We made it a point to venture out to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, so after we got back from rappelling we had lunch and set out for more fun and adventure. I was excited to explore what is described as a “shifting sea of red sand. Changed by winds, these mountains and hills of sand can move as much as 50 feet per year. With areas for off-highway vehicle enthusiasts and those with non-motorized pursuits, the dunes offer adventures for all.”
The drive from our hotel to the dunes took us 1.5 hr drive. Longer than we thought thanks to the guy at the convenience store on UT-9 who told us to take the second exit, which would be a more scenic drive. It wasn’t. So much for local insider information.
We saw a major storm cloud in the distance and got a bit of drizzle on the way, but we would not be deterred. We drove on and crossed our fingers that the weather would hold up.
Once we turned on Rd43 there was light rain and stormy skies up ahead. The wet soil and grasses emitted such a sweet smell. It was a crisp evergreen smell with a mixture of sweetness , almost like blackberries. I couldn’t get enough and I wish I could have bottled the scent.
We drove for a while without seeing a car and thought we had made a wrong turn somewhere but soon enough we found the entrance to the park and saw a few cars. Just as we got inside the park the sky opened up and the few remaining visitors scattered. We Got back in the car and drove a little further down. This was a great decision because the rain stopped and we seemed to have the dunes all to ourselves. Except for one other couple, we were the only visitors in sight. The sky still threatened us but for now we were clear to explore.
The color is what first struck me. Because of the passing rain and clouds, the dunes ranged in color from rich coral to soft peach. The green shrubs scattered throughout were rich greens that gave off that elusive scent It was spectacular and I was happy we made the time to visit.
Getting to the dunes was going to be more strenuous than expected. It didn’t look that far but once we started walking the deep sand, it turned into an entirely different experience. My husband gave me a sideways glance, which I knew to mean “you really want us to do this?”
This is my favorite image I took that afternoon. I stayed behind to get my camera ready for video of the boys tumbling down the dunes. When I glanced up I saw the three of them in synchronized steps. Luckily I was quick enough with the phone to get this picture of my tribe.
It was my turn to make my way up the dune. The kids were getting impatient with me and my photo taking. All they wanted to do was slide down the dune. I thought I was in pretty good shape so I started off with a light jog. That lasted about 5 seconds. I couldn’t catch my breath and felt like I was going to pass out. I really need to step it up at the gym.
When I finally made it the kids had a palooza of fun. Rolling and sliding all the way down and then doing it all over again. I really don’t know where the energy comes from.
Our fun came to an abrupt end when we heard thunder rumbling in the distance and we could see the storm clouds heading our way. When we saw flashes in the sky we did our best to hustle the heck out of there. At one point I thought I would die here. It was either going to be the heart attack from trying to run through what felt like quick sand or by lighting strike. Nothing funny about becoming a human lighting conductor.
On the way out of the park we took the quicker non-scenic road,which turned out to be a lot more scenic than the road we were told to take. Go figure. We saw quite a few jackrabbits and these beautiful horses out in an open field.
We had carrots and apples in the car. C gave up his last few carrots but M refused to share his apple. We tried to force M to give up his apple scraps but the kid refused, telling us he was starving. It caused a meltdown of almost epic proportions, so we now refer to this as the apple hoarding incident.
We were all tired and famished after a very full day of adventuring, so we headed back to our home base at the Desert Pearl Inn. I ended another day grateful that I got to share so many firsts with the people I love the most.