“Before there were any Indians, the Legend People, To-when-an-ung-wa, lived in that place. There were many of them. They were of many kinds-birds, animals, lizards, and such things– but they looked like people……..For some reason, the Legend People in that place were bad. Because they were bad, Coyote turned them all into rocks. You can see them in that place now; all turned into rocks; some standing in rows, some sitting down, some holding onto others. You can see their faces, with paint on them just as they were before they became rocks…..This is the story the people tell.”
-The Paiute Indian legend of Bryce Canyon as told by Indian Dick
Bryce Canyon National Park was simply amazing. I feel I need a thesaurus as I have been overusing words like amazing, beautiful, glorious and wonderful. But it truly is.
It was a three hour drive to Bryce from our campground, but we decided it was going to be worth the six hour round trip. Besides, the entire drive would take place on National Scenic Highway 12, by all rights a destination unto itself. So we got up early, and headed on down the road. The ride was awesome, and the time flew right by. We stopped at the Escalante Interagency Visitor Center, for a rest break, stamp our passport book for Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (remember we hiked Calf Creek Falls so we did participate in an activity in the area), and there’s also a great information booklet for Highway 12 that I picked up. Just a little under three hours we pulled into Bryce Canyon Village at the entrance to the National Park. This is where the famous Ruby’s Inn Bryce Canyon is located, and I believe almost everything in the area belongs to Ruby!
We stopped at the Visitor’s Center to collect maps, information and create a game plan for our visit. There would be no hiking this trip once again, as we had the dogs with us (way too long a time for us to leave them by themselves), so we wanted to see what we could do and the best way to see the high points. The road through the park is 18 miles long, with most of the overlooks on the left hand side going down to the end. It was suggested the best way to go was to drive all the way to the end, Rainbow Point, and then work your way back so you would always be turning to your right, rather than across traffic. So off we went to Rainbow Point.