As previously noted, I wasn’t feeling very confident with regard to camping. I couldn’t believe that I ever thought this was a good idea.
I arrive at the campground and no one is there. I have no idea what to do. I drive in circles until, finally, I find a camper with a sign that says, “Camp Host: On Duty” and the cute lesbian dressed like a forest ranger tells me to go to site C059. Still confused and not moving she directs me more explicitly, “Drive up this road, around that corner and you will see the number on the campsite. It has your name on it.” She looked perplexed at my inability to process this information.
I follow her instructions and pull up, literally, with dread. I wanted to cry. There was no one around and I just couldn’t believe that I was going to sleep here all alone tonight:
Realizing I can still bail out, I decide to push on and set up (my first!) camp.
Camp is now set up and Bryce Canyon is a mere 100 feet from my site! Once I got there the scenery was so overwhelming I was able to calm my scrambled nerves.
Bryce Canyon is overwhelming, but it isn’t beautiful — it is hostile and bizarre. The landscape is unlike anything I have ever seen. Giant dead trees stand solitary on the red, dry landscape. Plants are an unreal vivid green. There were very few hikers, but those that I crossed paths with were speaking French, German, and Japanese. As I was hiking through it, I had the feeling that I was trapped in a disturbing dream. I really can’t describe it, and photos can’t capture it, but I will do my best with pictures to convey this bizarro-scape.
Ancient legend is that these hoodoos (the name of these rounded red structures) are the remnants of a giant people who were evil and turned to stone by angry gods. So, it’s not just me. The place really is that creepy.
After my four mile hike up and down the steep inclines of the canyon, I was tired enough to try to settle in at my campfire for the night.