Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Kodachrome and Red Canyon

Thursday, June 18
We moved a little west today, from Calf Creek to Kodachrome SP near Bryce NP. As expected the CG was full, but we were able to snag the ADA site for the weekend.

After lunch we drove to Tropic to get a few groceries and we found rain. Not good. There were three short showers. This on a day with no rain in the forecast.

The sky was bright blue and it had not rained during the night, so we decide to try Cottonwood Road and see it had recovered from the light rain shower yesterday. It had.

The first 25 miles of the drive was close to spectacular. The terrain and colors are quite varied. We got to Yellow Rock around noon. [We had covered 25 miles in three hours] We could not discover the trail to Yellow Rock. Yes, there was a road-side cairn and we followed the trail for 50 yards to where it went into a wash. There were no footprints in the baked mud. Ahead it was thick with bushes and we just did not want our legs scratched tripping through the heavy foliage to the wash we could see just beyond. I tried several approaches but finally gave up in the heat. This was a place I really wanted to access. Another time perhaps. Whine.

We elected to continue down Cottonwood to US89. That was a mistake. The last 15 miles looks like the moon and the road was only good for 5 to 15 mph. We sure did want to go back up the road to the CG, so we drove ALL THE WAY around making the total mileage for the day of 190 miles. That’s more miles than we normally drive KoKo in a day. It was a 9 to 5 drive, but we did have a delicious burrito in Kanab that filled an oversize plate.

On US89, before we got to Kanab, we heard a noise, then saw an F18 flying about 150 feet above the ground maybe 300 feet to the right of us. He must have been having a ball. He wagged his wings and was gone.

The number of cheesy tourist places close to Bryce is rather intensive. Perhaps more than near Glacier? I had not noticed it being so tacky before.

While I am on a rant, we are tired of Harley’s. LOUD BLAT-BLAT-BLAT has gotten old. Sorry Mike, but it’s less than tranquil being passed by a herd or noisy bikes.

The sky was gloomy with clouds at 6 and stayed that way until 2, when abruptly we were sun-drenched. The solar panels went from 2amps to pumping in 20amps.

We saddled up and went to find Willis Creek Slot on the Skutumpah Road. We found a yellow-walled canyon, but it did not look like the picture we had. Some rain drops appeared and the clouds to our west did not look friendly. We decided to escape before the road went to mush. Happily, we had no problems. By the time we got back to the CG at four, the sky was completely overcast again. And so it goes. We read other descriptions for the slot and found we had stopped about a ½ mile too soon. If we had found it, I doubt we would have stayed with threatening rain. Next time.

PS, by 5, the rains came - hard and longer than just a few minutes. I wonder how many days it would take for Utah to wash away? Say two inches every 24 hours. It’s such a beautiful place, when the sun is out. If it’s not out, wait a few minutes.

Sunday, June 21
Another long driving day, about 40 minutes from Kodachrome west to Red Canyon. This is a FS CG. We got a site on the hill as far as possible from the road. Our neighbors are over 50 yards away. Plus, we have a concrete patio for grilling and fires. $6 a night.

We went to the VC to get orientated with the area. We have traveled through here 2 or 3 times before, but never had time to stop. This time we will be here for a week or so.

We had not planned to go or not to go to Bryce. It’s 10 miles east of us. Last night we decided to get up early and be at Bryce soon after sunrise. And so we did. We got obsessed with it again and we will go back several times early in the morning, while the hordes are still getting ready for the day. Maybe cocktails there one evening. The CG in Bryce is chock-a-block full of teeming masses.

We checked out Kings Creek CG down the Sevier River Road. Great looking lake, but the CG is covered in ATV’s and tobacco-chewing rednecks.

Tuesday, June 23
Lay Day – Washing clothes and marketing in beautiful downtown Panguitch, Utah

This guy looks to be on his last leg to us

Taken on the eastern side of Bryce

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