Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Grand Staircase-Escalante, Kodachrome and Chimney Rock

Today we are continued to be blown away by natural beauty on a grand scale.
Our first stop was to the over 2 million acres of preserved land known as Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Feeling adventurous, we drove on an unpaved road and found a hidden private treasure; a dry creek bed stopped our progress as I wasn't sure Babe could traverse it. But I got out of the car and hopped over the creek bed to check out a distant sign.





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What I discovered was quite literally an oasis in the desert. I found a small stream of running water. 

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It had been a very long time since River played in water so we were all very excited to see it. 

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We played for a while in our private little spot and when we'd had enough, started getting back into the car. Just then, a bulldozer showed up, coming up the road behind us. I started the car and backed up and off to the side so the bulldozer could pass. It then proceeded to destroy what we were just enjoying so that the road could go though. We sat and watched it happen and marvelled at our timing. If we were just a few minutes later, we'd have missing out on this fun spot. 

Our next stop was at a place with a horrible name; Kodachrome Basin State Park. But the name was the only thing wrong with this place. 

We took a short nature trail and it was such a treat to be able to see all of the magnificent things we saw yesterday in Bryce and Zion, but now we could get up close and touch the fins, arches and hoodoos. We took a nature trail and learned how the rock sculptures were formed by wind and water over time, and how the red rock was softer than the white rock, allowing the sculptures to happen more quickly and with more detail in the red. It was such a treat to be so close to the spires, castles, chimneys and phalluses. We also saw plenty of desert flora. 




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Another fun activity we did at Kodachrome was a trail toward Shakespeare Arch. It was a long, hot trail, but fun to climb over the rocks and very rewarding at the end. 



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And it was at this point that I put my phone in my pocket without locking it first, so I shot a whole bunch of pictures of the inside of my red and white striped shorts.








Our next stop was to see Chimney Rock. A famous site that both of us had seen pictures of. We may have been overwhelmed at this point, but both of us were a little bit under-impressed by Chimney Rock, which seemed to be a free standing column of rock.

Chimney Rock is in the foreground on the right. The tower in the distance was more impressive.

We were starving by this point, but out in the middle of nowhere. So we had to drive almost an hour to a small town where we came across a shack that sold burgers. I got a mushroom and swiss burger that was pretty bad, but I was glad to be eating.
By this time we were about two and a half hours from the hotel, so we hightailed it back. And after a short nap and a failed attempted to get this blog posted with the crappy internet there, we headed out to eat again. This time at a local diner, where I got my second terrible burger of the day.

I didn't mind the bad food, considering the feast I had for my eyes!!

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