"You're in for a real treat today" the ranger told us as we paid the entrance fee to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, located just outside of Kanab. And indeed it was. Last night's snowfall over the dunes had created a sort of strange but wonderful contrast of white snow over the park's signature bright pink-orange sand. It was the third day of our Southwest road trip and while we had loved every moment of our snowy adventure to Bryce Canyon National Park, we were glad the sun had finally decided to rejoin us.
There was no distinct hiking trail within the dunes as the wind constantly shifts the sand as much as 50 ft in a year. So we set off past the wooden fence, careful to watch for ATVs and headed straight up the first hill we saw. There was less snow past the fence, which gave us a better sense of just how vibrant the color of the sand really was.
Backtracking a little...
We had seen a sign for the dunes on our way to Bryce the day before and figured we'd check it out the next morning before venturing into Zion National Park. Fully anticipating that our time in Zion would be less exploring on our feet and more sightseeing from the car due to the park's strict rules on dogs, we wanted to get some real hiking in first. And the dunes did not disappoint. Hoku had a blast here. The vastness, the fact that we pretty much had it all to ourselves that day, it almost felt like we were the last two people and dog left on earth. (Well, despite the occasional ATV zooming past us from time to time.)
Sometimes the best parts of an adventure are the parts that are unplanned. The moments that are fantastically serendipitous because you just so happened to notice a small sign off the side of the road and said, sure why not? This planner is definitely learning to embrace spontaneity.