Now that I have my last four missing posts reposted, I get to rewrite this one since it disappeared as well, while still in the que. ?
So… as I was saying, we planted ourselves in Kanab for a full week in hopes of snagging permits to hike “The Wave”. Every morning we were in the BLM office at 8am, along with lots of other hopeful individuals, for the lottery drawing. They only dole out ten permits per day. That’s not many when you’re looking at a room full of people. Every morning.
During my last visit to Kanab I payed for a tour out to “White Pocket”, another marvelous bit of natures beauty. White Pocket is part of Vermilion Cliffs National Monument and is only accessible by off-road-vehicle or high clearance 4-wheel drive. My little tow car (aka Zippy) has taken me off road numerous times, but would not fair well in this wilderness. I felt it worthy of another visit (John’s first), so we rented a jeep to do the dirty work. Literally.
Just another example of just how incredible and diverse our planet is…
While hiking through White Pocket I came across these unusual round pebbles. At first glance they look a bit like tiny rabbit dropping, but they solid and have a sandy texture to them. There were thousands of them in this particular spot.
The next morning we were back in the BLM office yet again. And walked out empty-handed yet again. ?
So… we took a drive… to the North Rim of Grand Canyon. Some of you may remember my first outing to the north rim. The excursion might have been humorous, if it hadn’t been so unfortunate! You can read about that experience here… With Winter Approaching, and Elissa too!
This expedition to the north rim was well worth the drive! No snow this time, but we could actually see the canyon! Before we got there we saw bison too, which was very unexpected.
One of the vistas at the north rim is Roosevelt Point, named in honor of Theodore Roosevelt. On a plaque there he is quoted as saying, “Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it. What you can do is to keep it for your children, your children’s children, and for all who come after you, as the one great sight which every American should see.” Once again I am astounded and grateful for visionaries like him for understanding the value in preserving these precious lands.
In addition to the incredible vistas along the north rim, we really enjoyed the fact that it was completely uncrowded. I doubt we saw more than 15-20 people the entire time we were there, and as we were soon to find out that was definitely not the case at the south rim. We visited both in the latter part of November.
The next morning, back in Kanab, we were once again sitting in a room full of people hoping for two of those coveted permits for The Wave. No such luck. Instead we drove out to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. If you like sand dunes this is a cool place… especially if you’re into ORVing (off road vehicles). I’m sure there are times when the ORVs come out here in droves, but the two times I’ve visited there have only been a few. They kinda ruin the dunes for me photographically, but if you make the effort to hike through them there’s always something to see… ?
In this case we saw kangaroo mouse tracks. Soooo tiny! It took us a moment to figure out the textures in the bottom image. It’s made by the tall dune grasses blowing in the breeze.
On my last visit I tagged along fellow campers I befriended to see a place rich with dinosaur tracks. Quite a variety of them! But getting there requires high ground clearance 4-wheel drive, and they don’t come cheap. About $300 for the jeep we rented for white pockets, and what we got was a Cherokee, not the Wrangler we were expecting. So we settled for climbing a huge hill we were told about, only to find very few. Still… pretty cool.
So… long story short… we made seven attempts at scoring two “WAVE” permits, and walked away empty handed. When I was there solo I received one on my third ( and what was to be my last) attempt. I was incredibly disappointed that I didn’t get to share The Wave with John, and I know he was too… having listened to me talk about the experience so many times. It was really that cool. Cool enough to warrant a blog post all its own…
From Kanab we traveled only an hour or so east to Page Arizona, at the south end of Lake Powell. That’s up next!