Saturday, June 21, 2008

Bryce Canyon NP

Such a wonderful couple of days in an enchanting and unique place. As their orientation and promotional movie goes 'Bryce Canyon is like no place on earth'. Due to some complex layers of specific stone and rock the erosion that takes place here is something else. In winter it has freezing night tempearatures and warm days resulting in a constant freeze/thaw action in the cracks of the stone. In summer it receives monsoon rains and washouts crumbling and dissolving the limestone and runoffs off the plateau leaving distinct gullies. When gullies get deeper the walls between them get narrower and taller and fins eventually devlop. Fins erode to form windows and windows erode and collapse to form hoodoos. Phew - busy eh?! The landscape is constantly changing here. And what we see is magnificent ampitheatres full of a crazy, other-world landscape of fins, hoodoos and spires.

This is our gorgeous campsite in amongst the trees...

Last night we went to a ranger talk on astonomy - just reminds us how teeny weeny we are in this mighty big galaxy of ours. Earth is 3 light minutes from the sun whereas Pluto is 14 light hours from the sun (both planets are within our little ole' galaxy and they estimate there's billions of separate galaxies) The figures just start get overwhelming and fascinating at the same time. Bryce is quite remote and at 8000ft quite high so has awesome visibility for star-gazing so after the talk the rangers had set up several telescopes for us to spot through. We saw Saturn. Amazing. So clear, complete with it's rings - we could see the gap between the planet and it's rings and everything! Also saw some other stuff (all with weird astronomy tecchie names) - a galaxy, a dying star and a double star and other cool stuff!

1 comment:

Anna said...

that's sooo insane - it's breathtaking...... haven't spent much time in utah.... looks like i'm missing out! have fun :)