Let’s talk a little about the Bryce Canyon Lodge, where we’ve stayed the last couple of nights. It was a bit confusing, because the room layout was identical to the lodge at Zion National Park, but there were certain features of this particular place which I thought were interesting. You see, the “motel rooms” here have been recently refurbished and since this is the only remaining original lodge in this group of parks, it would appear that particular care has been taken to maintain the original character too.
The original lodge building dates back to the 1920’s when the Union Pacific Railroad brought travellers from the station 100 miles away, in open topped charabancs to stay here. One of our guides spoke of her father, who had laid some of the stones in this main building.
It was she who drew our attention to the optical illusion of the pattern of the shingles on the roof of each building here – giving the impression of an uneven surface, even though it’s actually completely flat and regular.
Some accommodation is in small log cabins here, but when we booked, we were advised that unless the three of us wanted to be very cosy indeed, two motel rooms would be more comfortable (respectable!) so that’s what we reserved.
Our room (identical to Mary’s) was comfortably furnished, if a little dark by our modern day standards. In fact, we’ve found many of the interiors here in Arizona and Utah to be dark, especially when outside is so bright. We appreciated the screened windows and porch, which allowed us to let in some air without the fear of assorted wildlife joining us too – of course, those screens make for a darker room too.
Anyway, the decor of the room was based on the original palette, with local inspiration from nature: blue lupine flowers, wood lichen, sage brush, alder bark and Brigham tea.
The pattern of the custom made carpet was taken from the 1930’s marketing materials and the blanket was a Pendleton woollen, based on the traditional Indian blankets of the time.
It had been especially made for the lodge, with the distinctive label sewn into one corner.
The chairs were made to a pattern taken from Union Pacific Railroad photographs of the lobby
and the wallhanging (sorry, lousy photo) was made to a traditional pattern by master Native American weavers. I’m not sure I liked the way it was hung and would have preferred to have seen it straight on the wall, perhaps over the bedhead, but there we are, what do I know!?
The painting in the corner was of a Southern Paiute Indian in full ceremonial regalia. The Paiutes were the original people of this area and we heard quite a lot about them as we travelled around the park.
Of course, in the refurbishment, all modern amenities were added/updated, so there was a coffee machine and a telephone – but no air conditioning, no wifi beyond the lobby and no TV at all.
We enjoyed our stay there at the Bryce Canyon Lodge very much, but tonight, as I sit in a bright and modern Hilton Garden Inn in Salt Lake City, I will admit to feeling happy to have wall to wall wifi, a bright and modern space to relax in and most of all, be at an altitude which makes breathing and sleeping rather more comfortable than the previous week or so.
More from Salt Lake City tomorrow, when we’ve had a chance to explore a little. I’ll leave you with the surprising sight we spotted from our car window whilst we were stopped at traffic lights in Orem this afternoon.