Southwest 2021:
Day 12 - Coral Pink Sand Dunes [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

Southwest 2021: [Day 1 - Missouri] [Day 2 - Kansas] [Day 3 - Kansas] [Day 4 - Ft. Collins] [Day 5 - Perry] [Day 6 - Salt Lake City] [Day 7 - Salt Lake City] [Day 8 - Salt Lake City] [Day 9 - Goblin Valley] [Day 10 - Torrey] [Day 11 - Kodachrome Basin] [Day 12 - Coral Pink Sand Dunes] [Day 13 - Lees Ferry] [Day 14 - Grand Canyon] [Day 15 - Grand Canyon] [Day 16 - Lyman Lake] [Day 17 - Carlsbad] [Day 18 - Davis Mountains] [Day 19 - Marathon] [Day 20 - Arlington] [Day 21 - Hot Springs] [Day 22 - Bowling Green] [Day 23 - Heading Home]

Saturday, February 27, 2021: We were off before 8:00 AM, ...
... and went by the dump station, which was very inconveniently located behind gates locked for the winter. It was our only disappointment in the park.
Across the valley, we could see Bryce National Park in the distance. Let's go there!
Forty five minutes later, we were there!
It was a bitterly cold morning and there was no wait to enter the park.
Unconcerned about beating the crowds, we parked in the visitor center while Tom called Thor Motor Coach customer support about the toilet flushing problem. The helpful person on the line suggested swapping out the fuses, which we did. When we powered down the rig, swapped fuses, and powered it back on again, the problem seemed to have been resolved. However, after reversing the process and restoring the original fuse, the problem was also resolved. Either way, the problem was fixed and didn't occur again.
Debbie had been to Bryce twice before, as a child and as a teenager, but this was Tom's first visit so we had to go to the viewpoint with the most impressive reveal, ...
... Inspiration Point.
Yeah, it's gorgeous here, and even more so with the snow.
The snow drifts on the side of the canyon were especially pretty.
Tom's a fan! We didn't stay long because most of the park visitors weren't wearing masks. It wasn't at all crowded but we had no interest in being around anyone who wasn't masked.
Next, we drove to the far end of the park to get a different view.
This part of the road got pretty narrow, with steep hills on either side.
Still driving.
This is Rainbow Point near the southernmost end of the park. Somewhere off in the distance to the east is Kodachrome Basin State Park, most likely toward the right on the horizon in this picture, but we couldn't figure out exactly where.
Here's the view from Rainbow Point looking north toward the rest of the park.
From here, we could see the road on the narrow ridge that brought us here.
On the drive back, we stopped at Agua Canyon to take a look.
Here's the view to the left ...
... and right.
At the Natural Bridge overlook, we attempted to recreate a photo from Debbie's 1983 visit here.
But first, here's a look at the Natural Bridge itself.
Other than the rock formations, everything else about this overlook had changed, including the fencing and the level of the overlook, ...
... so we couldn't even come close to getting the angle right. Never mind that the subject was wearing way more clothes than back in 1983.
We returned to the visitor center parking lot where Tom had a phone conversation with his brother for a while, then we went inside to shop and sightsee.
We love seeing topographic maps like this one.
Seeing this display was the first time we understood why Escalante-Grand Staircase National Monument is named the way it is. Each colorful layer of rock is a step in the staircase, and we were currently on the pink step of Bryce Canyon, which is the top of the Grand Staircase.
This was a fun little display. There was one clear donation slot for each state and a few countries/continents, to provide an incentive to donate to the park.
We purchased a survey marker magnet, a postcard set, and a water bottle sling.
Next, we headed to Ruby's Inn General Store right outside the park.
One of Tom's pairs of shoes had decided to die, so it was time to buy a new pair. Fortunately, this store not only had shoes for purchase, they also had beer, ...
... fudge, ...
... and delicious Utah condiment specialty, fry sauce, which seems to be a ketchup-mayonnaise mixture.
We headed to Bryce Canyon Pines Restaurant for lunch. The original plan was to get something to go, ...
