Utah’s an hour earlier than California but Arizona is the same time zone. It gets confusing as you cross the state borders again and again.
In the morning, we go up to Sunrise Point, and then to Sunset Point. Big Dog didn’t want to walk the Big Loop so we decide to just do the Navajo trail.
You can see it’s hard to stop taking photos!
Today, it’s hoards of Koreans on buses and later, Chinese speakers (who also spoke decent English so maybe they were Malaysian or Singaporean or from Hong Kong.)
“Wall Street,” a part of the trail, is closed til “spring.” Guess it’s not quite “spring” yet up here. That’s too bad, because it’s a narrow trail squeezed between walls of hoodoos and would have been pretty cool.
The Navajo trail switchbacks down steeply. Most of the mineral is red tinged with iron oxide but you see veins of yellow, indicating a presence of sulfur oxide. If you see green or blue it means there’s copper in the rock. Our geology knowledge and vocabulary are growing with every trip we take.
Coming back up from the trail, we run into the Swiss Family we met at Death Valley. They’d been to Monument Valley, Capitol Reef, Escalante and Kodachrome Basin.
“Yes, it is really great,” they said of Escalante and Kodachrome Basin, so after leaving the park we head that way, but it soon gets extremely windy. Gusts and gales are buffeting poor Sprockets as we stop at the Cannonville Visitors Center to get more information. Dust is swirling outside.
“Yeah, let’s save it for another time,” we say and go back towards Red Canyon and then beyond to Kanab.
Driving through the wind is no fun but the ride to Kanab is not too long. The road takes you through a beautiful long valley, pretty ranches on either side. Spring has just come and the tiny new leaves on branches give trees a feathery neon glow.
Kanab is where Big Dog and I spent our “honeymoon.” It was actually BEFORE the wedding because we wanted to get married on the summer solstice and Big Dog had to go to Europe for a shoot immediately after that.
I can’t remember much about that trip except for dancing in the Coral Dunes and spending a night in the “Joey Bishop Room.” Big Dog remembered how the road wound through the town of Kanab.
We stop at Little Hollywod, a shop with a “museum” out back with different movie props and sets. Kanab was the center of the Western film genre locations and the hotel where we spent our honeymoon was the Parry Lodge where the film crews stayed.
“What if it’s all dilapidated? I’ll be so sad,” I say, wondering if we should just keep it as a memory. But there it is, in the middle of town, looking spiffier than ever. The cabin and the very room where we stayed are still there, looking somehow nicer than I remembered.
Any other couple would have stayed there again, but being more frugal than romantic, we just cruise through the lobby and dining room, snapping a few photos of the autographed pictures on display.
After picking up some gas and groceries, washing the produce in the produce prep/work area at the supermarket (nobody said a thing) we go towards Jacob’s Lake.
It’s lower in elevation and warmer. Off in the distance are the giant “steps” of Escalante’s many eras. White cliffs gleam from the afternoon sun peeking through clouds. This is the Land of Gods. Brigham Young and Joseph Smith must have surely felt that God led them to this incredible land.
Who says age can’t produce great beauty?
From Kanab, Sprockets sprints across prairie land and into the Kaibab Forest. It looks thinned out – there are lots of stumps and burned trunks. Although there are a couple of big RVs, Jacob’s Lake is a CLOSED campground. Luckily, we find trailhead up ahead, with parking for horse trailers. With an unlocked pit toilet, too!