Sand Dune Sleighing

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August 25th 2013
Published: August 31st 2013
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­We entered the town of Kanab as the destination point on our navigator. Kanab is a small town in Utah, where dozens of western movies were filmed until the 70s. During those days stars like John Wayne and Robert Mitchum inhabited this town of about 3000-4000 people. According to our guidebook Kanab would still have that old western film atmosphere to it, but we found that to be an overstatement. Instead, we did our laundry and spent some time looking for an open restaurant. All we could find was McDonald’s. It was Sunday, and apparently on Sundays people in Utah go to church like decent people, instead of keeping their restaurants open.

We were headed for Grand Canyon, but on the way decided to drop by at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. We had seen a picture of if at the Zion National Park visitor center, and decided to go and take a closer look. We were hoping to see some exciting sand dunes, and even to take a walk in the middle of them. Sure enough, the highest dune was maybe 30 meters high, and we ended up doing a lot more than just taking a walk. It
The DuneThe DuneThe Dune

No, this is not Sahara!
turned out you could rent “sandboards” (like snowboard but for sand) and sleighs. Of course we wanted to try sleighing in the sand. The sleigh was actually nothing more than a piece of plywood, but after waxing its bottom thoroughly before each slide, we could reach decent speed. That was the fun part; walking back up to the top of the dune was hard exercise. Not to mention we ended up with sand all over ourselves. But, these slight inconveniences did not bother us, since we had had a lot of fun!

Grand Canyon greeted us with rainy and chilly weather. We were lucky and got a tent site on the Northern Rim campsite. The elderly gentleman at the camp ground registration office had Finnish roots; I think his grandparents had come from Finland. He told us that in Minnesota area there are lots of people with the same last name as me, and that he had plans to go traveling in Finland and elsewhere in Scandinavia next summer. He didn’t speak any Finnish, though. I have to admit that our visit to Grand Canyon was quite a quick stop. After spending the evening in the tent reading and listening to the rain, next morning we had the overpriced breakfast buffet and took a 0.25 miles scenic walk to take a peek at the Grand Canyon. I think we had simply seen too many rocky national parks by then; the view was great after it appeared from behind a thick curtain of mist, but we felt in any case we had seen enough. Next stop Las Vegas.

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