Day 5: I began my journey by actually re-entering Zion to fill up on water, eat breakfast, and looking at maps. I left Zion by driving through the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel. The tunnel was absolutely amazing.
The rock formations past the tunnel.
The drive consisted of twisting and winding for a couple of hours all the way to Red Canyon, which consisted as you might guess, red canyons like Bryce. Once I hit the road towards Bryce, I realized that it is a lot busier than my last solo road trip that took me to Bryce during the last August. In terms of saving money in the long run, I invested in a National Parks Annual Pass. I then journeyed into Bryce Canyon National Park and scavenged for info and a campsite. I was lucky to find both. The visitor center was full of amazing knowledge about the Grand Staircase Escalante area, which extends from Bryce to Grand Canyon. Now, getting the campsite was extremely lucky. As I was pulling up to get a permit to find a campsite and pay, a nice gentleman was walking his dog and told me where to find the last campsite he had seen unoccupied. I quickly headed his advice, grabbed a camping pass, and drove straight to the mentioned site. It was truly the last site open. After filling out the campsite permit, I drove down to Sunrise point to scout out the views.
The hoodoos before sunset.
The hoodoos are quite a sight to see, even after seeing them before. I took a small jaunt from Sunrise to Sunset point and found some good angles. With no real clouds in sight, I knew an awesome picture was not going to happen, so I figured why not create a time lapse. I had some time, so dinner beckoned. Still being without a working stove, I digested parts of an MRE and planned my next creative move. The time-lapse would have to capture certain elements, one of them being the shadows draping across the hoodoos. One oversight I missed was realizing that the angle the sun would play on the shadows. After getting to sunrise point early, I realized that the shadows were very prominent over much of the landscape. I worked quickly to set up and find a perfect location. Once shooting started, I had to stand practically on my camera to prevent anyone from bumping into it or possibly taking it. Many strange looks were thrown my way because I was not actually touching my camera but it was taking pictures. I slowly watched the sun cast more and more shadows over Bryce while simultaneously trying to avoid contact with the tourists around me.
Once the time-lapse was over, I carefully walked over to my car to avoid drawing attention with my camera gear. Back at the campsite, my British or Australian neighbors were sharing many stories. How did I know they were British? Certainly the very unique vulgar words that came out of their mouth told the story. Night fell quickly, as did my level of alertness. With the thought of getting sunrise photos in mind, I set my alarm and I was out like light switch.