Oh, yeah. Prior to a brief interlude for a visit to my cousin and then meeting lots of online friends at Jamboree, I left Natural Bridges National Monument on the morning of May 25th.
The “plan” was to return to Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon National Parks. And that is what I did. Sort of. After driving the 100 miles from Natural Bridges, through Glen Canyon, I arrived at Capitol Reef before 10 o'clock and was able to find a campsite. (It was the morning of Tuesday, May 25th.)
For whatever reason, Capitol Reef didn't do much for me. After a short rest break, I drove to the end of the scenic road and hiked one of the trails then returned to camp and read for a few hours. A short trip to the nearby town of Torrey later in the day garnered me a great hamburger and free wifi at a local restaurant!
The next morning (May 26th) I left for Bryce Canyon. The route took me through the familiar territory of the Boulder Mountains and Escalante National Monument. I stopped that night at Kodachrome Basin State Park, which was along on the way. The basin was named by National Geographic Photographers reportedly for the brilliant colors of the surrounding countryside. Although it was pretty, I was a little disappointed in the colors.
Bryce Canyon was less than a half hour from Kodachrome Basin, so I took my time getting around and arrived there at about 9:30 the next morning (May 27th). At the entrance gate I was informed that all but one of the campgrounds were fully occupied and there were only a few sites left at the one campground. That was when I realized the upcoming weekend was a holiday weekend – Memorial Day. I had completely forgotten about it. Finding an empty campsite on “normal” weekends is hard enough let alone on holidays!
I went on down to the campground that had sites available and saw just two that were empty. The entire campground was in shade, midst tall trees, which I imagine would be really nice in the middle of summer, but it was still a little on the cool side at Bryce (actually, it was cold). Plus, the sites were all very close together with little or no privacy. Most people, or so it seems, apparently aren't bothered by the lack of privacy at campgrounds. But it matters to me, a little. And, I guess, it sounds like I'm making excuses for not staying at Bryce... maybe so, but I decided to move on down the road and revisit Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park near Kanab, Utah. (If I had *really* wanted to stay at Bryce, the lack of privacy wouldn't have mattered – it didn't bother me at Death Valley or Zion! And some of the neatest people I've met was because of the lack of privacy.)
When I pulled into the entrance of Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park the “Campground Full” sign was posted. One thing I've learned during these travels is to ignore the sign and ask the attendant if the campground is actually full. Oftentimes it isn't, as was the case on this day. There were two sites available for the night, both small ones but plenty big enough for me. The park only has 23 sites and most of them are large enough for an RV with a trailer since many of the people who stay there have off-road vehicles for playing in the sand. I also asked if one of those two sites was available for the weekend and lucky for me it was!
I stayed at Coral Pink for four nights, until the morning of May 31st. I will admit that I felt just a little out of place. Most of the other sites were filled with families, which was cool. Everyone there (except me) had four-wheelers or sand buggies or off-road motorcycles, even the little kids!
However, I didn't spend a lot of time at the campground during the day. The library opened at ten o'clock on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and the wifi was free and fast. So I spent quite a bit of time there writing and scheduling blog posts, getting caught up on email and reading other bloggers' posts, etc. Of course, I also went for walks in the dunes, drove around some of the backroads, and took a few side trips.