We hadn't been doing any significant hiking for about two weeks, so we wanted to work up to the upside-down hikes in Bryce. One really popular trail is actually outside the national park, skirting the backside of the easternmost hoodoos. It's named Mossy Cave Trail for another one of those drippy overhangs, but the real attraction of this trail is the lower part of Tropic Ditch. While it looks like a small natural stream, Tropic Ditch is actually a ten-mile, man-made waterway that was dug in the 1880's to provide a more reliable water supply for the pioneer farmers of this area.
The trailhead is right on highway 12, a few miles from the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park, so its accessibility and ease of walking guarantees a lot of traffic. An early start gave us a fairly peaceful visit; we escaped as a church group of noisy kids arrived in several vans and took over the place.
The so-called Mossy cave was a bust and not even worth a photograph, but the real payoff was a lovely small waterfall at the end of the trail.
After our short hiking day, we checked out the only shopping in our area -- a wide spot in the road called Tropic, about five miles closer to Bryce than Cannonville. The grocery store wasn't much bigger than the one at Ruby's and was about as well-stocked. The hardware store had a bit more to offer; apparently farmers have a greater need for nuts and bolts than they do fresh produce. When we got back to the RV park, Mike asked the owners what they do for major shopping. Turns out about once a month they drive to Salt Lake City -- 250 miles away -- to stock up. Sheesh. And I thought it was a pain to drive the eight miles to our local Costco back home.
When we got back home, Mike gave the kitties some welcome outside time. Since Peanut insists on getting into the weeds, he also got a not-so-welcome combing.