Thursday, September 27, 2007

Last Utah Hike

Monday we went on our last long hike in southwestern Utah. We drove to the south end of Bryce Canyon National Park—9,110 feet above sea level—and hiked the Riggs Spring Loop, an 8.8 mile hike through the forest. The trail drops 1,600 feet from Rainbow and Yovimpa Points, passes three backcountry (undeveloped) campsites for backpackers, and climbs back up 1,600 feet. We had hiked the loop twice two years ago when we volunteered at Bryce Canyon. This year we haven't been doing as much hiking (our volunteer work is outdoors and at times very physical) and we haven't been living at 8,000 feet. So the hike was difficult and exhausting, but worth it for two 64-year-olds.

We saw so much wildlife on our drive there. We saw three flocks of wild turkeys, totaling about 75 birds, three groups of mule deer and several small herds of pronghorn and we watched a coyote hunting in a meadow. While we ate lunch, several cows were grazing in the area and one came over to see what we had to eat. What a wonderful day! Oh yes, we started our hike at 37 degrees and ended it at about 51. Fall has arrived.

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