One of the most amazing things about Bryce was the lighting. We expected the backlit rock formations to be dark, mere silhouettes. But the surprise was that when backlit, the rocks seem translucent, almost glowing.
This puzzled us greatly until we finally figured it out: we were seeing earthshine, the same phenomenon that lights the unlit portion of a crescent moon. The rocks around Bryce are so red that the light reflected off of nearby rocks and then back onto the backlit rocks actually makes the backlit scene appear redder than it would in normal front lighting. Wow!
|Of course, the front-lit views were nice, too.|
Capitol Reef is an amazing place for a budding amateur geologist. The rock strata around Waterpocket Fold are very well preserved.
In places, the landscape is covered with huge stream-tossed boulders made
of lava, spit out of a nearby volcano, looking very out of place in
this otherwise sedimentary landscape.