Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
The park has an incredible collection of pinnacles, fins and spires which are difficult to capture in all their glory with a cheap digital camera.
The old sand dunes from the Jurrasic were solidified by minerals and upthrust nearly two miles. The rock have too many colors to describe: white, red, cinnamon, chocolate and even blue with the addition of a little manganese.
At this elevation there are an average of 200 days a year that the temperature drops below freezing and then rises above freezing during the day. Water trickles down into cracks, freezes, thaws and sculpts the strange "Hoodoo" shapes that stretch in the Canyon for miles. The Paiute Indians avoided the canyon, fearing that they would also be turned into pinnacles.
Bryce, while huge, is just a small part of the "Escalante-Grand Staircase" area that includes 2,000,000 acres of geologic wonderland.
We did a mule ride today down into the Canyon floor. Mrs. Phred had a little mule named "Mouse". My mule was a sweetie named "Rachel".
In the morning we're heading further east to the little town of Torrey, Utah. It's just outside the Capitol Reef National Monument (part of the Grand Staircase).
Maybe we can see the North Rim of the Grand Canyon this year before we head for San Francisco? The North rim opened today.