n. 1. The act of wandering, or roaming.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by C. & G. Merriam Co.
Stories of Outdoor Travel, Adventure, Wonder, Hiking, Climbing and the pursuit of truly experiencing life.
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So, its been almost a week since we got back from the Bryce Canyon M.S.T. 2010.
Needless to say, the trip was a GREAT success although small parts did not go as planned. The meteor shower and asteroid fly-by that we had intended on viewing were not viewed due to clouds and drizzle and a few small flurries.
So the commemorative token for this year, handed out to all participants of M.S.T. 2010 were custom Bryce Canyon M.S.T. 2010 trucker style baseball caps, which are visible in my last post.
…And to the point… The trip was amazing. Bryce Canyon is other-worldly. The hoodoos, balance rocks, red rocks, remote location and different landscapes were surprising. From desert to strange rock formations to pine and aspen groves, was really a unique experience.
Three days on the Under the Rim Trail without seeing another human being aside from the mountain men I departed with was a first for me and something that was so peaceful and introspective that I cannot put a price on it.
- The first day to Yellow creek was fairly easy but really gave a reality check to what 9000ft of elevation can do to your lungs and endurance.
- The second day to Iron Spring was much more difficult than anticipated, no doubt in part to the unfamiliar elevation. Fourteen miles with severe elevation changes was a hearty endeavor. Around the halfway point of the day at Sheep Creek we found it hard to believe that it took us two and a half hours to cover our last 2.6 miles. We had to re-asses our attack plan for the day. So we decided to stop and let our muscles refuel and take a short nap for an hour and a half and then do some night hiking. Let me tell you, dropping a 35lb pack, where you stand, in the middle of nowhere and catching some shut eye was one of the most special things that I have experienced in a long time. Total peace and not a heavy heart in sight. The night hike was a lot easier, mentally, than hiking during the day. No points of reference to adhere to for distance markers. Just put your head down and hike through the dark silence of Bryce Canyon knowing you’ve left civilization far behind and your world lays on your back in a bright green backpack. Then finally, Iron Spring camp. I gorged on Chicken Risotto, Chocolate Cheese Cake (both provided by Backpackers Pantry) and a few, well, maybe more than a few, sips (gulps) of 100 proof peppermint schnapps. I haven’t slept that well and sound in sub freezing temps in a long time. It didn’t hurt that Iron Spring was absolutely gorgeous either.
- Day three and we are making our way through some low clouds to the highest point in the park (and our final destination) Rainbow point. With almost 2000 feet of elevation gain from Iron Spring to Rainbow Point, we made the trail our bi… well, you know. Our time was incredible, hiked in just over 2 hours. The trail was less rocky in this part which helped a lot.
After doing a quick 1 mile loop on Bristlecone Loop Trail to check out some 1600 year old Bristlecone Pines we hopped into the car, made our way to Flagstaff Arizona and enjoyed some hot, HOT showers. Once clean and all settled at fellow M.S.T. hiker Jeff’s house we all made it out and had some slices of Za and pitchers of beer, toasted the trip and slept on something thicker than a 3/4 inch thick pad on cold earth.
Bryce Canyon will always stick out in my mind as a place remote and quiet, even more so than the Grand Canyon. I’d recommend anyone to get out to Bryce and try the Under the Rim trail on for yourself… Or, get out somewhere and discover your own solitude and adventure.