(Originally Published 17 Feb 2013)
It was a windy morning in Southern Utah. After doing my required chores for the morning, I noticed the sky was angry looking to the east. I had been thinking of heading that way to see Lake Powell, but I decided not to tempt fate by taking my poor little two wheel drive into a snow flurry. New as the car was, I didn’t want to be the one to put it through its winter trials.
A local recommended that I check out the Pink Coral Sand Dunes, a state park. It was a short drive to the park and paved the whole way. It was also to the north and west, opposite the menacing clouds.
It was a pleasant drive down the highway, then down a chip sealed road, winding my way to the park. To the left, I kept getting glimpses of sandy dunes, fleeting between the scruffy trees and high banks near the road. I reached the gateway, a small station with an information center (closed that day), a pay station, soda machine and restrooms. After paying my fee I made my way down a narrow road to a small rest area, with a view platform. There was also another set of restrooms, some picnic tables and even a nice BBQ grill in place for public use. I parked in the lot and made my way to the view platform.
It was a metal structure with seats, information boards, and a wind screen. On this day the wind was running down the valley, chilling exposed skin and whipping the fine red sands across the whole visa. In the distance I could see several prominent sand dunes. The late morning sun was peeking through clouds just right to illuminate them and to show the sand blowing over the peaks of the dunes.
I walked around, feet sinking into the dense sand, wind whipping it around me. I wandered from information placards to the fence of the dunes themselves, all the time snapping shots of the ever changing light and landscape. The fine grains were dry but stuck to clothes, holding on till b eing shook away. Kneeling to get better angles revealed the sand to be a collection of multicolored fragments; reds, whites, pinks, browns, and constantly shifting around whatever obstacle was put in its path. A barring or a hold, the wind driven sand didn’t care. Like a determined soul, the sand continued round ever obstruction, every hardship, to ends unknown.
After exploring the majority of the area, and feeling my fingers turn to icicles, I decided to head home. The drive back took the same route, but in the evening light, now fading towards dusk, it seemed like a totally new area. The meandering road cut through red sandstone canyons and cliffs, leads back to town and the end of a quiet day exploring the beautiful dunes of Southern Utah. Check out the website ( www.tysworldtrek.com ) to view the pictures of this adventure, and others!