07-Aug-2007 -- While en route to explore Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, we stopped at 37 North 113 West. The confluence really qualifies as a stop rather than a hike, as it is only 10 meters from a road, and only 40 meters from a fairly major highway. Nevertheless, all confluences are fascinating, and this one has the special distinction of being on the border between Utah and Arizona.
We left St George around noon, and by early afternoon were on a beeline on Utah Highway 59 toward Hildale, a community on the north end of Colorado City. Hildale was a puzzling community as it seemed largely warehousing and light industry, at least in this section of town, yet it was in the middle of the desert. A quick Internet search on Hildale turns up the subject of "polygamy" more than any other topic, as apparently the town has a long history of the practice. The town's street pattern and names display the Mormon influence, while just across the state line, Colorado City's street names are entirely different. We drove west on Field Street and south on 1400 West, and back east along Uzona Avenue. We parked at the corner of 1300 West and Uzona to avoid any fences. As the clever name implies, Uzona Avenue is built on the Utah-Arizona state line--37 North Latitude. This was a real treat for me as a geographer. We parked and I walked for 5 fenceless minutes to the confluence, keeping an eye out for snakes, but also glass and pieces of barbed wire.
The confluence lies on level ground in a vacant lot with a groundcover of sand, dirt, pinons, and junipers. The trees are spaced between 5 and 15 meters apart. There was unfortunately also a fair bit of trash, due to the close proximity of the commercial-industrial community to the north. I could not determine whether a building had ever been on the site or if it had been ranchland at any time in the past. The early afternoon temperature was nearly 100 degrees F (38 C) with very light winds and blue skies--really a beautiful day. The thing I'll remember about this confluence is the blazing sun, the red cliffs, and the bright sky. I saw a few people in the warehouse to the north and a boy was circling on a bicycle on Uzona Avenue. I quickly took photographs and video, spending only 10 minutes on site, due to the heat and our appointment at the sand dunes.
I had been to 37 North several times, in California, Colorado, and Virginia, but this was only the second time I had stood on 113 West. This was my first Utah confluence since 2003 and it was grand to be back. We were in the area visiting 11 wonderful state and national parks in 12 days. Currently we were between hikes at Zion National Park, the previous day, and Coral Pink and Bryce Parks today.
We ate a celebratory piece of chocolate that we had purchased at the Ethel M Chocolate Factory in Las Vegas on the previous day. We then drove south into Arizona, and then on a very sandy road a short distance back into Utah. Coral Pink Sand Dunes turned out to be even more wonderful than we had hoped--truly a magnificent place.