Beauty beyond description

Trip Start Jan 09, 2012
Trip End Jun 04, 2012

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Where I stayed
Coral Pink Sandunes State Park

Flag of United States  , Utah
Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Monday’s Journey

After talking with the Camp Host about the ride by the Vermillion Cliffs, I decided to set out for Jacobs Lake Campground.  It’s a drive of just about a hundred miles over the mountains and through the valleys.  I climbed even higher from Bonito, to a height of almost eight thousand feet.  I wandered along until I located the CG, right there beside the highway in plain site! But, CLOSED.  I pulled over and walked to the Host’s fifth-wheeler and inquired.  She said that they had been open, but that the water needed to be tested and they were closed.  Perhaps they’d be open this weekend, she thought.  Here I am, willing to pay my fee to stay and this.  Sounds like government in action...or is that another oxymoron.  I asked if there were areas nearby to boondocks.  She offered that any of the roads off of Hwy 89 could work. I looked, but found nothing that appealed to me.  

I did have cell service today, so got to talk with Lynnie.  That was good.

Then I slowly decended to four thousand feet as I neared the plains again.  The first town I came to was a small one, the name of which escapes me now, except that is started with an “F”.  In fact that’s just what they have on a red mesa just north of the town.  F Mesa.  It’s a high school thing, I suppose.  No camping or dispersed camping there, so I headed on into Utah.  Ahhhh, I can smell spring in the north from here.  Well maybe not.

Kanab, Utah, is a fairly large city, but has no Safeway store, much to my dismay.  I had intended to fill up Shorty for my trek back into the open country.  I did stop at the local, large BLM complex and inquired about camping.  The young man, with a Utah-sound to his voice was helpful, but referred me on to the Information Center in town.  I went there and found where there was the possibility of such camping, after a bit of a wait.  There was a gas station right next door, so I gassed up, programmed the Hussy and set out.

This was surely the most beautiful drive of the entire trip.  The highway is surrounded with towering red cliffs and red sand abounds.  I passed through areas of petrified red and white sand dunes and streams.  It gradually wound higher into the area where the Condor has been re-introduced.  I stopped at a Scenic View Point to look back at where I had traveled.  Amazing!  I did see two condors in flight, but had no opportunity to photograph them.  I did, however, meet six motorcyclists from Hanover, Germany.  We visited for awhile, auf Deutsch, natuerlich!  They have been riding in Arizona for a couple of weeks and have two more to go.  They are riding the American Idol, so to speak, the bike from Milwaukee. We discussed it’s merits vis a vis the BMW.  An interesting conversation, which took me back in time to my years abroad.

I continued on and found the turn-off for Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. After about five miles driving, I found no good spots to camp, so I continued on to Ponderosa Pine FS CG.  It’s a small campground with an RV length limit of twenty-four feet.  Shorty is six feet longer, so I passed it by.  Evidently, size does matter.  There, anyway.

This campground, Coral Pink, for short was another five miles, on paved road.  It’s surrounded and built upon the most beautiful sand that I have ever experienced.  I’d bring some home, if it weren’t a felony.  It is just below red cliffs, in the distance.  It had been a long day, so I got located in site ten, had dinner, and took a short nap.  

After the nap, I bundled up in my hoody and walked over to the viewing point to catch the evening light and take a few shots.  I was just a bit too late, but did catch the sun setting just below a cliff in the distance.  I walked to the top of one dune to shoot, and was amazed at how fine the sand is.  It’s been blown here from the Navaho cliffs for eons and thus makes up these amazing dunes.

Walking back, I met a couple of younger folks from Switzerland.  We spoke only a smattering of German, but visited en Anglais, about where they had been and their travel plans on this visit.  He is from the area around Zuerich, an area that I have also visited, way back when. 

I’m now snug in the coach and typing as the outside continues to get darker.  It’s nearly pitch black in these out of the way areas.  So out of the way, in fact, that I had to call Lynnie to check-in via Pay Phone!  A novelty for me, these days.  I’m planning to stay at least another night to see the area more fully, which it really deserves...and so do I, I reckon.

Thanks again for stopping by. 

Day Two in the Pink 
I walked out into the dunes and followed the nature trail.  It has several small placards which explain the nature of the area.  I learned that there is a beetle that exists only here, among other things.  There are coyotes, deer and rabbits, along with rats and various insects.  The light was good, but the breeze was heavy and one could see it moving the sand at the top of the dunes.  There are Off Road Vehicles here, namely four-wheelers.  They are quiet and unobtrusive, so you’d hardly notice them.  There are, of course, lots of regulations.  One is that the Quiet Time runs from ten PM until nine AM.  It made it difficult to make toast without the generator, so I improvised and made it on a trivet on the gas stove.  It worked enough that it worked.  What more can I say.

After my walk and picture taking venture and,  a short nap, I rode up to the Visitors Center and re-upped for another night.  I moved up one site, numerically, to twelve, where I could have a better exit at Shorty’s door.  Less dirt to track in that way, fragmentally speaking.  I spent some time in the sun reading and then had lunch.  

I had adjusted the air in Shorty’s six tires and found that he handled much better.  I did the same with the Soob’.  I found that even when cold, they had too much air in them.  Not the bike though.  I checked her today and found that I needed to add ten pounds to each tire.  She rides fine and handles much better.  There are no bike trails here, due to the sand.  It’s a bit cumbersome just walking, so I see the reasoning.

After dinner, I walked again out onto the Dunes to look and see what I could find.  It was a very calm night, in contrast to last night.  The waning light does amazing things to the red end of the color spectrum.  I got some interesting shots.  I did see one beetle, but he avoided me and I can’t say that he’s one of the unique variety.  

There aren’t too many folks in the campground tonight, so it’s extremely quiet.  I did notice that the folks in the rig next to me are licensed in Montana.  I haven’t had an opportunity to visit, so I don’t know if they’re residents or just enjoying the low taxes that we offer.  It’s a huge rig with a fancy Jeep Rubicon in tow.  They leave early and arrive late.  I’m curious as to where they go in that Jeep. 

I have my word program set up to fill in and auto-change some words, so please don’t give me too much credit for any creativity that you may see.

See you again near Kodachrome Basin State Park.
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jerry on

I'm glad i checked in. Happy Mothers' Day.
Very interesting read and great pics

Dennis on

Looks and sounds like you have found some beautiful country. Enjoy.

Rob on

That is a beautiful area. Been following your exploits.
Thanks Ralph

ferd on

Now that REALLY looks like some fantastic country! Sand is incredible! Wonder if the German boys rented the "hog" in Salt Lake or somewhere? How did the discussion go between them regarding the BMW's? Makes me want to get riding! Hugs......

photodon on

A beautiful part of our wonderful country, Ralph. Glad you are experiencing it and sharing.

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