snow. A beautiful scene in which to arrive at Bryce.
Cold temperatures, snow and clouds have been the name of the game here at Bryce. We’ve, of course, done our due diligence and posted up for shots. We’ve got a few, but are hoping for some more magic.
One of our guests, Tony, may have said it best as we walked away from the rim of the Canyon this morning.
“You know, I think photography is really good for the soul. In a world where we can control so much, the art form puts us in a place where we can come to a realization that we are at someone else’s mercy.”
And so we wait, with hope!