Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Big Sandbox

After nearly two beautiful weeks at Zion National Park, the weather took a turn for the worse the morning I left. I had checked the weather forecast for Bryce Canyon. It didn't look good. High probability of snow the next few days. Looking at the map I saw that the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park was on US 89 a few miles southeast of Zion. (US 89 North is the route to Bryce Canyon.)

I had some extra time since I had left Zion rather early so decided to take an indirect route which took me through the mountains to Hurricane and Apple Valley in Utah as well as Colorado City and Moccasin in Arizona. It snowed. And rained. And snowed some more. The higher elevations had several inches of the white stuff on the ground. Back in Utah, I stopped in Kanab at one of the smallest McDonald's restaurants that I have ever seen! But they had free Wifi. At one point it was almost a white-out with big flakes of snow blown by the swirling wind. But that didn't last very long. By the time I left, about an hour later, it was still cold but it had stopped snowing and the sun was shining!

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is a few miles north of Kanab. I checked into the campground and found a site. Then, after adding another layer of outerwear, went off to play in the sand dunes. Did I mention that it was cold and windy? But the sun was shining. Well, sometimes it was – when it wasn't hidden by clouds. Still, it was a wonderful day.

The two largest dunes, in the distance, are about 100 feet high. And yeah, I climbed to the top of both of them. To me, they didn't seem to have that “coral pink” color although the color did change depending upon the intensity of the sun and shadows from the clouds.

above: The southern big dune as seen from the top of the other one.

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