St. George was a chore day. Thursday, we drove all of 65 miles to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. We discovered this place in 1983. It’s very remote but off-road vehicle enthusiasts discovered it in the 90’s and now it’s very noisy when they’re around. The dunes are along a relatively narrow strip of land, and the BLM has cordoned off half for the dune buggys and half for the hikers. It doesn’t work terribly well, but the BLM tries to satisfy everyone. The small campground tends to be noisy because everyone has their “toys” with them. But the weather is beautiful and after our afternoon jaunt in the dunes, we lounged about, eating potato chips and drinking rum and cola.
Our “jaunt” around the dunes produced a surprise: leftover snow. They had a pretty big snowfall here 5 days ago and the results are lingering. As usual, we found views to interest us; dunes are always interesting, although these have been trampled pretty thoroughly.
On Friday, we planned a little walk in the dunes, but the park brochure mentioned a hike to South Fork Indian Canyon pictographs. We checked with the ranger, who said our Rav4 with 4-wheel drive would probably do fine on the dirt and sand road, but to watch out for the “pin-striping” that junipers and Manzanita can do to the side of cars on the narrow track. The first part of the road was pretty easy, but a left turn moved onto a much narrower track. As usual, just when I was deciding that we had taken the wrong fork (you know me, Diane) we reached the trailhead. The ranger didn’t tell us that we descend 1700 feet in half a mile, but we could handle that. He also didn’t tell us there might be snow on the narrow trail. I timidly scootched my way down the frozen areas, breathing heavily and trying to control the adrenaline rush.
The pictographs were in a large pink and coral-colored grotto. There always seem to be ones that are different from all of the others we’ve seen. A few of the figures were in sulphur yellow or baby blue. One of the figures looks like a banana slug, but that’s unlikely. Hiking back up wasn’t too bad and we soon were heading back to civilization.
As soon as we had turned back onto the wider part of the road, we faced a camper truck, looking like it was stuck in the road among the trees. One guy was on the roof, pulling up branches so the driver could inch forward. It turned out to be a whole family and they were just about to turn onto the narrow track we had just come from. We convinced them to park the vehicle and walk that part of the track to the trailhead. Had we bumped into them ten minutes later, one of us would have had to back up a long ways to a pullout so one could pass the other. Once past them, we sped on, only stopping long enough to take a movie of Dave riding the bumps in the road, which unfortunately, I can’t upload to this blog.
We took it pretty easy on Saturday, reading and catching up with the blogs. Then we did another foray into the dunes. It was windier, but still enjoyable.
Saturday night we recorded Kill Bill, Parts 1 and 2. Thank you, Don and Janet, for introducing us to a Tarantino tour de force. We’ve also been following Season 1 of Fringe, thanks to Rick and Mary’s loan of the DVD’s. After all, you can’t stare at a campfire every night.