... but Tom suggested eating inside. This was only the second time we had eaten inside a restaurant since the pandemic began 11 months earlier, and it was a highly awkward experience. But the burgers, fries, and huge jars of Diet Coke were worth it.
We were back on the road after lunch, enjoying the scenery.
This was the first of two back-to-back tiny tunnels.
As we descended into the valley below, ...
... we reached the end of Scenic Byway 12, and stopped to get a picture looking back at the sign.
It was time to head south on US-89.
There's Bryce off in the distance to the east.
Here are some cool buildings.
Pretty scenery.
We didn't get a picture of the actual restaurant but we did get a picture of the sign for Thunderbird Restaurant, Home of the Ho-Made Pies.
We stopped to get a picture of the sign announcing that we were near Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park ...
... and the map of the area. We were just north of the Arizona-Utah border, west of Kanab.
The stretch of road leading to the state park was lined with deer carcasses in various stages of decomposition. Sorry for the graphic photo.
We arrived in Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, ...
... and were pleased to see the park lived up to its name.
We checked in at the entrance gate, ...
... and went to our campsite for just a minute. We realized that there was a dune buggy rally going on and that dune buggy owners were camping all around us. There was a trash bag left by the previous night's tenants, but we left for a few minutes to use the dump station and it was gone by the time we came back.
Without a dump station at Kodachrome Basin, we had been lugging a gray water tank that was 2/3 full, ...
... so it was great to actually get to use a campground dump station. This was located by the older campground. Our section of the campground seems to have been built in the last couple of years and featured water and electric hookups.
We came back to our campsite, got connected, and then headed out for a hike on the dunes right from our campsite.
Look at that pretty sand.
Look at it.
A road led from just beyond our campsite out onto the dunes.
In the distance, we could see people running down one dune ...
... and motorcycles flying up another dune.
We crossed the road ...
... and climbed a small hill ...
... to follow a little nature trail for a while.
Little plaques identified plants and animals that live on the dunes.
Check out this pretty little pattern in the sand created by a plant stem that has been blown back and forth by the wind while anchored to a stick in the sand.
We spotted what appeared to be little rain clouds in the distance but never got rained on ourselves, of course, because we have the amazing Bundlings weather luck.
We walked back to our campground ...
... and Tom changed out of his old, broken shoes, which he had wisely chosen to wear on the dunes one last time. Into the trash they went forever. Meanwhile, Debbie's shoes went into a plastic bag where they would remain, unopened, until we got back home where they could be properly cleaned.
We enjoyed late afternoon cocktails of Uinta Hoodoo Kölsch-style beer and Munchos.
Being in below freezing temperatures for 12 days straight so far, static had been a real problem for Debbie's hair, so it was amusing but not surprising to discover this hair sticking out in the back of the rig, attached by static at one end to a pillow. Behold the power of static electricity!
With a working water connection, Tom turned on the water heater so that we could take showers.
Dinner was freeze-dried mushroom risotto with diced ham added to it.
We loved the view of sand dunes right out of our window.
Our water connection was dripping very badly, so we chose to disconnect before we went to bed to avoid a giant frozen sculpture in the morning.
Gorgeous sunset!

Day 13 >

Southwest 2021: [Day 1 - Missouri] [Day 2 - Kansas] [Day 3 - Kansas] [Day 4 - Ft. Collins] [Day 5 - Perry] [Day 6 - Salt Lake City] [Day 7 - Salt Lake City] [Day 8 - Salt Lake City] [Day 9 - Goblin Valley] [Day 10 - Torrey] [Day 11 - Kodachrome Basin] [Day 12 - Coral Pink Sand Dunes] [Day 13 - Lees Ferry] [Day 14 - Grand Canyon] [Day 15 - Grand Canyon] [Day 16 - Lyman Lake] [Day 17 - Carlsbad] [Day 18 - Davis Mountains] [Day 19 - Marathon] [Day 20 - Arlington] [Day 21 - Hot Springs] [Day 22 - Bowling Green] [Day 23 - Heading Home] [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy