WASHED OUT STONE WORLDS
WASHED OUT STONE WORLD
Narrow canyons pervade the red rock bottom in Utah like spider webs. In strong thunderstorms these otherwise dry canyons fill up quickly and transport the water towards Colorado. Our guide tells us about an incident that happened years ago in which a group of tourists were killed by the floods in these canyons. He assures us that this cannot happen anymore today because the weather is constantly monitored, and an early warning system exists. The light show of the midday sun, which sends its rays vertically into the deep canyon to set the red stone on fire, offers great photo opportunities. Unfortunately, we are not alone in the most famous and probably most beautiful gorge around the city Page, the Antelope Canyon, and are lead through the gorge much too fast by our guide.
BACK COUNTRY HIKE
Our journey takes us deeper and deeper into the red heart of Utah. Near the small town of Kanab, we leave once again the paved roads to visit some of the famous rock formations of this area. Only 20 (!!) visitors per day are allowed in each of those two places. This is to ensure that the delicate stone formations will outlast the next millennium too. For the more famous of the two rock landscapes, the Wave, we unfortunately have no luck in the lottery and do not win any of the 20 permits ☹ But it works for the lesser known, but almost as beautiful Coyote Buttes South.
Early in the morning we set off on bumpy roads and dirt tracks to the starting point of the hike. Our friends Ellen and Thomas sit in the back of our camper and are shaken severely. Your rental camper can no longer drive on these slopes. The last 7 kilometers are then only on foot. We stand alone in the sandy parking lot in the middle of nowhere and wonder where the other 16 visitors are. We also stay alone all day … There is no path here and so we go with enough water, three smartphones with GPS maps and a spare battery on the way through the sand and the scrub. On the way we chase a rattlesnake out of its sunny nap. This warns us with a lot of noise, that it is not to be laughed at. We leave her alone and continue. We almost give up and believe we got lost. But then the landscape changes suddenly and we walk through a fine and filigree rock landscape of washed out sandstone. Having this ingenuity of nature all to ourselves makes this hike a special experience.
Just a few miles from the Coyote Buttes South, the toadstool hoodoos (toadstool rocks) are another highlight of the area. We find ourselves in a bizarre moonscape of mushroom-like turrets that you can hardly put into words. We are so excited that we stay until late after sunset. In the light of the moon and the countless stars of the night sky, this landscape looks even more surreal, almost magical.
Unfortunately, after these wonderful experiences, we have to say goodbye to Ellen and Thomas, as they make their way to the South Seas to the humpback whales. We, on the other hand, stay a little bit in the area and are curious what else there is to discover.