June 9th – Road from Zion to Kodachrome Basin State Park
It was a white knuckle kind of drive with the wind bouncing us down the road. The weather forecast says high wind warnings for the next three to four days. Wind is a nightmare for any high-profile vehicle, and even as small as Ellie Mae is, we are not enjoying the buffeting.
The good news though is that the sky is beautiful with oddly shaped puffy clouds and the wind has cleared the smog and smoke which makes for much nicer photos.
We passed near Panguitch, which is where we home-based ourselves on our trip with Laura and Michael years ago. We were very sad to see that the cheerful bright yellow farm-house we stayed in has been repainted a nondescript brown. The sunny charm went down a few notches in my books.
Turning off of Highway 89 onto Scenic Byway 12 takes us through the Red Canyon area.
We have chosen Kodachrome Basin State Park as our headquarters for the next three nights. It is well situated to visit Bryce National Park, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM) and is not far from Capitol Reef National Park.
We were so pleasantly surprised by the beauty of Kodachrome Basin. Having chosen it only for its location, we had no idea that it was a destination in and of itself. We hope to spend at least part of a day exploring as we seem to have stumbled upon a little nugget.
Six different trails within the park range from easy to moderate to strenuous. The Grand Parade Trail caught my eye at 1.5 miles, no climbing elevation, and allows exploration into two box canyons.
Another option here is Kodachrome Trail Rides via horse back. One and two-hour rides are offered daily starting at 9:00 a.m. Call (800) 892-7923 or visit http://www.redcanyontrailrides.com for more information and current rates.
We settled into our campsite and admired the surrounding red rocks that tower overhead. But man-o-man the wind has not died down.
The campsite next to us contained two tents and they were skittering across the ground, one pole had collapsed, and their blue cover tarp was off in the distance.
The group finally returned “home” and I was amazed to see six children, mom, grandma, grandpa and a large dog empty out to their van. They quickly scrambled to put things back in order – well at least mom and grandma did. The kids bickered while grandpa watched from the van.
Later in the evening the wind subsided enough that they were able to have a Norman Rockwell moment, gathered around the fire pit roasting marshmallows.
I have some wonderful memories of camping out at Lake Shasta as a child with my parents, sister, and one or two other families. We would go boating or water ski during the day, and sleep in a tent under the stars at night. I hope this family is creating their own memories that will bring a smile to their face when they remember their time here years from now.
One of the challenges of being in the boondocks is little or no internet. I am so accustomed to getting my news, updates from friends, directions to our next location, sightseeing information and tips of what to see in an area, as well as writing my blog post that to be untethered to the world is slightly unnerving to me.
Tim somehow managed to get me hooked up by installing a Weboost system. He then strapped my cell phone to the inside antenna where I could then use the phone as a mobile hotspot, connecting to my laptop. It worked well enough for me to get my blog post written, pictures uploaded from our previous day in Zion.
Just call him Macgyver 🙂
OVERNIGHT: Kodachrome Basin State Park
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful that we managed to keep Ellie Mae on the road as Tim calmly and carefully muscled against the blustery wind.