After awhile, when my hands (no gloves) started throbbing, I headed back to the shack. The odd thing about the trip to Bryce (and later, much of Zion) is the complete lack of clouds. Denice kept saying how blue the sky was which might have something to do with the fact that we were 8,000 to 9,000 feet up in the wilderness with no pollution.
This morning we really wanted to take the 4 hour horseback ride but because the lower trail (Peekaboo) still had ice on it, we were downgraded to a 2 ride on a horseback trail above Queens Garden Trail with Canyon Trail Rides. Despite a chill in the air, it turned out to be a beautiful crisp day for ride. We were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves to assigned to mules instead of horses. I got Bill while Denice got Leslie and the trail boss was Joe.
Seeing this landscape from muleback was very special. The ride was smooth, the guide was informative and funny and the weather was great.
For lunch we did the brunch at the Lodge. The National Park Service is very good at making sure your vacation experience is a safe and happy one.
That afternoon, for whatever reason, we decided to walk down into the canyon from Sunset Point, across the cutover, into the Queens Garden and back out at Sunrise Point.
While beautiful, this walk had many elevation changes and proved to be a hard task for us as our first hike of the vacation. That night we ate in the Lodge for more fine dining, went to a ranger talk on the history of the moon in mankind's mythology, and then went outside in the cold to watch the moon rise. While I do not have the lens to really capture the moon, this will give you some idea how clear the sky was and how big the moon was this night.
For all the photos from this, visit my Flickr site at http://www.flickr.com/photos/gniebuhr/sets/72157629454776210/