Friday, March 31, 2017

Kanab, UT (3/15/2017)

We moved our camp to Kanab because that's where BLM holds the lotteries for North and South Coyote Buttes.  The famous Wave formation is in North Coyote Buttes, where ten "walk-in" permits  are awarded daily.  We learned that crowds of 150-200 had been entering the lottery each day, essentially ending our hope of getting permits in only one or two days.  We did try for the South Coyote Buttes lottery, but failed to get a permit although there were only five entrants.  Each person selected can represent up to five people, so it took only three draws to fill the day's ten permits.

Disappointed at not getting the sought after permits, we maintained our spirits by visiting places without permit requirements.  Red Canyon, or as locals call it, Peekaboo, is a slot canyon with relatively small visitation.  It is remote and the road is deep sand, needing high clearance 4WD to access it.  Twice I've gotten stuck by taking the wrong turn, but luckily was able to back out and choose a better road.  We could see, however, that increased ATV usage has produced many more visitors and made the road even more difficult.

Peekaboo is not in the same league with the two Antelope Canyons, but is very worthwhile seeing.  The sandstone walls are red and not as deep, so there is less reflection of light and fewer colors.  It is a more natural experience because there are no tour guides, stairs or people to charge admission.  If you can get there, you can walk right through.  There are a few rocks to climb over, and logs to scoot under.  The logs stuck high above are a clue to water levels when floods occur, making sure that each visit is a little different.

Very close to Peekaboo is the Best Friends animal sanctuary, which has become world famous for providing homes for a variety of animals.  I always drive through their property, called Angel Canyon, and make a few stops.  Visiting the several buildings of cats and dogs requires going with a tour, but other stops are permissible.  A stop at the cemetery, called Angels Rest, is a memorable experience to see how thousands of animals have been memorialized.  I wish they had always been treated that well in life, but I know that some were least before they came to Best Friends.  Let's remember, this worthy organization depends on donations and volunteers to continue its good work.

Our day ended with a nice sunset over the Jackson Reservoir, including some lenticular clouds. These clouds, named for their shape like a lens in the human eye, are formed by wind against mountains, so people living in flat land rarely see them.  Some cases have been reported as UFO's due to their appearance similar to "flying saucers".

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