Beautiful Bryce Canyon

hoodoos at Bryce Canyon NP
Hoodoo Heaven, Bryce Canyon NP © Kent Taylor

Forty-three RMOWP members and guests made the trip to Bryce Canyon National Park for the 2016 conference, including two longtime members who surprised us when they walked through the door because they had forgotten to register. Participants came from nine states, and there were seven first-time conference attendees. Conference headquarters was the Ruby’s Inn Best Western Plus, just outside the park entrance.

The major outdoor activity was, not surprisingly, exploring Bryce Canyon National Park.

Thursday morning early risers gathered at Sunrise Point and then moseyed along to Rainbow Point at the end of the scenic drive for a Tom Ulrich-led photo walk on the Bristlecone Loop Trail.

Gaug on Queen's Garden Tr.
Our fearless leader Maryann Gaug on Queen’s Garden Trail © David Staat

Friday morning Maryann Gaug led members into Bryce Amphitheater on the Queen’s Garden – Navajo Loop Trails.

And Saturday morning was our annual sunrise photo shoot with Jack Olson – the first of which took place at our conference here 16 years ago. But that’s another story.

We took a wagon ride to the Bryce Amphitheater Rim for a chuck wagon dinner, and conference attendees also spent time exploring the park on their own and participating in the National Park Service’s Bryce Astronomy Festival, which took place during the conference.

wagon at Bryce Canyon
Chuck wagon for ride to rim of Bryce Canyon © Cecilia Travis

Member Virginia Staat gave two excellent workshops – “From Wimpy to Wow: The Hooks and Ladders of Writing,” and “The Name Game: Writing Effective Photo Titles and Captions.” We also got a fun first-hand account of what’s currently happening in Cuba, with wonderful photos, from member Linda Martin. How do the Cubans keep those brightly-painted 1950’s cars looking so good, and have you ever seen so many tropical birds?

The conference also featured informative and enjoyable photo and writing critique sessions, the Members’ Showcase featuring the work of Dan Bernskoetter, Maryann Gaug, and Fred Lord, a lively fundraising auction, and awards from this year’s writing and photography contest.

Milky Way at Bryce Canyon NP
Milky Way from Sunset Point © Kent Taylor

We had fun, shared knowledge and ideas, made decisions, and took lots of photos. Thanks to all who shared their images with us.