Sunday, May 27, 2012

{Kodachrome Basin | Bryce Canyon | April 2012}

It has become tradition the last couple of years with my brothers to celebrate my birthday by going on the first camping trip of the season.  I love it!  It's a chance to get away from everything and the crazy busy of life.  Reconnecting with nature and just being in the moment helps me to recharge and reflect on whats going on in my life and to set new goals.

This first trip of the year, we headed to Kodachrome Basin State Park in southern Utah.  It is about 20 miles south of Bryce Canyon.  Kodachrome was believed to be once like Yellowstone with geysers and hot springs, but eventually filled up with sediment and solidified.  It's named after being photographed for National Geographic magazine in 1949 using the then new brand of Kodak film.

After driving south for a few hours, we made our way through Panguitch, a wild fire off the side of the road and  through the touristy part of Bryce Canyon.  Landon, always the prepared one, had researched via google earth some potential campsites for us.  We drove around taking in the sights and exploring a bit.  We then found Chimney Rock and took a quick look around before settling on a campsite south of Cottonwood Canyon.

The campsite was beside a dried up river bed nestled up against stone outcroppings.  It had some shady trees and the perfect set up.We quickly organized camp, did a bit of exploring and lots of photographing before settling in for a relaxing evening.  These are some of my favorite desert plants.

The area was pretty much ruled by ants.  Luckily, the weren't of the army variety.  I constructed an offering of the sweet circus animal kind, but surprisingly they wanted nothing to do with the overly sugared elephant.

The next day we bummed around and then took a hike into the Cottonwood Canyon Narrows. 

 It was a lot of hiking in the sand but also some fun bouldering.  We explored a box canyon off shoot.  Its amazing to me how much thrives in the desert despite what you'd think.  So much greenery and wildlife to be seen.  There were hummingbirds buzzing about and cliff swallows that made amazing wooshing sounds as they dived off the top of the canyon.  

We saw prints in the sand and animal homes in the sides of the wash.  The plants and desert flowers were in bloom and oh so colorful.  We even experienced a mini rock slide crashing down the canyon (after I sneezed).  It makes A LOT of noise as it reverberated off the narrow walls. (The rocks not my sneeze!)

  At night, right at dusk the frogs would start there night calls.  As we played music, the birds would land in nearby trees to join in.  We even heard cows in the distance as they grazed through the area.

I tried out a few new campfire recipes on this trip.  Santiago Salsa Dip was a hit.  As were the dutch oven pull-aparts.  A few adaptations on that one for it to turn out just right.

 I also attempted campfire popcorn.  I forgot to bring oil so tried to just an air pop version.  I think it would have worked out if a hole hadn't made the whole thing light on fire!

On the way home the next day, we hit up Bryce Canyon.  We got out and climbed up to the rim.  What an amazing view!  Some of my favorite pictures of the whole trip.  I'd love a chance to go back and look around and hike more of that area.  

We stopped at the lodge before hitting the road to home.  It was full of foreign speaking tourist enjoying a taste of the southwest.  

It was fun to hear all the languages around me as I wandered around looking at the old photos and memorabila.  As always, the weekend was over way too quickly and it was back to reality.
I can't wait until the end of this month.  We are taking a trip back down south to experience the Ring of Fire eclipse in Kolab Canyon.  It is set to be an amazing once in a lifetime experience!

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