It seems like my favorite place or activity on this trip changes every time I see or try something new.
When I looked through the photos from Bryce Canyon it came back just how much I enjoyed the horseback ride I did there!
But let’s back up a little bit shall we? I left Grand Canyon right after sunrise on my second morning and typed in Horseshoe Bend on my GPS. That didn’t work so instead I ended up roaming around Page for a while, cursing over the lack of cell service, trying to compare the teeny tiny map I had printed back home with the map on the GPS. Eventually I realized that I was on a temporary highway while Horseshoe Bend was on (well not exactly ON but you know..) the original highway which was the reason I hadn’t been able to find it.
So a little pissed off about the lack of signs I jumped out of the car and went to see the Colorado River doing a u-turn. Luckily it was just as beautiful as I had imagined which made up for the trouble I’d had finding it.
Then it was on to Tropic – a small town just 7 miles from Bryce Canyon. I spent the afternoon relaxing at my hotel after a few hectic days but did eventually drive into Bryce for a quick sneak peek of what I had in store for the next day.
The following morning was a cold one so despite wearing long pants and a sweatshirt I was freezing when I showed up at the corral. Luckily the cowboys invited us into their little shack while we waited for everybody to get there.
We were then assigned mules and horses according to height, weight and previous experience and I was paired with Eechell – a lovely dark brown mare.
In a group of 10 with our cowboy Joe in front we went into the canyon – up and down on narrow paths. The horses/mules often preferred to walk right on the edge of the paths so it wasn’t for the faint-hearted. But the pace was mostly slow although some of the horses/mules constantly fell behind causing Joe to yell “Whip it!” or “Keystone! Red! Bonnie! Come on!” every other second. Eechell was just wonderful and obeyed all of my commands without me ever needing a whip.
I chit-chatted with both a German girl right behind me and Joe right in front of me for most of the ride. The German girl and her boyfriend had been to Zion the previous day so she could give me a little advice on which hike to do there.
Joe told a lot about the different things we saw on the way, joked a bit and was generally just full of pep. So when he towards the end told me to lead the group for a while I didn’t believe him at first. But he went to the middle of the group and then suddenly I was in front – fortunately we didn’t encounter any crossways so I couldn’t really get us lost!
I had such a great time on the ride and I was awe-struck with the beauty of the scenery. I think it was a brilliant way to see the hoodoos in Bryce Canyon!
And regaring what I said about this being my favorite place – it really was! At least until I saw Zion Canyon which was next on my itinerary..