Kodachrome Basin State Park, Utah – A colour film park in half-light

Kodachrome Basin is embraced by Grand Staircase – Escalante on the outskirts of Cannonville. A National Geographic expedition awarded this pithy name to the area in 1949 according to the well-known Kodak slide film – authorized by Kodak company of course. Reason for this idea was the intense colours of the stones’ different shades of red, the yellow wild flowers, the green bushes, and the steel blue sky. Wherefrom is nothing to see today. After long weeks of sunshine it’s dull and drizzling from time to time. Nevertheless we invested 6 $ to have a look around in the state park since they have a geological characteristic that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Nearly 70 monolithic spires rise up between five and 150 feet high into the sky. They seem to grow from the valley floor or the sandstone. The origin of these sand pipes is not completely resolved. Scientists believe that the towers represented underground water sources or geysers 65 million years ago similar to Yellowstone Park. As time passed, the geyser channels filled with calcite containing sediment that cemented the openings. During the surrounding softer sandstone eroded, the chimney rocks remained.

The damp weather changes our travel plans. On one hand we don’t want to visit beautiful nature parks with overcast sky. On the other hand moist makes unpaved trails slippery. Actually we planned to take Skutumpah and Johnson Canyon Road # 500 through Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument from Kodachrome Basin south to effect the next excursions in the area around Page, Arizona. The road # 500 consists of clay and is partially steep. We decide not to take a risk and delay this plan. Instead we decide at short notice to catch a ferry across Lake Powell. Via Escalante Town and Boulder we go back to the dramatic Burr Trail. In the Long Canyon there is a short, maybe 100 m long and not too narrow slot canyon, but with very high walls. We don’t have to search the gulch according to the descriptions from Escalante Visitor Center, because the French MAN truck is parked on the pullout – what a coincidence. Together we descend the winding road and look for a place to spend the evening and night together.

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