Detail from "Rain Dance," an original quilt by Sherrie Spangler

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Hiking the hoodoos and coral pink dunes

Natural arch formed by erosion in Bryce.
On our way back from Sedona (yes, I'm HOME now!), we hiked in the spectacular and colorful hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Monument in southwest Utah. Words cannot properly describe these bizarre and wonderful rock formations, so I'll show you a lot of pictures.

The trail took us down several hundred feet in elevation into the heart of the hoodoos. Partway down, we came across this painter whose orange shirt matched the rocks.

 Bryce's elevation is around 8,000-9,000 feet, so there was still snow.

The skies at Bryce are intensely blue and clear during the day, and it also has a 7.4 magnitude night sky, making it one of the darkest in North America. This magnitude means that you can see about 7,500 stars with the naked eye, while in most places fewer than 2,000 can be seen due to light pollution.

Before I take you to the coral pink dunes, I'll leave you with this quote on a sign at Bryce:

"If future generations are to remember us more with gratitude than sorrow, we must achieve more than just the miracles of technology. We must also leave them a glimpse of the world as it was created, not just as it looked when we got through with it."
-- Lyndon Baines Johnson

Last stop: Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, also in Utah near Kanab. The soft sand called out for bare feet, so I carried my shoes as we hiked -- slogged -- around a loop with nature signs. We saw people in the distance sledding on the dunes, which can shift up to 50 feet a year in the wind.

The dunes are formed from the erosion of pink-colored Navajo Sandstone surrounding the park. High winds passing through the notch between the Moquith and Moccasin Mountains pick up loose sand particles and then drop them onto the dunes because of the Venturi effect. (There's one for you to google.)

Have a colorful day


Judy Sall Fiber Art said...

Fabulous pix! Thanks so much for sharing them... never been there, but I love the shapes and colors! Glad you made it back safely...

The Idaho Beauty said...

Outstanding quotation, outstanding scenery!

The Idaho Beauty said...

Oh - and as I go back to the top to enjoy the pics again, I noticed how perfectly your blog banner blends with the hoodoo pics. Same colors - those oranges & blues!

Julia DesertSpring said...

It's hard to believe the sky is so blue there! Maybe it wouldn't look so blue if those rocks weren't so orange.