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Blizzards and Such

April 18, 2018

Cannonville. Near Bryce Canyon 17th April

Mother Nature is not treating us well. The snow the other day was more a pleasant experience than anything else but yesterday, coming into Torrey for the night on our way to Bryce Canyon the strong winds that were a precursor to the snow the other day were happening again. But this time, the wind didn’t stop. And when the sleet and snow hit us at 3a.m. it was a disaster. Because of the strong winds and a clear sky I had left the fly off over our bed as it flaps horribly in strong winds. At 2.30 the wind was so strong I dropped the hinged roof for only the second time. The other was in Patagonia. And when I heard the sleet hitting the canvas on the outside of where our heads lie, I knew I had to get out and affix the fly otherwise the canvas would get the full brunt of the blizzard. Fixing the fly in numbing conditions was an excruciating experience. After that we lay there for hours hearing the fly flap and bang hoping it wouldn’t tear. It didn’t. Good South African manufacturing.

This morning the ground was more covered with ice than snow. It was -3C and still blowing furiously. We contemplated staying an extra day but the camp site owner assured us that, with our vehicle, we should have no trouble getting over the 3000m pass that was on our route. As it happened, he was right. The fresh snow was thick on the ground but the warmth of the asphalt had melted the flakes as they landed. Cold weather is forecast once again for Friday but I hope we are further to the south by then. And at lower altitudes.

Yesterday morning though, was a great experience. After camping the night on the banks of the Colorado River we headed up the Colorado River Gorge for some 50kms before hitting the Interstate. At times the gorge was less than 50 metres wide with the red cliffs towering above us and the swirling water next to us, and at times it opened up to farmland for a short while before closing in again.

After crossing the pass this morning the road descended then entered the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Park. I think it is the biggest park in Utah and has its share of weird rock formations etc. After leaving Bryce Canyon tomorrow I hope to cut across the park on an unsealed less used road.

Often the smaller parks are the most interesting and today, after checking in to the camp site, we headed out to the Kodachrome State Park a few miles out of Cannonville. A small park but the colours of the cliffs and the dozens of pillars standing like so many phallic symbols were impressive. One even had a scrotum attached. Will attach photo in due course. These parks are less visited so there is a chance of solitude. The park was named by some National Geographic crew in the 40s who reckoned the colours were like you would see on Kodachrome film.


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