Saturday, September 25, 2010

Day 13: In and around Bryce NP (#6)

Day 13: Around Bryce NP (#6)

Even on a personal note, my dressing table downstairs is crowded with things, like a mini landscape. It's a city with buildings and towers and roads. There's a pool and a little park. When I move something around it becomes a different tableau.
Tony Curtis

Pics: Kodachrome State Park (note in the one with the huge sand pipe, that is THB leaning up in the shadows at the bottom) in the morning and then starting with the cow, in the afternoon.

Book review: About a Mountain, John D’Agata, Kindle edition. Either a long essay or a short book, primarily about Yucca Mountain and Las Vegas, done in a David Sedaris mode. Conclusion: the Dept of Energy has spent a ton of money trying to obfuscate the fact that they know that burying nuclear waste inside ANY mountain let alone Yucca mountain will not hold for just about any length of time, let alone the 10,000 years they have picked or the 500,000 – 1 million years it will take for the radiation to dissipate below lethal levels. And, how Las Vegas doesn’t really care, even though they would be most dramatically impacted. Short and fast, well written, recommended.

Breakfast in the Grand Staircase cafĂ©…well, sort of! They offer free coffee and toast in the morning, where we hear German and French (and maybe a Scandinavian language). So we set up our grape nuts, buy some bananas, and eat in the part of the market, store, and gas station cashier stand set aside for eating sit-down style.

Then we hike in Kodachrome State Park, a little gem with easy hikes and the world’s largest number of sand pipes. We take an hour long hike, then visit Chimney Rock sand pipe.

Off to the Escalante art fair. Escalante is the big town between Bryce and…and…well, for all we know, Denver; 800 people live in town. We arrive at noon, just in time for lunch, and lo and behold, they have wood-oven pizza!!!! Damn, a real treat: two pizzas, two lemonades, $16, eaten sitting on the curb in the shade. Then we tour the art fair. They are holding a silent auction of plein art works, probably 50 or more on view. Most have no bids yet, the gala is tonight (we will not be attending). To say how many of these paintings will sell, at least two are winners of best in show awards from prior years, so ineligible to win this year.

Another building hosts mostly craft booths, we manage to buy some bread and tomatoes for our future picnics..oh, and a tremendous brownie, $1, that we share (all this is missing: a scoop of vanilla ice cream!). Probably the most impressive display are photographs by a guy name Knight that are of local sights. Supposedly untouched and shot on film, though it sure looks like some of the pictures have been enhanced. And, the prices are in the far range of what locals might afford: big ones go for $4500! Small unframed ones are $48.

On the drive back we stop at one of the better vista viewpoints on the trip: in the distance are coral/cantaloupe colored carved hillsides and in the near area are gray sandy slopes. The gray slopes are where they are finding dinosaur bones and are now protected from scavengers (or so the sign says).

We rest up, it is in the mid to high 80s again, and then in late afternoon head back to Kodachrome to see Shakespeare Arch and take the Sentinel hike (recommended by THB’s hairdresser!). Around in about an hour, nice light and still plenty hot.

Dinner in Tropic again, this time at Clarke’s so we can have wine and beer with our half-chickens and baked potatoes (and leftovers for tomorrow’s hike). Total $65.

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