The Sandberg Ranch, where we always have the Sandberg Reunion, is about 30 miles away from Bryce Canyon National Park. I have been there a lot growing up, but in our six years of marriage Robert had never been there and neither had my sister-in-law Reah. So we decided to visit Bryce Canyon on the Friday before the reunion since we got there on Thursday and had time on Friday before a lot of other family members arrived.
I have kind of taken the formations and beautiful colors for granted since I grew up seeing them, but I try to remember that the geology of the park is really breathtaking seeing it for the first time. First we drove to the very end of the park at Rainbow Point to see the farthest view- you can see out to Arizona from there (top picture in the above collage). Below are Chris, Reah, me, Julia and Robert looking back into Bryce Canyon from Rainbow Point.
Then we drove back and stopped at Natural Bridge. At each of the stops Julia kept saying that she wanted to go hiking there and would get upset when we told her, "not yet, we're going hiking at a different place". She was really excited to be going hiking.
Finally, we stopped at Sunset Point and did the 3ish mile loop that goes down into the canyon, back up to Sunrise Point and then along the rim back to Sunset Point. That's really the best way to see the park, to hike down into the canyon and be among all the formations. My dad carried Julia down the trail and Robert carried her up the trail. The trail going down is a bunch of switchbacks through a narrow canyon.
I like the two pictures right above. The one of the left I wonder what Reah and Julia were so interested in looking at, probably a squirrel. The one on the right we are at the bottom of the canyon and Julia is looking up at the tall, long tree from the first collage. There are a few of them like that at the bottom of the trail and they are pretty cool looking. I saw a picture of one of them in one of my college geology textbooks (you know, back in the day) and I said, "Hey, I know where that is!"
Here we are coming back up:
And Robert taking a break on the way up.
Family picture on the way up even though you can't really see Julia and I- we were too hot and sweaty to take off our hats.
Here's another one from Sunrise Point where you can kind of see Julia...