October 11, 2019
We didn’t have the Beringer Knights Valley last night rather a 2005 Pacific Star Red Wine blend Coro Mendocino. Very interesting wine we bought with our wine group when we visited them. It is a blend of Mendocino grapes crafted according to the Coro Mendocino Wine Production Protocol and certified by the Consortium Mendocino! More importantly, the wine reminded us of the good times the Scotts, Dederers, Pinkhams, Mordorskis and Kwellers have had over 40 years sharing wines and dinners.
When I awoke at 7:00 this morning it was 20 degrees but not inside! We were toasty with our space heater.
Literally around the corner from the campground was the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park. In addition to the full-service campground (22 spots) there was the 150-million year-old petrified tree and petrified tree garden. Lovely, 40-degree morning for a walk.
The ride from Escalante along the Grand Staircase was stunning. Escalante National Monument (declared in 1996) is one of the nation’s newest conservation initiatives to preserve wide open spaces and intact ecosystems.
At Cannonville we turned south to Kodachrome Basin State Park. The contrasting colors of the sandstone chimneys prompted the National Geographic Society in 1949, with consent of Kodak Film Corp, to name the park Kodachrome. The red and white sandstone spires contrasting with the clear blue sky was gorgeous! There are over 70 natural monolithic spires overlooking the park with several nice walks. The first that was recommended was Angel’s Palace, a moderate walk. We hiked for about a third of a mile and realized that coming down the narrow sandstone dust trail was not for us!!! I literally slid down on my butt, a skill I learned years ago when I got stuck in nasty ski spots. The camp is very nice albeit with many road-side pull out sites. Kodachrome may be our second most favorite park we have seen in all of our travels.
From Cannonville you can see many of the multicolor hoodoos, pinnacles , buttresses and columns. Most interesting is that Bryce is not actually a canyon, but a series of amphitheaters that are etched into the limestone. We will not be taking the Queen’s/Navajo 3-hour loop hike this time. It is projected to be 11 degrees in the morning. Rather, we are taking the “free” 3- hour Rainbow Bus Tour along the 18-mile scenic drive and overlooks. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip and learned so much. We may walk the Rim Trail as well.
As done previously, we are camping in Ruby’s Campground. The sites are spacious amongst the pine trees. The Ruby Syrett family established a ranch here in 1916 and took advantage of being hosts to visitors. In 1923 Bryce became a National Monument (declared by Taft.) The government wanted Ruby to move his establishment out of the area. In return he bargained for all of the land on either side of the access road to the park. The family now has a monopoly on most everything in Bryce: General Store, campgrounds, 2 Best Westerns, gas stations, RV Park etc. In fact, in 2007 Utah named the Ruby area as Bryce Canyon City!
We walked to one of the two Best Westerns for a bit of lunch as it was already 2:30. Imagine a whole town and resort area owned by the same family. Prices are not too outrageous despite the monopoly.
Tonight, we are having left over Café Diablo crown rack of pork ribs. In Escalante we bought some Goose Island IPA to have with our pork ribs. I like Goose Island but when I tasted it I thought it was a bit off! LOL! 3.2 beer. I guess alcohol does contribute flavor!! We will be having Mer et Soleil chardonnay. Won’t be buying any wine until we get to AZ.
Our space heater is ready for below freezing tonight!