In this article we offer a “rendez-vous” for Nowhere else, a real treat. Let’s start with a miniature Sahara, the Coral Sand Dunes State Park, which presents a nice specter of pink and orange hued sand dunes, surrounded by red sandstone cliffs. Coral Sand Dunes State Park is located near the South state line of Utah between Mount Carmel Junction and Kanab in Southwestern Utah and surrounded on the East by the Moquith mountains and on the North by the Moccasin Mountains. The sand dunes were created by the erosing of rocks by wind blowing between the notch between these two chains of mountains. Do I see a mirage in the horizon or an oasis?
Look deep, deep into nature and the wilderness… “Unreal landscapes, illusion, mirage” these are the words that come to mind when you see Coyote Buttes South, White Pocket and Soap Creek at Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. How does mother nature shape such wonders ? These places are largely unexplored and unvisited. The path leading to the site is not easy… we asked directions of a one-meter long rattlesnake but we had doubts about his anwer when he added, “trust me…” Incidentally, the sausages that we ate in Sedona were perhaps made from his cousin’s flesh ? Coyote Buttes South includes rock formations among the most beautiful and spectacular in the American West, but also among the most vulnerable, which explains the limited number of passes, only 20, available each day.
Be careful and watch your step. Some formations, including the fine sandstone structures, are very brittle and can break under your step at the slightest touch. Be respectful of these marvelous places, mother nature spent millions of years creating them… Colors ares stunning especially at the site called “The Brain” that shows spectacular rainbow-colored rocks in tones of yellow, orange, pink, and purple… These sculptures give rise to various interpretations… just let your imagination wander! And we ask, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, is this place the most beautiful of all ? Coyote Butte was the most beautiful, but the land of White Pocket at Vermilion Cliffs far away beyond the mountains is also a wonder“.
We knew that the mirror did not lie… like Saint Thomas Aquinas, I believe only what I see, so let’s go ! Once again it is difficult to find White Pocket… we asked directions of another native, Wiley E. Coyote (E. standing for Ethelbert), but he took to its heels as quickly and as fast as Bip Bip. Too bad, but we managed nevertheless to find this famous White Pocket ! Upon our arrival, suspense, outstanding drum rolls… We turn again to the magic mirror! White Pocket named for the predominantly white color of the rock and is home to extraordinarily shaped rock formations that cannot be found anywhere else. Take time to explore the area, hike to the top of the larger rock to get a stuning edge view of the area. The landscape, created by years of erosion, is absolutely amazing!
The last phase in the discovery of Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Soap Creek, offers a magnificent spectacle of zig-zag formations created by the Colorado River, an impressive canyon that extends to the horizon. Again, we tried to be acquainted another native, a bighorn sheep (sheep native to North America), but it ran away quickly, even thought we tried approaching it with some canadian expressions learned from a friend… It flew off over the rainbow-colored rocks.
Ah, we are staying a little bit longer to explore the area, a final look… and then we have to start thinking of going back home? But perhaps not !