Bryce Canyon and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
In Easter 1980 we were driving around America in a VW van looking for the heart of wonder. We found it everywhere.
When we arrived at Bryce Canyon the snow had settled. It sat on the top of the stacks in a four foot layer. The red shale of the canyons walls were more vivid from the damp of the snow and the white tops merely added to the spectacle and made it even more magical.
The scale was impossible to appreciate. It looked like a fairy land. It was only when we walked down between the stacks that we were able to appreciate the size and immensity of the place. The red walls of the chasms rose up all around us enclosing us in its majesty. What looked delicate and intricate from afar now looked deep and mysterious.
We walked down the canyons and found ourselves encompassed in a maze.
The experience was awesome.
Later that day we stopped at a nearby restaurant for something to eat. In a corner was a little old lady and we started talking. She told us that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid used to rustle cattle round in these parts. Their gang used to drive the steers down into Bryce Canyon to hide up until the heat cooled down. As a young girl she had seen them ride past.
The Wild West to me was a million miles away. Yet here it was in living memory. Those old movies of the Wild West were real. We met someone who had witnessed it.
She had not seen Paul Newman and Robert Redford; she had seen the real thing. We’d walked down the same canyons.