Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Friday, June 3, 2011

Day 141 - Utah Rocks - Bryce Canyon - Hoo Doo You Think You Are?

After viewing both the Grand Canyon and Bryce, Bryce just has so much more to see and it is in my opinion a better trip if I had to choose.  If I didn't, I would do both of course. The colors are wickedly awesome.  We had every intention of getting up at 5 AM to leave by 5:30 to capture the sunrise at Sunrise Point but it was going to be 50 degrees.  The weather had been extremely colder than normal and I wasn't prepared for this with all the shorts and t-shirts I had brought.  So this one I left to someone who had already done it and posted it on the internet.  Thank them for this shot...

Gary Crabble
I had researched the word "hoodoo" before we had gotten to Bryce.  And the irony is that the same process that makes these hoodoos will also wipe them out.  Bryce Canyon will cease to exist as we know it now.  This is how the hoodoos form:

Preservation Message:
Unfortunately hoodoos don't last very long. The same processes that create hoodoos are equally aggressive and intent on their destruction. The average rate of erosion is calculated at 2-4 feet (.6-1.3 m) every 100 years. So it is that Bryce Canyon, as we know it, will not always be here. As the canyon continues to erode to the west it will eventually capture (perhaps 3 million years from now) the watershed of the East Fork of the Sevier River. Once this river flows through the Bryce Amphitheater it will dominate the erosional pattern, replacing hoodoos with a "V" shaped canyon and steep cliff walls typical of the weathering and erosional patterns created by flowing water. Indeed a foreshadowing of this fate can be observed in Water Canyon while hiking the Mossy Cave Trail. (Where I blogged about yesterday) For over 100 years a diversion canal has been taking a portion of the East Fork of the Sevier River through this section of the park and already it's easy to see the changes the flowing water has created.

While we can't stop this inevitable fate, humans can help to preserve the Park's existing hoodoos by keeping to the park trail system. Believe it or not, just walking up to the base of a hoodoo will shorten its life span as your tracks weaken the clay slopes that protect hoodoo's foundations. Staying on established trails ensures that erosion will not prematurely destroy the hoodoos that millions of people come from all over the world to see.

I was curious to find out how the word "hoodoo" had come to be used. IT IS NOT FROM THE WORD VOODOO. It was an ancient Indian belief that the coyote was mad at man for coming to his part of this world....What's a Hoodoo? A Paiute Indian myth says "the animal legend people who lived in Bryce Canyon long ago, displeased the coyote. Angered, he turned all the people to rock." Today, while visiting Bryce Canyon think of the legend when looking down into the amphitheaters and imagine the ancient people with their straight posture, in the form of hoodoos. The name Bryce Canyon in Paiute means: "bowl shaped canyon filled with red rocks standing up like men."

Bryce Canyon History

Long ago, at the end of the Ice Age, the Paleo-indians hunted among the magnificent fins and hoodoos of Bryce Canyon. Puzzle pieces of ancient artifacts have been gathered leading scientists to believe that the Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) Indians lived in the Bryce Canyon vicinity over 2000 years ago. It is thought that they entered the area to harvest pine nuts and hunt rabbits, but the environment there was harsh and other places offered a better life. The next inhabitants were the Fremont Indians who stayed until the 1200s. More recently, it was the Paiute Indians that lived and hunted around Bryce Canyon. John Wesley Powell reported the names that the Paiute Indians had given to many of the rock structures in Bryce Canyon. In the 1870's, it was the Mormon pioneers that settled near Bryce Canyon. Bryce Canyon was established as a Natnl Park in 1928 and named after Ebenezer Bryce, an early Mormon settler, who homesteaded in Bryce in the mid 1870's. About 1880 Ebenezer and family left the Bryce Canyon area, moved to the Gila River Valley in Arizona and established the town of Bryce. Ebenezer died the 26th of Sept, 1913 and is buried in the Bryce Cemetery.

So no matter how big you think you are, travel to your nearest canyon.  Even the hoodoos know they won't last forever...Who do I think I am? Sometimes the right thing to do is to acknowledge that we're a mere blip, a speck, a dot on a canvas.

We were a mere dot on the canvas of Bryce for that day. Do not let the name of this Southwestern Utah park fool you. Bryce Canyon is not really a Canyon at all. Instead it is a series of breaks in fourteen enormous amphitheaters that extend down one thousand feet and span twenty miles long, encompassing 36,000 acres.

This canvas of Mother Nature was better than a painting.  No painter, no photograph, no artist of any kind can do it justice...but in the meantime share the view from my camera lens as we all try to do it a teensy weensy bit of justice...Who do (hoo doo) we think we are? Mere Mortals.

1000 feet deep. The trees look miniature but they are huge Ponderosa Pines!

I was as close to the edge as a match stick

This is a close up of the Navajo Trail you can walk through "Wall Street."

Violet Green Swallow -Bryant Olsen They fly constantly at Bryce
Prayer has been made to mother earth that She blesses us with the knowledge required to exploit the treasures of the nature but without disturbing the environmental balance.~Atharva Ved

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